Ten young Canadian singers have been selected to compete for cash prizes and a place in the Canadian Opera Company's Ensemble Studio, its training program for opera singers.
It is the second year the COC Ensemble Studio Competition, scheduled for Nov. 29 in Toronto, will be open to the public.
The 10 were selected from a pool of 146 aspiring opera stars who auditioned in cities across the country. They are:
- Bass-baritone Gordon Bintner of Regina.
- Mezzo-soprano Charlotte Burrage of Woodstock, Ont.
- Soprano Aviva Fortunata of Calgary.
- Baritone Clarence Frazer of Toronto.
- Tenor Andrew Haji of London, Ont.
- Mezzo-soprano Danielle MacMillan of Toronto.
- Bass Nathan Keoughan of Charlottetown, P.E.I.
- Tenor Michael Marino of London, Ont.
- Soprano Lara Secord-Haid of Winnipeg.
- Soprano Kelsey Vicary of Niagara Falls, Ont.
Each finalist must perform two arias to showcase his or her vocal technique and range before an audience and panel of judges.
Organizers will award a first prize of $5,000, a second prize of $3,000, a third prize of $1,500 as well as a People’s Choice Award of $1,500.
The jury, headed by COC general director Alexander Neef, will select an unspecified number of finalists to join the COC’s 2013/2014 Ensemble Studio. Graduates of the program include stars such as Ben Heppner, Isabel Bayrakdarian and David Pomeroy.