Canadian Soprano & Author Tonia Evans Cianciulli Wins Canadian Book Award for “The Heart’s Obsession” on Opera Singer Georgina Ann Stirling

Canadian soprano, singer/songwriter, and author Tonia Evans Cianciulli has won a Canadian Book Award for her recent release, The Heart’s Obsession — available now!

Forging a thrilling musical journey from across the surging sea of Twillingate, Newfoundland, and beyond, The Heart’s Obsession serves as a standing ovation for one of Canada’s most notable starlets, opera singer, Georgina Ann Stirling, also known as Marie Toulinquet, and ‘The Nightingale of the North.’

Together with her co-author Calvin D. Evans, Cianciulli celebrates the historical ripple effect one woman’s voice carried throughout the world, plus the love and loss the starlet must’ve felt during the increasingly isolating years of her meteoric rise to fame.

Separating fact from fiction through careful examination of the trail of documents and artifacts left behind after the prolific artist’s passing in 1935, and detailing unique insights into challenges faced by professional opera singers, the book brings Stirling’s astounding legacy into the 21st century.

Cianciulli — who has performed with renowned companies such as Opera York, Toronto Opera Repertoire, Opera Mississauga, Sarnia Orchestra, Brampton Lyric Orchestra, and more — also released an album to accompany the book. The Heart’s Obsession book and companion album is a vibrant feather in the cap of the ardent Stirling-devotee; previous releases include a Ron Hynes cover album, Beckon Me Home, “Marie,” “Nightingale Sings,” and more.

The Canada Book Awards recognizes Canadian authors and their outstanding accomplishments, creative achievements, and contributions to the world through literary mediums.

The Heart’s Obsession and The Heart’s Obsession Companion album are available now.


“This lovingly written book opens up for us the fascinating story of one of the most interesting figures in Newfoundland’s cultural history. We are indebted to Tonia Evans Cianciulli and Calvin D. Evans for this welcome contribution to the growing Newfoundland library.” — Greg Malone, Canadian Impressionist, actor, Writer of CBC’s The Wonderful Grand Band 


“It is clear when you read The Heart’s Obsession that the life and times of Georgina Stirling have, in many ways, become the heart and soul of Tonia Cianciulli. The book is a compelling account of the work and dedication that it takes to arrive at the top of this demanding artistic career. Passion, drive, and unwavering commitment to the art have always been the hallmarks of success. The ‘look back’ at Georgina Stirling gives us a chance to ‘look forward’ with Tonia Cianciulli.” — Dean Stairs, Citadel House


“As a successful soprano songstress, Tonia brings an intimacy and depth to Georgina’s story that only an artist of her kind can. Tonia’s passion for preserving Georgina’s legacy is not only seen in her retelling of the singer’s life story. In her remarkable renditions of Georgina’s repertoire, Tonia’s performance goes beyond tribute and borders on a reincarnation of Twillingate’s honoured opera singer.” — Kyle Greenham, Twilingate-born Journalist and Writer 


We’d like to thank Eric Alper for the media release.