Western-Canadian soprano Allison Cecilia Arends is quickly making her mark in the Canadian music scene as a versatile singer whose “voice is stunningly beautiful and [is used] with intelligence and great sensitivity” (Hnatyshyn Foundation).
Highly sought-after as a soloist in opera, new music, and concert repertoire, she is noted for having “charmed listeners with her lyrical upper tones” (Opera Canada). Allison is a graduate of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Program, where she performed Despina (Cosi fan tutte), Mary (cover in The Inventor), and the University of Toronto, where she performed Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Ginevra (Ariodante), and Lucia (The Rape of Lucretia). She has also sung Musetta (La Bohème), Lucy (The Telephone), and Adele (Die Fledermaus) with the Highlands Opera Studio, Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare) with the Aradia Ensemble, the Angel, King’s Mistress, and Witch (The Children’s Crusade) with Soundstreams, Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor) with Opera York, Violetta (La Traviata) with the Southern Ontario Lyric Opera, Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) with the Cathedral Bluffs Orchestra, and joined Tapestry New Opera for their LibLabs and Opera Briefs.
She has sung in recital with the Aldeburgh Connection, Colours of Music Festival, Toronto Summer Music, Winnipeg’s Women’s Musical Club, Saskatoon Opera, Neapolitan Connection, Arts and Letters Club, Heliconian Club, Bobolink Entertainment, and Green Door Cabaret. Among her many concert performances are Haydn’s Creation with Chorus Niagara, Handel’s Soloman with the Pax Christi Chorale, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Toronto Concert Orchestra, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with the Toronto Philharmonia, Verdi’s Requiem with the Toronto Classical Singers, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Calgary Civic Symphony and Regina Symphony Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with both the Amadeus Choir and Regina Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Masterworks of Oakville, Brahms’ Requiem with the Tallis Choir, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the Toronto Sinfonietta, and Bach’s Magnificat, Beethoven’s Mass in C, and Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Requiem with the Regina Philharmonic Chorus. She has also appeared in a series of Viennese concerts with the Toronto Concert Orchestra, and was guest soloist in a performance of Strauss’ beloved Vier Letzte Lieder with the Calgary Civic Sympony.
Internationally, she toured China in a series of Viennese New Year’s concerts with the Brahms Symphonie Orchester, and regularly appears in Jamaica for gala performances and as guest instructor for the St. Andrew Parish Foundation and Edna Manley College for the Arts. Allison has sung with the Bachakademie in Germany, the Britten Pears Program in England, the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, the International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel, and the Franz Schubert-Institut in Austria. She has received scholarships and prizes from the Clifford Poole Vocal Competition, Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, Spazio Musica, the Hnatyshyn Foundation, the B.C. Arts Council, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Aldeburgh Foundation, the Johann Strauss Foundation, ARIAS, and the Universities of Toronto and Victoria. She was recently chosen to compete as a semifinalist in the Joy In Singing Competition in New York and was a second place winner in the Barrie Alexander International Voice Competition.