York University classical vocalists shine

An important measure of success for young classical vocalists is winning regional competitions, and York music students Vania Chan and Vanessa Lanch stacked up well against the contenders in the latest one. The two sopranos took second and third place respectively in the fourth-year women’s category of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) district auditions held in Muncie, Ind., in early March.

Chan dazzled the judges with her performance of "Les oiseaux dans la charmille" (also known as "The Doll’s Song"), an aria from Jacques Offenbach’s opera The Tales of Hoffmann; Hugo Wolf’s art song "Verschwiegene Liebe", and "To those who come with open hearts" from Two Songs of Farewell by Canadian composer Keith Bissell.

Lanch excelled with her performance of the aria "Porgi Amor" from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro; "All meine Gedanken," an art song by Richard Strauss; and "Echo" by Canadian composer Jean Coulthard.

The adjudicators showered superlatives upon the two singers. Chan was praised for her "lovely tone quality and expressive singing," "wonderful technique and poise" and "unlimited potential," while Lanch was commended for her "terrific performance," "gorgeous sound," "fantastic tone" and "good interpretations."

The wins for Chan and Lanch at this regional competition are just the latest in a string of honours garnered by these outstanding young singers (see the Dec. 18, 2006 of YFile).

NATS competitions draw the best young vocalists from a large number of music schools and university vocal programs in the district. Participants in this bout included students from Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Ontario.

A national organization of singing teachers in Canada and the United States, NATS is dedicated to the highest standards of singing through excellence in teaching and the promotion of vocal education and research. For more information, visit www.nats.org.