The Globe and Mail newspaper said “Krisztina Szabo’s voice is a burnished joy…and her presence onstage was luminous,” in their review of the Canadian Opera Company’s world premiere of Barbara Monk Feldman’s opera, Pyramus and Thisbe. It’s a familiar theme in reviews of Szabo’s performances over the years.
As part of the same program, Szabo also performed two famous operatic pieces by the 17th-century Italian composer, Claudio Monteverdi. It’s that versatility that highlights a distinctive aspect of Szabo’s career — her remarkable artistry in music of both the distant past and the present.
Szabo grew up in Toronto, the child of Hungarian immigrants. Encouraged by her father’s passion for music, she remembers singing constantly as a young child. Piano lessons followed, but Szabo found her musical comfort zone in the Toronto Children’s Chorus, where she happily spent her teenage years. She started at the University of Western Ontario as a piano major, but soon switched to voice. Postgraduate studies followed at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England.
Szabo would go on to win the Canadian Opera Company’s Mozart Competition in 1997 and then joined their Ensemble Studio. Currently, she combines her performing career with teaching voice at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music.
On this edition of This Is My Music, Szabo shares her favourite selections and the stories behind her choices.