Following an evening of exceptionally high-level vocal artistry from all three finalists, Jean-Philippe Mc Clish, Simone McIntosh and Igor Mostovoi, last night the members of the Jury declared mezzo-soprano Simone McIntosh, a Master's voice student of Dominique Labelle the winner of the 2016-2017 Wirth Vocal Prize.
The finalists, selected by a preliminary round, each presented a thirty minute programme made up of pieces performed in a minimum of three languages and including at least one opera aria. McIntosh received a prize that includes $25 000, artistic mentorship, and the invitation to perform several recitals, including one at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto. She also received a 14k gold pin in the form of the prize logo. The jury was formed by pianist Michael McMahon, soprano Joan Patenaude-Yarnell and the Director General of the Opéra de Montréal, Patrick Corrigan, and was chaired by Stéphane Lemelin, pianist and Chair the Department of Performance at the Schulich School of Music. The other finalists, Jean-Philippe Mc Clish and Igor Mostovoi were awarded a cash prize of $1000.
About Simone McIntosh
Described as “a naturally big, beautiful, gleaming high mezzo” (Musical Toronto), Simone McIntosh has been seen performing across Canada and Europe. Most notably, McIntosh was recently awarded first prize with the Canadian Opera Company’s 2016 Studio Ensemble Competition. Equally adept at operatic and concert repertoire, McIntosh has performed Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina (Opera McGill), Regina Coeli K. 127 (WSO), Howard Goodall’s Eternal Light: Requiem (McGill University Chorus), Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (McGill Symphony Orchestra), and Meg in Mark Adamo’s Little Women (Opera McGill). Other notable roles include the title role in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict (MY Opera), Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro (Burnaby Lyric Opera), the Fox in Janaček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (UBC Opera), Giulietta in Les contes d’Hoffmann (UBC Opera), and Cis in Albert Herring (Vancouver Opera), among others. McIntosh has appeared with notable ensembles across the country including, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, McGill Symphony Orchestra, and McGill University Chorus. Next, McIntosh will be seen performing Prince Orlofsky in Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus and Judith in Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle with Opera McGill while she completes a Master’s in Opera and Voice at the Schulich School of Music, studying with Dominique Labelle.
About the Wirth Vocal Prize
The Wirth Vocal Prize was instituted in 2015 thanks to the immense generosity of Elizabeth Wirth. This prize highlights the excellence of one vocal student from the Schulich School of Music who has proven their talent and shows the potential to pursue a career on the international stage. The vocal professors at the Schulich School of Music can recommend full-time undergraduate or graduate students who demonstrate a high level of achievement.