Opera Canada Awards—’The Rubies’: Announcing our 2018 Honourees!

by | Jul 17, 2018 | Featured, News, Rubies Awards

Opera Canada is proud to announce the three distinguished honourees who will receive the 2018 Opera Canada Awards for their exemplary contributions to the industry:

Wayne Gooding, opera educator and Editor, Opera Canada (1994-2017)

Dominique Labelle, soprano and vocal pedagogue

Alexander Neef, General Director, Canadian Opera Company and Artistic Director, Santa Fe Opera

Selected by a committee comprising of leading opera professionals from across the country, our three honourees will be celebrated at a gala award evening on October 22, 2018 at First Canadian Place in downtown Toronto.

Opera Canada magazine first introduced the Opera Canada Awards in 2000, which were nicknamed ‘The Rubies,’ in honour of its founding Editor, Ruby Mercer. The Rubies celebrate the talent and accomplishments of Canadians who have made a significant contribution to the opera world as artists, builders, administrators and philanthropists.

Learn more about our honourees:

Photo courtesy Wayne Gooding

Photo courtesy Wayne Gooding

Wayne Gooding was Editor of Opera Canada magazine from 1994-2017. A noted opera educator, he regularly lectures for the Canadian Opera Company in their Pre-Performance Chat and Opera Talks series and leads opera courses for the Royal Conservatory of Music. In his earlier incarnation as a business journalist, he wrote for such publications as The Financial Post, Report on Business, Policy Options and served as editor of Canadian Business, Marketing Magazine and Financial Post Magazine. Over the past decade, he has increasingly focused on a lifelong interest in opera and music theatre. Besides Opera Canada, his byline has appeared in Playbill, Opera Now, American Record Guide and The Wagner Journal.


Dominique Labelle. Photo: Lino-Alvarez

Dominique Labelle. Photo: Lino-Alvarez

Dominique Labelle was born in Montreal and trained at McGill and Boston Universities. She is Professor of Voice at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. Renowned for a voice that has been called “angelic,” “silvery,” and “vibrant,” she is indisputably one of the great baroque and classical sopranos of our time. Throughout her long career, she has collaborated with a number of the world’s most respected conductors and composers, such as Iván Fischer, Nicholas McGegan, Jos van Veldhoven, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Robert Shaw and the Pulitzer Prize winning composer, Yehudi Wyner. Her extensive recorded repertoire can be heard on the Virgin Veritas, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, RCA Victor Red Seal, Koss, Denon, Naxos, New World, Carus and Musica Omnia labels. Her recording of Handel’s Arminio (Virgin Classics) won the 2002 Handel Prize. Her latest recital recording, Moments of Love (Bridge Records), is with pianist and composer Yehudi Wyner and includes songs by Britten, Hahn, Ravel, Saint-Saëns and Wyner.


Alexander Neef. Photo: Bo Huang

Alexander Neef. Photo: Bo Huang

Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company since 2008, has worked with some of the most prestigious arts organizations in the world. His career as an artistic administrator has taken him from the Salzburg Festival to the RuhrTriennale in Germany, Opéra national de Paris and New York City Opera, to leading the COC. In 2018, he was appointed the first Artistic Director of Santa Fe Opera. At the COC, Neef has cultivated strong relationships with co-producers such as the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, Royal Opera House in London, Teatro Real Madrid, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Neef has also significantly raised the profile and professional development opportunities of the COC’s Ensemble Studio program, a training program for young opera professionals, including the 2011 launch of the Ensemble Studio Competition in which members of the public are invited to attend the final round of auditions for the Ensemble Studio.

Congratulations to our three honourees!

For more information, see our Press Release

Title sponsor: 2018 Opera Canada Awards—’The Rubies’: BMO