OAF News

Emily D'Angelo and Danika Lorèn Take Top Prize at the 2017 Christina and Louis Quilico Vocal Awards

Toronto, February 14 2017 – On Monday, February 13, the rising stars of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals, competed in the fourth biennial Christina and Louis Quilico Awards, with Emily D'Angelo and Danika Lorèn both claiming prizes of $4,000 each.  Charles Sy won the third prize of $2,000. The event took place in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

(l-r) OAF Executive Director Alan Walker, Christina Petrowska Quilico, Third Prize Winner Charles Sy, COC Chorus Master and judge Sandra Horst, co-winners Danika Lorèn and Emily D'Angelo, soprano and judge Adrianne Pieczonka, and COC General Director and judge Alexander Neef.  Photo: Chris Hutcheson

The competition was adjudicated by a panel composed of Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company, Sandra Horst, Chorus Master of the Canadian Opera Company, and Adrianne Pieczonka, internationally acclaimed Canadian soprano.  The young artists sang one aria of their choice and one aria selected by the panel.

Italian-Canadian mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo won First Prize and Audience Choice Award at the Canadian Opera Company’s 2015 Ensemble Studio Competition and is a winner of the 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition Finals. She made her European debut in 2016 at the Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro under the baton of James Conlon. She received her bachelor of music in performance from the University of Toronto in 2016 where she was the recipient of the Jim and Charlotte Norcop Prize in Song and the Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Award. Additionally, she is a 2016 grant recipient of the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation. This season with the COC, she sings the role of Second Lady in The Magic Flute.

A native of Saskatoon, Danika Lorèn is a recent winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Buffalo/Toronto District Auditions and won the 2015 University of Toronto Concerto Competition. Her recent engagements include Tiny in Paul Bunyan (UofT Opera) and Rosina in The Barber of Seville (Saskatoon Opera). Orchestral appearances include Richard Strauss’ Op. 27 with the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Fauré’s Requiem with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the London Fanshawe Chorus. She is also founding member of Collectìf, an artist collective dedicated to exploring art song as theatre. Ms. Lorèn completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UofT. This winter, she sings the role of Woglinde in the COC’s Götterdämmerung.


About the COC Ensemble Studio
The COC Ensemble Studio is Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. Since the inception of the program in 1980, over 220 young professional Canadian singers, opera coaches, stage directors and conductors have acquired their first major professional operatic experience through the Ensemble Studio. Former members include Ben Heppner, Isabel Bayrakdarian, John Fanning, Wendy Nielsen, Joseph Kaiser, David Pomeroy, Allyson McHardy, and Krisztina Szabó.

The members of the Ensemble Studio are the COC’s resident artists and important ambassadors for the company. They receive a blend of advanced study and practical experience through an individually tailored, multi-year program, involving understudying and performing mainstage roles, intensive vocal coaching, language and acting studies, and career skills development, as well as participation in masterclasses with internationally renowned opera professionals


About the Christina and Louis Quilico Awards
Christina Petrowska-Quilico established the Christina and Louis Quilico Fund in 2000 to honour her late husband, renowned baritone, Louis Quilico, and to recognize outstanding young singers, pianists and composers for voice. During his 45 years on the stage, Louis Quilico shared performing credits with Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, José Carreras, Joan Sutherland and Renata Tebaldi. He was instrumental in furthering the careers of many young singers through his teaching and master classes. The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the Christina and Louis Quilico Awards.


For information, please contact: 

Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413

Kristin McKinnon
Publicist and Publications Coordinator, Canadian Opera Company
Tel: (416) 306-2383


Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2015-2016, the OAF paid over $3.0 million in endowment income and $300,000 in awards and scholarships.

Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world’s attention. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. For more information on the COC, visit coc.ca. 

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