Engineering Science alumni showed off their operatic talents during the faculty’s 75th anniversary dinner and concert at Hart House this December. The winners of the first Skule Idol competition – modelled on the popular American Idol TV series – each performed a duet with opera star Isabel Bayrakdarian (BASc 1997). Joseph Likuski (BASc 1982, MSc 1988) performed the “Brindisi” duet from Verdi’s La Traviata. Anne Bornath (BASc 1991, MASc 1993) sang “Sull’aria…” from Le nozze di Figaro. The Skule Orchestra was led by Julian Kuerti (BASc 1999, Adv. Cert. Perf. 2001), assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Bayrakdarian, who came up with the idea of Skule Idol, has performed in many of the world’s major opera houses and sings on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Ararat soundtracks. “There’s truly no feeling like being on stage and I wanted to give that chance to another engineer, for them to taste the exhilaration of performing with an orchestra and to experience the sweet fusion of the left brain and the right brain,” she says.
A U of T lab is working with actors, writers and directors on how they could harness AI and other emerging technologies to generate new ideas and – just maybe – reinvent theatre