“Five Minutes With” Opera Vocalist and Coloratura Julia Dawson

Hailed by Opera News as “radiant and riveting” and the New York Times as “beautiful in face and voice”, Canadian coloratura mezzo Julia Dawson is a winner of the George London Award and the Anny-Schlemm Preis. She began her career at Oper Frankfurt as a member of the solo ensemble where she sang Angelina in “La cenerentola” and Goffredo in a new production of “Rinaldo” by Ted Huffman.

Although much of her 2020/21 season was cancelled due to you-know-what, she was grateful for the chance to make music with Mass Hysterical – A comedic cantata, as well as with the Munich Philharmonic under the baton of Barbara Hannigan in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, to celebrate the release of “Girl in the Snow,” an album of songs by American composer, Scott Ordway with pianist Anna Naretto on the Acis label.

Upcoming projects include the release of “Obscura Nox,” a musical short film and performance piece with music of Mozart and Iranian-Canadian composer Iman Habibi based Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and directed by Mary Birnbaum that Julia sang, conceived, and co-produced, as well a concert with the French Radio Symphony conducted by Barbara Hannigan her debut in Asia as Rosina in “Il barbiere di Siviglia.”

Julia Dawson

Name: Julia Dawson

Genre: Opera


# of Albums: 1

Latest Release: Girl in the Snow, an album of songs by Scott Ordway with pianist Anna Naretto

Latest Single: The Mystery of the World, by Scott Ordway with pianist Anna Naretto

Latest Video: The Mystery of the World watch here:

Favourite band as a teenager:

Oof, I can’t pick just one! Beatles, Barenaked Ladies, Maria Callas, Cecilia Bartoli, Kathleen Battle, Glenn Gould

Favourite band now:

Toronto Symphony

Guilty Pleasure Song:

“Empire State of Mind” – Alicia Keys

Live Show Ritual:

a little light yoga, breath of fire, vocalizing and some stretching if I have to run around a lot on stage (you’d be surprised what we get up to in operas!)

Favourite local artist:

Nathaniel Dett Chorale and Brainerd Blyden-Taylor

EP or LP?

LP! Early bird or night owl? I tend to have streaks of both – the key is, not to have them simultaneously:-)

Road or studio?


Any shows or albums coming up?

I am co-producing and singing “Obscura Nox”, a 25-minute short film featuring music of Mozart’s “Exsultate, Jubilate (KV 165)” and new music by Iranian-Canadian composer Iman Habibi with text by Elin Rummel.

In a retelling of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, a woman is cloistered in a prison of her own making – until a mysterious stranger shows her a way out. ⁣

Follow us on Instagram for premiere updates: @exsultateproject


Rapid Fire Qs on Toronto

Sneaky Dees nachos, pasta from Terroni or a superfood salad from Fresh?

Dude – Nachos.

Queen or College St?

Queen St.!! Bought my first band t-shirt at The Black Market in 7th grade and never looked back 🙂

Trinity Bellwoods, High Park, Riverdale, Kew Gardens, or other?

Riverdale! While stuck in lockdown in France last year I loved watching that “Workin’ Moms” episode where they go to summer camp at Riverdale and all get lice! Brought back memories of my childhood – the park, not the lice!

Swiss Chalet or Roti?


Where can we follow you?

On Instagram @juliadawsonopera and all things “Obscura Nox” on @exsultateproject

Favourite local Restaurant?

Yueh Tung – Best Chinese food in the city!