Parlando: The COC Blog


Fred and the Bees in the Star

Read, see and hear more about Fred Davis, our beekeeper, and the wonderful work he does with our honeybees on a Toronto Star blog!

Posted by Gianna Wichelow / in FSCPA Honeybees / comments (0) / permalink


Tonight: The Ensemble Studio Competition


We've spent the past two weeks introducing you to each of the 10 talented finalists in the inaugural COC Ensemble Studio Competition. As we've seen, each of them is an accomplished young professional and deeply committed to the art form of opera. Tonight, we'll finally have the chance to hear them sing. 

They'll compete for four prizes: $5,000 to the winner, $3,000 for second place, $1,500 for third place, and an Audience Choice award. Some of the competitors will be offered a place in the Ensemble Studio, our training program for young artists. The new members of the Ensemble Studio will be announced in the new year.

Learn more about some of the finalists in these articles from across Canada:

You might also want to check out the social media profiles and blogs of the singers:

Posted by Cecily Carver / in Ensemble Studio / comments (0) / permalink


Meet the Finalists: Aviva-Fortunata Wilks

This blog post was originally posted for the Inaugural Ensemble Studio Competition in 2011.

In our final "meet the finalists" post, we feature Calgary soprano Aviva-Fortunata Wilks!

Aviva-Fortunata is currently completing her advanced certificate in opera performance at the University of Toronto, studying with Dr. Darryl Edwards. Recent appearances include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Concert Opera Group, Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, University of Toronto), Poulenc’s Gloria (Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra) and a performance at Jack Layton's state funeral. She has been awarded a Judges’ Commendation in the finals of the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition with the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. As the winner of the 2012 Norcop Prize in Song Recital, Ms Wilks will perform on January 10, 2012 in Walter Hall, UofT.

She tells us about how she came to love opera, and shares some details about her upcoming projects:

"To me, opera is the perfect blend of the fantastical and the beautiful. Is it realistic? Not necessarily, but the music and the voices and the sheer drama that is opera takes us beyond that.  As a performer, it is exhilarating to throw yourself into the essentially primal nature of singing powerful emotions at the top of your voice!

I consider myself fortunate as I have always known that I wanted to pursue singing as a career.  Seeing my first musical (Anne of Green Gables, still my favourite!) opened up a whole new world of possibilities to me, but it was seeing my first opera, The Marriage of Figaro at Calgary Opera that really changed my perceptions of singing. The music, the drama, the costumes, and especially the singers and the amazing things they could do with their voices truly inspired me.

Right now, I am working hard on my upcoming recital for the Jim and Charlotte Norcop Prize in Song Recital on January 10th, at Walter Hall in the University of Toronto. It is an interesting project, and challenging. In opera, you get to portray one character throughout the evening but in a song recital, you can be playing many, many more!

I am also excited as I recently found some beautiful art songs of Reynaldo Hahn that are in my family's dialect of Italian, from the Veneto region, which makes them particularly meaningful to me."

In addition to singing, she enjoys "travelling, show tunes on LP, and cycling around Toronto (except my near-daily habit of getting stuck in the streetcar grooves!)"

Posted by Cecily Carver / in Ensemble Studio / comments (2) / permalink

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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001



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