Aria Competition Winners

The annual St. Andrews International Aria Competition is open to singers between the ages of 20 – 30. Winners perform with the St. Andrews Festival Orchestra at the annual St. Andrews Gala Festival Concert.

Past competition winners include Danielle MacMillan (Canada) Tonatiuh Abrego (Canada) Becca Conviser (USA) Measha Brueggergosman (Canada), Tracy Cantin (Canada), Winnie Nieh, (Canada) Jeremy Ludwig (Canada) Mai Washio (Japan), Anna Bateman (Canada), Bethany Horst (Canada), David Blalock (USA), Eric Jurenas (USA) and Measha Brueggergosman (Canada).

Previous Winners:


American Lyric Coloratura, Carter Tholl

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Jillian Bonner, winner of the 2018 St. Andrews International Aria Competition

Canadian Mezzo-Soprano, Jillian Bonner

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Danielle MacMillan

Canadian Mezzo‐Soprano, Danielle MacMillan

Known for her “deep plumy sound” Paula Citron, Classical 96.3fm and “vocally powerful” Opera in Review, Opera Canada, Toronto native Danielle MacMillan was a member of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio and made her Canadian Opera Company debut as the Second Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes. She holds a bachelor of fine arts, with honours, in classical vocal performance from York University, with additional training at Istituzione Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto, in Italy and The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music. Her credits include Diana in La Calisto, Cavalli, Second Lady in The Magic Flute, Mozart, Véronique in Le docteur Miracle, Bizet (GGS), Annio in La clemenza di Tito, Mozart (COSI), Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Mozart and Siebel in Faust, Gounod (HOS). Ms. MacMillan also appeared as Dorabella in the COC’s Cosí fan tutte, Mozart: “Act 2’s Danielle MacMillan has a bright sound and beautiful legato phrasing with spinto qualities that speak to heavier roles in the future. It is a surprisingly big voice at this early stage of a career” Paula Citron; and covered the role of Garcias in Don Quichotte, Massenet (COC). Ms. MacMillan joined Palm Beach Opera’s Benenson Young Artist Program in 2015 where she covered the roles of Mercedes in Carmen, Bizet and Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos, Strauss. In their 2016/17 season Ms. MacMillan covered Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Puccini; Giovanna, and sang Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, Verdi; and Edith in Pirates of Penzance, Gilbert and Sullivan.

Danielle is a recent recipient of the IRCPA Maureen Forrester Scholarship. Ms. MacMillan will be performing at the Newport Music Festival, Opera Night on July 15, 2017 and will be returning to Palm Beach Opera as Cherubino in their 2018 season of Le nozze di Figaro.


Tonatiuh Abrego
Canadian Tenor Tonatiuh Abrego, 2016 Winner of St. Andrews Arts Council International Aria Competition

A native of Ottawa, Mr. Abrego completed his master’s degree in voice performance at McGill University under the tutelage of Maestro Stefano Algeri and graduated from Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Development Program. He is also a laureate of the Jeunessse Ambassadeurs Lyriques du Canada. Tonatiuh was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Lotte Lenya Competition and the recipient of the Elizabeth Wirth Opera Scholarship at McGill. He is the winner of the St-Georges Provincial Music Festival in the Maestoso category, a finalist in the Ottawa Orchestra Concerto competition and a winner of the Ontario Provincial Music festival for Classical Voice. In 2015 Mr. Abrego was selected as one of six finalists to participate in the bi-annual Brian Law Opera Competition.

Previous credits include: Lionel in Martha, at the Summer Opera Lyric Theatre; Orisis in Isis and Osiris at Voicebox: Opera in Concert; The Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Calgary Opera; Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore at Opera Nuova; Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Captial City Opera; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Mr. Craven in The Secret Garden at the Banff Centre for the Arts. In 2015-16 he starred in the role of Romeo, in Jeunesses Musicales du Canada’s fall and spring tours of Romeo and Juliette.

