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Winnipeg Free Press: Opera star returns to roots

December 1, 2016 — 

As the Winnipeg Free Press reports:

Every Christmas Eve, Winnipeg-born opera singer Andriana Chuchman would bundle up with her older sister, Olesia, and their parents to trek down to Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral to raise their voices in traditional Ukrainian carols during midnight mass.

The raven-haired lyric soprano returns to those musical roots when she takes the stage Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Westminster United Church. The Manitoba Chamber Orchestra’s upcoming concert, informally titled Christmas from Winnipeg to Ukraine, marks her MCO debut and sole Winnipeg performance this season.

“Coming home is always very special to me,” says Chuchman, 34, who’s on the road up to 10 months each year gracing such iconic world stages as New York City’s Metropolitan Opera. “I already know a lot of my friends and family are coming that night, so that makes it even more exciting. I don’t get that in the other places I perform. I also feel that every season I grow as an artist and I’m excited to share that with my hometown.”

Chuchman, who is praised by the New York Times for her “vocal brilliance, physical agility and vintage calendar-girl looks,” has hand-picked her own repertoire for the eclectic chamber program being led by guest conductor Mark Morash…

Born to her economics professor father and pianist mother — and longtime accompanist for the O. Koshetz Choir — Chuchman grew up Winnipeg’s leafy Garden City, graduating from the University of Manitoba’s School of Music in 2004 where she studied with another local opera superstar, soprano Tracy Dahl. She pursued further vocal training at the Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, where she coincidentally first worked with the Dartmouth, N.S.-born Morash in 2005.

She made her auspicious Met debut in January 2014, with a rapidly expanding A-list of companies she’s now performed with including the Canadian Opera Company, Washington National Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis and Dallas Opera, among others, as well as making her professional opera debut during the Manitoba Opera’s staging of Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore in 2005.

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