It's been a busy season for the young artists of the 2011/2012 Ensemble Studio, a year filled with notable highlights and memorable performances. They took to the COC mainstage in productions of Iphigenia in Tauris, Rigoletto, Tosca, The Tales of Hoffmann, Gianni Schicchi and the Ensemble Studio performance of Semele; performed in front of 15,000 children at elementary schools across Ontario through the Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour; and appeared in filled-to-capacity concerts with the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. This was all on top of regular coachings, training, understudying roles and other performances that regularly fill the day-to-day schedules of the Ensemble Studio artists!
Though the season is over, summer can be just as busy for these rising opera stars. Here is a short preview of where summer takes the seven Ensemble Studio members who are returning for the 2012/2013 season, as well as the five singers who have just graduated from the program. We'll be following them and their summer projects in the months to come.
Returning next season:
Mireille Asselin participates in the Glimmerglass Festival Young Artists Program, performing the roles of Phénice and Lucinde in Lully’s Armide.
Ambur Braid coaches two upcoming roles at Santa Fe and works with conductor and pianist Richard Bonynge in Chautauqua, as well as participates in the Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival
Neil Craighead spends July in St. Andrews By-The-Sea, New Brunswick, studying with Wendy Neilsen.
Rihab Chaieb will also spend a week in New Brunswick, studying with Wendy Neilsen, before going to Chicago and Munich for auditions, coaching, and language study. In August, Rihab joins Ambur at the Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival.
Christopher Enns starts his summer off with a concert with Chorus Niagara this weekend, June 2-3, in St. Catharines. He then workshops The Enslavement and Liberation of Oksana G with Tapestry New Opera in Toronto before leaving for Dresden in July for German language study.
Timothy Cheung will be exploring Europe and traveling to Hong Kong.
Jenna Douglas will also be working on her German this summer, studying the language in Berlin.
2011/2012 Ensemble Studio graduates:
Adrian Kramer sings Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale with Saskatoon Opera in June. He spends the rest of the summer camping and canoeing in Northern Ontario.
Ileana Montalbetti has started her summer off with the Montreal International Music Competition from May 28 - June 8. She then spends the rest of summer in Europe for auditions and language study.
Simone Osborne starts her summer in New York City coaching upcoming repertoire for the 2012/2013 season, followed by two weeks on the faculty of the Summer Music Institute at the University of British Columbia – the very place that she was introduced to opera. She then spends August at Seiji Ozawa's Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, Japan, singing all of the soprano roles in Arthur Honnegar's Jeanne d'arc a bûcher
On June 18, Philippe Sly gives recital with Radio France in Paris accompanied by Ensemble Studio graduate pianist Anne Larlee. He will also sing the role of Sithos in the Salzburg Festival's production of Das Labyrinth in August.
Jacqueline Woodley also competes in the Montreal International Music Competition, followed by another vocal competition in Montreal, the Prix d'Europe, June 10 - 16. Jacqueline is spending June in Ottawa at the National Art Centre's Summer Institute of Music studying with soprano Benita Valente, before coming back home to prepare for her August wedding!
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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001