2019 Brian Law Opera Competition

Gerald Finley, OC, Honorary Patron

2019 Competition Winners
From left to right:
Susan Elizabeth Brown, 3rd place
Ellen McAtter, 1st place
Mark Wilkinson, 2nd place

The Competition

The 2019 Brian Law Opera Competition took place in .

The prizes were:

For a history of the competition, a biography of Brian Law and a list of previous winners and their biographies, see the Competition page.

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The Program

The Competition Program unfolded as follows:

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The Finalists

In July 2019, the preliminary jury chose the following candidates for the competition recital:

Picture of Susan Elizabeth Brown

Susan Elizabeth Brown, soprano

Soprano Susan Elizabeth Brown has appeared in the National Capital Region as Mimi (La bohème/Puccini), Adina (L’elisir d’amore/Donizetti), Gilda (Rigoletto/Verdi), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier/Strauss), and Cunegonde (Candide/Bernstein). She is an alumna of the 2017 and 2018 National Arts Centre’s Young Artist Program. She will represent Canada with Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques in 2019/2020. She has performed internationally in concert in the United Kingdom and is newly based in Montreal.

Picture of Juliana Krajčovič

Juliana Krajčovič, soprano

Juliana Krajčovič, soprano, is currently studying for her Masters in Music in Opera Studies at the University of Toronto. She is a graduate of the University of Ottawa, student of Yoriko Tanno-Kimmons. She has won ORMTA’s Young Artist Competition, the Ottawa Choral Society Trophy and Most Promising Award at NATS Ontario. She recently toured Ontario and represented Ontario at the CFMTA National Finals.

Picture of Adam Kuiack

Adam Kuiack, baritone

Baritone Adam Kuiack completed his B.Mus in voice performance at the University of Ottawa with John Avey and Sandra Graham and is excited to return to the city where it all began! He has performed roles with the University of Ottawa and University of Toronto Opera and has sung in professional choirs and operas across Canada. He now studies at the University of Toronto Opera with Daniel Taylor, where he is a recipient of multiple scholarships.

Picture of Ellen McAteer

Ellen McAteer, soprano

Ottawa-born soprano Ellen McAteer has been described as a “powerhouse of dramatic assuredness, the ultimate in vulnerable intensity” (Opera Canada). She holds a M.Mus from the University of Toronto, a B.Mus from McGill and was a recipient of the Glenn Gould School’s Rebanks Family Fellowship in addition to receiving career support from Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Picture of Lucie St-Martin

Lucie St-Martin, soprano

Lucie studied voice with renowned singers Donna Brown, Yolande and Marie-Danielle Parent (École de musique Vincent d’Indy), Jo-Anne Donoghue (Artishow) and Maria Pellegrini. She has distinguished herself in many operatic roles: Adèle in Die Fledermaus, Pamina in Zauberflöte, Colette in L’ivrogne corrigé and Pauline in La vie parisienne. She is the recipient of several bursaries including Desmarais, McAbbie and Desjardins foundation. She is now completing the second year of her master’s at the Music Conservatory of Montreal with Donna Brown.

Picture of Mark Wilkinson

Mark Wilkinson, baritone

Canadian baritone Mark Wilkinson holds diplomas from the University of Ottawa, the University of Alberta and the Franz Schubert Institute. He is in the final year of a doctoral fellowship at the Ohio State University. He is active as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician across North America.

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The Pianists

Nadia Boucher Show details...
Nadia Boucher, MMus, BMus, ARCT
Pianist for Adam Kuiack

Professor and collaborative pianist, Nadia Boucher enjoys a very active and diverse musical career. She holds a Master of Music Degree in Collaborative Piano from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Bachelor of Music from the University of Ottawa, and an ARCT Performer’s Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

At home in a broad range of styles, Nadia performs regularly in recital across North America. She has been the rehearsal pianist and coach for various choral and opera ensembles. An alumnus of the Banff Centre’s Opera as Theatre Program, she has since been the music director for numerous operatic and musical theatre productions.

With a passion for languages, Nadia is currently the Professor of Lyric Diction at the University of Ottawa, where she also works as a vocal coach and accompanist. She is also a faculty member of the University of Ottawa’s Summer Vocal Institute. A recognized adjudicator, Nadia is frequently sought out to give masterclasses to students of various levels for organizations across the region.

