Growing up in Italy in an environment with a wealth of opera, Giuseppe Macina is like an encyclopedia of opera, seeming to know every part by heart, no matter what opera. In 1967 he took Toronto's oldest opera workshop and transformed it into the Toronto Opera Repertoire in partnership with Toronto's public school board, a unique learning model for community performers, and a treat for audiences. He has provided opportunities for singers to develop their musical and acting talents, and presented a whole repertoire of fully staged operas with the greatest detail and musical integrity, even making the props.
A graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Faculty of Music of the University of Toronto, he studied with Irene Jessner in Toronto and Robert Weede in San Francisco. His singing career included solo roles with the Vancouver Opera Association and the Canadian Opera Company.
He has directed numerous choirs, ensembles and opera groups, and was formerly the Director of the Opera Program at Mohawk College. Opera performance in the Hamilton area began in the 1960s with the Hamilton Opera Company, an amateur company that he co-directed with Marty Coughan.
In 1977, Giuseppe Macina was awarded the Jubilee Silver Medal by Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to Italian culture in Canada. In 1999 he was honored by the Toronto Arts and Letters Club for a lifetime distinguished career as an educator, and in February, 2004, Toronto's Famous People Players presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to the music and art of opera. That year also saw awards from the Italian region of Apulia and from his home town of Modugno for his passionate contribution to Italian culture. In December of 2005, Mr. Macina was made a member of the Cavagliere Ordine della Croce della Stella della Solidarietá Italiana, the equivalent of a knighthood, bestowed by the Italian government through its consulate in Toronto.
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