Praised for her “clear voice soaring to stratospheric heights” by Opera Canada, soprano Andrea Lett is quickly making a name for herself in opera houses and concert halls across North America. She is a recipient of the CBC Young Artist’s Development Prize and the Canadian Opera Company’s Centre Stage Audience Choice Award, and a laureate of the University of Manitoba and University Toronto.
Here, she talks about dreaming big on prairie road trips and the hope embedded in Handel’s Rejoice Greatly.
“There are a lot of people struggling right now, including artists. I really want this music to bring joy to people, and to give a feeling of connection and unity. I sincerely hope this project can be a way for Canadians to feel that connection and hope.“
“I grew up in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and while I had some wonderful opportunities that sparked a genuine love for performing, it never dawned on me that this would be something that I would end up doing as a career. I am extremely grateful to have grown up on the prairies, there is something about the prairies that encourages big dreams—the landscape just feels unlimited.”
“I came to singing later in life. I have always enjoyed music, but I initially wanted to go to school to be an architect. During my first year, I took some voice lessons, and I had a great teacher who guided me while preparing for my audition for the music faculty. I completed my undergrad at the University of Manitoba, and my Masters at U of T, and now I’m based in Winnipeg singing as a career.”
“Rejoice Greatly (my portion in Messiah/Complex) is an uplifting piece of music, both in text and in its musical gestures. The music is a lot of fun to sing—a light and delightful firecracker of a piece. It’s a celebration really, and it’s filled with hope and excitement.”
“The Messiah/Complex film shoot took place here in Winnipeg, my home-base. We originally wanted to shoot in Saskatchewan, but that wasn’t possible with the COVID-19 travel restrictions. Instead, we went to Bird’s Hill Park, and to Pinawa Falls which worked beautifully because the landscape is similar to that of Prince Albert. We wanted to reference the diversity of that landscape, and the experiences I had of growing up in northern Saskatchewan.”
“Rejoice Greatly is like a journey, or as we’re interpreting it: a road trip. We wanted to capture the feeling of sitting in the back seat, looking out the window, and taking in the open landscape and sky. Daydreaming in the back seat and listening to music – those are very strong memories for me, and I think that’s where I was first given a space to begin to think creatively.”
Thank you to Andrea Lett for contributing her artistic voice and being a part of this project.