Sharon Azrieli (full name Sharon Rachelle Azrieli) is a Canadian Soprano and Cantor from Montreal, Quebec. Azrieli performs classical and operatic works, playing parts such as; Juliet in Charles Gounod's operatic adaptation, Roméo et Juliette, Mimi in La Bohème and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro.She attended Juliard performing arts school, and has performed with; the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Chamber Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company. Reviews of her performances have generally been positive, with Allan Kozinn of the New York Times stating; "Sharon Azrieli sang Laurette with a lovely soprano that had weaknesses at the very top but was agile and well-regulated elsewhere."
Early life and education
Azrieli was born in Montreal, Quebec to Israeli architect, philanthropist and Holocaust survivor, David Azrieli. Azrieli moved to New York City where she attended Vassar College, graduating with a degree in Art History, and an Associate Degree in Illustration from the Parsons School of Design. After studying the arts she undertook a Diploma in Vocal Performance under Ellen Faull at Juilliard School of music, where her mentors included; Joan Dornemann, Principal Prompter at the Metropolitan Opera, and the late Herbert Breslin. Dornemann invited Sharon to attend her Vocal Arts Institute in Israel, over three successive summers where she learned how to play a number of leading roles including Norina in "Don Pasquale" and Musetta in "La Boheme." She was also the recipient of a Metropolitan Opera study grant.
Azrieli's career began when she was headhunted by the Canadian Opera Company's artistic director, the late Richard Bradshaw. Barshaw hired her as an understudy for the part of Juliet in a mainstage production of Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, and later as Mimi in a small-stage production of Puccini's La Bohème.  She was spotted by artist manager Matthew Laifer who introduced her to Marcello Giordani. Under Lafier's management she would go on to perform with the likes of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and the Haifa Symphony Orchestra in their production of Rossini's Stabat Mater and Beethoven's Mass in C Minor. Other works include a concert of Puccini arias and Leonard Bernstein's Songfest. She has also worked with Alexander Brott of McGill Chamber Orchestra, and understudied for Mirella Freni as Adrienne Lecouvreur with l’Opéra de Paris. The highpoint of Azrieli's career came when she played the part of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro which was conducted by Marco Armiliato.
Azrieli put her opera career on hold after the birth of her two sons to focus on her opera career and her Jewish faith. To support her family she enrolled at the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York, and began her first job as a Cantor for Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor with the late Rabbi Paul Steinberg. Sharon and her sons moved back to Montreal in 2000, and in 2001, where she became a full-time Cantor at Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom until 2003.
Return to the Stage and Higher Education
After her sons had grown up, Sharon Azrieli returned to opera. Azrieli enlisted the help of Bill Schuman, a vocal coach who had previously worked with Celine Dion, Aprile Millo, and taught at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. With Schuman's help Azrieli primed her voice for Verdian soprano roles. Azrieli performed Leonora in Il trovatore and Aida (Aida) with the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera. She performed the roles of The Prioress in Dialogues des carmélites, and Leonora in La forza del destino with One World Symphony Orchestra. Upon her return to opera Azrieli has performed at several major festivals including; Brott Music Festival in Hamilton, Ontario, and Festival Sefarad in Montreal.
Whilst touring and performing Azrieli completed a Master of Music degree and a Doctor of Music in Vocal Performance at the Université de Montréal. She wrote her thesis on the use of cantorial modes in the works of composer, Giuseppe Verdi. Azrieli went on to perform the soprano solo in the Verdi Requiem with the New Jersey State Opera conducted by Jason Tramm having previously performed the same part with the New West Symphony and Boris Brott.
