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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

WHO'S WHO | IRCPA Announces Two Recipients of "Career Blueprint" For Opera Singers Chosen By Sondra Radvanovsky

By Member on October 26, 2016

Natalya Gennadi and Marjorie Maltais with IRCPA's Ann Summers Dossena (Photo courtesy IRCPA)
Natalya Gennadi and Marjorie Maltais with IRCPA’s Ann Summers Dossena (Photo courtesy IRCPA)


Soprano Natalya Gennadi and mezzo-soprano Marjorie Maltais have been named recipients of a “Career Blueprint,” valuable and essential materials for opera singers offered by the National Opera America Center. The Center, in New York, is a colleague of the Toronto-based International Resource Centre for Performing Artists, a service organization for Canada’s musicians.

Gennadi and Maltais will spend three days at the National Opera America Center, receiving new photographs, video and audio recordings, new promotional materials, website consultation, and mentoring with professionals — all the essential tools for artists to obtain and perform auditions with confidence.

The announcement was made by IRCPA founder and director Ann Summers Dossena at the conclusion of Singing Stars of Tomorrow, a performance of operatic arias featuring seven sopranos, two mezzos and one tenor with pianist Rachel Andrist, Saturday, October 22 at Toronto’s Alliance Française. All had taken part the previous week in a one-day Encounter with Sondra Radvanovsky, one of today’s most celebrated sopranos.

The 10 singers were selected from over 30 applicants by a panel of leading vocal artists — manager Kathy Domoney, baritone Brett Polegato, and teachers Lois McDonall (retired soprano) and mezzo-soprano Laura Tucker. Ms. Radvanovsky was left to choose a Career Blueprint recipient. However, she couldn’t decide and named two. The IRCPA is taking this challenge in stride and will seek the extra funds needed. Name a Scholarship donations can be made at:

Each of the 10 singers was given a scholarship named for an important Canadian artist. Through the Name a Scholarship campaign, the Ed Mirvish Family Foundation, and private donors enabled them to participate without financial burden. These scholarships will become a significant addition to their biographies, and remind them, as well as the general public, to take pride in and draw inspiration from celebrated artists of recent generations and benefit from their histories.

Natalya Gennadi received a scholarship honoring internationally acclaimed soprano Karina Gauvin, who is especially recognized for her interpretation of Baroque music and currently performing in Europe. Marjorie Maltais’s scholarship commemorated the late Ruby Mercer, an opera singer from the U.S. who became one of Canada’s leading advocates for the art form. In her retirement, Mercer hosted opera programs on CBC Radio, founded Opera Canada Magazine and the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus (now Canadian Children’s Opera Company), for which she commissioned Gian Carlo Menotti to compose the children’s opera Chip and His Dog.

A native of Clermont, Québec, mezzo-soprano Marjorie Maltais received her Master of Music degree in Literature and Performance from the University of Western Ontario in 2015. She was also invited to the Music Academy of the West’s Marilyn Horne Summer Music Festival in Santa Barbara, California. During the past year, Ms. Maltais was a guest artist performing in Mozart’s Requiem with the Boise Philharmonic and Guelph Symphony, Messiah with the Windsor Symphony and Bach’s B Minor Mass with the Orpheus Choir and Chorus Niagara. This season, Ms. Maltais will appear in Elijah with Toronto’s Pax Christi Chorale, Messiah with the McGill Chamber Orchestra and St. Matthew Passion with Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings.

Originally from Ukraine, soprano Natalya Gennadi began her musical studies at the University of Ottawa, continuing at the University of Toronto, where she received a Master’s degree in Operatic Performance. She has appeared in the title role in The Merry Widow with the Ottawa Savoy Theatre Society and sung the role of Zemfira in Rachmaninoff’s Aleko with Opera Five in Toronto and Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Opera Nuova. In 2015, Ms. Gennadi made her VoiceBox debut as Yaroslavna in Borodin’s Prince Igor. This past summer, she sang with the Brott Opera as Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro.

