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Western Canada District News

Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions - Western Canada District Winners 2018

left to right: Ian McCloy (Encouragement); Yenny Li (Encouragement); Sandra Horst (judge), Gena van Oosten (winner); Shane Hanson (winner); Nicole Joanne-Brooks (winner); Ashlie Corcoran (judge); John Churchwell (judge)

left to right: Ian McCloy (Encouragement); Yenny Li (Encouragement); Sandra Horst (judge), Gena van Oosten (winner); Shane Hanson (winner); Nicole Joanne-Brooks (winner); Ashlie Corcoran (judge); John Churchwell (judge)

Congratulations to: Gena van Oosten – mezzo-soprano
Nicole Joanne-Brooks - soprano
Shane Hanson - Countertenor

Encouragement Awards:
Yenny Yi
Ian McCloy

Peoples’ Choice Awards:
Sodam Lee
Minghao Liu

Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC) Auditions (Western Canada District)

On Saturday, November 10, 2018, twenty-one young singers participated in the MONC Western Canada District Auditions held in the Old Auditorium at UBC, Vancouver. These Vancouver auditions are the only MONC Auditions held in Canada and so there were participants from many areas of Canada.

The judges were:

    John Churchwell, currently the head of music for San Francisco Opera. Prior to this appointment, he served as assistant conductor for both the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera. Mr. Churchwell has been a member of the voice and piano faculty at the Music Academy of the West since the year 2000.

    Sandra Horst holds the positions of Chorus Master of the Canadian Opera Company and Director of Musical Studies for the Opera Division of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music. Ms. Horst has also served on the music staff of the Juilliard Opera Centre, Chautauqua Institute of Singing, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Saskatchewan and Opera Ontario. She is a frequent judge for the MONC Auditions.

    Ashlie Corcoran is currently the Artistic Director of the Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver. She is a theatre and opera director who works across Canada and internationally at such companies as the Canadian Opera Company, the Shaw Festival, Opera Philadelphia and the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music as well as many other companies.

The judges chose the singers that they felt had the greatest potential for a successful career in opera.

The winning competitors were:

    Shane Hanson (countertenor), Chilliwack, BC
    Nicole Joanne-Brooks (soprano), Wetaskiwin, Alberta
    Gena van Oosten (mezzo-soprano), Toronto, Ontario

These district winners advance to the Northwest Regional MONC Auditions held in Seattle at Benaroya Hall on Sunday, February 10, 2019. We wish them every success! The Regional winner(s) advance to the semi-finals held in New York in March. The final competition and concert is part of Vancouver Opera Guild’s March 30 – April 6 2019 New York Metropolitan Opera Tour!

Encouragement Awards were presented to:

    Ian McCloy (tenor), Vancouver, BC
    Yenny Yi (mezzo-soprano), Jeonju, South Korea

The Peoples’ Choice Awards, made possible through generous donations from Guild members, were given to:

    Minghao Liu (tenor), Edmonton, Alberta
    Sodam Lee (soprano), Daegu, South Korea

Sincere thanks are extended to all who contributed to the success of the auditions:

    Nicolas Krusek – director of the auditions and master of ceremonies;
    The Vancouver Opera Guild members who selflessly contributed their time and expertise;
    Generous Guild donors, who made the People’s Choice Award possible,
    The UBC Opera students for attending to the logistics;
    Professor Nancy Hermiston – Guest Speaker “Making it to the Met”; and
    The appreciative audience.

The Vancouver Opera Guild’s sponsorship for more than twenty-five years is vital to both the continuance and the success of these Metropolitan Opera Auditions.

2017 Western Canada District Awards

Despite barred roads, 2400 runners, wind, rain, and a holiday weekend the 2017 MONC Western Canada Auditions were another success! So many fine singers to listen to in the beautiful UBC Old Auditorium. A huge thank you to the Vancouver Opera Guild and it’s volunteers for sponsoring this event again! Thank you to all the …

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Western Canada District Auditions

Western Canada District Auditions
November 6, 2016

It was a great day! Twenty-one singers participated. The judges, Erie Mills, Peter Grunberg and Clare Burovac chose three singers to go on to Seattle.

$300 Encouragement Awards went to: Andrew Erasmus (23) Baritone from Victoria, Madison Craig (22) Soprano from Lethbridge

People’s Choice Awards went to: Pascale …

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Western Canada District Auditions 2015

Western Canada Auditions 2015

The Results of the MONC Canada Auditions:
  Samuel Chan – Baritone (22) Calgary AB
  Geoffrey Schellenberg – Baritone (24) St. Paul MN
  Laura Widgett – Soprano – (25) Sault Ste Marie ON
Each received $1,300 and will compete in Seattle on January 10th
The two Encouragement awards were:

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Western Canada District Winners November 2, 2014



Vanessa Oude-Reimerink (25) Soprano, Mississauga ON ;Eden Tremayne (23) Soprano, Langley BC ;Paula Berry (21) soprano, Ottowa ON ;Micah Schroeder (22) baritone, Vancouver BC

Four encouragement awards of $500 each went to:
        Vanessa Oude-Reimerink (25) soprano, Mississauga ON; Eden Tremayne (23) soprano, Langley BC;
        Paula Berry (21) soprano, Ottowa ON; Micah Schroeder (22) baritone, Vancouver BC

People’s Choice Awards of $150 each went to Micah Schroeder and Zachary Read
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