Magazine article Opera Canada

Sylvia Szadovszki

Magazine article Opera Canada

Sylvia Szadovszki

Article excerpt

Calgary-born Sylvia Szadovszki has top-notch training and the ambition to become a working opera singer. She has performed professionally in several western Canadian productions, most recently as Rosina in Edmonton Opera's II barbiere di Siviglia. But now, after a number of years on the west coast, she and her husband have moved to New York, where she hopes being closer to major opera centres will lead to career-building opportunities. She has progressed steadily since completing an undergraduate degree at the Manhattan School of Music--her educational resume also including a Masters and a Graduate Diploma from University of British Columbia and stints in emerging-artist programs in Vancouver and Victoria. She has also performed in Germany and the Czech Republic, but nonetheless, after the end of the Edmonton run in late October, she had no paying gigs lined up. At 30, she knows that if she's going to convince programmers that she's more than just a contender, the next few years will be crucial.

The daughter of Hungarian immigrants who settled in Calgary, where her father grew a successful oil field-services company, Szadovszki envisioned herself singing on Broadway rather than at the Met as a child. She began piano lessons at five and singing at 11, and it was her Calgary teacher who thought she had a classical voice. With her family able to underwrite her American degree, she went on to get good technical training in New York, but limited experience actually performing. She wasn't allowed even to audition for an opera role until third year, and even then a chorus position was the likely result.

And so she returned to Canada to do a Master's at UBC and get more stage time. Four years ago, half way through her Master's, she switched from soprano to mezzo, a change she believes has made her a more confident performer. …

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