"You could just sit back, forget the spectacle and concentrate on
Tchaikovsky's luscious vocal writing."

Wayne Gooding, Opera Canada

CREATORS
Narmina Afandiyeva
Robert Cooper
Jo Greenaway
Suzy Smith

PERFORMERS
Tonatiuh Abrego
Danlie Rae Acebuque
Michael Barrett
Holly Chaplin
Matt Chittick
Joshua Clemenger
Anika-France Forget
Natalya Gennadi
Lynn Isnar
Chilina Kennedy
Miriam Khalil
Evan Korbut
Julie Nesrallah
Cairan Ryan
Jennifer Taverner

Creators

NARMINA AFANDIYEVA
ADRIANA LECOUVREUR
LA VOIX HUMAINE

Pianist, Music Director

Studied at the Bülbül Specialized musical school and Azerbaijan State Conservatory under the guidance of professor Adelya Vekilova. Graduated in the Collaborative Piano Program at the University of Toronto, where she studied with Professor Steven Philcox.

She was awarded the Gwendolyn Koldofsky Prize in Accompanying (University of Toronto, Faculty of Music).

Narmina worked as Music Director and Pianist for I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI, THE MAGIC FLUTE, MADAME BUTTERFLY (Summer Opera Lyric Theatre), and as a pianist for zarzuela SAUCY SEÑORITA, THE MIKADO, EARNEST, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING (Toronto Operetta Theatre), borodin's PRINCE IGOR and Weill's STREET SCENE (Opera in Concert).


Robert Cooper

ROBERT COOPER, C.M.
VOICEBOX CHORUS DIRECTOR

Artistic Director: Chorus Niagara, the Orpheus Choir of Toronto, and Ontario Male Chorus.

Chorus Director for the Black Creek Summer Festival.

Conducted symphony orchestras in Halifax, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Orchestra London (ON); opera companies in Victoria, Ottawa and Winnipeg.

Executive Producer of Opera and Choral Music at CBC for 31 years.

Recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Brock University, the Order of Canada and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for his significant contribution to the Canadian choral community.


Jo Greenaway

JO GREENAWAY

Jo Greenaway is a collaborative pianist residing in Toronto, ON. She has performed across Canada, the US, France, Italy, and China. With experience in performance of both song and operatic repertoire, Jo is much in demand as a recitalist and coach and is currently working as a freelance vocal coach with students at the University of Toronto.
Ms. Greenaway holds a Master's degree in Collaborative Piano from the Univer-sity of Western Ontario, as well as a Bachelor of Music with Honours in Theory and Composition, with a specialization in French. She is also a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music, having completed her ARCT in Piano Performance. Before moving to Toronto Miss Greenaway spent several years working as a repetiteur and coach for UWOpera. She has acted as music director for the Opera Jeunesse China Tour, as well as for the inaugural season of Capitol City Opera. She has spent the last decade worth of summers in Tuscany as music staff for the Oberlin in Italy Summer Opera Program.


Suzy Smith

SUZY SMITH

Suzy's past highlights with SOLT include Massanet's Manon, as well as the Canadian double-bill pairing John Beckwith's Night Blooming Cereus with the world premiere of Michael Rose's A Northern Lights Dream. Other experience includes Cosi fan Tutte and L'Amico Fritz for the San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera program as apprentice coach under Mark Morash, Warren Jones, and Ari Pelto; Bolcom's A Wedding as a fellow in Marilyn Horne's Music Academy of the West; as well as, music direction and vocal coaching for the Centre for Opera Studies in Sulmona Italy (COSI), the Southern Alberta Vocal Experience (SAVE), and the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy (COAA). Suzy earned her Master of Music Degree at Western University training with John Hess and her Bachelor of Music at the University of British Columbia training under Jane Coop. She has also trained at The Banff Centre, Opera NUOVA, and Morningside Music Bridge programs.


Performers

TONATIUH ABREGO

Winner of the St. Andrew's Arts Council International Aria Competition (2016), Tenor Tonatiuh Abrego has performed across Canada singing leading roles in Opera and as a soloist in concert performances. Tonatiuh's previous credits include: Romeo in Jeunesses Musicales du Canada's touring production ROMEO AND JULIET; the leading roles 'Male Chorus' and 'The Witch' in Calgary Opera's productions of THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA and HANSEL AND GRETEL respectively; Nemorino in Opera Nuova's L'ELISIR D'AMORE and 'Don Ottavio' and 'Mr. Craven' in Banff Centre for the Arts' productions of DON GIOVANNI and THE SECRET GARDEN. He was seen in Opera McGill's productions of Britten's THE TURN OF THE SCREW, THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA, DON GIOVANNI. After having completed his Master's degree in Voice performance at McGill University under the tutelage of Maestro Stefano Algeri, Tonatiuh graduated from Calgary Opera's renowned Emerging Artist program. Upcoming projects include performances with the Canadian Opera Company in ANNA BOLENA and THE NIGHTINGALE AND OTHER SHORT FABLES.


