Bass-baritone Gordon Bintner of Regina took home first prize at the Canadian Opera Company’s Second Annual Ensemble Studio Competition on November 29, 2012, at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Bintner was selected from 10 finalists to receive the $5,000 award. Tenor Andrew Haji of London, Ont., won the second prize of $3,000, and mezzo-soprano Charlotte Burrage of Woodstock, Ont., was awarded the third prize of $1,500. In addition, Bintner was selected by the audience as the winner of the People’s Choice Award, worth $1,500.
The 10 finalists from across Canada were selected from 146 singers in preliminary auditions in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and New York. Each finalist performed two arias with piano accompaniment in front of a sold-out audience in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre, and an adjudication panel comprised of COC General Director Alexander Neef, COC Artistic Administrator Roberto Mauro, COC Music Administrator Sandra Gavinchuk, Head of the COC Ensemble Studio Liz Upchurch, and Canadian soprano, singing teacher and Ensemble Studio alumna Wendy Nielsen.
Taking into account the performances at the Second Annual Ensemble Studio Competition, COC artistic staff will now finalize the lineup of the 13/14 Ensemble Studio. The full lineup will be announced at a later date.
We hosted our second annual Ensemble Studio Competition on November 29, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in the intimate Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. The Ensemble Studio Competition is the final round of national auditions for the COC Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals.
This was a must-see event for all who are invested in and intrigued by the future of opera in Canada. An exclusive insiders’ experience, the Ensemble Studio Competition opens up a behind-the-scenes audition process and introduces the stars of tomorrow well before they step onto the COC stage. The audience at the vocal competition heard the singers selected to follow in the footsteps of such renowned Ensemble Studio graduates as Ben Heppner, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Joseph Kaiser, Wendy Nielsen and John Fanning, among many others.
The young singers who competed were:
The Canadian Opera Company is grateful to the following for their sponsorship support of the Second Annual
Ensemble Studio Competition: Laurie and Fareed Ali, Earlaine Collins, Ninalee Craig, Marjorie and Roy Linden,
Sandra L. Simpson, Colleen Sexsmith, ARIAS: Canadian Opera Student Development Fund, Tom C. Logan,
Classical 96.3 FM, Eva Innes and David Medhurst, Sylvia M. McPhee and Brian Wilks.
(l-r) First Prize Winner and People's Choice Award recipient bass-baritone Gordon Bintner, Third Prize Winner mezzo-soprano Charlotte Burrage and Second Prize Winner tenor Andrew Haji at the COC's Second Annual Ensemble Studio Competition on November 29, 2012 in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Photo: Chris Hutcheson
The COC Ensemble Studio Competition is presented in part by the Estate of Horst Dantz and Don Quick and RBC Foundation.