ALLISON ARENDS, SOPRANO
Western-Canadian soprano Allison Cecilia Arends is quickly making her mark in the Canadian music scene as a versatile singer whose “voice is stunningly beautiful and [is used] with intelligence and great sensitivity” (Hnatyshyn Foundation). Highly sought-after as an interpreter of opera, new music, and concert repertoire, she is noted for having “charmed listeners with her lyrical upper tones” (Opera Canada).
Allison’s busy 2014-2015 season opened at Casa Loma’s Symphony in the Gardens with the Toronto Concert Orchestra. Allison will travel to Berlin and tour China in a New Year’s programme with Hannover’s Brahms Symphonie Orchester, and to Jamaica to present a recital of opera scenes with tenor Paul Williamson, where they will also make television appearances and instruct a public masterclass. She will create the title role in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera York and Opera By Request, as well as join the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra for a Christmas Chestnuts concert, the Regina Philharmonic Chorus for a programme consisting of Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and famous Handel arias and choruses, the Regina Symphony Orchestra for Orff’s Carmina Burana, the Masterworks of Oakville for Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium, and present a self-produced programme of Bach cantatas at the Heliconian Hall. Recital appearances will include the Neapolitan Connection’s Musical Matinee series, the Heliconian Club’s Concert Series, and the Arts and Letters Club’s Musical Salons. Additionally, she is thrilled to join the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association as voice adjudicator in Moosomin and Bengough. As a new member of Toronto’s historic Heliconian Club, she looks forward to being part of a thriving community of talented female artists from many different disciplines.
Allison is a graduate of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Program, and completed a Masters of Music at the University of Toronto Opera School and a Bachelor of Music at the University of Victoria Voice Performance Program. Allison currently studies with W. Stephen Smith, and has previously studied under the tutelage of Mary Morrison, Timothy Noble, Wendy Nielsen, Alexandra Browning, Selena James, and Diana Woolrich. She has completed summer studies at the Alliance Française, Goethe Institut, Britten-Pears Young Artist Program, Opera Workshop for Advanced Singers in St. Andrews, Highlands Opera Studio, Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel, Queen of Puddings Music Theatre, Banff Centre, Franz Schubert-Institut in Austria, and Stuttgart Festival International Choir under the direction of Maestro Helmuth Rilling. She has sung in masterclasses with Benita Valente, Stephen Pickover, John Fisher, Paul Wynne-Griffiths, Paul Sperry, Laura Sarti, Umberto Chiummo, Matelda Cappelletti, Richard Margison, John Fanning, Elizabeth Upchurch, Tom Diamond, Joan Dornemann, Martin Katz, Carol Vaness, Michael Schade, Martin Isepp, Håkan Hagegård, Edith Wiens, Elly Ameling, Rudolf Jansen, Wolfgang Holzmair, Helmut Deutsch, Walter Moore, Jorma Hynninen, Robert Tear, Stuart Hamilton, Rosemarie Landry, Michael McMahon, and Darryl Edwards.
As a recipient of the Hnatyshyn Foundation’s Artist’s Grant, Allison was afforded the opportunity to perform at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. She also had the honour of being the guest artist at the Inter-American Development Bank Governor’s Dinner, as well as singing the National Anthem at the International Annual Meeting of the Boards of Governors, which was attended by Prime Ministers, Governors, Delegates, and Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs from forty-five different countries. Additionally, she was recorded and broadcast by CBC Radio Saskatchewan, and joined Toronto’s Eglinton St. George United Church Choir as a soloist and choir member on their tour of the major cathedrals of Italy. Allison’s awards include being named a Laureate of the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, second place in the Barry Alexander International Voice Competition, third place in the Spazio Musica International Competition, the Hnatyshyn Foundation Governor General’s Award for Classical Voice, a Senior Award through the B.C. Arts Council, an Encouragement Award through the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Holbrook Opera Tour Graduating Award, and scholarships from the Johann Strauss Foundation, the Wagner Society, ARIAS (formerly COVC), and the Universities of Toronto and Victoria. She was also a participant and semi-finalist in the Joy in Singing masterclass series and competition in New York as well as a finalist in the Clifford Poole Voice Competition in Toronto.