Canadian Opera Company – Ensemble Studio Competition Gala, Nov. 25, 2014 @Four Seasons Centre

The Canadian Opera Company (COC) hosted the 2nd Annual Centre Stage Ensemble Studio Competition Gala at the Four Seasons Centre to showcase 7 of Canada’s next opera stars.  Their journey began November 24, 2014 in a competition judged by a jury and the audience’s choice as well.  The prizes for the competition was $5,000 for 1st, $3,000 for 2nd and $1,500 for 3rd place.  The audience’s choice earned the winner $1,500.

The evening reception started with a cocktail hour with wine and champagne with a choice of cheeses and cure meats to snack on prior to the competition.  Opera goers drank and mingled in anticipation of listening to future opera stars in the making.

Unlike other events, Centre Stage showcases the vocal talents of Canada’s young opera talents accompanied by the internationally acclaimed COC Orchestra conducted by Johannes Debus.  Each singer (in order of appearance: Michelle Siemens, Nathan Keoughan, Zoe Band, Charles Sy, Dimitri Katotakis, Aaron Sheppard and Eliza Johnson) sang 2 opera songs.  While the jury deliberated on the top 3 singers, the audience selected their choice for top performer of the night.  The verdict, a men’s sweep in the top 3 with Charles Sy taking 1st prize, Dimitri Katotakis placing 2nd and Aaron Sheppard placing 3rd.  The audience’s choice went to Charles Sy for the double win.

The evening continued with an intimate black-tie gala dinner on stage by acclaimed Nota Bene Executive Chef, David Lee.


Winners Details:

  • Charles Sy, First Prize ($5,000) and Audience Choice Award, ($1,500)
    • Arias performed: “Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön” (Die Zauberflöte) and “Una furtiva lagrima” (L’elisir d’amore)
  • Dimitri Katotakis, Second Prize ($3,000)
    • Arias performed: “Hai gia vinta la causa… Vedrò mentr’io sosprio” (Le nozze di Figaro) and “Mab, la reine des mensonges” (Roméo et Juliette)
  • Aaron Sheppard, Third Place ($1,500)
    • Arias performed: “Vainement, ma bien aimée” (Le roi d’Ys) and “Un’aura amorosa” (Così fan tutte)


Special thank you to Melissa Augimeri (Junior Account Coordinator) from KNOTPR for the invitation to photograph this gala


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