On Thursday Nanaimo soprano Vanessa Croome competes for the chance to train with the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio. (Photo courtesy Tam Lan Truong)

Nanaimo soprano reaches Canadian Opera Company competition final

Vanessa Croome is competing for a chance to train with the COC’s Ensemble Studio

Later this week Vanessa Croome will have has the chance to achieve a childhood dream.

The Nanaimo-raised soprano is among eight singers from across the country to qualify for the chance to earn a spot in the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio training program.

“The Ensemble Studio is something I’ve wanted to be a part of since I was a teenage girl,” Croome said. “And getting the chance to work with the Canadian Opera Company is something that’s sort of a career goal of mine.”

Croome started her vocal training through the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music and the Chemainus Theatre Festival. She’s currently enrolled in the masters of music in voice and opera program at McGill University.

On Thursday, Nov. 1 Croome and the seven other candidates who made it through pre-recorded and live audition rounds will compete in the finals at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.

Croome said she screamed when she heard she made the cut.

“Usually singers don’t scream, right? It’s not very good for us, but I did. I just was so overwhelmed,” she said.

Aside from being considered for placement in the Ensemble Studio, the winner gets $5,000, a professional studio recording session and a chance to perform at Ontario’s Elora music festival. Runner up gets $3,000 and the third place finisher gets $1,500.

“The Ensemble Studio’s this very unique, amazing thing that gives young Canadian singers sort of a springboard into the professional world of opera…” Croome said. “So doing the competition enables me to potentially have the chance to work with some of Canada’s most inspiring artists and it’s like the hub of opera in Canada. So I’d just love to be able to be in the middle of it all.”


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