With an extensive list of concert experience, Tonatiuh has performed as soloist with the Calgary Festival Chorus, the Kanata Choral Society and the Ottawa Welsh in Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Ariel Ramirez’ Misa Criolla, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and Camille Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël. He also has had the immense honour of performing with Latin American artists such as Argentina’s Santiago Suarez of Quinteto Tiempo and Tido Medina and Luis Abanto of Ottawa’s Colores Andinos.


Becca Conviser
Becca Conviser, 2015 Winner of St. Andrews Arts Council International Aria Competition

The St. Andrews Arts Council, Inc. has announced the winner of the 2015 St. Andrews International Aria Competition as American soprano Becca Conviser.

Ms. Conviser will be soloing with the St. Andrews Festival Orchestra, Lewis Dalvit, conductor, on July 18, 2015 in St. Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick, Canada.

The annual St. Andrews International Aria Competition is open to singers between the ages of 20 – 30. Past competition winners include Measha Brueggergosman (Canada), Mai Washio (Japan), Anna Bateman (Canada), Eric Jurenas (USA), Winnie Nieh, Jeremy Ludwig and Tracy Cantin (Canada) and David Blalock (USA).

Ms. Conviser recently appeared at the Siena International Music Festival where she performed the role of Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, conducted by Michael Rossi of the Washington National Opera. She has performed a broad range of works, in the Jungendlicher- Dramatischer repertoire, on stages in USA, France, Germany and Italy. During the 2015 seasons she will make her debut in Prague at both the Estates Theater as well as Smetana Hall, in addition to performing the Principal Role of Frau Fluth in Die Lustigen Weiber Von Windsor, with Theater Rudolstadt, Germany.

Described for her sound which “exudes joy, enthusiasm and warmth,” Ms. Conviser has a timber uniquely her own. Her diverse portfolio of over 25 roles, demonstrates this young soprano’s vocal strength, versatility and great potential for the dramatic Verdi repertoire in the future.

Praised for her versatility as a performer, Becca’s body of work includes frequent performances as an Orchestral Soloist, as a collaborator with Chamber Music Ensembles, in addition to appearances on National Radio, and at Gala events. She frequently participates in new music premieres across the country; most recently with the American Opera Projects in New York.

Ms. Conviser is an enthusiastic performer of German Lieder and Art Songs. Acclaimed collaborator Dalton Baldwin praised her for both her lied interpretation and vocalism, stating that her voice was that which “one recognizes immediately – radiant, resonant, true to pitch, it soars freely and delights the listener.” Ms. Conviser has been a featured performer in numerous festivals including: Académie Internationale d’Eté de Nice, France, The Lyric Opera Studio of Weimar, Germany, The International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy, The Siena International Music Festival, the Intermezzo Young Artists Program, and the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.

Originally from Glencoe Illinois, Ms. Conviser holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree from the New England Conservatory where she was the recipient of the Perkins Opera Scholarship, and a Professional Studies Certificate from the Manhattan School of Music.


David Blalock
David Blalock , 2014 Winner of St. Andrews Arts Council International Aria Competition

The St. Andrews Arts Council, Inc. has announced the winner of the 2014 St. Andrews International Aria Competition as American lyric tenor David Blalock. Mr. Blalock will be soloing with the St. Andrews Festival Orchestra, Lewis Dalvit, conductor, on August 16, 2014 in St. Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick, Canada.

After transitioning from baritone just two years ago, David Blalock is beginning to make his mark as a young lyric tenor. This June, David will sing Ricky in a workshop of Jeremy Howard Beck’s new opera The Long Walk, based on the best-selling novel of the same name. Following the workshop, he will sing his first performances as Rodolfo in La Bohème with Greenville Light Opera.

In October, David will make his main stage artist debut with Virginia Opera, singing Toby in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. He was seen this past season in Virginia as Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos and Remendado in Carmen. In November, David will add yet another role to his repertory, singing Jaquino in Beethoven’s Fidelio with Madison Opera. David recently completed his second summer as an apprentice with Santa Fe Opera, singing Bertram in Rossini’s La Donna del Lago, and Infirmary Patient in the world premiere of Theodore Morrison’s Oscar.

