Karine Boucher Wins 2015 Christina and Louis Quilico Vocal Awards
Toronto, February 10, 2015 – On Monday, February 9, the rising stars of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals, competed in the third biennial Christina and Louis Quilico Awards, with Karine Boucher claiming the first prize of $5,000. Gordon Bintner won the second prize of $3,000 and Charlotte Burrage won the third prize of $2,000. The event took place in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
(l-r) Christina Petrowska Quilico, OAF Executive Director Alan Walker, First Prize Winner Karine Boucher, Second Prize Winner Gordon Bintner , Third Prize Winner Charlotte Burrage, and COC General Director Alexander Neef. Photo: Chris Hutcheson
The competition was adjudicated by a panel composed of Alexander Neef, General Director of the COC, John Hess, Head of Collaborative Piano Studies at Western University, and Stuart Hamilton, vocal coach, pianist and author. The young artists sang one aria of their choice and one aria selected by the panel.
Born in Québec City, soprano Karine Boucher won First Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the Third Annual Ensemble Studio Competition in 2013. This season with the COC, she sang the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly. She received her master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in opera performance from the Québec Conservatory. As a member of the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, her credits include Miss Pinkerton in The Old Maid and the Thief, Annina in La Traviata, Inez in Il Trovatore and Kätchen in Werther (Opéra de Montréal); Damon in Acis and Galatea (Arte Music); Mimì in La Bohème (Jeunesses Musicales); and the title role in Rita (Highlands Opera Studio). Upcoming COC roles include Berta in The Barber of Seville (Ensemble Studio performance) this spring and Micaëla in next season’s production of Carmen.
About the COC Ensemble Studio
Founded in 1980 by the Canadian Opera Company, the Ensemble Studio is Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. The members of the Ensemble Studio are the COC’s resident artists and are important ambassadors for the company. Since the program’s inception, over 180 young professional Canadian singers, opera coaches, stage directors and conductors have acquired their first major professional operatic experience through the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio. Former members include Ben Heppner, Isabel Bayrakdarian, John Fanning, Wendy Nielsen, David Pomeroy, Joseph Kaiser, Lauren Segal and Krisztina Szabó.
Members of the Ensemble Studio receive a blend of advanced study and practical experience through an individually tailored, multi-year program, involving understudying and performing mainstage roles, intensive vocal coaching, language and acting studies, and career skills development, as well as participation in masterclasses with internationally renowned opera professionals.
About the Christina and Louis Quilico Awards
Christina Petrowska-Quilico established the Christina and Louis Quilico Fund in 2000 to honour her late husband, renowned baritone, Louis Quilico, and to recognize outstanding young singers, pianists and composers for voice. During his 45 years on the stage, Louis Quilico shared performing credits with Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, José Carreras, Joan Sutherland and Renata Tebaldi. He was instrumental in furthering the careers of many young singers through his teaching and master classes. The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the Christina and Louis Quilico Awards.
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Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2013-2014, the OAF paid over $2.7 million in endowment income and $200,000 in awards and scholarships.
Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world’s attention. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, the Four Seasons Centre opened in 2006. For more information on the COC, visit its award-winning website, coc.ca.
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