Nurturing Young Artists
Vancouver Opera has a tradition of nurturing young artists during the early stages of their careers. Among the best known are mezzo-soprano Judith Forst, tenor Ben Heppner and Richard Margison. In its continuing leadership role, Vancouver Opera established, in 2003, the annual Young Artist Coaching Intensive, a program of coaching and instruction by industry-leading professionals. Made possible by the Judith Forst Fund for Young Artist Training, a dedicated fund within the Vancouver Opera Foundation, this program provides technical training at a crucial time when most young artists have left training programs or formal tutelage and are thrust into a heavy schedule of travel, performance and the study of new roles.
THE YULANDA M. FARIS YOUNG ARTISTS PROGRAM
Made possible through a gift from the family of Yulanda M. Faris, VO's Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program engages, enriches, mentors and trains rising young Canadian opera artists and offers a bridge between formal academic educational programs and the professional world in a supportive and encouraging environment.
The Young Artists Program provides up to seven artists - singers, pianists and stage directors - with the opportunity to train with industry leaders through master classes, one-on-one coachings and performance opportunities as part of a residency program.
Find out more about Young Artists Program Auditions
2013-2014 PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
Soprano Sheila Christie holds a Master of Music degree in Opera Performance from the University of British Columbia and has appeared with Vancouver Opera, Burnaby Lyric Opera, Usti and Labem City Opera, the UBC Opera Ensemble, the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra and the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra. She was semi-finalist in The Third Annual China (Ningbo) International Vocal Competition and has received an Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a Vancouver Opera Guild grant for a promising BC singer, and the Joe Boxer Memorial Fund award from Vancouver Opera.
Mezzo-soprano Kristin Hoff recently made her Carnegie Hall début. She has been a soloist with the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra, the Mark Morris Dance Company, l’Orchestre Symphoniques des Jeunes de Montréal, Chants Libres, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Ensemble Sinfonia, l’Orchestre de la francophonie, Talisker Players, Tapestry New Opera and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. Ms. Hoff was chosen as a Caramoor Vocal Rising Star in 2012 and is a recent first prize winner in the NYCO Mozart Vocal Competition. Her recent roles include Anna Maurrant, Ottavia, Marcellina, Prinz Orlofsky, Donna Elvira, Mrs. Anderssen, Carmen, the Mezzo-Soprano in Claude Vivier’s Kopernikus, and Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos. This season, Ms. Hoff will perform the role of Tebaldo in Vancouver Opera's production of Don Carlo.
Tenor Rocco Rupolo is in his second year of the Opera Diploma Program at the University of Toronto. During his studies, he has sung the roles of Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Monsieur Lacouff in Les Mamelles de Tiresias, L’Amante in Amelia al Ballo, Cecco in Il mondo della luna, and the Governor/Ensemble in Candide. His recent performances include Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore and Pâris in Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène at the University of Toronto, as well as Anthony in Sweeney Todd with the Aspen Summer Music Festival.
Baritone Aaron Durand began his opera studies at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He transferred to UBC in 2007 and has since performed lead roles in Così fan tutte, Louis Riel, Die Zauberflöte, Cendrillon, Albert Herring, and The Merry Widow. He recently participated in Vancouver Opera’s Young Artist Coaching Intensive and completed his Masters in Music at UBC. Mr. Durand returns to the Young Artists Program after participating in last season's inaugural year, during which he appeared as Schaunard in La bohème, Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance, and The Speaker in The Magic Flute.
Pianist Kimberley-Ann Bartczak holds a Master's Degree in Collaborative Piano from the University of Toronto. During her studies, she was the répétiteur for the university's opera program, accompanist for the university's Women’s Chorus and for the Mississauga Festival Choir, and music director for Opera 5's production of Milton Granger’s Talk Opera. Ms. Bartczak was also a pianist and coach at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI), at Opera on the Avalon, and at St. Andrews Opera Workshop. A native of Montreal, and very active in the choral community, Ms. Bartczak was the conductor for the Choir Chant-O-Vent, as well as accompanist to many semi-professional choirs in the Montreal area.
Stage Director Fanny Gilbert-Collet completed her Masters in Fine Arts in Theatre Directing at the University of Ottawa in 2011, where she directed Pelléas et Mélisande (Maeterlinck/Debussy), Judith (Barker) and Medea-Material (Müller). Ms. Gilbert-Collet has taught classes at the University of Ottawa and has co-directed and co-written a creation for Théâtre la Catapulte, Ottawa. In addition she has also appeared as an assistant stage director for Opera NUOVA in Edmonton and for a remounting of Die Zauberflöte (directed by Mariame Clément) in Nice. During the summer 2013 Ms. Gilbert-Collet returned to NUOVA Edmonton to direct Les Dialogues des Carmélites through the Vocal Arts Festival and directed a new version of La Bohème with Opéra Immédiat, Montreal.
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