It was only six years ago that Saige Carlson can recall not even being able to carry a tune. Now she is off to Halifax to represent B.C. in a classical voice competition.
“I didn’t think I would be very good at it, but I just loved singing,” said Carlson, who is an 18-year-old soprano in her sixth year of voice study with Lynne Leydier in Penticton. “The first year I went to provincials was really cool and I started to get more interested in it and singing eventually became a part of me. I sing all the time and everyone is always telling me to shut up.”
Carlson will be representing B.C. at the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations convention from July 3 to 6. Of those she will be competing against, almost all of the singers are currently in university-level musical studies. Carlson is a multi-faceted singer, receiving provincial awards in Senior Classical Voice and Senior Vocal Variety. She has performed with Soundstage Productions as an ensemble member and recently in a lead role in their Andrew Lloyd Webber production of Whistle Down The Wind.
“I’m really just so happy to have this opportunity because everyone that I will be competing against are amazing singers. I am excited to watch them and meet the judges, it will be a really great experience for me,” said Carlson.
The weekend will also be a learning one for Carlson, who will participate in workshops, trade shows and master classes. There is one adjudicator in the competition Carlson is especially keen on meeting, Isabel Bayrakdarian.
“She is an internationally known opera singer and one of my personal favourites. My mom got me a CD of hers a couple of years ago and I just listen to it over and over again. I just lover her voice so much,” said Carlson, who admitted being slightly nervous to sing in front of her idol. “I just hope to get through my program without having a nervous breakdown, but I am pretty sure I will be able to handle it.”
To help pay some of the costs she will incur to go to Halifax, Carlson is hosting a fundraising concert on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. in the Penticton Lakeside Resort in Salon D. Accompanying her is Dennis Norland and director Lynne Leydier. Carlson will be performing some of the selections she will sing in her program at Halifax including many main stays of opera. Tickets to the event are $10 for adults and $5 for 12 and under. Coffee, tea and cookies will be served.