Third Annual COC Ensemble Studio Competition Hosted By Rufus Wainwright

by Liza Mattimore


Out of a pool of 155 young, aspiring opera singers from across the country, the Canadian Opera Company has selected nine to compete in the third annual COC Ensemble Studio Competition on November 26, 2013 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. The Ensemble Studio Competition is the feature event at the COC’s first annual fundraising gala, Centre Stage, an evening dedicated to the discovery and celebration of the next generation of opera stars. Tickets are $100 to this competitive vocal showcase with the nine singers selected from nationwide auditions for the COC Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals, to vie for cash prizes ranging in value from $1,500 to $5,000.
 
Hosting Centre Stage is Grammy-nominated and multi-Juno Award winner Rufus Wainwright, whose own singular sound has transcended the worlds of rock, opera, theatre, dance and film, and led him to be hailed by Elton John as “the greatest songwriter on the planet.” With Wainwright at the helm of the evening’s festivities, Centre Stage is further cemented as an event unlike any other in Canada for its inaugural unveiling.
 
With the creation of Centre Stage, for the first time the Ensemble Studio Competition will now take place on the mainstage of the Four Seasons Centre with the full force of the internationally acclaimed COC Orchestra conducted by COC Music Director Johannes Debus. The festivities culminate in an announcement of the competition’s winners and an exclusive gala dinner on the stage of the Four Seasons Centre.
 
The young singers featured in the 2013 vocal competition are: soprano Karine Boucher (Quebec City, QC); mezzo-soprano Emma Char (Kitchener, Ont.); mezzo-soprano Francesca Corrado (Vancouver, B.C.); tenor Jean-Philippe Fortier-Lazure (Kitchener, Ont.); bass-baritone Nathan Keoughan (Charlottetown, P.E.I.); bass-baritone Iain MacNeil (Brockville, Ont.); tenor Jean-Michel Richer (Montreal, QC); soprano Lara Secord-Haid (Winnipeg, Man.); and mezzo-soprano Rachel Wood (London, Ont.).

Click here to purchase tickets and support these wonderful young artists. 

  (l-r) First Prize Winner and People's Choice Award recipient   bass  -  baritone   Gordon Bintner, Third Prize Winner mezzo-  soprano   Charlotte Burrage and Second Prize Winner   tenor   Andrew Haji at the COC's Second Annual Ensemble Studio Competition on November 29, 2012 in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.  Photo: Chris Hutcheson

(l-r) First Prize Winner and People's Choice Award recipient bass-baritone Gordon Bintner, Third Prize Winner mezzo-soprano Charlotte Burrage and Second Prize Winner tenor Andrew Haji at the COC's Second Annual Ensemble Studio Competition on November 29, 2012 in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.  Photo: Chris Hutcheson