DANLIE RAE ACEBUQUE

Baritone Danlie Rae Acebuque is entering his final year of Voice Performance in Frédérique Vézina's studio at the University of Toronto. A recent Arthur Edward Redsell Scholarship recipient, Danlie was featured in various U of T concerts, such as Vocalini (2019). Outside of U of T, Danlie debuted his first opera roles in 2018 as Fiorello with Opera5, and Guglielmo with SOLT. Danlie was also featured as a soloist and chorus member with VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert for COMEDY UNBOUND (2018) and played the role of Billy for RISE AND FALL OF THE CITY OF MAHAGONNY (2019). Danlie is looking forward to performing as Antonio in the U of T Opera Department's fall production of Mozart's LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and is delighted to be one of the new Sidgwick Scholars with Orpheus Choir of Toronto.


MICHAEL BARRETT

Born in Newfoundland, Michael studied at the University of Toronto Opera School. While a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio he had 14 roles to his credit.

In Toronto he also appeared as Spalanzani (LES CONTES D'HOFFMAN) for the COC, Quint (THE TURN OF THE SCREW) for Against the Grain Theatre, was in the world premieres of John Beckwith's TAPTOO! (Toronto Operetta Theatre) and Halifax composer Peter Togni's ISIS AND OSIRIS (Opera in Concert) as well as regularly appearing with the Aldeburgh Connection.

In Western Canada he has sung with Pacific Opera Victoria (THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO), Vancouver Opera (THE MAGIC FLUTE, SWEENEY TODD), Edmonton Opera (LES CONTES D'HOFFMAN, SALOME, THE MAGIC FLUTE), and Saskatoon Opera (LES CONTES D'HOFFMAN).

Recent projects include the roles of Gabriel Dumont in LOUIS RIEL (NAC Orchestra), the Witch in HANSEL AND GRETEL (Sudbury Symphony), and Howard Boucher in DEAD MAN WALKING (Vancouver Opera).


MATT CHITTICK

Originally from Ottawa, Canadian tenor Matt Chittick was an Emerging Artist with the Calgary Opera for the 2016-2017 season. He completed his Master of Music at the University of British Columbia under Prof. Roelof Oostwoud and his Bachelor of Music at McGill University under Prof. Stefano Algieri. Praised as having a "clear and vibrant" tenor (Opera Canada), Matt is very active on both the concert and operatic stage, in Canada as well as internationally.

This past season with Calgary Opera, Matt performed the roles of Prince Charming in their touring production of CINDERELLA, Sylvio/Pasquin in Bizet's DOCTEUR MIRACLE, and Ivan in DIE FLEDERMAUS. Some other recent performances include: Almaviva in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA (Fraser Lyric Opera), Ramiro in Cowtown Opera's hilarious updated production of ELLA (Cenerentola), Nemorino in THE ELIXIR OF LOVE (Portland Opera School Tour), Bénédict in BÉATRICE ET BÉNÉDICT (Fraser Lyric Opera), Almaviva in THE BARBER OF SEVILLE (Portland Opera School Tour – US Debut), Jeník in the BARTERED BRIDE (European Musical Academy – Czech Debut), and Ernesto in DON PASQUALE (Opera Mariposa). He has also been active as a soloist at Bard on the Beach with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, with the VSO in their Christmas Concert series, in Opera NUOVA's Vocal Arts Festival, and with Opera Kelowna in their Classical Christmas concert.


HOLLY CHAPLIN

Holly Chaplin is a coloratura soprano based in Toronto. Holly obtained her bachelor's degree in Voice Performance (2014) from York University where she studied, and continues to study with Stephanie Bogle.

Holly has interpreted the roles of Madamme Goldentrill from Der Schauspieledirektor (Co-Operative 2015), Olympia in TALES OF HOFFMANN (SOLT 2016), Frasquita in CARMEN ON TAP (2016), Ample Bliss in A Convenient Lie; the James Bond Opera (Malfi 2016, Abridged Opera 2017, Savoy Society 2018), Zerlina in DON GIOVANNI Odd Opera 2017), Micaela in CARMEN (37Ace 2017) and Cunegonde in CANDIDE (TIFT 2017) and Susanna in I DUE FIGARO.

Ms. Chaplin has been featured as a soloist with Pax Christi Chorale, Celebrity Symphony Orchestra, Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Operetta Theatre (Galop Offenbachien), Opera in Concert (Shakespeare 400, Chorus Fire) and with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre as the title role of Handel's SEMELE. She will be performing Fiordiligi in COSI FAN TUTTE (OA Henfenfeld, Germany) and Queen of the Night in MAGIC FLUTE in the fall of 2018.


