Erin Wall, the comet with the brazen voice

Canadian soprano Erin Wall died Friday at the age of 44. On his Twitter account, she emphasized the following sentence: “I used to be an opera singer. Then COVID-19 and stage IV cancer changed everything. Please don’t use the word “battle” to refer to my life or my illness. “

Erin Wall, in 2007, was the voice that burst forth and pierced everything in the 8e Symphony by Gustav Mahler by Pierre Boulez, recorded for Deutsche Grammophon. This symphony will remain attached to his career, including through the recording of Yannick Nézet-Séguin for the centenary of the American creation of the work, in Philadelphia.

Erin Wall and Quebec is Love from afar by Saariaho at the Festival d’Opéra de Québec, the 9e Symphony by Kent Nagano’s Beethoven on record and, last time, in June 2018, in very special circumstances, since the diagnosis of breast cancer was made at the end of 2017.

Diagnosed too late

“Because of my relatively young age when I was diagnosed – I was 42 – most people I told it was cancer were like, ‘Oh, but you caught it early! ” In fact, it was not true. I was diagnosed with stage III, and the cancer had spread widely to my lymph nodes. It was multifocal, which meant I had one primary tumor and several satellite tumors. This meant that I had to undergo chemotherapy for four months, followed by an operation, then a second operation, followed by five weeks of daily radiation therapy. In total, I was on active treatment from January 4 to August 31, 2018, “Erin Wall wrote in January 2019.

We learn in the same text under what circumstances it occurred in Montreal. “Less than 48 hours after singing the Ninth of Beethoven with the Cleveland Orchestra, I had my first operation. Less than two weeks after the operation, I was in evening dress, on stage in Montreal, singing the Ninth by Beethoven! This work ended up being a real touchstone for me throughout my year of treatment. “

We then met Erin Wall in May 2019 during the National Arts Center Orchestra’s tour of Europe. She was singing Lonely Child from Vivier. Nothing appeared. Erin Wall was a force of nature, vocally and physically. “People were surprised to learn that I was following an exercise regimen throughout the treatment. Not only does exercise increase the chances of survival for cancer patients, it is also an incredibly effective way to fight fatigue and exhaustion. Although some days I had to drag myself to the gym […] I kept on going. I was able to start running three weeks after my second operation […]. I even finished the New York Marathon on November 4, 2018, my 43rd day.e anniversary. It was my slowest marathon to date, and a very painful marathon, but I wasn’t going to let a little cancer rob me of the chance to run a race that I had been waiting for over 10 years – the number of years it took me to get a lottery entry! “


Erin Wall announced her upcoming death by Twitter on August 29. “I hate the phrase ‘losing the battle with cancer’ and will come back to haunt whoever uses it to describe my death. “

This entire ardor defined Erin Wall on stage until she took on the role of Chrysothemis in Elektra at the Canadian Opera Company in January 2019.

The disc documents it in the Stabat Mater by Dvorak,In addition to this, you need to know more about it. by Mariss Jansons, but in few operatic roles, with the exception of the DVD of Cosi fan tutte of Aix-en-Provence directed by Patrice Chéreau, where she sang Fiordiligi in 2005.

Before her relapse, Erin Wall wrote, “I did not come out of my cancer odyssey as a completely changed woman. In many ways, life is exactly the same – always a complicated mix of joy and pain, elation and frustration. I could only laugh when, two weeks after finishing my treatment, I fell, broke my arm and had to have surgery the next day, bringing my total to three operations in as many months. . I am grateful that my voice survived the trip and that I continue to have the chance to use it. “

The diagnosis of terminal phase in 2020 had been clouded by the fact of not being able to go back on stage one last time. The singer tweeted on this subject on June 25: “Two more commitments canceled, one postponed late in 2021; it is beyond measure depressing. “

Erin Wall leaves a country in mourning for there is not really a voice in Canada of equal breadth and strength.

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