COC Ensemble Studio

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The COC Ensemble Studio — founded in 1980 with a generous continuing grant from Imperial Oil Limited and with assistance from the Government of Canada — is Canada's premier training program for young opera professionals.

It provides advanced instruction, hands-on experience, and the practical career development skills necessary to succeed as a self-employed artist in a highly competitive international environment.

The Ensemble is chosen through a national audition process. Members of the Ensemble Studio receive a blend of advanced study and practical experience. In this one-to-three-year program, singers receive vocal, theatrical and practical career development instruction.

Their practical experience includes understudying major roles, the annual Glencore Ensemble Studio School tour, art song recitals, and a special Ensemble Studio performance of a COC mainstage production, as well as roles in COC mainstage productions.

Vocal coaches participate in the preparation of the company's mainstage productions, as well as art song recitals, school tour performances and Ensemble Studio performances.


Ensemble Studio Competition

Centre Stage: Ensemble Studio Competition Gala
Save the date! Thursday, November 3, 2016 


Since its inception, more than 180 young Canadian singers, opera coaches, stage directors and conductors have acquired their first professional operatic experience through this program.

Graduates include such well known singers as Isabel Bayrakdarian, John Fanning, Robert Gleadow, Ben Heppner, Joseph Kaiser, Allyson McHardy, Jessica Muirhead, Wendy Nielsen, Gidon Saks and Krisztina Szabó, as well as vocal coaches including Sandra Horst, Steven Philcox, Kinza Tyrell and Christopher Mokrzewski.

Stage directors whose careers were launched at the COC include Brian Deedrick, Tom Diamond, Roman Hurko and Maer Powell.

At the Centre Stage Ensemble Studio Competition in 2014, two singers – Charles Sy and Aaron Sheppard – were selected out of the finalists to join the 2015/2016 Ensemble Studio. They will be joined by pianist Hyejin Kwon.

To Apply

Information about application for the 2017/2018 Ensemble Studio will be available in early 2016.

To learn more about the application process and requirements, click here.

Members of the 2015/2016 COC Ensemble Studio. (l-r) tenor Andrew Haji, bass-baritone Iain MacNeil, bass-baritone Gordon Bintner, intern coach and pianist Jennifer Szeto, soprano Karine Boucher, tenor Aaron Sheppard, tenor Charles Sy, soprano Aviva Fortunata, tenor Jean-Philippe Fortier-Lazure, and intern coach and pianist Hyejin Kwon. Photo: Chris Hutcheson


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