Turofsky, Riki

Riki Turofsky. Soprano, broadcaster, video producer, b Toronto, 20 Feb 1944. She began studies with the British Columbia Opera Ensemble, making her debut in 1967 in its touring production of Hansel and Gretel. She was awarded a place in the San Francisco Opera's Merola program in 1967 and studied at the Music Academy of the West with Martial Singher and Lotte Lehmann and 1968-70 at the University of Toronto with Irene Jessner, graduating in opera performance. After singing Oscar in the 1970 Vancouver Opera Association production of Un Ballo in Maschera she appeared that same year as Zerlina in Don Giovanni with the COC.

Turofsky made her New York City Opera debut 27 Oct 1972 as Frasquita in Carmen and has performed with the Chattanooga Opera (1972), the Houston Grand Opera (1973, alternating with Beverly Sills in The Daughter of the Regiment), the Kansas City Lyric Opera (1975), and (in her European operatic debut, 10 Jun 1976) the Netherlands Opera as Curley's Wife in Carlisle Floyd's Of Mice and Men. In 1978 she was Titania in the Festival Ottawa production of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and with the COC, was Violetta in La Traviata and the Countess in the Marriage of Figaro. Turofsky was Gloria in the Guelph Spring Festival's 1988 production of Sydney Hodkinson's St. Carmen of the Main.

Turofsky toured Europe in 1971 as soloist with the Festival Singers and has sung with the TS and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Bach-Elgar Choir, and the McGill Chamber Orchestra. R. Murray Schafer'sHymn to Night, which she premiered with the CJRT Orchestra in 1978 and recorded with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra (CBC SM-364) in 1979, was commissioned for her, as was Michael Conway Baker's Eve of the Garden which she performed with the Hamilton Philharmonic in 1989.. She sang the Princess in the TV premiere (CBC, 1975) of Tibor Polgar'sThe Glove. In 1980 for the Aquitaine label she recorded a song recital, Jade Eyes (AQD-9064), with the guitarist Michael Laucke. In 1986 she recorded an album of Kurt Weill songs, Riki Turofsky sings Kurt Weill (Fanfare DFL-9026) and in 1988 a video of one of the songs, 'My Ship' was broadcast on the MuchMusic network.

In 1978 Turofsky's career expanded to include broadcasting when she was host on the CBC's 'Summer Festival' and in 1984 she was heard daily on CBC's 'Festival Today' with arts interviews for the Toronto International Festival. She appeared as a country and western singer on CTV's 'Thrill of a Lifetime' in 1980 and in 1982 sang in a special concert entitled 'Together' with Sylvia Tyson and Kathryn Moses at Toronto's Harbourfront. In 1986 she became arts specialist with CBC-TV Vancouver on its 'World Stage '86,' 'Downtown Saturday Night' and her own daily show, 'Artsweek'. She has been a regular guest on TV Ontario's children's program 'Today's Special'. She has formed the company Riki Productions to disseminate arts information and produce videos.

Writings

'The young performing musician,' CMB, 10, Spring-Summer 1975