Lara Ciekiewicz

Introduction


“The vocal find was soprano Lara Ciekiewicz as Anna.  Bel canto is not an easy sing, but Ciekiewicz was able to do everything required in gorgeous fashion.  She could spin out her legato lines with elegance, force out her dramatic low notes to great effect and toss off high ones of crystal beauty.  Her coloratura is formidable, and she is an expressive singer of note.”

Opera Canada, Paula Citron

 

Biography

Whether being hailed as “mesmerizing” (Classical Voice of North Carolina), “thrilling” (The New Classical 96.3 FM), or “a clear standout” (San Francisco Classical Voice), versatile soprano Lara Ciekiewicz is quickly making her mark as a compelling, intelligent, and accomplished singing-actress. A graduate of l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, she has distinguished herself at some of the continent’s most prestigious training programs including San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program, the Banff Centre for the Arts’ Opera as Theatre program, the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center, and Opera NUOVA. Her combination of flair, humour, presence, vocal beauty, and style, all backed by a solid technique, is already gaining attention.

Highlights of the 2013-2014 season include the role of Nellie in SOUTH PACIFIC for Pacific Opera Victoria, MESSIAH with the Winnipeg Symphony, Musetta in LA BOHEME for Manitoba Opera, and Lisa in DAS LAND DES LÄCHELNS for Toronto Operetta Theatre.  

Last season Lara sang the role of High Priestess in AIDA with Manitoba Opera, followed by Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO). She also paid tribute to the legendary career of Len Cariou through the music of Stephen Sondheim in an exciting venture with the WSO and Dry Cold Productions. Ms. Ciekiewicz was also delighted to rejoin the Toronto Operetta Theatre family, starring in the title role of Kálmán’s THE GYPSY PRINCESS.

The 2010-2011 saw Ms. Ciekiewicz return to l’Opéra de Montréal as the saucy Musetta in LA BOHÈME, to Manitoba Opera as Papagena in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, and to the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for a rarely heard performance of Penderecki’s SEVEN GATES OF JERUSALEM.  Appearances also included Lyudmila in Glinka’s RUSLAN I LYUDMILA for Opera in Concert, Le Gala 15e édition at l’Opéra de Montréal, as well as a recital at Montreal’s Consulate General of the Republic of Poland and the Gala des Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques for Montreal’s Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20.

In the 2009-2010 season began on l’Opéra de Montréal’s mainstage.  There, Ms. Ciekiewicz covered Lauretta in GIANNI SCHICCHI and performed Papagena in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, also covering Pamina.  She then made her Toronto Operetta Theatre debut in the title role of COUNTESS MARITZA.  She completed her apprenticeship at l’Atelier lyrique performing the roles of Éva in the Gagnon-Tremblay drama NELLIGAN and Lucy in THE TELEPHONE.  Rounding out the season was a return to the Sinfonia de Lanaudière for MESSIAH with Maestro Stéfane Laforest, a debut in Mozart’s REQUIEM with Maestro Alain Trudel and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, performances for l’Opéra de Montréal’s MÉTROPÉRA, and outreach events for l’Atelier lyrique.

Ms. Ciekiewicz’s 2008-2009 season proved equally exciting, culminating in a turn as Fiordiligi for the Merola Opera Program’s production of COSÌ FAN TUTTE.  Praising the beauty of her instrument, her poise and intelligence, San Francisco Classical Voice’s Jason Victor Serinus declared, “…she could build a career as a consummate Mozartian and also branch out into weightier, more dramatic repertoire.” In addition, Ms. Ciekiewicz made two company debuts – one on the mainstage at l’Opéra de Montréal as the Dama in MACBETH, the other as Paquette for Manitoba Opera’s CANDIDE.  She returned to Toronto’s Opera in Concert as Elisabetta in ROBERTO DEVEREUX and sang Fiordiligi, this time for l’Atelier lyrique.  Concert engagements included an evening of Mozart with Boris Brott and the McGill Chamber Orchestra, Rutter’s MAGNIFICAT with the Winnipeg Singers, and MESSIAH with the Sinfonia de Lanaudière.

