Speaker Details

Speaker:Nancy Silcox
Topic:Paul Frey: A Story Never Predicted. From Trucking to the World Opera Stage

A lad from an Old-Order Mennonite farm family has a dream to sing opera on the world stage. Incredible? Yes. Impossible? No

Nancy Silcox, author of 15 biographies of exceptional Canadians presents the story of Paul Frey who became one of the world’s most lauded opera tenors. Paul who took centre stage in performances from The Metropolitan Opera in New York City, to Milan’s La Scala Opera House to Sydney, Australia was born and raised into an Old Order Mennonite farming family in Waterloo Country. A high school drop-out and agricultural truck driver, Paul dreamed the unlikely dream to sing opera on the world stage.

Nancy’s book (and presentation) follows him from singing 4-part harmony in church to entering the University of Opera School as a sight-reading “illiterate.” It witnesses his rejection by the Canadian mainstream opera establishment, to finding his future in Europe where he climbed the ranks of opera stardom to be ranked alongside Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras.

Paul’s remarkable story is not one about opera. It deals, instead with a remarkable man with the most likely of backgrounds who became one of the world’s most heralded performers: only to return in retirement to where his roots were deep—Waterloo County.

Several PowerPoint slides highlighting Paul’s career will accompany the talk.

The highlight of the presentation will be a question and answer period with Paul Frey as he joins us for the occasion.