The Singing Stars of Tomorrow concert was presented by the IRCPA in partnership with the Alliance Française. Comments from participants will be posted at

The IRCPA’s next presentation — for all musicians — is The Savvy Musician Workshop, in collaboration with Long & McQuade, Sunday, November 13. More information and sign up is available, here. Guests include jazz pianist and author David Cutler; Margaret Lioi, CEO of Chamber Music America; and representatives of European and North American managers and agents.



Office: 43 Bright Street, Toronto, M5A 3H5, 


Phone: 416 362 1422

Email:  sumintl [at] or info [at]

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For 33 years the IRCPA has programmed Workshops and Encounters for emerging and mid-career musical artists both singers and instrumentalists.  In 1983 a few professionals used their own money and presented events in Canada, similar to those they gave in Europe, Israel and the US, when there was time and money during their busy careers.  The goal was and is to share information to help artists identify their place in the industry and reach their goals.  In 2013, 3 years ago, the Founder/Director recognized the growing need for these services and retired her business to volunteer full time to develop the organization into a national arts service organization, building on the years of experience, international advice and recognition as well as noteworthy evidence of good impact in the industry. In 2015, with minimum funding, the IRCPA was able to present 9 Workshops and 3 Encounters. The current funding bodies however,  refuse to recognize the 30 successful years already spent in the field, holding back the growth of the organization and it’s services.

The IRCPA strives to create a Community Hub for musicians and music organizations in Toronto where, according to published record, 90 percent more artists are based than any other city in Canada.  In the meantime, we must rely on colleagues in New York and other cities to provide needed services for Canadians.


The Folks Behind It All

Ann Summers Dossena
Ann Summers Dossena


From her 1958 start in New York, through her years in Rome (1968-1977) to her Toronto base since 1977, Ann Summers Dossena has represented international artists in their career development, and been successful as a presenter and producer of concerts, tours and events, earning acclaim for innovative and creative ideas in audience development, and arts marketing.  In 1983 she created the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists as a Canadian, non-profit, charitable organization to assist emerging artists.

After studying at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ms. Summers gained management experience by working for several unions in Toronto, and Actors Equity Council in New York. Recognizing a need for development of musicians as artists, she became a personal representative in 1958, and incorporated Ann Summers Management Inc. in New York in 1960.

The “Extended Engagement Plan” was initiated in New York to develop and create full–time employment for chamber music artists, and at the same time stimulate the interest of concert goers. The program, now known as the “Artist in Residence” program is funded by the National Endowment of the Arts and Chamber Music America. Chamber groups, including jazz ensembles, were organized as membership corporations, thereby stabilizing many groups with long-term planning.

Ms. Summers produced the first series of concerts at Carnegie Hall, including the “Visiting Orchestra” series which still remains today. She created the”Concert Party” series of informal concert presentations that developed audience-building and marketing techniques that have become traditional in many cities including Toronto’s “Bach Brunch” series.

In 1969 “Concert Party” extended to Rome, Italy. Marriage to Rai TV Director, the late Armando Dossena, led to a base in Rome where she worked as a presenter and producer of many high profile arts events, including a tour of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta in Rome, the Music and Architecture Festival featuring over 200 Canadian artists in L’Aquila, a tour of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet to Israel, and two tours of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Italy. The creation of Serate Musicali Foundation Inc. in New York, supported an electronic music lab, restored the organ of Buxtehude and sponsored the Bach and Organ Festivals in Rome.

Returning to Toronto in 1977, Ms. Summers established Ann Summers International, with a focus on serving both artists and audiences internationally. In 1983, The International Resource Centre for Performing Artists, a non-profit charitable organization was founded in Toronto, with a mandate to help young artists move into their careers.

In 1985 the first edition of “Getting It All Together” was published by Scarecrow Press and distributed to schools and libraries. A second edition will soon be released.

Several managers have apprenticed in the New York and Toronto offices.

In 1993, at the request of the International Institute of Vocal Arts in New York, Ms. Summers found the Villa Mazzotti in Chiari, Italy, as a centre for a 4-week study program for singers, coaches, pianists, with a distinguished faculty including staff members of the Metropolitan and New York City opera companies, Mignon Dunn, Sherrill Milnes, Regina Resnick, and Italian coaches Bruno Rigacci and Marco Boemi. Ms. Summers coordinated the program in Italy through its seventh season.

