Manitoba Opera

Aug 10, 2020


Manitoba Opera (MO) announced the names of the four applicants who were selected to participate in the company’s first Digital Emerging Artists Program (DEAP). This four-week intensive online professional development program launched August 4. They are soprano Sydney Baedke (born in Medicine Hat, AB and currently residing in Toronto); mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Hoyt-Surdhar (born in Edmonton, AB and currently residing in Winnipeg); tenor Kaden Forsberg (born in Edmonton, AB and currently residing in Montreal); and baritone Nicholas Borg (born in London, ON and currently residing in Toronto).

The successful artists were selected from 48 applications received from Canadian emerging operatic artists between the ages of 18 and 35. The selection team was comprised of the four core faculty members: Tracy Dahl, Monica Huisman, Marion Newman, and John Tessier, all professional singers/voice instructors, and Manitoba Opera General Director & CEO, Larry Desrochers.

“Being selected as a digital emerging artist with Manitoba Opera has not only allowed for me to remain engaged with this industry and my growth as a young singer during this difficult time, but has also presented an invigorating opportunity to contribute to what opera will look like in 2020,” explains participant Sydney Baedke. “It is inspiring to be involved in Manitoba Opera’s digital artistic initiative, and I’m so grateful for this new, exciting platform.”

Nicholas Borg added, “Getting the opportunity to work with the Manitoba Opera team means that even in spite of the pandemic I can continue my artistic development with incredible mentors. The program’s focus on digital creation means that we will be able to share our art with a wide audience in innovative ways.”

The program of daily educational and professional development activities includes voice lessons, masterclasses, and webinars on topics such as language coaching, diction, life skills, and career development. As well, each participant will exit the program with a professionally recorded audition video to be used to help launch the next phase of their careers.

“In this time of uncertainty for everyone in the arts, young and established, MO has turned their focus to helping young artists. This amazing program is a renaissance in very bleak times for the performing arts. If we don’t support these young singers through this period, it will be a very different arts world at the other end,” explains Monica Huisman, core faculty member. “I for one couldn’t be more proud of how proactive and leading edge MO has been during this time in creating this nurturing, informative, motivating, and paid opportunity for these amazing young singers.”

Manitoba Opera’s Digital Emerging Artists Program is supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Project.

The RBC Emerging Artists Project supports organizations that provide meaningful opportunities to advance artists’ career trajectories. The Project has supported over 24,000 artists since its inception.

“We’re thrilled that RBC has come on board to help support the important program for emerging artists.  Perhaps now, more than ever, the next generation artists need the support of programs like the RBC Emerging Artist Project as they look toward building their future careers,” said General Director and CEO, Larry Desrochers.

View Media Release