• Hear From a Past Winner: Charles Sy

    By Charles Sy

    Charles Sy at the 2014 Ensemble Studio Competition, photo: Michael Cooper

    The day of my audition for the COC’s Ensemble Studio Competition, I was incredibly stressed. I 
    had just recovered from a really bad cold and my voice was still quite raw from a week of heavy coughing.

    But it was the last day of auditions — so, after spending most of the day drinking ginger tea and steaming my vocal folds, I went for it.

    I had worked so hard to prepare my aria package for this audition and did everything I could to stay focused, but it felt like my body was fighting against me. Halfway through, one of the judges even suggested that I step outside and grab a drink of water before continuing.

    I graciously accepted — and I made it! I was selected to return for the Toronto finals, took home First Prize and the Audience Choice Award, and received an invitation to join the COC’s Ensemble Studio, a training program for young opera artists like myself.

    The (very) young artist warming up his pipes on the porch of his childhood home.

    One thing I learned from my audition: a “bad performance” is rarely as bad as you think it is. You can still give the best performance you can give in that moment and trust that it is enough. I asked Liz Upchurch, one of the judges and the head of the Ensemble Studio program, if she remembered mine. In her words: “We didn’t just fall off of the last turnip truck. We know a good voice when we hear it, even if they are dealing with things.” Thank you, Liz.

    The Ensemble Studio Competition is a truly amazing opportunity for both the vocalists and the audience members. This is where singers like me have a chance to launch our careers to the next level.

    Charles Sy
    Past Ensemble Studio Competition Winner



    Please consider making a donation
     to ensure the COC can continue to provide emerging artists like the members of our Ensemble Studio with the training opportunities they deserve.






    Posted in Ensemble Studio Competition

SIGN UP FOR THE eOPERA NEWSLETTER

Phone: 416-363-8231

Toll Free: 1-800-250-4653

Contact Page

Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube