In anticipation of the fifth edition of the Wirth Vocal Prize, we caught up with previous winners. In this article, we speak with Anna-Sophie Neher, winner of the 2017-2018 edition of the Wirth Vocal Prize, to hear about what life has been like since winning the Prize.
Where do you call home right now?
I’m lucky enough to have two places I call home: Toronto and Montréal!
Tell us about an accomplishment since you won the Wirth Vocal Prize that you are particularly proud of.
I am very proud to be a part of the Ensemble Studio of the Canadian Opera Company where I get to further my training and sing on stage with some of the best singers in the world.
How has the Wirth Vocal Prize influenced your career and your development as an artist?
Winning the Wirth Prize is of course financially so helpful for any young musician. We all know how expensive it is to pay for school, for travel expenses to auditions, for endless coachings and lessons, etc. However, I would say that winning it has mostly helped me gain confidence in who I am as an artist.
Are there any specific experiences, classes, or relationships from McGill that have been especially valuable since graduation?
During my time at McGill, I got to work with the most amazing voice teacher and human, Dominique Labelle. I still go see her when I get the chance.
How do you maintain your mental health and well-being amidst the challenges of a singing career?
My mental health is deeply improved by exercising and food! I walk everyday at least 5km while listening to music (NOT classical music, for having the full benefit of relaxation). As for the food part, I love to cook! Nothing makes me more happy than to come back home after a long day at work and taking the time to cook a nice meal (preferably pasta)!
Which upcoming roles or performances are you most looking forward to?
I cannot wait to sing The Sandman and The Dewfairy in a new and modern production of Hänsel und Gretel with the COC. I also get to sing 2 performances of it as Gretel, presented for families.
What do you miss most about Schulich?
The people! And Montreal.
The fifth edition of the Wirth Vocal Prize will be taking place this Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 2:30pm in Pollack Hall. Unable to attend in person? This event will be webcast live on our YouTube channel!