Toronto native Charles Sy has been recognized locally and nationally as a promising young artist with a “softly lyric sound, a natural sense of phrasing coupled with a rare willingness to project beyond the apron” (National Post). He is described as “vocally and dramatically mature with a delicious dark tenor sound that [stretches] easily into shining high notes” (Schmopera).
Charles completed his BMus and MMus degrees at the University of Toronto and is an alumnus of several prestigious opera training programs including Music Academy of the West, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Program, and the Opera as Theatre program at the Banff Centre. He is a graduate of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio and received First prize and Audience Choice in the COC’s 2014 Centre Stage Competition. He is currently completing an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at The Juilliard School.
This season, he makes his Juilliard Opera debut as Belfiore/La finta giardiniera and also makes his Carnegie Hall debut as the Evangelist and Tenor Soloist in Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium under the baton of Maestro Mark Shapiro. In Canada, he sings Grimoaldo/Rodelinda with Voice Box: Opera In Concert and wraps up the season with Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with Pax Christi and Mozart’s Requiem and Davide Penitente with the Ottawa Choral Society and the St. Lawrence Choir. Previous opera roles include Nemorino/L’elisir d’amore, Tamino/Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio/Don Giovanni. He will be making his Vancouver Opera debut as Prince Ramiro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola in 2019.
An enthusiastic interpreter of song, Charles was selected for an Art of Song Fellowship at the Toronto Summer Music Festival in 2012 where he had the opportunity to work with the world-renowned Gerald Finley and Craig Rutenberg. He was also awarded the 2014 Jim and Charlotte Norcop Prize in Song at the University of Toronto. Charles received first place in the Ottawa Choral Society’s 2014 New Discoveries Competition and is a Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques Laureate for 2014, winning the Prix Lyrique Italien and the Prix Jeunes Espoir Lyrique Canadien. He is a 2014 Jacqueline Desmarais Grant recipient and is also the recipient of the 2013 Hnatyshyn Foundation Developing Artist Grant for Classical Voice after being nominated to represent the University of Toronto and competing at the national level.