Karina Gauvin: a muse for patrons of the arts

Interview by Frédéric Cardin

Quebec soprano Karina Gauvin has been named artist-in-residence of the Musica Mécénat program.

Genres and styles : Classical / Classical Singing

Additional Information

Photo: Julien Faugere

Quebec soprano Karina Gauvin has been named artist-in-residence of the Mécénat Musica program until 2022! The artist is a true world star in opera singing. There’s no exaggeration to say that, let alone an ounce of chauvinism. It’s the strict truth. Which makes this announcement all the more exciting because it means that Gauvin will be on our stages much more often than in recent years, virtually, or even physically, when the pandemic has subsided.

PAN M 360 spoke with the soprano. Here are her reactions to this nomination.

PAN M 360: Hello, Karina! What is your role as artist-in-residence at Mécénat Musica?

Karina Gauvin: I’ll be available to take part in concerts and fundraising events for the 40 or so organizations that are partners of the Mécénat Musica program.

(Note: The Mécénat Musica program encourages individuals to make a $25,000 donation in perpetuity to a cultural organization that is close to their heart (and $250,000 or $2,500,000 for families). Donations are matched by Mécénat Musica and then matched by matching funds from government programs. With the associated federal and provincial tax credits, the net cost to an individual is only a fraction of the amount invested (approximately $6,000 for a donation of $25,000). If an organization receives, for example, 10 donations of $25,000 from individuals, in the end, it could raise up to $2 million in a fund in perpetuity! This program is unique in the world.)

PAN M 360: Who will decide what kind of activities you’ll participate in?

Karina Gauvin: It will be on a case-by-case basis. Interested organizations can already contact me. We will discuss their needs together and how I can best contribute. Afterwards, we’ll decide on a musical program.

PAN M 360: In the context of the pandemic, how did you react when you were offered this partnership?

Karina Gauvin: Very happy! It’s a way of returning to my country and reconnecting with the audience back home, because I have spent most of the last few years in Europe. Having said that, it is also a breath of fresh air because I have lost everything because of the pandemic. It has been a clean slate for me. So it’s the best of both worlds, because I’ll be able to do what I love the most and at the same time, contribute to the sustainability of many music organizations that need it!

PAN M 360: How important do you think this programme is?

Karina Gauvin: Very! The pandemic has turned everything upside down, you know that. Artists have been hit hard. What else can we do but get organized, stick together, help each other, and develop new business models to survive? That’s what this initiative, unique on the planet, offers, which I hope will perhaps inspire some small ones elsewhere.

PAN M 360: Because elsewhere in the world, the situation is no better…

Karina Gauvin: Not at all! In Europe, I worked with several organizations that were already struggling before the arrival of the virus. What will it be like afterwards? Many will go bankrupt, I’m afraid. The repercussions of this tragedy will be felt far beyond any victory against the virus itself. It will never be the same again. Never. Many artists will give up the profession. 

PAN M 360: That isn’t your case – do you have any plans in the pipeline?

Karina Gauvin:Yes, some exciting projects. I’m participating in the completion of the complete melodies of Jules Massenet, more than 300 of them, many of them previously unreleased, with the ATMA classical team. An all-Quebec production, with Marie-Nicole (Lemieux), Étienne (Dupuis), Julie (Boulianne), and nine other local singers. This project will be a world premiere! The irony is that the pandemic allowed us to accelerate the pace of the recordings, because we were available! I also have projects with Ensemble Caprice, among others. I keep myself as active as possible, even though I can’t remember the last time I spent so much time at home.

PAN M 360: Karina, the greatest success with Mécénat Musica, and in all your other projects. Thank you for your involvement!

Karina Gauvin: Thank you very much!

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