For the second year, the Canadian Opera Company (COC) presented its annual Centre Stage: Ensemble Studio Competition Gala showcasing the talents of Canada’s rising opera stars.

The event took place at the Four Seasons Centre for The Performing Arts featuring a reception, the main show and dinner.

The reception:

(reception photos by Tanya)

The Centre Stage show:

(Centre Stage show photos by Michael Cooper)

The Centre Stage show’s host, Ben Heppner, an internationally recognized tenor, welcomed seven finalists of the COC Ensemble Studio on stage to compete for the first, second and third place, with cash prizes worth at $5,000, $3,000 and $1,500.

Each finalist performed an aria which was judged by a panel of judges. In addition, audience were able to vote for the Audience Choice Award with a $1,500 prize.

The seven finalists-Zoe Band, Eliza Johnson, Dimitri Katotakis, Nathan Keoughan, Aaron Sheppard, Michelle Siemens and Charles Sy, were chosen from a pool of 175 opera singers who participated in the preliminary auditions that took place in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and New York City.

Finalists appeared on the Centre Stage in stunning gowns and suits provided by the Hudson’s Bay Company which they were able to keep for future performances.

Tenor Charles Sy graciously won both the first prize and the Audience Choice Award with arias “Una furtive lagrima” (L’elisir d’amore) and “Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön” (Die Zauberflöte). Dimitri Katotakis placed second and Aaron Sheppard, third. Select finalists will also be joining Canadian Opera Company’s 2015/2016 Ensemble Studio.

Behind the scenes:

Once again, the Canadian Opera Company partnered up with The Hudson’s Bay Co. to dress the Ensemble Studio Competition finalists for their onstage role at the Centre Stage Gala. With the help of the professional stylists at Hudson’s Bay‘s personal fitting room, the finalists were able to pick out the best outfit for their performances.

( Centre Stage dress fitting photos by Tanya)

Canadian Opera Company (COC) Centre Stage Ensemble Studio Competition Gala 2014 and dress fitting at Hudson’s Bay

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