JOSHUA CLEMENGER

Tenor Joshua Clemenger has just completed a Master's degree in Opera at The University of Toronto. He began his training in The Theatre Aquarius Performing Arts Programme in Hamilton Ontario, where he studied with Tom Oliver, then attended the University of Western Ontario where he earned his Bachelor's degree in Performance with Torin Chiles, and sang his first opera. He has since pursued his vocal studies and is now studying with Soprano, Lorna Macdonald. Recent opera credits include Fatty in RISE AND FALL OF THE CITY OF MAHAGONNY with Opera in Concert, Count Belfiore in LA FINTA GIARDINIERA with UofT Opéra, and Ferrando in COSI FAN TUTTE at La Musica Lirica.


NATALYA GENNADI

Canadian soprano Natalya Gennadi is establishing her operatic career in North America in a wide range of repertoire. Natalya caused a sensation when she stepped in at short notice in her debut in the leading role of Oksana G, Tapestry Opera's harrowing tale about human trafficking. Her critically acclaimed performance of this world premiere got nominated for the prestigious Dora Mavor Award.

Describing Mimi in La Boheme with Highlands Opera Studio, Dawn Martens of Opera Canada wrote: "Natalya was a gorgeous Mimi; not only did she look the part of the consumptive heroine, she allowed her powerful voice to ebb and flow producing gorgeously rich tones in Act I and sweeter, melodic phrases in Act IV."

Natalya begins the 2019 season with a debut with Opera York Le Nozze di Figaro singing the role of Donna Anna, followed by another Mimi in La Boheme with Brott Opera, and the role of Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with Southern Ontario Lyric Opera.

Previous year brought a role debut as Mimi in La Bohème with Southern Ontario Lyric Opera. Further roles for Natalya include Countess Almaviva in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro with Brott Festival, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin and the title role of Suor Angelica with Opera Oshawa. Ms. Gennadi recently made her VoiceBox: Opera in Concert as Yaroslavna in Borodin's Prince Igor. Natalya's operatic roles include Santuzza (cover) in Cavalleria Rusticana with Maryland Lyric Opera; Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte with Toronto Summer Opera Workshop, Clotilde in Norma with Oshawa Opera, as well as Zemfira in Rachmaninoff's Aleko with Toronto's Opera Five and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Opera Nuova.


ANIKA-FRANCE FORGET

Inspired by life, nature and literature, Anika-France is a Canadian classical singer, composer and pianist. Recognized as a promising young emerging artist, Anika-France was granted many honours such as the Prix d'excellence artistique provincial du Fonds ARTES 2017. In 2017, RCM Senior examiner Dr. Robert J. Loewen described her as "an exceptionally polished performer" and decorated her with the RCM Gold Medal (Level 9). Anika-France is currently enrolled in the University of Toronto's Voice Studies program where she is the proud recipient of the 2017 Robert William Bygrave full tuition scholarship. By joining Robert Filion's Les Ensembles vocaux senior De La Salle in 2013, Anika-France was able to perform as soloist in some of the most breathtaking settings such as the legendary Monument to the Battle of the Nations in Leipzig, Germany.


LYNN ISNAR

Armenian-Canadian soprano Lynn Isnar recently appeared in the role of Adele in Strauss' DIE FLEDERMAUS, Papagena in Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE (Toronto City Opera), Cleopatra in Handel's GIULIO CESARE (Summer Opera Lyric Theatre), La Marchesa in Piccinni's LA CECCHINA, Emma in Mussorgsky's KHOVANSHCHINA (Opera in Concert), Nanine in Lavallee's THE WIDOW (Toronto Operetta Theatre) and Susanna in Mozart's THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO.
Her concert appearance includes a solo performance for the Armenian Ambassador of Canada in Ottawa and a solo concert at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Cathedral of Montreal. She also has sung at the Distillery Christmas Market in Toronto and performed in a concert at the St. Vartan Armenian Church of Mississauga to celebrate Canada's 150th.
Ms Isnar holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music from the Faculty of Music and a Bachelor's Degree in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, both from the University of Toronto. She maintains a full private studio of children and adults, recently directed the Toronto Sanskriti Sangstha Children's Choir for their annual concert to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Canada.


CHILINA KENNEDY

Chilina recently starred as Dina in the International Tour of The Band's Visit. Broadway: Carole King in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (over 1200 performances) and Mary Magdalene in Des McAnuff's Jesus Christ Superstar. Off-Broadway: Originated Binky in Stephen Trask and Peter Yanowitz's This Ain't No Disco (Atlantic Theater Company). 1st National Tour: Sophie in Mamma Mia!. Film: With Me (BravoFact, NY Shorts and Whistler Film Festivals). Selected Regional: Pheobe in A Gentleman's Guide To Love And Murder (CT and San Diego Critics' Circle Nominations), Evangeline in Evangeline (original production and album), Philia in Des McAnuff's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Toronto/Mirvish), Ross Petty's Pantomime The Little Mermaid (Toronto Theatre Critics' Award), three seasons at the Stratford Festival including Maria in Gary Griffin's West Side Story, three seasons at the Shaw Festival and The Lord of the Rings (World Premiere Mirvish/Toronto).

