YPDaily: Shantelle Przybylo

Toronto native Shantelle Przybylo completed her Master of Music Performance at the University of Toronto before taking up a position as an opera singer in the Domingo-Cafritz young artist program at the Washington National Opera Company, a career move that has allowed her to perform at venues such as the Kennedy Center, the White House and the Smithsonian Institute…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I am an opera singer in the Domingo-Cafritz young artist program at the Washington National Opera Company. The young artist program is a two-year training program that is designed to bridge the way for singers from a solid educational background into professional international careers. My job entails learning and performing roles on the main stage of Washington National Opera, and singing in numerous concerts at venues such as the Kennedy Center, the White House and the Smithsonian Institute. The training includes regular voice lessons, vocal and drama coaching, movement and Italian classes, and master classes from renowned guest artists.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
After I completed my Master of Music Performance at the University of Toronto, I auditioned for numerous young artist training programs throughout the United States and Canada. I was accepted into the Domingo-Cafritz young artist program and began training in August 2012. Since the age of six, I had a strong interest in music and always knew that I wanted a career in singing. I sang in numerous musical theatre productions, and realized my passion for opera when I began studying with a classically trained singer at the age of nine.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of my job is that I love what I am doing and I thoroughly enjoy sharing my gift with others. The most challenging part is the amount of competition that exists in the opera world; dealing with an industry that has limited spaces for opportunity and an abundance of talented singers.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years, I would like to see myself performing in opera houses in America and Europe.

What does success look like to you?
Success for me is being able to do what you love every day and living life with no regrets. 

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
My career is in the early development stages, but becoming a Domingo-Cafritz young artist is a big milestone for me. I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to live in the United States and establish myself as a professional artist.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Make as many connections as you can with the people in your industry and challenge yourself every day. Never settle for something that does not make you completely content within yourself.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
One of the blessings about singing is the ability to sing for charities. I have sung for the S’port for Kids Foundation, which raises money for organized sports for children in deprived communities. I have also sung for the Canadian Cancer Society: Relay for Life events several times and a Gastroenterologist Dr. Ho’s concert series that raised over $200,000 for healthcare in Durham. I feel charities are crucial today with the tremendous amount of funding that is required for research to develop cures for diseases.

What to you is notable?
Encouraging people to embrace their accomplishments and strive for success. Notable is a way to feel connected and informed to the people and places around you.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
I switched from Blackberry to Android and I am very happy with the Android phone.