A benefit event to shine a light on
Canada’s emerging opera artists

A big night for Opera!

Wednesday, the Opéra de Montréal held the third edition of its TALENT gala, showcasing the National Auditions for the Atelier lyrique program, in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts. The benefit event, co-chaired by Stéphane Achard, Executive Vice-President, Commercial Banking and Insurance and Member of the Office of the President at the National Bank, and Jacques Marchand, Chairman of the Board of Directors of LCI Education, brought together close to five hundred music lovers to celebrate Canada’s emerging opera artists. The event raised a net of $360,000 for the Opéra de Montréal and the Atelier lyrique program, an increase of $150,000 from last year event.

The ten finalists, chosen from over 130 artists from across the country, were competing for five coveted spots for the Atelier lyrique – a 2-year artist-in-residence training program at the Opéra de Montréal. The winners will be made known in the coming weeks.

The 10 finalists are:

Andrew Adridge, baritone (Toronto, ON)

Jillian Bonner, mezzo-soprano (Saint John, NB)

Sarah Dufresne, soprano (Burlington, ON)

Sydney Frodsham, mezzo-soprano (Houston, TX)

River Guard, tenor (Toronto, ON)

Charlotte Siegel, soprano (Toronto, ON)

Marcel Sokalski, baritone (London, ON)

Jonah Spungin, baritone (Ottawa, ON)

Caroline Stanczyk, soprano (Toronto, ON)

Lucie St-Martin, soprano (Gatineau, QC)

Following the audience vote, Stingray Music awarded the $3,000 Stingray Rising Stars Award to soprano Sarah Dufresne from Burlington, Ontario. Ms. Vanda Treiser generously presented a $1,000 bursary to each of the 9 finalists, an amount which was spontaneously matched by the co-chairs of the event and offered jointly by National Bank and LCI Education.

The enthusiastic participation of many corporate and private partners affirms the community’s strong support for opera-related philanthropic efforts. Special thanks to our Platinum sponsors: Azrieli Foundation, National Bank, LRDG Inc., RBC, Fonds de dotation Jacques Marchand, Alvin & Emmelle Segal, Elizabeth Wirth & Lucien Fauteux, and our Gold sponsors: Dentons, Desjardins, Réseau LCI Éduction, Groupe Petra and Yvon Lessard. “The support and enthusiasm for this program and our young artists is just phenomenal.  We are delighted to put Canada`s future opera stars centre stage because the talent in Canada is exceptional.”, commented the General Director of the Opéra de Montréal, Mr. Patrick Corrigan.

This event included champagne and red-carpet arrival, a recital of well-loved opera arias by the finalists, a cocktail reception, and a magnificent dinner on stage amid the sets for Lucia di Lammermoor with a performance from current Atelier lyrique young artists.

Atelier lyrique de l’opéra de Montréal

The Atelier lyrique is an artist residency program for Canadian opera singers, pianist-vocal coaches, and stage directors that serves as a veritable springboard to a professional career. Offering training and on-stage experience at the Opéra de Montréal, the program aims to adequately equip young artists for every aspect of their careers: vocal technique, musical and dramatic performance, operatic diction, languages, health, mental preparation for performance, fiscal matters, professional image, etc. Several internationally renowned artists have been Atelier members over the years, including Julie Boulianne, Etienne Dupuis, Marianne Fiset, Marc Hervieux, Marie-Josée Lord, and Michèle Losier.

Photo Credit : Brent Calis