No big surprises in the announcement of new members of the COC Ensemble Studio. It’s the three prize winners from last year’s Centre Stage; tenor Matthew Cairns, bass-baritone Vartan Gabrielian and mezzo-soprano Jamie Groote. Also joining is pianist and intern coach Alex Soloway. Cairns and Groote are UoT grads and are well known to many Toronto opera goers through their appearances in UoT productions and elsewhere. Gabrielian is a Toronto native but studied at the Curtis so is not so well known. It will be interesting to get to know him.
Graduating from the Ensemble Studio in May 2019 are baritone Samuel Chan, soprano Lauren Eberwein, mezzo-soprano Simone McIntosh, and pianist and intern coach Stéphane Mayer. All four can be heard at upcoming concerts in this season’s Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre.