Classical Music

Simone McIntosh, Mezzo-Soprano, 2022 CMIM Aria Division

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Canadian mezzo-soprano Simone McIntosh has no shortage of impressive accolades under her belt already. The Vancouver native is a graduate of both UBC and the Schulich School of Music, where she was awarded the prestigious Wirth Vocal Prize. She recalls the moment following her Wirth Prize and COC victories, saying: “I sat down and said, I can do this.” And she certainly could! McIntosh went on to participate in both the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio program, as well as the San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellowship program.

This year, McIntosh will relocate to Zurich, where she will be a member of the Opernhaus Zürich International Opera Studio. As part of their season, she will perform the roles of Siegrune in Wagner’s Die Walküre, Flora in Verdi’s La traviata and Arsamene in Handel’s Serse. As is clear, one of McIntosh’s greatest strengths is her musical and vocal versatility—she is equally comfortable singing pants roles such as Cherubino, Ruggiero, Stephano and Hansel, as she is the likes of Cenerentola, Dorabella, Tamiri, Béatrice and Meg. In addition, as a lover of art song and of challenging herself in all styles of repertoire, she has performed such complex works as Messiaen’s Harawi and John Harbison’s Motteti di Montale.

Although she came second in the 2021 OSM Competition and, therefore, wasn’t considered a front runner, in June McIntosh took first place in the 2022 Aria Division of the Concours Musical International de Montréal (CMIM) with her solid tone and dazzling stage presence. In the finals, her versatility in singing Richard Strauss (composer’s aria from Ariadne auf Naxos), Handel (Giulio Cesare) and Rossini (Cenerentola) proved to be a winning combination.

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She describes CMIM as having always been “a bucket list item of mine,” and speaks fondly of meeting her fellow participants, as well as the experience of singing—and winning, no less. In addition, she recently won second prize and best mezzo-soprano at Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

There is no doubt this is only the beginning for McIntosh, whose stunning array of accomplishments and sparkling voice truly speak for themselves.

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