Christina Thanisch-Smith


Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Praised for her “shimmering vocals with pitch perfect intonation” and “ringing high notes” (Opera Canada), Christina Thanisch-Smith is quickly gaining praise in the Canadian music scene. Born in Fredericton and raised in Winnipeg, the Canadian/German soprano is currently a McPhee Artist with Calgary Opera, making her main-stage debut as Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore, and singing Beauty in Giannini’s Beauty & The Beast. During her performances  as Beauty, she was featured as Opera Canada’s Artist of the Week. Christina is delighted to return to Calgary Opera in the fall where she will sing the role of Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.  

In 2023, she completed her graduate studies at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, where she performed the titular roles in Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias and Handel’s Partenope, respectively, and additionally made her Maison Symphonique debut as soloist for Mahler’s Symphony no. 4.  

Christina was a member of Les Jeunes Ambasadeurs Lyriques for the 2022-23 season, was selected for the Opéra de Montréal Talent Gala, made her debut with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra as soloist for Handel’s Messiah, and bowed as Eurydice in Manitoba Underground Opera’s production of Orphée et Eurydice, all while embarking on trips to the United States, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.  

When not singing operatic repertoire, Christina is happy to live in the world of song and chamber music. While studying at the Franz-Schubert-Institut, Christina worked closely with Elly Ameling, Helmut Deutsch, Birgid Steinberger, Robert Vignoles, Julius Drake, Andreas Schmidt, Wolfram Rieger, and Robert Holl, refining her interpretation of the German Lied. As a singer for the McGill-Université de Montréal Piano-Vocal Accompaniment Residency, she has sung for renewed pianists and singers such as James Vaughn (La Scala), Graham Johnson, Jeff Cohen, and Francois Le Roux.  

Christina is an alumna of McGill University (G.D.P., M.Mus.), the University of Manitoba (B.Mus.), Toronto Summer Music Festival, the Franz-Schubert-Institut, Stratford Summer Music Festival Academy, Opera NUOVA, and Wendy Nielsen’s Opera Workshop.  

When not singing, Christina enjoys exploring Manitoba with her geologist-father as a licensed prospector. She flew co-pilot for the first time in a de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver plane this year.