Parlando: The COC Blog


Meet the Ensemble Studio Competition Finalists: Emma Char

On November 26, 2013, for the first time, nine finalists in the Ensemble Studio Competition will now perform from the mainstage of the Four Seasons Centre, accompanied by the internationally acclaimed COC Orchestra conducted by COC Music Director Johannes Debus and hosted by Grammy-nominated and multi-Juno Award winner, singer-songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright. To watch the competition and see Canada's rising opera stars, visit our Centre Stage website and buy your tickets today! Over the next two weeks, follow along on Parlando as we introduce you to each of our finalists.

Emma Char, mezzo-soprano

Health coach. Therapist. Yoga Teacher.

Those are the possible careers that Emma Char may have pursued, that is if the mezzo-soprano hadn’t begun, at the age of 16, what has turned into a love affair with opera.

Born in Kitchener, Ontario, but raised in Philadelphia since the age of four, Emma fell into opera gradually, beginning with lessons with a voice teacher because she was interested in learning how to sing for musical theatre.

“He was the one who introduced me to classical singing in art songs and encouraged me to apply to music school for a voice degree. I decided singing was something I wanted to focus on more, so I took the plunge and went to a conservatory,” says Emma.

That operatic dive has put her on a path to one day realizing her dream role of singing Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia.

Emma received her master’s degree in music from Florida State University and an artist diploma from University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). She then went on to join the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, of which she is currently a member. Her recent credits include Mallika in Lakmé and Rosette in Manon (Opéra de Montréal); La chatte/L’écureuil in L’enfant et les sortilèges (Canadian Vocal Arts Institute); Ramiro in Motezuma (Ensemble Caprice); The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors (Atelier lyrique); Angelina in La Cenerentola and Sesto in Giulio Cesare (CCM). She has an upcoming performance as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel (Atelier lyrique).

In her free time, Emma's hobbies and interests take her outside of the operatic world. She’ll go to the gym, do yoga, take walks, enjoy great meals with friends, and read and watch TV and films. But her passion for opera burns pretty strong.

“I find opera amazing because the art form is so multifaceted. There are so many layers to sort through — text, music, character and story – and each layer is so rich and often in its highest or most complex form,” says Emma. “Then there is the physical aspect to opera, such as how do we bring this to life through our bodies? There are endless things to uncover with each opera one studies. It’s never boring!”

Learn more about Emma on her website, or follow her on Twitter!

The Ensemble Studio competition is Tuesday, November 26, 2013. Tickets to the Ensemble Studio Competition and Centre Stage cocktail celebration are $100. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit You can buy tickets here, call COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231, or go to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office (145 Queen St. W.). You can also chat about the event with us on Twitter using #COCCentrestage.

Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Ensemble Studio / comments (0) / permalink

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



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