Lauren Phillips, mezzo-soprano, has been described as “incantatory” in her singing, and a review by Tamara Bernstein (Globe and Mail) for her performance of the staged, solo a cappella piece Love Songs, by Ana Sokolovic, stated that she “went beyond virtuosity and entered into the various states of love with purity of heart as well as voice, and conveyed an exhilarating freedom and daring as she leapt from language to language.” She will be performing Love Songs once again at Harbourfront in Toronto this summer, on July 26 and 27.
Originally from Ottawa, she first studied with Donna Klimowska and Yoriko Tanno (1995-1999). She has won Opera Guild Scholarships (2003, 2004), a University of Western Ontario Gold Medal (2004), as well as the Vivien Asfar Memorial Award through an opera competition as a young artist with Opera Lyra Ottawa (2007).
Opera roles include Nancy in Albert Herring (2004), Dorabella in Così fan tutte (2005), and understudy of Cherubino, all with UWOpera. As well, she has played the Mother/Grandmother in Barab’s Little Red Riding Hood, and sung the role of Frédéric in Mignon (Thomas) for Opera Lyra Ottawa Opera in Concert (2007).
While at the University of Western Ontario she performed a midnight concert of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with full ensemble, and has performed many other chamber works. She has also been a soloist in Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Requiem, Magnificat by Bach, and roles in opera excerpts, such as Pélerin in a portion of the Finnish opera L’Amour du loin by contemporary Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.
She was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Eckhardt-Grammaté vocal competition in contemporary Canadian music in 2005. Her Masters in Music Performance and Literature was obtained from the University of Western Ontario (2006), where she studied with Anita Krause-Wiebe.
The many summer programs she has attended include Queen of Puddings Contemporary Techniques for Singers (2003), Opera Nuova (2004), Mountain View (2005), Orford Masterclass Program (2005), Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute (2006), and Banff Opera as Theatre (2006, 2007). In the summer of 2006 she was also asked to be part of one of the Banff workshops (August) for Frobisher by John Estacio.
She has performed in several contemporary music concerts, including a performance with Queen of Puddings through Soundstreams at the Glenn Gould Studio (Sirens by Ana Sokolovic, and Puksånger by Karen Rehnqvist) which was recorded by CBC, and another concert at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre (David’s Nimm, by Rehnqvist, Fire by James Rolfe, and Sirens by Sokolovic).
Another recent engagement was the premiere of Fugitive Voices by Bramwell Tovey for the Sweetwater Festival in Owen Sound (2007), also recorded by CBC. This summer she represented Canada as a Jeune Ambassadeur Lyrique in the Belvedere Kammeroper competition in Vienna, Austria as well as in a competition in Marmande, France.
This past December she sang the role of the Mother in the music workshop of the new opera, Inês, by James Rolfe. She is now living in Toronto, and will be moving to Alberta in the fall of 2008 to become a member of the Calgary Opera Emerging Artists Program for the 2008/2009 season.