COC’s Ensemble Studio welcomes two new emerging artists

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Toronto – The COC Ensemble Studio welcomes two new artists for the 2021/2022 season: soprano Charlotte Siegel and pianist Vladimir Soloviev. The two officially join the Ensemble Studio on August 30, 2021, becoming part of an innovative development program that has launched the careers of nearly 230 Canadian opera professionals.

“This year, we connected virtually with promising young artists from all across Canada,” says Roberto Mauro, COC Director of Artistic Planning. “Despite the challenges of recent circumstances, artistic development remains a top priority for the COC – and a pillar of who we are as a national performing arts organization.”

“Our newest members are incredibly skilled and passionate artists who were drawn to opera,” says Liz Upchurch, Head of the COC Ensemble Studio. “Charlotte’s poise is remarkable, with a voice that’s wonderfully connected to her personality, and, as a pianist, Vlad’s musicality and elegance is striking. Over the years, we’ve seen them both grow through auditions, competitions, and self-driven artistic initiatives. The sheer tenacity they apply to perfecting their craft is impressive and their invitation to join this year’s Ensemble Studio is a direct reflection of their extensive preparations.”

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Charlotte Siegel placed third in the COC’s Ensemble Studio Competition in 2019; she has since completed her master’s in opera and voice at McGill University and was a Buffalo/Toronto District winner for the 2021 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Siegel is the co-founder and Artistic Director of the Marigold Music Program, a collective of young artists working to close the accessibility gap between marginalized youth and music education.

Vladimir Soloviev has performed around the world; as a collaborative pianist, he has worked with Classic Lyric Arts Opera Studio, Highlands Opera Studio, UofT Opera School, and the Toronto Summer Music Festival. He’s also recently worked as a teaching artist with the COC’s Opera Makers community programming and remains actively involved as music director at Trinity United Church in Newmarket, Ontario.

“The live mainstage experience is a unique and foundational element to the Ensemble Studio training program,” says Mauro. “Although we were able to continue providing remote coaching, career counsel, and mentorship opportunities through the 2020/2021 season, we know how crucial it is to be able to perform and learn alongside established opera professionals; as such, all 20/21 Ensemble members were invited to stay on for the opportunity to gain this unparalleled experience during our ‘Season Like No Other.’”

Returning to the COC Ensemble Studio for 2021/2022 are: soprano Jamie Groote, soprano Midori Marsh, tenor Matthew Cairns, baritone Jonah Spungin, bass-baritone Alex Halliday, bass-baritone Vartan Gabrielian, and pianist Frances Thielmann.

Soprano Anna-Sophie Neher and pianist Alex Soloway graduated from the COC Ensemble Studio this past spring. In a testament to the preparation and training received through the program, Neher’s upcoming engagements include a debut at Opéra national de Paris and appearances on the COC’s mainstage while Soloway will join the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program for 2021/2022 and was named one of CBC Music’s classical “30 Under 30” list for 2021 alongside incoming Ensemble member Charlotte Siegel.

Both new and returning Ensemble members will be featured in the COC’s upcoming Fall Stage programming, with full details to follow on August 16, 2021.

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