In the spring of 2013, David made his Fort Worth Opera debut as Young Thompson in Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied. In a review of the live recording of Glory Denied, Joshua Rosenblum of Opera News wrote that David was “appealingly brash and defiant in the face of the unspeakable.” As a member of the Maryland Opera Studio from 2009-2011, David sang several roles, including Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Riolobo in Daniel Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas, and The Ring Announcer in the world premiere of Shadowboxer.

David has performed as a young artist with Santa Fe Opera, Central City Opera, Seagle Music Colony, and Ash Lawn Opera. A native North Carolinian, he received his undergraduate degree from UNC Greensboro. He has won first prize in the NC District Metropolitan Opera Auditions on two occasions, the Charles A. Lynam Competition, the Heafner/Williams Competition, and the Charlotte Opera Guild Competition, as well as awards in the Sally and Tony Amato Competition, the Mario Lanza Competition, the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, The Wonderlic Competition, the Long Leaf Opera Competition, the Opera Birmingham Competition, and the FAVA Grand Concours de Chant.


Tracy Cantin
Tracy Cantin, 2013 Winner of St. Andrews Arts Council International Aria Competition

Prince Edward Island soprano, Tracy Cantin was the winner of the 2013 St. Andrews International Aria Competition. Ms. Cantin performed at the Gala Festival Concert, Lewis Dalvit, conductor, on July 26, 2013 in St. Andrews, New Brunswick Canada.

Praised for her “international voice” that is “powerful, articulate, and modulated at will,” Tracy is quickly becoming one of Canada’s top young artists. She performs with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, as a studio ensemble member at the prestigious Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center. On April 26 -27, Tracy will be making her Australian debut where she will be the soprano soloist alongside bass-baritone Bryn Terfel in two performances of Beethoven’s Symphony no.9 under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

For more information about Tracy please see her website at

2012 – It’s a tie!

Winnie Nieh and Jeremy Ludwig

Winnie Nieh and Jeremy Ludwig, 2012 Winners of St. Andrews Arts Council International Aria Competition

WINNERS WINNIE NIEH, SOPRANO & JEREMY LUDWIG, BARITONE To perform at the 26th Gala Festival Concert July 13, 2012, Lewis Dalvit Conductor

Hong Kong native, Winnie Nieh is Resident Artist with Opera Company of Brooklyn and will be appearing as Papagena in the Magic Flute in June, 2012. She will also be singing Voce dal cielo in Don Carlos at the Met Opera Guild in May. Winnie has sung numerous roles including Blondchen, Susanna, Olympia, La Fée, Romilda, Galatea, Gilda, Sophie, Violetta, Mélisande, Juliette and Giannetta. Upcoming roles include Pamina, Papagena, and Amor with One World Symphony in New York. She has also performed extensively as an oratorio and concert soloist. Ms. Nip graduated with honours from Harvard University and with Associate of Trinity College London diplomas in voice, violin and piano.

British Columbia native, Jeremy Ludwig recently graduated with a Masters of Music from the University of Toronto where he appeared many times on the stage of the University’s MacMillan Theatre, most recently as Don Inigo Gomez in Ravel’s L’heure espagnol. Other opera credits include the role of Schaunard in La Bohème ; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos, The King of Scotland in Handel’s Ariodante, Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore , Marullo in Rigoletto (Brampton Lyric Opera), Achilla in Handel’s Giulio Cesare (Halifax Summer Opera Workshop) and Krusina in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride (Opera NUOVA). Jeremy is as comfortable in the world of oratorio and recital as he is on the operatic stage appearing with the Handel Society in White Rock, British Columbia, the East York Choir, the Talisker Players and Toronto’s Tryptych Ensemble.

Eric Jurenas


Beth Horst

Beth Horst, Soprano, Canada

Anna Bateman
Anna Bateman, coloratura soprano, Canada

Mai Washio
Mai Washio, Soprano, Japan