Soprano Allison Cecilia Arends’ performing career and musical studies have taken her across Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia. A graduate of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Program, the University of Toronto Opera School (M.Mus) and the University of Victoria Voice Performance Program (B.Mus), recent operatic appearances include Gilda (Rigoletto), Violetta (La Traviata), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), and premiering Canadian works with Calgary Opera, Tapestry Opera, and Soundstreams. Active as a concert soloist, among her many performances of note are the Carmina Burana with the Regina Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Mass in Cm with the Regina Philharmonic Chorus, Handel’s Messiah with the Amadeus Choir, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Toronto Concert Orchestra, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with the Toronto Philharmonia, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Oakville Masterworks, Haydn’s Creation with Chorus Niagara, Handel’s Solomon with Pax Christi Chorale, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the Toronto Sinfonietta, and R. Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the Calgary Civic Symphony and Etobicoke Philharmonic. Allison toured with the Brahms Symphony Orchestra across China in a series of Viennese concerts, and was honoured to perform at Rideau Hall, as well as for International Dignitaries in Calgary and Toronto. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Hnatyshyn Foundation Artist’s Grant, a Metropolitan Opera Encouragement Award, and a B.C Arts Council Senior Award, among others.
In addition to her performing, Allison maintains a busy private voice and theory studio in Toronto, is the resident voice teacher for Univox Choir, is a member of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s College of Examiners, and regularly adjudicates music festivals from coast to coast. Having formerly taught for the St. Michael’s and Timothy Eaton Memorial’s Choir School, Allison has conducted choral, vocal, and educational workshops and masterclasses for the Edna Manley Music College in Jamaica, University of Mississippi, British Columbia Provincial Music Festival, Regina Conservatory of Music, Ryerson Oakham House Choir, Opera Atelier, and the Royal Canadian College of Organists. A few years ago, Allison was thrilled to combine her passion for teaching, children, music, and social justice by co-founding and running the Mini Mozarts Music Camp for underprivileged children in Kingston, Jamaica.