Ingemar Korjus

Ingemar Korjus. Bass-baritone, teacher, adjudicator, b Stockholm, of Estonian parents, 8 Apr 1950, naturalized Canadian 1960; ARCT (Associate, Royal Conservatory of Music) performance 1970, ARCT teaching 1971.

Korjus, Ingemar

Ingemar Korjus. Bass-baritone, teacher, adjudicator, b Stockholm, of Estonian parents, 8 Apr 1950, naturalized Canadian 1960; ARCT (Associate, Royal Conservatory of Music) performance 1970, ARCT teaching 1971. His parents emigrated to Canada in 1952 and settled in Toronto, where Korjus studied voice 1966-72 and intermittently thereafter with Megan Rutledge. He also studied 1972-5 with Erik Werba in Vienna and Hans Hotter in Munich and in 1976 with Pierrette Alarie and Léopold Simoneau in San Francisco. He made his professional debut in 1971 in a performance of Messiah with the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. He won the top male prize in the 1973 International Hugo Wolf Lieder Competition and first prize (voice) and a special outstanding performer award in the 1974 CBC Talent Festival. In 1977 he placed second in the National Vocal Competition sponsored by the Edward Johnson Music Foundation. In 1978 he won first prize in the baritone and bass category at the International Competition for Singers at 's-Hertogenbosch, Holland, and second prize at the International Music Competition in Munich.

As Performer
Korjus's repertoire encompasses songs, oratorio, opera, and operetta, standard and contemporary. He has appeared in recital and concert in Canada, the US, and Europe, and has been heard many times on CBC radio. He made his debut with the Canadian Opera Company (COC) in 1977 as the Monk in Don Carlos and the Speaker in The Magic Flute. He sang with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO), the Toronto Symphony (TS), the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, and also with the Mozarteum Orchestra in Austria and the Haydn Orchestra in Italy. He participated in the Algoma Fall Festival and the Brattleboro Bach Festival in Vermont (1976, Mass in B Minor). At the Guelph Spring Festival in 1977 he sang in the premiere of Healey's Seabird Island and the Canadian premiere (1978) of Schubert's oratorio Lazarus. In 1978 Korjus signed a two-year contract (effective 1979) with the Düsseldorf Opera and sang leading baritone roles such as Masetto in Don Giovanni and Gremin in Eugene Onegin. He appeared as Gremin at the 1979 Aldeburgh Festival.

In 1980 Korjus returned to Canada to sing Schubert's song cycle Die schöne Müllerin at the St Lawrence Centre, Toronto. He performed in Britten's Curlew River at the 1983 Guelph Spring Festival and in 1985 he was bass soloist in the festival's performance of Schubert's Mass in G Major. In 1988 Korjus and his wife, mezzo-soprano Sandra Graham, toured China giving recitals and master classes. He sang in the 1989 production of Saint-Saëns's Samson and Delilah with Stuart Hamilton's Opera in Concert and, in 1990, was Yamadori in the NAC (National Arts Centre)'s concert production of Madama Butterfly. Korjus has recorded works by Schubert, Wolf, Britten, and Bissell on RCI 419, released in 1975.

As Teacher and Adjudicator

In 1982 Korjus joined the faculty of the University of Ottawa and in 2004 was the head of that university's voice department. In addition, he has conducted master classes in Montreal, Toronto, and Chicago, has served on the jury committee for the Canada Council for the Arts, and has been co-artistic director of the Opera Lyra Ottawa Young Artists Programme.