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Toronto – Soprano Sasha Djihanian, a native of Montreal, claimed the top prize last night at the inauguralCanadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio Competition at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, selected from 10 finalists to receive the $5,000 award. Soprano Claire de Sévigné, also from Montreal, won the second prize of $3,000 and tenor Owen McCausland from Saint John, New Brunswick was awarded the third prize of $1,500. In addition, Sudbury soprano Lindsay Barrett was selected by the audience as the winner of the Audience Choice Award, worth $1,500.
The 10 finalists from across Canada were selected from over 160 singers in preliminary auditions in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and New York. Each finalist performed two arias with piano accompaniment in front of a live audience and an adjudicator panel comprised of COC General Director Alexander Neef, Music Administrator Sandra Gavinchuk, Head of the Ensemble Studio Liz Upchurch, and guest judges Opera Canada editor Wayne Gooding, and Canadian soprano, voice teacher, and Ensemble Studio alumnaWendy Nielsen.
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Toronto – Following auditions in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and New York City attended by Canadian Opera Company administrators, 10 out of a pool of over 160 young, aspiring opera singers have been selected to compete in the final auditions at the inaugural COC Ensemble Studio Competition. For the first time in the history of the COC, the final auditions for singers seeking to join the Ensemble Studio training program will be made public as a vocal competition. In addition to an offer of a coveted position in the 2012/2013 Ensemble Studio, the singers will be competing for one of four cash prizes. A limited number of tickets priced at $30 are now on sale for the COC Ensemble Studio Competition, which takes place on Nov. 28, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
Ten finalists will perform in front of an audience and a panel of judges, comprised of COC General DirectorAlexander Neef, Music Administrator Sandra Gavinchuk, Head of the Ensemble Studio Liz Upchurch, Opera Canada editor Wayne Gooding, and Canadian soprano, opera coach, and Ensemble Studio alumna Wendy Nielsen. Over the course of the two-hour competition, each finalist will perform two arias showcasing their vocal technique and range. The judging panel will deliberate on location and announce the competition winners at the conclusion of the evening’s event.
Toronto – Today at the Canadian Opera Company’s Annual General Meeting, COC Board President Philip C. Deck announced the COC achieved another successful performance year in 2010/2011, recording a modest surplus of $10,000. In its fifth season at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, the COC generated ticket revenue of $12.3 million and recorded an average attendance of 94%.
“In a year in which virtually every arts organization in North America visibly suffered, the COC balanced its books and achieved a very impressive attendance capacity of 94%,” said COC Board President Philip C. Deck. “For this we remain extremely grateful to the thousands of patrons and donors as well as our public and private sponsors who support the COC in the belief that the art we create improves and informs everyone’s lives.”