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 makes her mark as a compelling, intelligent, and accomplished singing-actress. As an indication of her increasing stature in the arts world, Ms. Ciekiewicz received the Winnipeg Arts Council’s RBC ‘On the Rise Award’ for 2015. An alumna of l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, she has distinguished herself at San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program, the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center, Opera NUOVA and the Banff Centre.
Lara’s 2016/2017 season began with ‘Salute to Vienna’ New Year’s concerts in San Diego and Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Contessa in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO for Vancouver Opera, and the title role in Pacific Opera Victoria’s JENUFA. Next season she appears as Tatyana in EUGENE ONEGIN for Calgary Opera.
A favourite with Winnipeg audiences, Ms. Ciekiewicz was heard during 2015-2016 season as Contessa in Mozart’s LE NOZZE DI FIGARO for Manitoba Opera and as soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Winnipeg Symphony. Gala New Year’s concerts – ‘Salute to Vienna’ – were on her schedule in Miami, West Palm Beach and Coral Springs, Florida. As well, Lara was featured in the world premiere of Estacio’s OURS at Opera on the Avalon in July of 2016 and later made her role debut as Amelia in SIMON BOCCANEGRA for Pacific Opera Victoria.
In 2014-2015, she was featured as Liu in Manitoba Opera’s TURANDOT with additional engagements for Orchestre Sherbrooke’s MESSIAH, the premiere of a new work by Vincent Ho for the Winnipeg Symphony and appearances for ‘Salute to Vienna’ in the Unites States. Highlights of the 2013-2014 season included 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.
In her 2011-2012 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 and during the holiday period 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, Mozart’s REQUIEM 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 culminated 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.
|Glinka||Lyudmila||RUSLAN I LYUDMILA|
|Kálmán||Gräfin Maritza||COUNTESS MARITZA|
|Sylvia||THE GYPSY PRINCESS|
|Lehár||Countess Lisa||THE LAND OF SMILES|
|COSÌ FAN TUTTE
|Offenbach||Antonia||LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN|
|Ravel||La Bergère, Une||L’ENFANT ET LES SORTILÈGES|
|Princess Ida||PRINCESS IDA|
|Weill||Anna Maurrant||STREET SCENE|
|Bach||Mass in B minor|
|Handel||Israel in Egypt
|Haydn||Missa Brevis St. Joannis de Deo|
|Vincent Ho||Postlude: Song of Hope (world premiere)|
|Mozart||Requiem in D minor|
|Penderecki||Symphony No. 7 “Seven Gates of Jerusalem”|
|Previn||Four Songs for Soprano, Cello and Piano|
“No one sang better than soprano Lara Ciekiewicz as ingenue Amelia. Her clarion voice, boasting an exciting edge, carried effortlessly through the Royal Theatre. Her timbre is attractive and powerful, well-suited for dramatic roles.” [Pacific Opera Victoria, Simon Boccanegra]
Victoria Times Colonist, Adrian Chamberlain
“The charismatic local soprano Lara Ciekiewicz continues to prove her gifts as a natural stage chameleon, able to crack viewers up on moment with her razor sharp comic timing before breaking their hearts the next with her soulful performances. Her two solos as the Countess Almaviva – “Porgi, Amor” and her later, mesmerizing, “Dove son I bei moment” – did the latter as she revealed the complex emotional underbelly of her desperately conflicted, all-too-human character.” [Manitoba Opera, Le nozze di Figaro]
Opera Canada, Holly Harris
“Then the heavens opened with pealing bells, and thunderous double timpani drum rolls until the massed choir — at last — was given its turn. Its hushed a cappella opening stirred the soul, with Ciekiewicz’s clear soprano soaring on the wings of angels.” [Winnipeg Symphony, Mahler Symphony No. 2] Winnipeg Free Press, Holly Harris
“…soprano Lara Ciekiewicz also shone in her role debut as slave girl — and moral presence — Liu, who is secretly in love with Calaf. She crafted her guileless character with unaffected simplicity…Her crystal clear voice radiated sincerity during Act III’s Tu che di gel sei cinta, performed just before Lui takes her own life in order to spare Calaf’s.” [Manitoba Opera, Turandot] Winnipeg Free Press, Holly Harris
“Lara Ciekiewicz triomphe dans Turandot au Manitoba Opera…[elle] a brûlé les planches lors de sa première interprétation de Liù… Ciekiewicz, qui avait brillé dans le rôle de Musette (La Bohème) en avril 2014, est encore plus impressionnante dans le rôle de Liù. Elle est intense, vraie, émouvante. Son chant est sublime et son jeu convaincant. Encore jeune, elle a toutes les qualités d’une future diva et sera certainement bientôt reconnue comme l’une des meilleures interprètes du répertoire romantique. Elle a une voix exceptionnelle…et un grand talent d’actrice.” [Manitoba Opera, Turandot] La Liberté, Pierre Meunier
“Lara Ciekiewicz triumphs in Manitoba Opera’s Turandot…[she] brought the house down in her role debut as Liù…Ciekiewicz, who shone as Musetta in La Bohème last April, is even more stunning in the role of Liù. She is intense, genuine, and moving. Her singing is sublime and her acting, compelling. Still young, she possesses all the qualities of a future diva. Without a doubt, she will soon be recognized as one of the romantic repertoire’s best interpreters. She has an exceptional voice…and a great gift as an actress.”
“Ciekiewicz sounds better every time we hear her, her lovely vibrato and passionate conviction well suited to the role.” [Penderecki Symphony No. 7] Winnipeg Free Press, Gwenda Nemerofsky
“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
“…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 tru Fiordiligi.)
La Presse, Claude Gingras
“…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
“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 pieta’, declared that she could build a career as a consummate Mozartian and also branch out into weightier, more dramatic repertoire.”
“Most consistently mesmerizing and dramatically compelling was Ciekiewicz as Pamina; she brought the house down with her hear-wrenching ‘Ach, ich fül’s’.”
Classical Voice of North Carolina, Laura McDowell
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
LARA CIEKIEWICZ WINS WINNIPEG ARTS AWARD
“Opera can be a solitary endeavour…. If I am standing before you today, it is by virtue of the support, teaching, and guidance of many people.”
Soprano Lara Ciekiewicz has won the Winnipeg Arts Council’s RBC On the Rise Award for her outstanding accomplishments in the arts. The award is given to a promising, young professional artist in any discipline. Ms. Ciekiewicz makes her home in Winnipeg and was heard earlier this year with the Winnipeg Symphony in a new work by Vincent Ho and as Liù in Manitoba Opera’s Turandot. This fall she returns to the Winnipeg Symphony as the soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro with Manitoba Opera. This coming season also sees her touring Florida over the New Year with Attila Glatz Concert Productions singing operetta favourites. Ms Ciekiewicz holds a Masters degree in music (opera) from the University of McGill and was a member of Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal.