Internationally famed Polish-Canadian soprano Maria Knapik is co-Artistic Director and co-founder of the Ottawa Classical Choir. She frequently appears with major orchestras and opera companies throughout North America and Europe, and her broad and rich repertoire allows her talents to shine brightly on both the opera stage and in concert and oratorio.
With her captivating stage presence and passionate singing, Ms. Knapik breathes life into every role she performs, be it Tosca, Alzira, Mimi, Fiordiligi, Nedda, Donna Anna or Liu. In 2005 she received high critical acclaim in the title role of Poland’s great national opera Halka, by Moniuszko, at The National Theatre in Warsaw and Sarasota Opera. She has been awarded first prize at a number of international festivals and vocal competitions, including the Chigiana Festival (Siena, Italy) and the Gerda Lissner Foundation vocal competition (New York, 2003). In 2005 she received the International Rising Star of Opera Award from the American Institute of Polish Culture, and in 2010 their Gold Medal. She has performed on many occasions at New York’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, most recently as soloist in Górecki’s 3rd Symphony. Ms. Knapik has also performed as soloist at the Washington Kennedy Center with Maestro Robert Shafer and his Grammy-award winning Washington Chorus; as a special guest artist at the Annual Puccini Foundation Concert at Alice Tully Hall; in Warsaw with Maestro Anthony Wit and the Polish National Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as with the Krakow and Lodz Symphony Orchestras. Ms. Knapik also sang in the American premiere of Théodore Dubois’ St. Remi mass with Maestro Michel Brousseau at Carnegie Hall.
Maria Knapik was born in Krakiw, Poland. She sang as the youngest of “The Eight Knapik Sisters,” who performed more than 2800 concerts in tours of Europe and the British Isles, as well as on Polish radio and television.