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Kateryna Khartova is a 2016 graduate of USask’s Department of Music. (Photo: Saskatchewan Music Festival Association)

Top prize for USask graduate at Saskatchewan opera contest

Kateryna Khartova (BMus’16) is the winner of the 2024 Gordon C. Wallis Memorial Opera Competition

News

By Chris Putnam

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) Department of Music graduate has won a prestigious provincial opera competition.

Kateryna Khartova (BMus’16) won first place in the 2024 Gordon C. Wallis Memorial Opera Competition in Regina, Sask., on Feb. 24. Open to young singers based in Saskatchewan, the competition is held every two years by the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association.

“Winning in this year's competition represents a significant personal achievement, celebrating my commitment and hard work towards mastering my craft,” said Khartova.

As the winner of the competition, the singer receives a $5,000 prize and the opportunity to be a featured soloist in an upcoming season of the Regina Symphony Orchestra and the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. Khartova said she hopes to use the prize money to fund new creative endeavours to support her continued learning and growth.

The Canadian-Ukrainian soprano has maintained a connection to her roots by embracing Ukrainian music and culture. She is a featured vocalist in this weekend’s Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra concert, A Kolomyika Fantasy, which aims to raise awareness of the ongoing war in Ukraine and raise funds for the Ukrainian Museum of Canada.

That concert is at the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon on Saturday, March 9, at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available online.

A Kolomyika Fantasy will be “an occasion to reaffirm our collective strength and resilience through the power of music,” Khartova said.

“As a Canadian citizen with Russian-Ukrainian heritage, living in Canada, I have felt the profound and irreversible effects of war on my personal life. Today, I take pride in being part of a community that staunchly upholds human rights, champions equality, and vocally condemns the slaughter of innocent civilians.”

After receiving her Bachelor of Music (Honours) from USask’s College of Arts and Science, Khartova studied at the Glenn Gould School of Music in Toronto.

She thanked her USask Department of Music mentors—retired associate professor Dr. Garry Gable (DMA) and sessional lecturer Kathleen Lohrenz Gable—as well as her U.S.-based voice teacher, Harold Evans.

Khartova is the eighth USask music student or graduate to win the Gordon C. Wallis Memorial Opera Competition.


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