When the COC launched the Ensemble Studio Competition we did so with the intention of shining the spotlight more brightly on Canada’s emerging opera talent. Overwhelming enthusiasm greeted the event, which inspired us to reach out to a larger audience and create a grander platform to celebrate opera in Canada. In 2013, we did just that with the inaugural Centre Stage.
Today, Centre Stage is a premier national fundraiser dedicated to the discovery and celebration of the next generation of opera stars. The main event is the Ensemble Studio Competition, an exhilarating vocal showcase of singers selected from nationwide auditions who are vying for cash prizes while aspiring to secure an invitation to the COC Ensemble Studio, Canada’s leading training program for young opera professionals. Finalists from across the country perform from the mainstage of the Four Seasons Centre, accompanied by the internationally acclaimed COC Orchestra conducted by COC Music Director Johannes Debus—an extraordinary atmosphere for both spectators and artists.
The festivities culminate in a black-tie dinner on the stage of R. Fraser Elliott Hall. The sparkling gala evening is further highlighted by the rare opportunity to enjoy the onsite catering stylings of critically acclaimed Nota Bene Executive Chef David Lee.