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THE SCOOP | Young Canadian Operatic Talent In The Spotlight At The National Capital Opera Competition

By Anya Wassenberg on October 4, 2023

L-R Top: Soprano Kathryn Rose Johnston; Soprano Daniela Agostino; Soprano Angela Gjurichanin; Bottom: Tenor Angelo Moretti; Soprano Ariane Cossette; Countertenor Jordan Baldwin
L-R Top: Soprano Kathryn Rose Johnston; Soprano Daniela Agostino; Soprano Angela Gjurichanin; Bottom: Tenor Angelo Moretti; Soprano Ariane Cossette; Countertenor Jordan Baldwin

Six young Canadian opera singers will be competing for top prize at the National Capital Opera Competition, with finals to be held on October 14. The finalists — soprano Daniela Agostino, countertenor Jordan Baldwin, soprano Ariane Cossette, soprano Angela Gjurichanin, soprano Kathryn Rose Johnston, and tenor Angelo Moretti — are emerging artists with promising careers ahead of them.

The National Capital Opera Competition is held every two years to recognize and showcase young Canadian singers during the early years of a professional career.

The Singers

Soprano Daniela Agostino

Soprano Daniela Agostino holds a master’s degree in performance and literature from Western University. She was the winner of the London Opera Guild Scholarship in 2017, and most recently was awarded the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation Scholarship for the production of performance videos.

Countertenor Jordan Baldwin

Jordan Baldwin is a Toronto-based countertenor, currently completing his MMus in Historical Performance at the University of Toronto. He took part in the Opera Connections Program in France facilitated by Jeannette Aster in summer 2023.

Soprano Ariane Cossette

Ariane Cossette is part of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, and she made her professional debut as Frasquita in the COC’s Carmen. She is a Christina and Louis Quilico Awards second-prize winner.

Soprano Angela Gjurichanin

Angela Gjurichanin is based in London, Ontario. In 2022, she was a District Winner for the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition, and won the Gordon Wallis Opera Competition. She debuted as a soloist with the Regina Symphony Orchestra in December 2022 and had her international operatic debut this past summer singing Zerlina with the Lyric Opera Studio Weimar.

Soprano Kathryn Rose Johnston

Kathryn Rose Johnston was recently been selected as a finalist with the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal National Auditions. She’s a graduate of the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto, and has performed a variety of roles across the country.

Tenor Angelo Moretti

Canadian-Italian tenor Angelo Moretti made his professional debut in 2022 at Opéra de Montréal as Ruiz in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, and is a current member of Opera de Montréal’s Atelier lyrique. He holds a Master of Music degree in Opera Performance from the University of Toronto’s Opera School, and will perform in Opera de Montreal’s coming season, along with the Orchestre symphonique de Drummondville.

The Pianists

Thomas Annand was Director of Music at St. Andrew’s Church, Ottawa for three decades, where he maintained a busy schedule of recitals and concerts. First Prize winner at the RCCO National Organ Competition, he also a noted harpsichordist who has performed as a soloist and chamber musician.

Maxime Dubé-Malenfant is a vocal music specialist, a pianist and vocal coach who has collaborated with singers and ensembles all over Canada. He is also knows as a recitalist and specialists in early music.

Rebecca Klassen-Wiebe is a busy collaborative pianist, and current artist in residence at the Atelier lyrique, Opéra de Montréal. She has a wide repertoire that spans centuries of music.

The Competition

In 2023, $21K in prize money will be awarded to the finalists, who perform at a public competition/concert. Each finalist is required to perform three arias in the original language along with piano accompaniment.

  • 1st prize: $10,000
  • 2nd prize: $5,000
  • 3rd prize: $3,000

The remaining finalists each receive $1,000.

The host for the evening will be well known mezzo-soprano Sandra Graham.

The Judges

A three-member jury panel decides on the winner. The judges for the final round are:

Andrew Ager — pianist and composer of six operas along with instrumental and other vocal works;
Laurence Ewashko — former conductor of the Vienna Boys’ Choir, Opera Lyra Ottawa Chorus and Cantata Singers of Ottawa, and professor of choral studies at the University of Ottawa, among other positions;
Maghan McPhee — a noted lyric coloratura soprano and founding executive director of the Breno Italy International Music Academy.

To catch the finals live on October 14 in Ottawa, there are tickets and more information [HERE].


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