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COC Ensemble Studio Competition Gala

It’s was a veritable “opera idol” on Tuesday November 25th at the Four Seasons Centre for the performing arts. Seven Canadian singers took centre stage as part of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio Competition Gala. 175 aspiring opera singers entered, and one man left victorious. Canadian Celebrity Tenor Ben Hepner hosted the event and was the perfect personality to usher in this burgeoning talent.

This really was an event meant to discover the next generation of opera stars in this country. To be a part of this competition, auditions were held in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and New York City, and 100s took part. On Tuesday, it was down to the wire and these seven young operatic upstarts performed two pieces each in front of a discerning audience and a panel of judges. Almost 10 grand in cash was on the line, and a chance to become a name in the world of opera.

I caught up with a couple of the finalists before the show.

Dimitri Katotakis was raised here in Toronto and went to the Etobicoke school of the arts. Even though he is a Baritone, he has an interesting influence from pop music.

Soprano, Eliza Johnson hails from Stratford, and she will be performing as well.

Perhaps the greatest get for the winner of the Centre Stage Vocal showcase is a chance to join the COC’s ensemble studio next year. It would be Tenor Charles Sy of Toronto taking home first prize and the Audience Choice Award. That’s $6500 bucks! Baritone Dimitri Katotakis of Toronto, won the second prize of $3,000,and tenor Aaron Sheppard of St. John’s, N.L.., was awarded the third prize of $1,500.

To find out more about the event –

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