Magazine article Opera Canada

Simone Osborne

Magazine article Opera Canada

Simone Osborne

Article excerpt

Simone Osborne, the Vancouver-born and - trained soprano who won wide acclaim as one of the five winners of the 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions last February, has a grandmother, an avid Callas fan, who can maybe claim to be the first to see it coming. Back when Osborne was in the baby seat of the car coming home from the hospital, family legend has it that the grandmother raised the critical question: "Well, what are you going to be, a neurosurgeon or an opera singer?" By 17, Osborne knew it was going to be opera singer, funding her voice lessons during high school by working at Dairy Queen.

By the time she hit the Met stage at 21, she already had a number of competition successes and awards on her resume, including the Canadian Club's Canada Soars Award when she left Kitsilano Secondary School in 2004, two successive Provincial Arts B.C. Festival wins, an entrance scholarship to University of British Columbia, and then a June Goldsmith Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts. Last year, she won International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition in Montreal in November, which led to contracts with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bratislave and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Kosice (Slovakia) as well as opportunities with European opera companies. Just before her Met win she received a scholarship from Vancouver Opera, and, in late April, placed third in the Junior Division of the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition. This summer, she's heading to California to Marilyn Horne's Music Academy of the West Program in Santa Barbara. After auditioning, she was offered the lyric soprano's role in William Bolcom's The Wedding, which the Academy is performing in August.

When preparing for competitions, she says, "I try to put together the repertoire that highlights my good qualities so that I can do my best to be dramatically involved. …

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