Christina Raphaëlle Haldane was fully committed as Cleopatra ... and she sang fantastically well, from the exquisitely shaped melodic line of ‘Se Pieta’ to the dazzling coloratura of ‘Da tempeste’.
...the best of the bunch, Christina Haldane, had sadly little airtime as Quiteria’s pal Lucinda.
THE TIMES, LONDON
CHRISTINA RAPHAËLLE HALDANE – SOPRANO
CHRISTINA’s career spans the UK, Europe, Asia and North America, and she is currently based in Canada’s Atlantic provinces. She has interpreted many lead opera roles, having performed for opera houses such as The Finnish National Opera, The Royal Opera Covent Garden, Scottish Opera and Musica Viva Hong Kong. Her specialism is performing HANDEL’S HEROINES, COMEDIC BEL CANTO roles and CONTEMPORARY opera. Christina enjoys performing and curating RECITAL and CHAMBER MUSIC concerts, and she is often invited to perform with LEADING ORCHESTRAS. Her exploration of contemporary music has led to many collaborations with composers, and she continues to bring their VOCAL WORKS TO LIFE. Christina is a bilingual (English and French) with Acadian heritage, and she is a proud citizen of Canada and Great Britain.
Christina is thrilled to present Tu me voyais, her first record on Leaf Music, released on October 21, 2022. This album is the result of the collaboration between Christina and her cousin, interdisciplinary artist Carl Philippe Gionet, along with several other artists, writers, and composers who have contributed their own offerings. The album is anchored around Gionet’s new arrangements of Twelve Acadian Folk Songs, tailored for Christina’s voice. These re-imaginings are set in the 19th century lieder aesthetic or art song where voice and piano play equal solo parts within the musical architecture. This project is supported in part by ARTS NB, Music NB, Canada Council for the Arts and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
She enjoyed some exciting creative activities and collaborations in the 2021/ 22 season. She was thrilled to have been selected as one of the season’s ‘EXPORT NB’ artists, a prestigious career development initiative with MUSIC NB, in her home province of New Brunswick. Back on the operatic stage, she also created the role of Helen to critical acclaim, in the premiere performance of Michael Rose’s musical opera A NORTHERN LIGHTS DREAM, for Toronto Operetta Theatre.
As a recording artist, Christina released her critically acclaimed debut album ‘… LET ME EXPLAIN’ (2019), a collection of Canadian art songs which explores folk, jazz and avant-garde styles. She was the lead artist for ICARE (2020), an interdisciplinary digital performance product produced through the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Innovation initiative, in partnership with CBC/ Radio Canada.
Christina’s operatic career began by performing comedic bel canto roles, with her debut as the iconic title role in Donizetti’s LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT for Swansea City Opera’s 30+ date tour of the UK, a role she later reprised for Musica Viva Hong Kong. In the bel canto repertoire she went on to perform Clorinda in Rossini’s LA CENERENTOLA for Iford Arts and Scottish Opera, and Adina in Donizetti’s L’ELISIR D’AMORE for Musica Viva Hong Kong.
Handel’s heroines have provided Christina with many vocal and dramatic opportunities, especially in the roles he wrote for the great Italian diva Francesca Cuzzoni. Christina has performed Cleopatra in GIULIO CESARE for Finnish National Opera and the title role in RODELINDA for Opera in Concert Toronto, as well as curated a program of arias called ‘CAPTURING CUZZONI’ for Handel House in London, UK. She has also performed Solomon’s Queen in Handel’s SOLOMON with Kraków’s acclaimed baroque orchestra Capella Cracoviensis.
Christina has enjoyed a strong relationship with the Royal Opera Covent Garden. She performed the London premiere of Jonathan Dove’s MINTERNE in the Crush Room recital space and the role of Rapunzel in their production of Sondheim’s INTO THE WOODS. As a cover artist for the Royal Opera, Christina has been engaged as Fiorilla in Rossini’s IL TURCO IN ITALIA, Sifare in Mozart’s MITRIDATE, Nella in Puccini’s GIANNI SCHICCHI and Silvia in Thomas Adès’ bold opera THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL (also for the Salzburg Festival). Christina’s performance of Silvia’s aria was streamed to over 50 000 viewers in the ROYAL OPERA HOUSE INSIGHTS special on Adès’ exciting new opera.
