After a cross-country search for the next opera star, six finalists have been hand-picked to participate in an extensive opera boot camp in Toronto. The six opera hopefuls, hailing from Fort Erie to Yukon, are Sonja Anderson (postal carrier, Yukon), Sonja Gustafson (waitress, London), Elton Lammie (country singer, Fort Erie), Emili Loisier (forklift operator, Vancouver), Gail Malcolm (caregiver, Toronto) and Sergio Restagno (national account manager, Toronto). The six demonstrate singing styles and experience as varied as their geographical origins, and all share a common dream – to be the winner of the Bathroom Divas competition.
In the series premiere that aired Saturday, January 7 on Bravo!, judges Mary Lou Fallis (musical comedienne), Tom Diamond (opera director/drama coach), Gary Relyea (bass-baritone/vocal teacher) and Michael McMahon (pianist/vocal coach) traveled to Vancouver, Regina, Toronto and Montreal to audition wannabe singers. The series now follows the six candidates as they hone their operatic skills in an extensive three-week boot camp in Toronto. Getting a rare opportunity to work with opera’s finest, each finalist receives one-on-one couching from the judges worth in excess of $20,000. As a part of their training, the six contenders perform in front of a panel of celebrity guest judges that include Measha Brueggergosman, Richard Margison, Ted Baerg, Wendy Nielsen, Liz Upchurch, Stuart Hamilton, Robert Gleadow and Timothy Vernon.
At the end of each episode, the six competitors showcase their newly-polished operatic skills at a different venue, including the Bravo! Rehearsal Hall and the University of Toronto’s Hart House. The judge’s criteria for selecting a winner is not only based on the operatic singing abilities of the protégés, but on their facility to learn and understand a new language such as Italian, on how well they perform theatricality, and, above all, on how much their performances have improved as a result of the comments of the coaches.
Bathroom Divas culminates in the final episode with one singer selected as the winner and awarded the ultimate prize — a debut performance at Roy Thompson Hall with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in front of an audience of thousands.
Bathroom Divas airs Saturdays at 9pm ET / 6pm PT with encore presentations Tuesdays at 10pm ET / 7pm PT.
For more information and updates, please visit www.bathroomdivas.com.