Her 2007-2008 season began in North Carolina at the Brevard Music Center, where she debuted as Pamina in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE under David Gately’s stage direction and the baton of Steven Smith. She then presented her first CARMINA BURANA with Keith Lockhart and the Brevard Music Center Orchestra. Other debuts included the title role in ANNA BOLENA for Opera in Concert, the title role in ALCINA for Opera McGill, and her first Fiordiligi, again for Opera McGill.

Further highlights from past seasons include: covering Anna in FROBISHER at the Banff Centre; Anna in the world première of Michael Matthews’s PRINCE KASPAR for GroundSwell and Chamber Opera West; the title role in PRINCESS IDA, Yum-Yum in THE MIKADO, and Zorah in RUDDIGORE, all for the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Winnipeg;  Antonia in LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN and Mrs. Hayes in SUSANNAH, both at Opera NUOVA; and concert engagements in Bach’s MASS IN B MINOR for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Handel’s ISRAEL IN EGYPT for the Mennonite Festival Chorus. Ms. Ciekiewicz holds a Masters in Music (Opera) from McGill University and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours, Voice) from the University of Winnipeg.  She is a laureate of Montreal’s Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques.

 January 2014

 PLEASE DESTROY ALL PREVIOUSLY DATED MATERIAL. MODIFIED VERSIONS MUST BE APPROVED BY DEAN ARTISTS.




Full Repertoire

OPERA

Bernstein Paquette CANDIDE
Bizet Michaëla CARMEN
Donizetti Anna
Elisabetta
ANNA BOLENA
ROBERTO DEVEREUX
Estacio Anna FROBISHER
Floyd Mrs. Hayes SUSANNA
Gagnon Eva NELLIGAN
Glinka Lyudmila RUSLAN I LYUDMILA
Handel Alcina ALCINA
Kálmán Gräfin Maritza COUNTESS MARITZA
Matthews Anna PRINCE KASPAR
Menotti Lucy THE TELEPHONE
Mozart Fiordiligi
Pamina/Papagena
COSÌ FAN TUTTE
DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE
Offenbach Antonia LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN
Pasatieri Clara SIGNOR DELUSO
  Mother THE WOMEN
Puccini Musetta
Lauretta
LA BOHÈME
GIANNI SCHICCHI
Ravel La Bergère, Une L’ENFANT ET LE SORTILÈGES
  Pastourelle  
Sondheim Young Heidi FOLLIES
Sullivan


Yum-Yum
Princess Ida
Zorah
THE MIKADO
PRINCESS IDA
RUDDIGORE
Verdi Sacerdotessa AIDA
  Dama MACBETH
Weill Anna Maurrant STREET SCENE

 

CONCERT/ORATORIO

Bach Mass in B minor
Handel Israel in Egypt
Messiah
Haydn Missa Brevis St. Joannis de Deo
Mozart Requiem in D minor
Orff Carmina Burana
Penderecki Symphony No. 7 "Seven Gates of Jerusalem"
Previn Four Songs for Soprano, Cello and Piano
Rutter Magnificat
Vivaldi Gloria

Engaged By

Banff Centre
Brevard Music Center
Dry Cold Productions
G&S Society of Winnipeg
Groundswell
Manitoba Opera
McGill Chamber Orchestra
Merola Opera Program
Opera Lyra Ottawa
Opéra de Montréal
Opera in Concert (Toronto)
Orchestre symphonique de Laval
Rainbow Stage
Sinfonia de Lanaudière
Toronto Operetta Theatre
VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert
Winnipeg Singers
Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Reviews

An all-Manitoban cast of soloists, including Lara Ciekiewicz was impressive.  Ciekiewicz sounds better every time we hear her, her lovely vibrato and passionate conviction well suited to the role."
Winnipeg Free Press - Gwenda Nemerofsky, February 2011