Azrieli sits on the board of directors for The Azrieli Group, and the Azrieli Foundation. Azrieli created the Foundation's $100,000 composition and commission competition; the Azrieli Music Prize, which promotes new Jewish music.She also sits on the board of directors for; the Azrieli Amutah (the Azrieli Foundation's Israeli equivalent) the America Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF) and the McCord Museum.
|1990||Norina||Don Pasquale||Gaetano Donizetti||Ann Ewers||Israel Vocal Arts Institute|
|1991||Leonora||Il trovatore||Giuseppe Verdi||Paul Nadler||Israel Vocal Arts Institute|
|1991||Nedda||Pagliacci||Ruggero Leoncavallo||unknown||New York in the Parks Festival|
|1991||Laurette||Le docteur Miracle||Georges Bizet||Yves Abel||L'Opéra français de New York|
|1992||Juliette||Roméo et Juliette||Charles Gounod||Jacques Delacôte||Canadian Opera Company|
|1992||Mimì||La bohème||Giacomo Puccini||unknown||Canadian Opera Company|
|1993||Manon Lescaut||Manon Lescaut||Giacomo Puccini||Paul Nadler||Israel Vocal Arts Institute|
|1994||Rachel||La Juive||Fromental Halévy||Ted Puffer||Israel Vocal Arts Institute|
|1994||Susanna||Le nozze di Figaro||Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart||Marco Armiliato||Sarasota Opera|
|1994||Adriana (cover)||Adriana Lecouvreur||Francesco Cilea||Maurizio Benini||L'Opéra de Paris|
|2003||Elvira||Don Giovanni||Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart||Pianist Louise Andree Baril||Vermont Opera Festival|
|2008||Liù||Turandot||Giacomo Puccini||Rony Calderon||New Israel Opera|
|2011||Madame Lidoine||Dialogues des carmélites||Francis Poulenc||Sun Jing Hong||One World Symphony|
|2011||Leonora||La forza del destino||Giuseppe Verdi||Sun Jing Hong||One World Symphony|
|2011||Aida||Aida||Giuseppe Verdi||Anthony Morse||New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera|
|2012||Leonora||Il trovatore||Giuseppe Verdi||Anthony Morse||New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera|
|2014||La bohème||Giacomo Puccini||unknown||BergenPAC|
|2017||Nedda||Pagliacci||Ruggero Leoncavallo||Marcello Giordani||Leoncavallo, Sicily.|
|1991||Mozart concert arias||Mozart||Alexander Brott||McGill Chamber Orchestra|
|1992||Duets and Arias,||Houston Grand Opera||Tokyo Symphony Orchestra|
|1993||Puccini Arias||Giacomo Puccini||Boris Brott||Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra|
|1993||Tchaikovsky songs (arr. Alexander Brott)||Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky||Boris Brott||McGill Chamber Orchestra|
|1994||Mass in C Minor||Ludwig van Beethoven||Stanley Sperber||Haifa Symphony Orchestra|
|1994||Stabat Mater||Gioachino Rossini||Stanley Sperber||Haifa Symphony Orchestra|
|1995||Songfest||Leonard Bernstein||David Shallon||Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra|
|2002||Verdi Requiem||Giuseppe Verdi||Boris Brott||New West Symphony|
|2007||Stabat Mater||Antonín Dvořák||Jean-François Rivest||Université de Montréal Orchestra and Chorus|
|2007||Rachmaninoff songs||Sergei Rachmaninoff||Boris Brott||McGill Chamber Orchestra|
|2009||Symphony No. 8||Gustav Mahler||Boris Brott||National Academy Orchestra of Canada|
|2010||Ch'io mi scordi di te? (K.505)||Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart||Eran Herskovitz||Israel Chamber Orchestra|
|2010||Knoxville: Summer of 1915||Samuel Barber||Shalom Bard||Israel Chamber Orchestra|
|2010||Symphony No. 4||Gustav Mahler||Christian Gort||L’orchestre symphonique de l’isle|
|2010||New works by Israeli composers||Tzvi Avni and Ofer Ben-Amots||Daniel Cohen||Israel Chamber Orchestra|
|2010||Cantorial works orchestrated by Harry Stafylakis||various||Daniel Cohen||Israel Chamber Orchestra|
|2011||Kaddish||Bernstein||Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra|
