Singing the praises of home

Relocated performer loving life in Oak Bay, preparing for recital at Goolden hall

Susan Platts will be accompanied by pianist Robert Holliston at her upcoming recital.

One of Canada’s brightest vocal talents has returned to Greater Victoria, and with that comes her first hometown solo performance in nearly a decade.

Mezzo-soprano Susan Platts has performed all over the world, but since moving to Oak Bay in January, she has continuously been reminded of the wonders that lie in her own backyard.

“I love it, it’s so beautiful,” she said. “I was away long enough that when I came back everything seemed kind of new. Oak Bay in particular, I love the community, I love the shops, your closeness to the water.

“It’s a lovely pace and way of life here. I go to a lot of places and I can adjust, but it feels healthy here.”

Plenty has happened in the intervening years since Platts, who grew up in the Cadboro Bay area and graduated from St. Michaels University School, moved away. Right at the top of the list is the special relationship she’s formed with world-famous soprano Jessye Norman.

In 2004 Norman took Platts under wing as part of the Rolex Mentor & Protege Initiative. Though the arrangement was initially intended to last only a year, the two are still close.

“We’ve remained really good friends,” said Platts, 38. “I just saw her in New York last week and sang through the repertoire, and she told me ‘do this, don’t do that.’”

That repertoire, for her upcoming recital, includes pieces by Gustav Mahler – her favourite composer – and a selection of English songs and folk music which serve as a tribute to legendary British singer Kathleen Ferrier.

The recital will also feature Canadian composer Marjan Mozetich’s “Under the Watchful Sky,” a piece Platts commissioned with the help of some funding from Rolex.

“To have the money to do that doesn’t happen all the time, so I wanted to use that money for something that would be here 10, 20 years down the road,” she said.

Platts has performed with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra a couple of times in the last few years, but this will be her first recital here since she left.

She’s planning another engagement with the symphony in November, but for now her focus is on the recital, where she will be accompanied by Victoria’s Robert Holliston on piano.

“Since I was 24 or 25 I’ve earned my living as a singer, which as an artist is pretty amazing,” Platts said.

“I feel lucky that I love it so much and this is my job and I get paid to do it.”

The show goes Saturday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. at Alix Goolden Hall, 907 Pandora Ave.

Tickets cost $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors and can be purchased at the door or at Munro’s Books, Ivy’s Book Shop and the Cadboro Bay Book Company.

editor@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

Victoria City Council approves inclusionary housing policy

After years of back and forth, the policy will be ratified in two weeks

Filipino Heritage Month event takes over Centennial Square

Dancing, music and food highlight Mabuhay Day celebration in Victoria

West Shore residents report finding anti-SOGI 123 flyers in mailboxes

SD62 trustee Ravi Parmar says the flyers are ‘garbage’

Saanich woman runs marathons to make dreams come true

Hempler gutted her way through 122 kms with minimal breaks, to support Help Fill a Dream Foundation

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read