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Lara Secord-Haid Places 3rd in International Competition of Opera Singers in Italy

by Rhonda Spivak, October 14, 2015



Winnipeg's Lara Secord-Haid a 26 year old rising star, has just placed 3rd in the 20th Spazio Musica International competition for Opera Singers that was held in Orvieto Italy this past summer.


"The first round of the competition had 78 contestants. I didn't know what to expect. No one took home first prize as it was left unassigned by the jurors. On the whole, it was an amazing experience to compete in this international festival," Lara told the Winnipeg Jewish Review.


Lara first learned about this competition when in April 2015 she sang for the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques Foundation in Montreal, which promotes Canadian singers in Europe and Asia. The Foundation "chooses between 15-20 singers that they believe in, and offer them opportunities, Lara said


After singing for this Foundation, I received an email asking if I would like to compete in the competition in Orvieto Italy. They would help with my travel and other expenses."


Lara noted that "The competition in Orvietto was very international. There were jurors from Opera Houses in Bologna, Turino, Greece, China and several other Opera centers throughout Europe.


The opera competition in Orvieto is affiliated with a summer festival, known as"Orvieto Musica, which was founded in 1994, where musicians from many countries perform in this beautiful and largely untouched 12th century town, with its medieval churches, outdoor piazzas, “jewel-box” theatres and restored castles.


As Lara said she feels very lucky, in that as a result of her doing so well in the competition this past summer "I have been awarded a grant to come back and sing in this Orvieto summer Festival again, whenever it suits my schedule." Prior to this summer, Lara had performed in summer festivals in Spoleto Italy.


Lara said, when in Orvietto this summer that she spoke in Italian to some of her roomates during the festival. "I stayed with four other women, one from Poland, one from Romania, one from Greece and one from Russia, The woman from Russia only spoke Russian and Italian, so our only common language was Italian. I speak some Italian and I used it to communicate with her." The four women came out to the finals to support her.


In Orvietto, Lara was particularly glad that she was able to speak Italian. When asked by the WJR, how she learned Italian, Lara answered that when was 15 years old she read a book of Italian grammar and began trying to speak Italian when she was in Italy shortly thereafter for a summer. "Then, after high school [graduating from Gray Academy of Jewish Education] I took German, French and Italian at the University of Manitoba for a year. I took more Italian when studying for my Bachelor of Music (in Vocal Performance) in Boston, and my Masters of Music [in Opera Performance] at Juillard in New York."


When the Winnipeg Jewish review spoke to Lara, she was set to travel to Toronto for some auditions and then was flying to New York "for more auditions and to work with my teachers."


She will also be going back to Montreal to the audition again for the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques Foundation in Montreal, and it is possible that as a result she will be selected to go on more international concert tours. "This Foundation brings in representatives from opera houses in Europe and from concert promoters in China ," she explained.


And speaking of China, Lara, said she is also looking forward to performances she will give on her first ever upcoming concert tour in China, which is scheduled to take place in the fall of 2016. 


Last year Lara, who is the daughter of Elba Haid (of Realcare ) and Marshall Haid, z'l, received rave reviews for her debut in the Manitoba Opera's Bethovan's Ode to Freedom. To see the WJR's article about this, go to )id=4522&sec=5

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.