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THE SCOOP | Two Canadian Singers Will Compete In The 78th Concours de Genève Voice Competition

By Anya Wassenberg on May 31, 2024

L: Soprano Elisabeth St-Gelais; R: Mezzo-Soprano Mala Weissberg (Photo: Yoni Avizov Photography)
L: Soprano Elisabeth St-Gelais (Photo courtesy of the artist); R: Mezzo-Soprano Mala Weissberg (Photo: Yoni Avizov Photography)

A list of 32 singers from 12 countries will take part in the Voice Competition at the 78th Concours de Genève. The 32 candidates were selected from 71 applications, and come from across the world: Canada, South Korea, France, China, Poland, Switzerland, Ukraine, Belgium, the USA, Bolivia, Spain and The Netherlands.

The Canadian-based candidates, Elisabeth St-Gelais and Mala Weissberg, have studies at Montreal’s McGill University in common.

Secretary General Didier Schnorhk commented on the candidates for the preliminary round.

“The standard of applicants this year was exceptionally high and we know that this will be an outstanding year for the Competition. We are all eagerly awaiting the next stages of the Competition and to follow these excellent singers.”

Making The 78th Concours de Genève Voice Competition

The Voice Competition was open to singers who were born after October 22, 1992. Most of the applicants (65%) are 27 or older. They were selected by the Preselection Jury, where two of the five members were members of the Official Jury.

The majority of candidates (almost half) are Sopranos, along with five Mezzo-Sopranos, five Baritones, three Tenors, three Basses and one Bass-baritone. Just under half (15) of the candidates who will move on in the competition are Europe-based. Thirteen make their home in Asia, and just four come from the Americas.

Candidates for the competition had to apply via video application, demonstrating their performance of three works, each from a different historical period, in three different languages. Further stipulations included one aria from either the baroque or classical eras (from an oratorio or opera), one operatic aria, and a Lied or song.

Canada In Genève

Elisabeth St-Gelais, Soprano (27 years)

Elisabeth St-Gelais is an Innu of the Pessamit community, and shares her culture through her art. She earned a MMus specializing in voice and opera from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University.

Her artistry as a vocalist has already been recognized by numerous awards and prizes;

Toronto audiences will be able to hear her in performance on July 30 at Toronto Summer Music.

Mala Weissberg, Mezzo (24 years)

Mala is pursuing her Master’s degree at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, and has already accumulated a list of performances on her CV. Toronto audiences have seen her perform as a soloist with Tafelmusik, and will be able to see her in June 2024 in Opera 5’s production of Britten’s Turn of the Screw.

A graduate of Westminster Choir College, Mala also performed as a member and featured soloist of The Westminster Choir.

She is the recipient of multiple awards, including First prize in the Westminster Voice Competition, and the title of “Musical Prodigy” from the State of Israel.

The 2024 Concours de Genève: Next Steps

The Voice Competition proceeds in a series of stages.

  • The first public stage consists of online recitals that will stream from September 2 to 8.
  • The Semi-Final and Final Rounds of the Competition will be held from October 15 to 22 in Geneva.

They can be streamed on the Concours YouTube channel, amadeus.tv, and other online outlets.

  • Find out more about the competition, including a full list of candidates, [HERE].

Best of luck to all the competitors, with a little extra for Elisabeth and Mala.

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