Skip Navigation

Alumnus Earns Accolades for Performance with Atlanta Opera

Alumnus Earns Accolades for Performance with Atlanta Opera

Published on March 14, 2019

Justin Stolz

Alumnus Justin Stolz thrilled audiences on March 2, 2019, when he tackled three roles for Atlanta Opera’s production of Eugene Onegin. Most impressively, he stepped in to perform the lead role of Lensky on opening night—with barely three hours’ notice. 

“It was exhilarating,” Stolz recalls. “As a young artist, your job is to prove yourself in supporting roles. It’s rare to be trusted with a leading role.”

A member of The Atlanta Opera Studio, Stolz had already established the trust of the company by covering the role in the weeks leading up to the production. “As a cover, you work diligently behind the scenes so that you can say yes when you get the call.”

Adding to the challenge, the young tenor had to play two other parts, one of which shares the stage with Lensky. As a solution, he sang the role offstage while William Burden, the original performer, acted it out.

“The support I felt from the conductor, cast, crew, and company was incredible,” Stolz says. It was a defining moment in his young career and a night he says he will never forget.

In a way, his time in Atlanta brought Stolz full-circle, bringing back memories of his days as a student. During his first year at The Glenn Gould School, The Royal Conservatory’s acclaimed professional training program, the Thunder Bay native performed Lensky's final aria and duel scene in one of his classes.

“My years spent at The Glenn Gould School really helped me develop into the singer I am today,” Stolz says. “I performed some of my very first operas there, and learned very quickly how much work must go into preparing operatic roles.”

“My teacher Monica Whicher and coaches like Rachel Andrist, Brahm Goldhamer, and Jennifer Tung all helped me build a solid foundation.”

Alumni Earn Positions at Prestigious Young Artist Programs

Anne-Marie MacIntosh

Two other alumni of The Glenn Gould School’s Price Opera Program earned accolades in recent weeks. Sopranos Anne-Marie MacIntosh and Irina Medvedeva were each named to the young artist programs of two of North America’s foremost opera companies. 

​MacIntosh, an alumna of the school’s Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program, will join San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program for the summer of 2019. The annual program attracts hundreds of applicants from among the world’s best young singers. Among its many acclaimed alumni are sopranos Anna Netrebko and Deborah Voigt, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, and baritone Thomas Hampson. 

The young soprano credits her time in The Rebanks Family Fellowship Program for playing a huge part in her artistic development.

“I felt as though I really discovered who I am as an artist and what I have to offer the world of classical music,” she notes. “I had the opportunity to collaborate with so many different musicians, and to stretch my musicality and skills.”

Irina Medvedeva (Nicola Betts)

Fellow soprano Irina Medvedeva will also be making her way to the west coast when she joins Vancouver Opera’s Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program. She is one of just four singers who will perform with the company during its 2019–20 season.

Medvedeva praises the careful guidance of faculty members Monica Whicher and Peter Tiefenbach, during her time at The Glenn Gould School. “The faculty are world-class,” she declares. “The small class sizes allow for very special relationships to develop between students and teachers.”

The Thunder Bay native also praises the many master class opportunities, which allowed her to perform for many artists she would not have met had it not been for The Glenn Gould School.

What she valued most, though, was what she describes as The Glenn Gould School’s continuous striving for excellence. “In every lesson, coaching, diction class, acting class, and master class this was the ultimate goal,” she says. “And every day we were given the tools to strive towards this.”

Current students of the Price Opera Program perform in Koerner Hall on March 20 and 22, 2019, as part of The Glenn Gould School’s production of The Magic Flute.

Read about soprano Adrianne Pieczonka’s recent appointment as the inaugural chair of the vocal department. 

The Glenn Gould School is supported by funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Arts Training Fund, and from the Ontario Arts Council.