Nadia believes strongly in giving back to the music community. She currently volunteers with the Canadian Music Showcase and the Gloucester Music Club. She also maintains a busy private studio where she teaches piano and music theory to students of all ages and levels.

Frédéric Lacroix Show details...
Frédéric Lacroix
Pianist for Susan Elizabeth Brown, Ellen McAteer, Lucie St-Martin, Mark Wilkinson

Frédéric Lacroix has performed in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia as soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist. Frédéric has devoted part of his time to the study and performance of music on period keyboard instruments, for which he was recognized as the Westfield Center Performing Scholar for the year 2008-09. Sought after as a chamber musician, Frédéric has played with some of the most distinguished musicians from Canada and abroad.

Frédéric is also active as a composer, having composed for the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, the Society for American Music, the Canadian University Music Society, the Choeur Classique de l’Outaouais, the Ottawa Recitalists (voice and piano team with tenor Denis Boudreault), and other noted Canadian musicians. He currently teaches piano and composition at the University of Ottawa and works regularly with the National Arts Centre.

Peter Grant Mackechnie Show details...
Peter Grant Mackechnie
Pianist for Juliana Krajčovič

Peter Grant Mackechnie is a Canadian pianist. He obtained his ARCT certificate and Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto, studying with pianist-composer Brian McDonagh. After graduating, he learned to create improvised music while working for the National Ballet School. He has also enjoyed the opportunity to compose for film, video game, and theatre works, as well as working collaboratively with vocalists and other musicians.

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The Jury

Cara Gilbertson Show details...
Cara Gilbertson, soprano

Soprano Cara Gilbertson is a passionate soloist, educator, and director. She is a frequent soloist with the Strings and Choir of St. John’s Anglican Church in Ottawa, where she has worked as Artist in Residence. She made her National Arts Centre Orchestra debut in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and returned to Southam Hall in Elijah under the baton of Maestro Helmuth Rilling. She has toured Europe with the Ottawa Bach Choir.

In 2007, Cara was appointed a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa and in 2013 became the Performance Specialist and Vocal Coach for the Ottawa Regional Youth Choir, She is dedicated to her work as a vocal educator and travelling the country as an adjudicator and masterclass/workshop facilitator.

Cara is the Founding Director of the Bytown School of Singing, and a Co-Founder and Director of Opera Inside Out with Nadia Boucher and Hayley Swanton. In 2014, she began an annual concert series called “Between the Crosses” which explores the musical and social context of World War I in tribute to veterans of Canada’s armed forces.

Maghan McPhee Show details...
Maghan McPhee, soprano

A former Brian Law prizewinner herself, Maghan McPhee comes “home” to serve as a judge in the 14th Brian Law Opera Competition. Ms. McPhee has been known for a number of Mozart roles — Ilia (Idomeneo), Susanna and the Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) and Zerlina and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni). Other trademark roles include Micaela in Bizet’s Carmen, and Berta in Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia. Ms. McPhee has also performed in concert at Carnegie Hall, and with celebrated orchestras. She has performed in Ottawa with Alexander Shelley and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Maghan currently teaches voice at Carleton University and her dedication to working with young singers has led her to found and direct the ​Breno Italy International Music Academy with pianist Dr. Carl Philippe Gionet. The programme consists of a two-week, voice and piano masterclass focusing on performance and collaboration with others.

Doreen Taylor-Claxton Show details...
Doreen Taylor-Claxton

Doreen Taylor-Claxton is a versatile soloist, actor, chamber musician and music director, comfortable in a variety of genres. She has worked with the NAC Pops Orchestra, Easy Street Productions, the Ottawa Stilt Union, the Odyssey Theatre, the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival, Upper Canada Playhouse and Opera Lyra Ottawa Young Artists. She is a founding member of the Deluxe Hot Sauce theatre collective.

She is a skilled music director, helping actors to create and execute complex musical structures with confidence. She has worked as a music director for NAC English Theatre, Third Wall Theatre, the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival and A Company of Fools.

Her singing has been praised as “exquisite.” She has been a featured soloist with the University of Ottawa Orchestra; Mozart Requiem, the Strings of St. John’s, the Toronto Sinfonietta and the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra. She is particularly interested in interdisciplinary creation.

Doreen teaches privately and for the Performing Arts Program at Algonquin College.

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