Award-winning Hong Kong-based Soprano Hedy Chan is a champion of nurturing and encouraging all to follow their passion. From a young age, she dedicated her life to achieving the most incredible heights in vocal performance and is constantly pushing herself to fulfill her grandiose dreams.

hedy chan, manuel bernaschek, fazioli, showcase pianos, downtown vancouver, westbank, helen siwak, folioyvr

During her childhood, Chan possessed an unwavering passion for captivating stories, whether found in books, theatres, or movies. However, nothing could compare to the raw power of a story presented by real-life performers accompanied by a live orchestra.

She shares, “Opera, with its amalgamation of human expression and symphonic harmony, eternally holds a special place in my heart. Nevertheless, as I matured, my dreams took a slight turn. At present, all I desire is the opportunity to sing and act for as long as my heart beats. It is what breathes life into my existence.”

hedy chan, manuel bernaschek, fazioli, showcase pianos, downtown vancouver, westbank, helen siwak, folioyvr

A Childhood Dream

At 13, she attained Distinction for ABRSM Grade 8 Piano and Grade 8 Vocal Singing. A year later, she won the 1st prize in the 11th Asia Pacific Piano Competition (intermediate class). Through the years, Chan also clinched First Place more than ten times at the annual Hong Kong Schools Music Festival! This accomplishment resulted in her being awarded the prestigious Barbara Fei Open Class Vocal and Barbara Fei Female Voice Scholarships, and in 2021 she was also awarded The Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund 2021-22 Full Scholarship.

Chan holds a Master of Performance degree from the Royal College of Music in London and a Bachelor of Music (Honours) from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She studied and trained under the tutelage of renowned Soprano Nancy Yuen and Mezzo-soprano Sally Burgess and has received numerous additional scholarships.

From Puccini to Pamina

Chan’s first operatic role was the title role of Sister Angelica in Suor Angelica by Puccini. She has also performed other full opera roles, such as Giulietta in Les Contes d’Hoffmann by Offenbach and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte by Mozart.

For opera scenes, she has performed as Musetta from La Bohème by Puccini, Fiordiligi from Così fan tutte by Mozart, Micaella from Carmen by Bizet, Donna Anna from Don Giovanni by Mozart and Adina from L’elisir d’amore by Donizetti. Chan has also performed in the prestigious Renée Fleming Masterclass. She has also worked with other great musicians such as Eduardo Chama, Nelly Miricioiu, Michael Chance, and Joy Mammen.

hedy chan, manuel bernaschek, fazioli, showcase pianos, downtown vancouver, westbank, helen siwak, folioyvr

Opera as an Escape

Opera, to Chan, is akin to the original superhero movie but with the added brilliance of extraordinary music. It encompasses epic narratives, larger-than-life characters, and sweeping orchestral compositions that make the audience believe they can conquer anything. Moreover, the dramatic sets with colossal chandeliers and elaborate costumes with exaggerated feathered hats evoke a sense of wonder. However, on a more profound level, Chan feels “Opera possesses an unparalleled ability to delve beneath your skin and stir your deepest emotions. It serves as the ultimate emotional roller-coaster, leaving audiences yearning for more.”

For a professional opera singer, maintaining strength and purity of voice is crucial to success. Chan is very conscious of caring for her vocal cords and acknowledges “adequate hydration, sufficient rest, and employing correct vocal techniques all play a vital role in maintaining vocal health and strength,” and advises others in or aspiring to be an opera singer, to “avoid imitating others’ voices or adhering to preconceived notions of what our own voices should sound like.” She continues with sage advice. “While it may be tempting to emulate the richness of Maria Callas or other great vocalists, each of our voices possesses its own unique beauty. Therefore, taking pride in and cherishing our individual vocal instruments is of the utmost importance.”

From an early age, Chan knew who she was and who she wanted to be, and she is grateful for her parents nurturing her passion by encouraging her to explore. She has this advice for parents with a budding talent in the family.

“Singing can be an incredibly joyful and fulfilling pursuit, extending far beyond merely hitting the right notes. It involves storytelling and self-expression through the medium of one’s voice. Thus, allow your child to experiment and revel in the experience while ensuring they receive proper training and guidance.

“Personally, my parents could never have anticipated my chosen path in Opera, yet here I am. Allowing your child to flourish uniquely and supporting their ambitions are invaluable ingredients for their growth and happiness.”

hedy chan, manuel bernaschek, fazioli, showcase pianos, downtown vancouver, westbank, helen siwak, folioyvr

An Irresistible Invitation

At the invitation of Manuel Bernaschek (Showcase Pianos, Stefano Ricci), Chan experienced our city’s breathtaking scenery, hospitality, savoured delectable cuisine, and developed a genuine fondness for the relaxing atmosphere, especially at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia.

”The experience they offer is simply exceptional, making it challenging to articulate in words. Everything seamlessly comes together in perfect harmony, and I felt a profound sense of belonging and comfort during my time there. I am immensely grateful for this incredible opportunity, which has allowed me to meet extraordinary individuals and, most notably, collaborate with the beautiful Fazioli Pianos,” shared Chan.

Over the next year, Chan has no plans to slow down and has designed an intense schedule! She shares, “I am filled with tremendous excitement as I look ahead to the upcoming year. A highlight on my calendar is a visit to the Fazioli factory in Venice, an opportunity that promises to be truly remarkable. Additionally, I have performances in the UK and Hong Kong. Although it involves quite a bit of travelling, I feel incredibly blessed to pursue my passion, connect with extraordinary individuals, and embark on adventures that allow me to explore the wonders of our world.”

All Showcase Pianos Presents photography by Elvis Yang.

Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine is pleased to collaborate with Showcase Pianos in this presentation series of celebrated pianists and vocalists, their stories of devotion, and their unique relationships with the exquisite pianos that bring such joy to the world.

To experience this story in glossy magazine format, click through to Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine.

Author Profile

Helen Siwak, Luxury Lifestyle Observer
Helen Siwak, Luxury Lifestyle Observer
Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, PORTFOLIOY.YVR Business & Entrepreneurs Magazine, and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at [email protected].
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