First prize winner of the prestigious Plácido Domingo "Operalia" Competition in 2000 and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee medal, Canadian Armenian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian made an impressive series of appearances in the 2002/2003 season, including debuts at the Paris Opera (Bastille) as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, as Catherine in A View from the Bridge at the Metropolitan Opera, Zerlina in Don Giovanni at the Salzburg Festival, Elisa in Il Re Pastore at Brussel's Theatre de la Monnaie, and Clorinda in Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda at Los Angeles Opera. Her numerous concerts and recital appearances took her to New York, Berkeley, Costa Mesa, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Cyprus.
Miss Bayrakdarian's other recent North American performances have included Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito with Santa Fe Opera, Valencienne in The Merry Widow at the San Francisco Opera, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with the Cincinnati Opera, and at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Catherine in the World Premiere of William Bolcom's A View from the Bridge, as well as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. For the Canadian Opera Company, she has sung the roles of Cleopatra in Handel's Giulio Cesare, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
Miss Bayrakdarian's past European performances have included her Italian debut at Milan's Teatro alla Scala in Bernstein's West Side Story, Romilda in Handel's Serse at the Opéra de Montpellier and the Dresden Semperoper, Cleopatra in Hasse's Marc'Antonio e Cleopatra at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, and Emilia in Handel's Flavio at the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe, Germany.
In addition to her recital work, Miss Bayrakdarian has an extensive concert repertoire. She opened the National Arts Centre's 2001/2002 season in a Gala concert with artists Yo Yo Ma and Pinchas Zuckerman. Her appearances also included Mahler 4th Symphony with the Pittsburgh Symphony conducted by Mariss Jansons, Messiah with Les Violons du Roy, and triumphant recitals in New York (Carnegie Hall), Boston, Vancouver, and Toronto.
Miss Bayrakdarian can be heard on the Grammy Award winning soundtrack of the blockbuster movie The Two Towers, the second installment in The Lord of The Rings trilogy, as well as the multiple award-winning Canadian movie Ararat. When Miss Bayrakdarian's debut recording "Joyous Light" was released in March 2002 on the CBC label, it went straight to No. 1 in the classical charts across Canada. She has also recorded Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5 for CBC Television, for which she earned a Gemini nomination, Rachmaninov's Vocalise for Bravo Arts Television, and Canada's CTV Network featured her in a documentary. Her second recording with the CBC - a Spanish/South American project - will be released in the spring of 2003.
Miss Bayrakdarian has been the recipient of many grants, including a Canada Council Grant, the Sullivan Foundation Grant, the 2000 Leonie Rysanek Award from the George London Foundation, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Award in 1997.
During the 2003/2004 season, Ms. Bayrakdarian will return to Chicago Lyric Opera and Los Angeles Opera as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, and to the Metropolitan Opera as Teresa in Benvenuto Cellini. She will make her San Diego Opera debut as Leila in Les Pêcheurs de Perles and will perform recitals and concerts in Toronto with Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Tafelmusik (which will be recorded for her 3rd CD with CBC Records), Vancouver, New York, Minnesota, Atlanta and San Francisco
Edited by Edward, 02 February 2004 - 11:32 PM.