Have you ever been to one of the Canadian Opera Company‘s (COC) performances? One of the most prestigious opera houses, located in Toronto, selected Sasha Djihanian to be part of their Young Artist program in her early career. Competition from around the country to get selected – this is a serious proof of raw talent at such a young age. This tiny soprano blew me away when I saw her perform in Don Giovanni at the COC a couple years ago. She drew attention to herself on stage with charisma and sheer confidence. When I found out she was from Montreal – I was even more intrigued.
Lucky for me, she fit me into her tight schedule. She had just returned from coaching sessions in New York City and would be on a flight to Germany later that day. It’s a busy life being an opera diva! We met at this tiny brunch place called Larry’s in Mile End – she highly recommended it. As she walks in, she throws her coat on the hook and says “I am sorry I am late I just woke up!”. It was 1 pm, and she looked amazing. Wearing black leather pants and a fitted cropped sweater – I didn’t know opera singers could be so trendy. I guess it’s easy to see the classical traditions when you go to the opera and forget that these young artists are also living amongst us. She was also carrying the biggest iPad I have ever seen. She explains “all of my music scores are on this.” Welcome to opera in the 21st century!
Her stage presence and talent were evident when I saw her perform and the more I talked to her, the more intrigued I was by her life path. All the traveling she had done with her singing at such a young age (31) was mesmerizing. China, Italy, France, the list was long, I had trouble keeping up. Her adventurous but apparently exhausting lifestyle didn’t affect her mood – she was so bubbly! Passionate about the design and food of the restaurant – it was quite endearing to listen to her describe the perfect scrambled eggs they serve. They were indeed quite delicious. She is evidently an artist throughout.
She mentions her recent collaboration with the Arden Arapyan jazz quartet. I said, “you can sing jazz too?!” She responds, a little unimpressed with my question “of course I can!” haha I am sorry I asked! She explains that they did a fusion of popular opera arias with jazz musicians. They turned Carmen’s Habanera into a Cuban danzon. You can check it out here. Knowing that she is able to adapt to different styles and break boundaries dictated by tradition was something I did not expect. She told me that the crowd absolutely loved their show and I can see why. It sounds intriguing. It got me thinking, and I thought – maybe she should do it again? She loved the idea! I am excited to say that this might be part of the first Jano Lapin event, in Montreal, her hometown she is very attached to.
This petite opera (at 5’2) singer is definitely leaving her mark wherever she goes. She is hard to forget. Talent, beauty, and charm – she is sure to continue her deserved success, and I can’t wait to see her sing live again! You can find her on Instagram here. For business inquiries, you can contact her agent here.
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Founder/Editor-in-chief/Creative Director. Passionate about the city of Montreal, discovering its various cultural components as well as exploring foreign places. I am inspired by artists, innovative concepts, philanthropy, creative encounters, and cultural events. View all posts by Anne Jano
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