Other roles in Christina’s repertoire include Pamina in Mozart’s DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE (Cambridge Philharmonic), Vixen and Fox in Janáček’s THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN (Oundle International Festival and Longborough Festival Opera), Mercedes in Bizet’s CARMEN (Cambridge Philharmonic), Musetta in Puccini’s LA BOHÈME (Minack Theatre Cornwall), Lucinda in Mendelssohn’s DIE HOCHZEIT DES CAMACHO (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and European Opera Centre), the title role in Handel’s ALCINA (Hampstead Garden Opera) and Second Niece in Britten’s PETER GRIMES (Cambridge Philharmonic).
Christina is an active performer of Oratorio, and has been a soloist in works by HANDEL, MOZART, BACH, ROSSINI, HAYDN, PERGOLESI, BUXTEHUDE and MENDELSSOHN.
TEACHING & MENTORING
Christina strongly believes in mentoring the next generation of talented young singers, and has an international profile as a vocal educator, adjudicator, and master teacher. She is the head of the Atlantic division of Canada’s national opera training program COSA, and is the co-president of the Canadian Atlantic Provinces National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) chapter. Christina is on the voice faculty at two masterclass programs, BIIMA – Breno Italy International Music Academy and Musique sur mer en Acadie, New Brunswick. She was on the Voice Faculty at Dalhousie’s Fountain School of Performing Arts from 2019, and joined the team at Mount Allison’s Department of Music in July, 2022, where she continues to combine performing with her love of teaching.
For her formal training Christina enjoyed a broad international vocal education. Christina received a BMus from the University of Toronto, spent a year at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, was awarded a PDVT and an MMus from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and a DMA from the University of Toronto. She participated in several international summer training programmes as a student, including the Chautauqua Institution, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme in Aldeburgh and the Académie Internationale d’Été de Nice. Christina’s curiosity continues to flourish, and she is an eternal ‘student’ of music and the arts.
It all began with my ‘one woman’ shows performed in my childhood living room in Victoria, British Columbia. Armed with a tickle trunk of dress up and a captive family audience, from then onwards I knew I always wanted to perform and sing!
Fast forward to today and I’m still captivated by communicating through music, drama and poetry. This curiosity is what nourishes me and continues to propel me forward as a singing artist.
My Canadian heritage is Acadian on my mother’s side, from Caraquet, New Brunswick, and my father is British with ties to Northern Ireland and England, so I grew up speaking English and French. I’ve enjoyed the best of both worlds, having grown up from coast to coast in Canada (from Vancouver Island to Prince Edward Island!), and spent many of my professional singing years based in London, UK.
I come from an artistic family and have always felt encouraged because of this. You won’t find our gang jamming together on weekends, but we are all enthusiastic members of the arts community! My father Seàn Haldane was an award-winning novelist and poet, and I enjoyed collaborating with him on art song projects. In his younger years, he also performed as a treble voice in the UK. On my mum Ghislaine Lanteigne’s side, there is a strong lineage of musicians and artists. Our cousin is Acadian folk songstress Edith Butler, and I’m fortunate to have a musical partnership with another cousin, interdisciplinary artist Carl Philippe Gionet. Patrice Nicolas, my partner, is a musicologist, who specializes in music of the Renaissance. In his younger years he performed professionally as a guitarist, and even toured Canada in a Jon Bon Jovi cover band!
Strong ethics, freedom in expression, inclusivity, and kindness are my values. I bring my open warm approach to all my personal relationships, rehearsal and performance spaces, and teaching and mentoring. Collaboration is also at the heart of what I do.
I enjoy many creative activities and have an entrepreneurial spirit. For 6 years I combined my artistic eye and love of image and style through a successful side-hustle called Raphaëlle Photography, a studio that specialized in promotional shots for musicians in London, UK. Although I’ve hung up my pro lens for now, I still enjoy photography as a hobby and truly believe that we can all find our own unique inner and outer beauty.
My family and friends are at the centre of my life, and I love spending time with them. Favourite pastimes include feasting, laughing, running, cycling, walking my dogs and quality time on the couch with my partner Patrice. I currently live in Moncton, New Brunswick, with Patrice and our two little diva dog Pomeranian pups, Wally and Sissi.
I live, work and create in the ancestral and unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik, Mi’kmaq and Peskotomuhkati peoples. We are all Treaty people.
The new arrangements of Acadian folksongs are supported by the New Brunswick Arts Board.
Les nouveaux arrangements de chants folkloriques acadiens sont soutenus par le Conseil des arts du Nouveau-Brunswick.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien.
We recognize the support of the Government of New Brunswick and Music-Musique NB / Nous reconnaissons l’appui du gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick et de Music-Musique NB.