Learn more about our 2013/2014 Ensemble Studio members.
Regina, Saskatchewan native Gordon Bintner, who won first prize and the People’s Choice Award at the Second Annual COC Ensemble Studio Competition, makes his COC debut as the Customs Officer in La Bohème. Recent performances include Escamillo in Carmen (Saskatoon Opera), Nardo in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera (San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program) and Lescaut in Manon (Opéra de Montréal). Other credits include the title roles in Le nozze di Figaro (Opera NUOVA) and Don Giovanni (Opera McGill); Colline in La Bohème (Angers Nantes Opéra); and, as the OSM Standard Life Competition’s grand prize winner, made his Montreal Symphony Orchestra debut. This season with the COC, Mr. Bintner also sings Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte (Ensemble Studio performance).
Last updated: July 18, 2013
Originally from Woodstock, Ontario, Charlotte Burrage is a new Ensemble Studio member. She holds a master of music in voice performance from the University of Toronto and graduated from the opera diploma program at University of British Columbia (UBC). Credits include Stabat Mater with both Kevin Mallon in Italy and Christopher Verrette in Toronto; Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with Vancouver Opera in Schools; Dorabella in Così fan tutte with Banff Centre’s Opera as Theatre and Jeunesses Musicales; and, the title role in Massenet’s Cendrillon with UBC. Ms Burrage performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under conductor Bramwell Tovey. This season she performs Dorabella in the Ensemble Studio performance of Così fan tutte and the Messiah with London Symphony Orchestra.
Montreal native Sasha Djihanian is a returning Ensemble Studio member. Winner of the first annual COC Ensemble Studio Competition, she recently appeared as Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor and stepped in as Annio in a COC mainstage performance of La clemenza di Tito as well as the Ensemble performance. A graduate of the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, she was a national finalist in the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and represented Canada at the 2011 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Her credits include Micaëla in Carmen at Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, Italy and at Castleton Festival, with Lorin Maazel conducting. This season with the COC, Ms Djihanian appears as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte (Ensemble) and Pedro in Don Quichotte.
Sasha Djihanian on Parlando
Sasha Djihanian & the Ensemble Studio performance of La clemenza di Tito - January 30, 2013
Calgary native Aviva Fortunata is a new Ensemble Studio member. Notable credits include Desdemona in Otello and the Lady with a Cake Box in Postcard from Morocco with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Concert Opera Group, Centre for Opera Studies in Italy and the University of Toronto; Poulenc’s Gloria with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Ms Fortunata was the 2012 Norcop Prize in Song Recital winner and was awarded a judges’ commendation in the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition (Opera Theater of Pittsburgh). This season with the COC, she sings Fiordiligi in the Ensemble Studio performance of Così fan tutte.
Mississauga native Clarence Frazer, a new COC Ensemble Studio member, makes his COC debut as the Customs House Sergeant in La Bohème. With Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Program, he appeared as Re di Scozia in Ariodante, Count Gil in Il segreto di Susanna and Ramiro in L’heure espagnole. Other credits include Publio in La clemenza di Tito (Centre for Opera Studies, Italy); Dottore Grenvil in La Traviata, Ford in Falstaff , Pinellino in Gianni Schicchi, Daggoo in Moby-Dick and Alcindoro in La Bohème (Calgary Opera); and, Escamillo in Carmen (Highlands Opera Studio). Mr. Frazer won the inaugural Lois Marshall Voice Competition and was a finalist in Palm Beach Opera’s International Voice Competition. This season with the COC, he also performs Guglielmo in Così fan tutte (Ensemble Studio performance).
Originally from London, Ontario, Andrew Haji is a new member of the COC Ensemble Studio. He holds a master of music in opera from the University of Toronto. Mr. Haji’s UofT credits include Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Cecco in Haydn’s Il mondo della luna, Vanderdendur/Ragotski in Candide, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Lacouf/Reporter from Paris in Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias, the title role in Rob Ford: The Opera and Ferrando in Così fan tutte. Other roles include Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with the Music Academy of the West and Accademia Europea dell’Opera; and, Nemorino and Don Ottavio with the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy. This season with the COC, he sings Ferrando in the Ensemble Studio performance of Così fan tutte and Rodriguez in Don Quichotte.
