“A Day in the Life” with Toronto Opera Singer Charlotte Siegel

It’s deeply challenging for me to capture Charlotte Siegel in a short profile.

I suppose a good start would be listing her numerous academic and professional accolades, but I’m certain we don’t have enough space for that. Char is an accomplished opera singer, talented songwriter, and passionate nonprofit founder, and that is not even scratching the surface. She studied Classical Voice Performance at the University of Toronto and Opera and Voice at McGill University, after which she joined the Canadian Opera Company’s Young Artists Program. She is the co-founder of the Marigold Music Program, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering marginalized youth in Toronto with music educational programs. If you are interested in learning more about Char the professional (which you should be), I highly encourage you to look her up.

But I would much rather tell you about Char, my best friend of nearly 15 years. She is profoundly generous and has a boundless compassion for others. She is steadfastly determined. Tenacity is her superpower. She feels the fear and does it anyway. She is brave beyond words and has always been unwavering in her commitment to singing and her loyalty to others. She dominates at karaoke (duh) and is an excellent baker. She is usually asleep by 9 pm and awake before the sunrise. We have known each other for nearly half our lives and I can tell you that the one thing that has never changed about her is her sense of self. Char has always known exactly who she is, and it is my absolute favourite thing about her.

This fall, Char made her COC main-stage debut at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts as Musetta in La Boheme. Char and I were both born and raised in Toronto and have always shared a deep love for the city we call home. Seeing her perform on the main stage in our home city was a level of pride I can’t quite describe. You can catch Char next as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and the hen/innkeeper’s wife in The Cunning Little Vixen. I promise you won’t regret it!

Like all true best friends, Char and I have a disappointing lack of pictures together.

Charlotte Siegel
NYC, 2018. Char visiting me when I was living in NYC. The two of us have always shared a deep love for the city.
Charlotte Siegel
Toronto, 2021. Dinner in Toronto to celebrate being offered a position in the COC’s Young Artists Program, with Olga (right), our other beautiful best friend from high school. I feel so thankful to have grown up alongside these two.
Portugal, 2022. A love for travel is another thing we’ve always shared. Here’s us a few glasses of vino deep in Porto.
Florida, 2015. Char joined me on a trip to Florida to visit my Nana, who also happens to be one of her biggest fans!
Toronto, 2023. Celebrating the opening night of La Boheme at the Four Seasons with Olga (left) and Maggie (right), our other wonderful friend from high school.
Toronto, 2013. Prom night, circa 2023. Look at how young we look!
Charlotte Siegel
Douro Valley, 2023. In hindsight, wine tasting in 45℃ heat is not the smartest thing we’ve done.
Charlotte Siegel
NYC, 2016. Another one of our trips to NYC together. It takes a lot to get Char and me to stay out past our 9 pm bedtimes, but NYC will do it!


Which ‘hood are you in?

I live in North York (Downsview Park area)

What do you do?

I am an opera singer, singer-songwriter, and Co-Founder and Co-Managing Director of the Marigold Music Program, which aims to close the gap between underrepresented youth and music education.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on my role and cover role for the COC’s spring shows Medea and Aportia Chryptych. I am working on Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 for an upcoming concert as well. I am always learning new arias for auditions and possible competitions, and I am excited to start working on a new concert repertoire that I can’t quite announce yet for next season!

Where can we find your work?

You can check out my Instagram and website to see what I’m up to!


About Emilea Semancik 89 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to freelance her own pieces and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. She is also a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of recipe books. You can find her recipes on Instagram. @ancestral.foods