Obituary of Igor Saika-Voivod
Igor Ivanovich Saika (Zaïka)-Voivod.
June 23, 1937 – December 21, 2023
Surrounded by family at Chelsey Park LTC, Igor Saika-Voivod of London at the age of 86.
Since childhood, singing and music formed an integral part of Igor’s world. He often recalled sitting as a child watching his father play violin, accompanied by his mother on the piano. Another early memory was observing a German occupying force marching triumphantly through the streets of his birth city, Kyiv, Ukraine. From then on, his childhood was one of displacement. He lived many tumultuous years in war-torn Germany before re-locating temporarily to Venezuela, where his adolescence was shaped by a strict Jesuit education, and by a love of soccer (he was briefly coached by the legendary Ricardo Zamora). Igor’s early exposure to multiple cultures inevitably resulted in his fluency in seven languages, a skill that would later serve him very well as an opera singer.
Igor and his parents finally arrived in London, Ontario in 1954. After working as a grade inspector on the building of the Trans-Canada and 401 highways, and later, in the insurance industry, he was encouraged to pursue serious vocal studies with Ms. Lillian Wilson of London. He was endowed with a singular bass-baritone voice, and further studies followed in Toronto with Louis Quilico and Maestro Grigorii Manko, graduating from the University of Toronto with the degree of Operatic Performance in 1969 on full scholarship. He sang with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, left for Europe in 1972 (where he further trained with the inimitable Mario Del Monaco) and after a memorable year in Bari, Italy, ended his European operatic stint with the Stadttheater Bern in 1978. He came back to Canada that year and returned to the COC. He also participated in a European tour with Nicolai Gedda and the Jaroff Don Cossack Choir. To devote more time to being with family, he retired from the stage and pursued his passion for teaching. With support from colleagues and family, he built a vibrant voice studio based out of his home.
The family wishes to express its gratitude to VERA Home Care for providing Igor with superior services at the time when he needed it the most. Thank you to Chelsey Park Long Term Facility and the compassionate care givers on the second floor North.
Igor is survived by Elizabeth, his wife of 53 years, and their four sons: Sergei, Ivan (Teodora), Igor (Danielle), Nicholas; and his eldest son Peter (Natasha) and daughter Christine, from his first marriage. He was also blessed with wonderful grandchildren, Nikolai (Andrea), Alexander (Danièle), Sophia, Alexander, Anastasia, Aden, Maximus, and great granddaughter, Isadora (Nikolaevna).
Kindly consider a small donation in lieu of flowers to Christ Saviour Orthodox Church, earmarked “Parish School”. Igor valued tradition and family, and the importance of nurturing a child to “know then thyself.”
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, December 27th at 11:00 a.m. at the Christ Saviour Orthodox Church, 140 Fairview Avenue with visitation 1 hour prior. Interment to follow at Woodland Cemetery. Logan Funeral Home (519-433-6181) entrusted with arrangements. Online condolences can be expressed at www.loganfh.ca
A tree will be planted, by the staff of the Logan Funeral Home, as a
living memorial to Igor Saika-Voivod.
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