Andrew Haji on Parlando
Catching up with Ensemble Studio Member Andrew Haji - July 19, 2013
Toronto native Danielle MacMillan, a new Ensemble Studio member, makes her COC debut this season as Niece 2 in Peter Grimes. She holds a bachelor of fine arts, with honours, in classical vocal performance from York University, with additional training at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal, Istituzione Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto in Italy and the Glenn Gould School (GGS). Her credits include Rose in Lakmé (Opera by Request); Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto, Véronique in Bizet’s Le docteur Miracle and the Cabaret Singer in Weil’s Mahagonny-Songspiel (GGS); and, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro (York University). This season with the COC, Ms MacMillan also appears as Dorabella in Così fan tutte (Ensemble performance).
New Brunswick native Owen McCausland is a returning Ensemble Studio member. He recently appeared as the Second Nazarene in the COC’s Salome. Other COC credits include stepping into the title role in La clemenza di Tito on the mainstage as well as the Ensemble performance and the Messenger in Il Trovatore. Other roles include Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi (Opera on the Avalon) and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni (Centre for Opera Studies in Italy). This season with the COC, Mr. McCausland appears as Parpignol in La Bohème, Reverend Horace Adams in Peter Grimes, the Servant in Un ballo in maschera, Ferrando in Così fan tutte (Ensemble Studio performance), Lord Cecil in Roberto Devereux and Juan in Don Quichotte.
Brandon, Manitoba native Cameron McPhail is a returning Ensemble Studio member. He recently appeared at the COC as the Officer in Dialogues des Carmélites. Other credits include Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress (Music Academy of the West); Ford in Falstaff and the title roles in Don Giovanni and Gianni Schicchi (UBC Opera); Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Marcello in La Bohème, Riccardo in I Puritani and George in Of Mice and Men (Yale Opera Studio); Mercutio in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette and Ford (Opera NUOVA); Conte Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro (Opera on the Avalon); and, Schaunard (Highlands Opera Studio). This season with the COC, Mr. McPhail also appears as Schaunard in La Bohème and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte (Ensemble Studio performance).
Soprano Claire de Sévigné, a native of Montreal, is a returning Ensemble Studio member. Recent COC roles include Une Voix in Dialogues des Carmélites, the Slave in Salome, Servilia in La clemenza di Tito (Ensemble) and Ida in Die Fledermaus. Other credits include the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte (Music Academy of the West); the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Flaminia in Il mondo della luna, Cunegonde in Candide (University of Toronto); and, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare (Thirteen Strings Orchestra). This season with the COC, Ms de Sévigné also appears as the First Niece in Peter Grimes and Despina in Così fan tutte (Ensemble Studio performance).
London, Ontario native Michael Shannon is a new member of the Ensemble Studio. He began his eclectic musical interests at age three studying piano, with further studies in violin, viola, and voice. Mr. Shannon played for numerous operas while studying voice at McGill University. He spent three summers at Opera NUOVA with Michael McMahon and at the Brevard Music Center with Patrick Hansen. While at Brevard, he was the musical director for the American musical revue Tintypes. Last season Mr. Shannon served as resident artist coach and répétiteur for Tosca and Sweeney Todd with Syracuse Opera and as mainstage répétiteur for Calgary Opera’s La Traviata. This past summer, he participated in San Francisco’s prestigious Merola Opera Program.
The COC Ensemble Studio, underwritten in part by Peter M. Deeb and The Slaight Family Foundation, is Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals and provides advanced instruction, hands-on experience, and career development opportunities. The Ensemble Studio is also supported by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, RBC Foundation, Hal Jackman Foundation and other generous donors.