|2012||Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)||Beethoven||Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Mcgill Chamber Orchestra|
|2012||Verdi Requiem||Giuseppe Verdi||Jason Tramm||New Jersey State Opera|
|2013||Résonances de l’âme hébraïque||various||Silvia Tabor||Montreal Intercultural Orchestra|
|2014||The Esther Diaries||Harry Stafylakis||Boris Brott||McGill Chamber Orchestra|
|2014||Various Cantorial Works||Max Janowski Helfmann||Katia Makdissi-Warren||Oktoecho Orchestra|
|2015||Symphony #9 Choral||Ludwig van Beethoven||Boris Brott||McGill Chamber Orchestra|
|2015||Cantate pour une joie||Pierre Mercure||Boris Brott||McGill Chamber Orchestra|
|2015||Modern Works||Ofer Ben Amots and Tzvi Avni||Israel Chamber Orchestra|
|2016||Rückert Lieder||Gustav Mahler||Kent Nagano||Montreal Symphony Orchestra|
|2016||Deux mélodies Hébraïques||Maurice Ravel||Boris Brott||McGill Chamber Orchestra|
|2016||Kaddish||Bernstein||Steven Mercurio||Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra|
|2017||Canciones Amatorias||Boris Brott||Domaine Forget International Festival|
|2017||Set me as a Seal from Song of Songs||L. Foss||Steven Mercurio||Czech National Symphony Orchestra|
|2017||Shalom Rav||Ben Steinberg||Steven Mercurio||Czech National Symphony Orchestra|
|2017||Canciones Amatorias (excerpts)||Granados||Boris Brott||McGill Chamber Orchestra|
|2017||Cantata for the Unsung||J. M. Stephenson||McGill Chamber Orchestra|
|2017||Jubilante Deo||Dan Forrest||Tracy Resseguie||New England Symphonic Ensemble|
|2017||Hashkiveynu||Max Helfmann||Teodora Tepes|
|2017||Medley Naomi Shemer||arr Dror Baitel||Teodora Tepes|
|2017||Seven ladino songs||Yehezkel Braun||Teodora Tepes|
- District winner: Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, New York, 1993
- Finalist: American Opera Auditions, 1990
- "My Montreal: Soprano Sharon Azrieli Perez". Montreal Gazette. 2014-06-09. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
- "MIC Artists » Sharon Azrieli, soprano". www.micartists.com. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
- "Scion of Azrieli family goes from opera to cantor, and back, AZ Jewish Post". Arizona Jewish Post. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
- Kozinn, Allan. "Review/Music; Two Rarities By Opera Francais". Retrieved 2018-10-12.
- Ben Ze’ev, Naom (August 1994). "Exciting workshop of meager means". Ha’aretz (in Hebrew).
- Kaptainis, Arthur (November 30, 2012). "Azrieli has the voice; where's the opportunity?". The Montreal Gazette.
- Sadler, Dr. Daniel (October 21, 1994). "A small step for humanity". Kolbo (in Hebrew).
- Zadrozny, Ilse (February 16, 1993). "Azrieli's vibrant voice a match for Tchaikovsky sentiments". The Montreal Gazette.
- "Sharon Azrieli". jccet.org.
- Fisher, Florence (February 22, 1994). "Triumphant 'Figaro' weds music and acting". Sarasota Herald Tribune.
- Lowi, Emanuel (September 2001). "Song of the high holidays". The Montreal Gazette.
- "The Times of Israel." Retrieved February 16, 2013.
- "PressReader.com - Connecting People Through News". www.pressreader.com. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
- Reich, Ronni (April 17, 2011). "The opera in the apartment next door". The Star-Ledger.
- "The Whole Note, Vol. 15, iss. 10, July 2010, p.3" Retrieved February 16, 2013.
- "Festival Sefarad." Archived 2013-04-07 at Archive.is Retrieved February 16, 2013.
- "Sharon Azrieli Biography." Archived 2013-11-27 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- D’Amore, Nicole (April 25, 2002). "Groups will join forces, present Verdi's 'Requiem'". The Star (Conejo Valley).
- Solomon, Heather (November 29, 2012). "Soprano Sharon Azrieli solos in Jewish premiere". The Canadian Jewish News.
- "Montreal Night life." Archived 2013-04-07 at Archive.is Retrieved February 16, 2013.
- "The Azrieli Music Prizes – The Azrieli Foundation". azrielifoundation.org. Retrieved 2018-05-04.