Soprano CHRISTINA RAPHAËLLE HALDANE has two nationalities, Canadian and British, and grew up speaking two languages, English and French. She enjoys an active performing career in the UK, Europe, Asia and North America performing opera, recital, chamber and concert repertoire. Having been based in London, UK, for many years, she now resides in Canada’s Atlantic provinces, and her Canadian heritage is Acadian. Christina is looking forward to some exciting creative activities and collaborations in 2021. Due to generous funding from Music NB, she will be releasing her first music video and expanding her digital presence. Her artistic partnership with her cousin, interdisciplinary artist Carl Philippe Gionet, continues to flourish. Together, they will be curating and workshopping his reimaginings of Acadian folksongs, which will culminate in a new edition of the arrangements. This project is generously funded by Arts NB. Several live performances have been postponed this season due to COVID, including a recital for the Scotia Festival, Shoenberg’s PIERROT LUNAIRE and an appearance as soloist with the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra. Christina is looking forward to when these collaborations can safely occur in the future.
In addition to recital and concert performances, her 2019/20 season featured some exciting recording projects of new works. She released her critically acclaimed debut album ‘Let Me Explain’ a collection of Canadian art songs, with Redshift records. Christina was also the lead artist for ICARE, an interdisciplinary digital performance product produced through the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Innovation initiative, in partnership with CBC/ Radio Canada.
Recent highlights from previous seasons include the exciting new opera THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL by Thomas Adès, where Christina covered the role of Silvia, for both the Salzburg Festival and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In 2017, her summer included a return to the Royal Opera House to cover the role of Sifare in Graham Vick’s production of Mozart’s MITRIDATE, as well as concerts in Italy and the Atlantic provinces. When living in Toronto, she also made her critically acclaimed Canadian debut singing the title role in Handel’s RODELINDA, for Opera in Concert and created the role of Mary McGee in SHOT: THE STORY OF D’ARCY MCGEE by Abigail Richardson-Schulte for the Hamilton Philharmonic.
Other highlights include Fiorilla (cover) in Rossini’s IL TURCO IN ITALIA and Nella (cover) in Puccini’s GIANNI SCHICCHI for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, a performance of Mercedes in Bizet’s CARMEN for the Cambridge Philharmonic, as well as sell out recitals for Handel House London and the Oxford Lieder Festival. Her ‘Capturing Cuzzoni’ Handel program successfully toured the Atlantic provinces and she joined the Kincardine Summer Festival for their 25th anniversary celebrations, performing in recital and performing Haydn’s THE SEASONS.
In Jan 2012 she made her mainland European stage debut, singing Cleopatra to Franco Fagioli’s Caesar, in Finnish National Opera’s daring new production of Handel’s JULIUS CAESAR. This success was quickly followed by a performance with the Capella Cracoviensis and Maestro Alessandro de Marchi, of Handel’s SOLOMON in Krakow. She made her international operatic debut singing the title role in Donizetti’s LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT for Musica Viva Hong Kong in 2010, returning in January 2011 to perform Adina in ELISIR D’AMORE. Her performance of Lucinda in Mendelssohn’s DIE HOCHZEIT DES CAMACHO for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/ European Opera Centre with Vasily Petrenko will also be released on recording in 2014. She reprised her interpretation of Clorinda in Rossini’s LA CENERENTOLA at Iford Arts’ magical Italianate cloister, a role in which she previously made her debut with Scottish Opera. On the concert stage, her Viennese Programme with the Brighton Philharmonic was described as ‘superb.’ The 2013 season also saw her return to her native Canada, to celebrate her Acadian roots by performing a French song recital for the 51st Festival Acadien. Christina joined the Britten centenary celebrations in 2014 by returning to the Cambridge Philharmonic to sing the role of Second Niece in PETER GRIMES. She is dedicated to performing contemporary music and was delighted to contribute to the workshops for Mark Anthony Turnage and Richard Thomas’ new opera ANNA NICOLE at the Royal Opera House.
For the Royal Opera House she has performed Rapunzel in Sondheim’s INTO THE WOODS and gave the London premier of Jonathan Dove’s MINTERNE at the ROH Crush Room. She has also performed the title role in Donizetti’s LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT for Swansea City Opera, the title role in Janáček’s CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN for the Oundle International Festival and Fox in CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN for Longborough Festival Opera, and Coryphée & Sidonie in Gluck’s ARMIDE for Buxton Festival Opera and Pamina in Mozart’s DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE for the Cambridge Philharmonic.
Other roles in Christina’s repertoire include Musetta in Puccini’s LA BOHÈME, the title role in Handel’s ALCINA and Anna Page in Nicolai’s THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR. Christina’s concert performances include Handel MESSIAH, Bach ST JOHN PASSION, ST MATTHEW PASSION and JAUCHZET GOTT IN ALLEN LANDEN, Mozart REQUIEM, CORONATION MASS and EXULTATE JUBILATE, Rossini PETITE MESSE SOLENNELLE, Haydn NELSON MASS, Pergolesi STABAT MATER, DeLalande CONFITIBUR TIBI, Buxtehude MEMBRA JESU NOSTRI and Mendelssohn HYMN OF PRAISE. When studying in Indiana she collaborated with Lukas Foss on his TIME CYCLE and her performance was hailed as ‘a triumph.’
For her formal training, she has been the recipient of awards and scholarships in Canada, England and the USA. Christina received a BMus from the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, then spent a year at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music studying with Patricia Wise. She then graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she was awarded a PDVT and an MMus. She has participated in several summer training programmes, including the Chautauqua Institution with Marlena Malas, the Lake Placid Institute with Phyllis Bryn-Julson, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme in Aldeburgh and the Académie Internationale d’Été de Nice with Robin Bowman
In September 2015, Christina combined her performing career with studies, on the DMA program at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Prof. Darryl Edwards and received her DMA in November, 2019. For this training she was the recipient of the Greta Klaus Graduate fellowship, the Eleanor and Gerald Copeland graduate fellowship, an Ontario Graduate Scholarship and is grateful for the continued support from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Christina combines her performing schedule with teaching activities and has an international profile as a vocal educator, having managed voice studios in London, UK and Toronto, Canada. She is on the voice faculty at two masterclass programs, BIIMA – Breno Italy International Music Academy and Musique sur mer en Acadie, NB, and is head of the Atlantic region of COSA Canada. She is also the recently appointed co-President of the Canadian Atlantic Provinces chapter for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (CAP NATS), and is on the Voice Faculty at Dalhousie’s Fountain School of Performing Arts.
Home for Christina is in Moncton, NB, where she lives with her partner Patrice and their two little Pomeranians pups, Wally and Sissi.