Having been awarded the first Manager of the Year Award by her peers in NAPAMA North American managers and agents in 2012, Ms Summers Dossena received the prestigious International Citation Award in 2014 from the International Society for Performing Arts ISPA, a global arts organization of presenters, producers, administrators from over 50 countries.  Ms. Summers Dossena is the first Canadian to receive this award. The Citation read: Cross generational and cross regional, Ann Summers Dossena has arguably promoted/developed more artists and arts leaders than any one individual alive today.  Her commitment to the performing arts has spanned 60 years –it is an honour to acknowledge her contribution. The International Citation of Merit is presented for unique lifetime achievement which has enriched the international performing arts. This award is not for performance but rather for distinguished service working within the profession. For example work as a manager (artist/company/venue), in education, marketing and public relations, consultancy, festival director, acoustician, architect and other associated activities. Recipients may be a past or current member of ISPA. Past recipients of the International Citation of Merit include:  Ann Summers Dossena 2014; Sir Clive Gillinson 2012; Edna Landau, Dr. Miriam Makeba 2008; Palacio de Bellas Artes 2004; Lotfi Mansouri 2002; Russell Johnson 1998; Harvey Lichtenstein 1996, among others.




October 22 at 7:30, 24 Spadina Rd. Tickets are $25


The IRCPA, announces an Encounter with Sondra Radvanovsky for 10 singers October 12, and, partnered with Alliance Francaise, will present the Singing Stars of Tomorrow concert.

Sondra Radvanovsky, one of the world’s most sought-after sopranos, often considered a successor to Maria Callas, has graciously given the IRCPA one of her days off from Canadian Opera Company performances of Bellini’s Norma, to work with 10 gifted singers on artistic skills, career guidance and share industry information.

A Name a Scholarship campaign to private donors, has provided 10 scholarships, each named for an important Canadian artist, for emerging singers to participate without financial burden. These scholarships will become a significant addition to the singers’ biographies, and remind them, as well as the general public, to take pride in and draw inspiration from the artists of the past and benefit from their histories.

Thanks to the Ed Mirvish Family Foundation and private donors, the scholarships are in the names of Louis Quilico, Clarice Carson, Ermanno Mauro, Maureen Forrester, Judith Forst, Lois McDonall, Joan Hall, Ruby Mercer, Karina Gauvin and Mary Morrison.

At the Singing Stars of Tomorrow concert Saturday, October 22, one of the 10 singers will be awarded a special career opportunity at the National Opera America Center in New York. Called a Career Blueprint, it includes three days in New York for new photographs, video and audio recordings, new materials, website consultation, and mentoring with professionals. These are services the IRCPA strives to provide in Toronto when funds become available. In the meantime, they are offered by our generous colleagues in New York.

— — — — —

with David Cutler, Jazz Pianist and Author.

November 13, at Long & McQuade, 935 Bloor Street West


The all-day Workshop has a 3 for 1 offer.  One ticket at $75 can be shared with two friends and each spend $25.

Dr. David Cutler, Director of Music Entrepreneurship at the University of South Carolina, balances a career as a jazz and classical composer, pianist, producer/presenter, educator.

“Hands down, this is the most valuable resource available for aspiring musicians.”
Jeffrey Zeigler, Kronos Quartet

“In an age when many say the arts are dying, Cutler rights to musicians with authentic and accurate optimism. I loved the savvy Musicians”

Jeff Nelsen, Canadian Brass

The Savvy Musician Workshop, in partnership with Long & McQuade, brings jazz-pianist David Cutler to share his experiences as a ‘savvy musician’.  Sunday, November 13 from 10 am. At noon the Ceo of Chamber Music America, Margaret Lioi,   Atholl Swainston-Harrison from IAMA (European managers) and Tim Robinson from NAPAMA  (North American managers) will speak at noon.

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Ludwig Van Toronto


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