Wirth Vocal Prize
By Adrian Rodriguez
Last year was filled with prolific achievements for Vancouver Canadian mezzo-soprano, Simone McIntosh. She won the Wirth Vocal Prize, obtained a Masters in Music from McGill University, and received first prize at the Canadian Opera Company’s 2016 Ensemble Studio Competition.
McIntosh attributes her early success to a love of performing. “All I want is to enjoy myself and have fun. There is nothing more exhilarating than those ten seconds right before going on stage. I harness this incredible energy and commit to the music and drama. Ultimately, I love performing so much, for me, this is the secret ingredient.”
She admits to having an affinity for the “trouser roles” (those mezzo-roles in which a singer plays either a man or a boy). “I am fortunate to possess a vocal range that allows me to sing a wide variety of music,” she says. “My voice is comfortable in a higher tessitura, opening the door to higher mezzo roles and some soprano roles. I am most drawn to spunky mezzo characters, such as Rosina and Dorabella, and sprightly trouser roles like Cherubino and Stephano. I find that I can easily connect to these characters, as I share similar personality traits.”
Although McIntosh is an ambitious singer, she also views competitions as opportunities to gain experience and rub shoulders with other young and talented singers. “I would love to participate in some of the international competitions, such as the Montreal International Competition, the Metropolitan National Council Auditions, or the Belvedere Competition to name just a few. There is no guarantee that I would succeed, but for me, it’s more about the process and experience than the final result.”
As a member of the 2107–2018 COC Ensemble Studio, Macintosh will perform in Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Other Short Fables and will sing the role of the Page in Verdi’s Rigoletto.