Roslak Roxolana

Voice/Instrument: Soprano


Roxolana (Audry) Roslak. Soprano, b Chortkiv, Ukraine, 11 Feb 1940, naturalized Canadian 1953; Artist Diploma (Toronto) 1964. She studied voice as a child in Edmonton with Mrs. J.B. Carmichael and later at the University of Toronto and the RCMT with Howell Glynne, Irene Jessner, and Ernesto Vinci. She made her COC debut in 1963 as the Milliner in Der Rosenkavalier. After a season 1965-6 at Covent Garden she returned to Toronto in 1967 to create the role of Marguerite in Somers' Louis Riel, and repeated it in the 1975 productions in Canada and the USA. Other roles with the COC have included Musetta in La Bohème (1968), Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (1970), Micaëla in Carmen (1970, 1979), Agnes Sorel in Joan of Arc (1978), the Countess in Marriage of Figaro (1979), and Alice Ford in Falstaff (1982). She became a charter member of the COC Ensemble program in 1980. She has made many appearances with Stuart Hamilton's Opera in Concert series, and sang Odarka in the North American premiere of Anatole Vachniany's opera Kupalo in Toronto, 13 Jun 1979, and in its subsequent performance in Edmonton in 1981.

Roslak was the featured soloist on the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir's 1972 European tour, and has appeared in recital, in oratorio, and in Royal Ballet (Covent Garden) and TS presentations of Stravinsky's Les Noces. As a soloist, she has appeared with orchestras across Canada. She sang the Indian Princess in the premiere (1977) of Seabird Island and on the Canadian tour (1978) of that opera. She made her New York debut 19 Dec 1978 at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, accompanied by Stuart Hamilton in songs of Debussy, Hindemith, and Webern and the Kuyas from Somers' Louis Riel and by Patricia Parr (piano), Lorand Fenyves (violin), and Daniel Domb (cello) in Shostakovich's Romanzen-Suite.

Following her TV appearances in 1975 with Glenn Gould on 'Musicamera,' she recorded Hindemith's Das Marienleben with the pianist (1976-7, 2-Col M2-34597), and it received a 1979 Juno Award. Roslak is heard on the recordings of Somers' The Fool, Louis Riel, and on two Centredisc releases that feature his works: Sacred and Profane Somers (1986, CMC-2385) and Kuyas (1983, CMC-1183). The last-named also includes works by Archer, Coulthard, and Klein. It received a 1983 Juno Award. Roslak also can be heard on a recording of Anhalt's La Tourangelle.

Roslak has commissioned and premiered Dr. Faustus by Larysa Kuzmenko in 1984, and with Jean McPhail and Stuart Hamilton, Of Bells, Birds and Bees by Lothar Klein in 1985. She also performed in the premiere of Srul Irving Glick's The Hour Has Come, 15 Feb 1985. In 1986 she began teaching voice at the RCMT. 

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