From OPERA CANADA Magazine
60th anniversary issue, Vol. LXII, No. 2
by Amber Braid, soprano

WENDY NIELSEN HAS SUCCEEDED at something most opera singers can only dream of – after 25 years of performing, she maintained a strong family life and has become the leading vocal consultant in Canada.

Twelve seasons at the Metropolitan Opera was, as Wendy put it, like getting a doctorate. Knowing how much one can learn from our colleagues, she was always eager to watch and listen. But home is where the heart is, and the performance that meant the most to her was when she returned home to New Brunswick to sing Tosca at The Imperial Theatre in Saint John for family, friends and neigh­bours.

There are many ways to be ‘successful’ in the opera world and every artist has to figure out what their definition of success will be. Her attachment to her home life was a priority and those values shine through in everything that she does. Wendy had the experience from the business and a curiosity about the voice that allowed her to find technical solutions and give great real-world advice.

I’ve known her since 2010 when she became Head Vocal Consultant for the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio and I am so grateful for her. Her lack of ego and ability to solve a problem, vocally or otherwise, was a relief and she developed a consistency to the program. She became a mentor, a leader, a source of strength, and an ally. And here’s the kicker: everyone loves her.


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