June Kowalchuk | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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June Kowalchuk

June Marie Hollis Ann Kowalchuk, soprano, actress, administrator (born 20 June 1929 in Regina, SK).

June Marie Hollis Ann Kowalchuk, soprano, actress, administrator (born 20 June 1929 in Regina, SK). A pupil of Alicia Birkett at the Regina Cons and Ernesto Vinci at the RCMT, she was a winner in the CBC competitions 'Nos Futures Étoiles' (1950) and 'Singing Stars of Tomorrow' (1951). Her 1948 professional debut in operetta in Regina was followed by her 1950 COC debut as Gilda in Rigoletto and a second COC role, Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly in 1951. She sang often 1949-50 on radio and TV and appeared as soloist with several Canadian orchestras before ill health affected her career in 1952. She was co-founder in 1961 with Clifford Cox and president 1961-5 of the Hamilton Opera Company. In 1961 she taught at the Hamilton Cons (RHCM) and she was artist-in-residence and directed the opera workshop 1971-85 at Mohawk College in Hamilton. She has studied and performed at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena (summers 1972, 1974, 1976) and has worked with coaches in Italy and the USA. Kowalchuk has also worked as an actress on TV programs, commercials, and films including Stanley and Iris and The Cutting Edge.

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