Thunder Bay, Ont., music student wins competition singing opera in her Carnegie Hall debut | CBC News


Since its opening in 1891, Carnegie Corridor in New York Metropolis has set the usual for musical excellence.

Among the world’s most interesting artists — from George Gershwin to Billie Vacation — have performed at Carnegie Corridor all through the years.

This month, Jessica Hayes joined the ranks of the greats and sang there too.

“It was unbelievable,” stated Hayes, a music pupil at Lakehead College in Thunder Bay, Ont.

“Proper from after I walked in, the halls had been lined with posters of the greats that had carried out there earlier than, together with certainly one of my private opera idols, Maria Callas. And it was extremely humbling to be there and see that and notice I’m the place the entire greats have been “

Hayes was there to carry out as a part of the Crescendo Worldwide Music Competitors, held Feb. 12 to 17.

WATCH | Hayes sing Si, mi chiamano Mimi from Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème 

Hayes submitted an audition recording in December. On the finish of the month, she realized she had made the ultimate spherical and could be singing at Carnegie Corridor. 

“I actually was on the sofa having espresso with my dad, and I simply jumped off the sofa,” she stated. “He had no thought what was happening, and I simply began screaming and he thought one thing dangerous occurred, after which I instructed him we each simply began crying.”

Hayes stated she spent the final two years mastering Si, mi chiamano Mimi, an aria from Giacomo Puccin’s opera La Bohème which earned her first place within the opera class on the Crescendo Worldwide Music Competitors. She stated she selected the tune for Crescendo in 2019, however then the pandemic hit, but it surely gave her extra time to good it.

“At first it was only a beautiful piece to me, however since I began it at first of second 12 months and now I am ending my fourth 12 months, annually my voice grew and I realized extra,” she stated.

Hayes arrived in New York Metropolis two days earlier than the competitors, which gave her loads of time to see the sights and put together for it.

Hayes spent the final two years mastering Si, mi chiamano Mimi, which earned her first place within the opera class on the Crescendo Worldwide Music Competitors held at Carnegie Corridor on Feb. 14. (Equipped by Jessica Hayes/Fb)

She stated she ready for her second by practising with piano accompanist Anna Vasilyeva. Hayes additionally frolicked in a dressing room as soon as utilized by certainly one of her favorite composers, Gustav Mahler, a world-renowned conductor who made his Carnegie Corridor debut in 1908 conducting the New York Symphony Orchestra.

“I used to be just a little star struck,” she stated. “These had been artists I listened to whereas studying my items. I wasn’t actually nervous – I wasn’t fascinated with the tip end result. I used to be simply excited to be there and I used to be tremendous calm whereas taking all of it in.”

When Vasilyeva performed the primary few notes on the piano, Hayes started to sing whereas portraying the character of Mimi from La Bohème.

‘I’ve already received. I am at Carnegie Corridor’

“I truthfully did not even really feel nervous as a result of at that time I wasn’t pondering of it as a contest,” she stated. “It is OK if I lose. I’ve already received. I am at Carnegie Corridor.”

After her efficiency, Hayes watched the remainder of the competitors within the viewers along with her mother. Then Hayes went backstage to be taught she’d are available first. She ran out to share the excellent news. They each cried whereas standing on the sidewalk outdoors Carnegie Corridor.

Coming first in New York means Hayes will spend three weeks touring Italy this summer season, taking grasp courses with famend musicians and acting at auditoriums and conservatories.

“We will Florence, Tuscany, Venice, Cremona and Padova,” she stated. “And so in every metropolis, I am going to attend totally different grasp courses with famend Italian musicians, get to go to lectures and and work on principle and all that stuff.”

Hayes expressed gratitude to everybody who helped alongside the way in which, together with her dad and mom, stepfather Jim, professor Evgeny Chugunov and her Thunder Bay accompanist, Sean Kim.

She additionally had excessive reward for her vocal coaches.

“Prof. Kim Erickson has been unbelievable,” Hayes stated. “She actually formed my voice into an opera voice. The personal courses I took in highschool with Alana Valente pushed me and inspired me to take the leap into music as a profession.”


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