Katerina Utochkina

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Katerina Utochkina

Mezzo-soprano

Toronto, Ont.

Zita in Gianni Schicchi and Suor Osmina in Suor Angelica

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Though she is the daughter of two classical musicians, Katerina Utochkina began to explore rock music in her teens. Her father, a bassoonist, encouraged her love for rock by teaching her to play the guitar. But Utochkina realized that she felt most passionate about the classical music that she grew up around in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Utochkina arrived in Toronto at 18-years-old. Right away, she and her mother searched for a place where she could pursue her love for classical singing. Her mother, a flautist who played in the orchestra at several Saint Petersburg opera houses, encouraged her to apply to the Glen Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music; in 2015, Utochkina graduated with a performance degree from this school, gaining experience in both music and theatre.

“Your whole body becomes an instrument for expression,” she said. “I don’t think it gets more exciting than this!”

In the 2016 Halifax Summer Opera Festival, Utochkina will play both Zita in Gianni Schicchi and Suor Osmina in Suor Angelica. Both these roles are very different from Utochkina, but she’s excited for the challenge. She usually prefers to play roles who she has a personal connection to, such as the feminine yet tough female roles common in Rossini operas.

Soprano stars, such as Anna Netrebko, Joyce Didonato or Sondra Radvanovsky, who have mastered Rossini roles, inspire Utochkina. However, she also admires musical theatre stars, like Idina Menzel or Lea Salonga, because they, too, bring emotional depth to their work.

“Opera is an undying art form, it explores the depth of the human emotion that people can still relate to hundreds of years later,” she said. “Our audiences have a lot of choices and for them to choose opera, it needs to stand out from the rest of the entertainment by being what is has always been: exceptionally profound, grand, displaying a wide range of human emotion through the drama and heightened expression that it known for.”

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Education

Performance Diploma from The Glenn Gould School

Past Performances

Toronto Operetta Theatre

Summer Opera Lyric Theatre

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