“The vocal find was soprano Lara Ciekiewicz as Anna.  Bel canto is not an easy sing, but Ciekiewicz was able to do everything required in gorgeous fashion.  She could spin out her legato lines with elegance, force out her dramatic low notes to great effect and toss off high ones of crystal beauty.  Her coloratura is formidable, and she is an expressive singer of note.”
Opera Canada – Paula Citron, December 2007

“…un seul sujet se détachait de l’ensemble:  Lara Ciekiewicz, qui a l’allure et la retenue – et les héroïques intervalles – d’une vraie Fiordiligi.” (…one single person rose above the ensemble :  Lara Ciekiewicz, possessing the style and control – and the heroic intervals of a true Fiordiligi.)
La Presse – Claude Gingras, January 2008

“…the two leads in this Toronto Operetta Theatre production are so strong, so charming and so engaged in the topsy-turvy operatic story…we’ll hopefully get to see them onstage again soon.  Soprano Lara Ciekiewicz is the ideal Countess…tenor David Curry is Count Tassilo…and, when the two are onstage alone, their chemistry is magical.”
Toronto Star – John Terauds, December 2009

“Soprano Lara Ciekiewicz (Fiordiligi) was a clear standout.  The sheer beauty of her instrument, the poise with which it is handled, and the intelligence with which she shaped Fiordiligi’s other great aria, ‘Per pietà’, declared that she could build a career as a consummate Mozartian and also branch out into weightier, more dramatic repertoire.”
San Francisco Classical Voice - Jason Victor Serinus, August 2009

“Most consistently mesmerizing and dramatically compelling was Ciekiewicz as Pamina; she brought the house down with her heart-wrenching ‘Ach, ich fühl’s’.”
Classical Voice of North Carolina – Laura McDowell, July 2008

“Ciekiewicz has a fine, pure voice – well suited to this work. [Rutter’s Magnificat] With imperceptible breathing and centred high notes as clear as icicles, she sang with intelligence and emotional warmth.”
Winnipeg Free Press – Gwenda Nemerofsky, December 2009

“How nice to see and hear soprano Lara Ciekiewicz again.  This talented young singer has the ability to draw an audience, with her pure, penetrating voice and expressive abilities.  As the flirtatious maid Paquette, she was priceless – slithery and incorrigible.”
Winnipeg Free Press – Gwenda Nemerofsky, March 2009

“Soprano Lara Ciekiewicz made an impressive Opéra de Montréal debut as the wanton Paquette.  She let her hair down, tossing her fluffy red boa while acting out Pangloss’ ‘ladies’ during ‘The Venice Gavotte,’ her strong, clear voice projecting at all times.”
Opera Canada – Holly Harris, June 2009

“Lara Ciekiewicz est tour à tour comique et séduisante dans les deux ‘incarnations’ de Papagena.” (Lara Ciekiewicz was first comical and then seductive in Papagena’s two ‘incarnations’.)
La Presse – Claude  Gingras, November 2009

“En bonne comédienne, la soprano Lara Ciekiewicz lui [Papageno] donne la réplique dans un jeu de miroir, tout aussi enlevant.  Bref, nul ne doute qu’ils sont faits l’un pour l’autre. ”  (A fine comic actress, soprano Lara Ciekiewicz matched Papageno with flair in a stylish mirror game.  In short, there was no doubt that they were made for each other.)
ResMusica.com – Jacques Hétu, November 2009

"Lara Ciekiewicz, one of the few alumni of the Atelier program, was in sparkling form in Manon's Act I [aria] from the Massenet opera.  Heck, she even looked a bit like Beverly Sills."
Montreal Gazette - Arthur Kaptainis, December 2010

"...a riotous "Je suis encore toute étourdie" from Massenet's Manon."
ConcertoNet.com - Earl Arthur Love, December 2010