Chilina is currently developing a show that she composed and co-wrote with Eric Holmes, Call It Love. She is also the Artistic Producer of Toronto's Eclipse Theatre Company. www.chilinakennedy.com


MIRIAM KHALIL

Juno-nominated artist Miriam Khalil has appeared on numerous opera stages across Canada and Europe, including a stint at the renowned Glyndebourne Festival Opera in the United Kingdom. Notable roles include Mimì in La Bohème (Canadian Opera Company/Minnesota Opera/Opera Hamilton/Against the Grain Theatre (AtG)); Musetta in La Bohème (Edmonton Opera); Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Opera Tampa and AtG/The Banff Centre/Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival); Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande (AtG); the Governess in The Turn of the Screw (AtG); Marzelline in Fidelio (Pacific Opera Victoria), Susanna (Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Lyra, AtG), title role in Alcina (Fargo-Moorhead Opera), Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare (Glyndebourne Festival Opera, U.K.); and Almirena in Rinaldo (Glyndebourne Festival Opera, U.K.).
She is a proud founding member and Associate Artistic Director of the Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning chamber opera company Against the Grain Theatre. Her holiday season was highlighted by Messiah/Complex, an internationally acclaimed ATG/Toronto Symphony realization of Handel's Messiah filmed against iconic Canadian landscapes sung in six languages by twelve soloists. Going against the grain, Miriam is delighted to be part of this unique Poulenc/Cocteau digital project with VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert. She is also very excited to sing in recital with Baritone Russel Braun and pianist Carolyn Maule, premiering a song cycle by Afarin Mansouri in the Mazzoleni Masters series at the Royal Conservatory, commissioned by Canadian Art Song Project.


EVAN KORBUT

Evan Korbut is a Toronto-based Anishinaabe performer born in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. He began studying at Western University in 2007, completed his Bachelor's degree in music (voice performance) in 2011, and completed his Master's degree in music (voice) in 2014.

Various credits include productions of DIE FLEDERMAUS as Eisenstein, THE MERRY WIDOW as Danilo, COSI FAN TUTTE as Guglielmo, LA BOHÈME as Marcello, THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA as Tarquinius/Junius, CENERENTOLA as Dandini, LE NOZZE DI FIGARO as Figaro/Count Almaviva, L'ITALIANA in Algeri as Taddeo, LA CLEMENZA DI TITO as Publio, THE ECSTASY OF RITA JOE as Jaimie Paul, FIERABRAS as Roland, RISE AND FALL OF THE CITY OF MAHAGONNY as Moses, and Simms/Spirit Chorus in Shanawdithit, and Owl in THE FLIGHT OF THE HUMMINGBIRD.


JULIE NESRALLAH

Mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah is a singer, actress and broadcaster who dazzles audiences with her engaging personality and her rich, expressive voice. Miss Nesrallah has sung for leading opera companies, symphonies, festivals and chamber music ensembles across Canada and the U.S. and around the world. Julie débuted as Isabella in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri at Pacific Opera Victoria and went on to perform major roles including The Composer in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, Suzuki in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Cenerentola in Rossini's La Cenerentola, Carmen in Bizet's Carmen and Maddalena in Verdi's Rigoletto, among others.

Concerts and festivals include engagements in Paris, Vienna, Hong Kong, Jordan, Macau, Brazil. In 2015, Miss Nesrallah sang at Carnegie Hall in New York City in a concert for harp and voice. She sang God Save the Queen for "Will and Kate" the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their first visit to Canada on Parliament Hill in a performance that was viewed around the world. She was the sole vocalist in "An Evening for Peace" for Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan in Montreal.

Currently, Miss Nesrallah is the host of Tempo on CBC Music, Canada's national classical music program; and is also the executive producer and star of Carmen on Tap, a company she created that performs Bizet's opera Carmen as dinner theatre. Julie has been the recipient of several distinguished awards including the Canada Council for the Arts Emerging Artist Award, and most recently the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for her cultural contribution to Canada's performing arts.


CAIRAN RYAN

Having been praised for his "exceptionally expressive instrument" (Bachtrack) and "clear, ringing forthright sound" (Montreal Gazette), Cairan Ryan has embarked on a promising career. In the 2019-20 season, he makes his German house & role debut as Alidoro in KammerOper Hamburg's LA CENERENTOLA, and his OIC debut as Dr. George Nelson in C.M. Wilson's KAMOURASKA. In 2017-18, he appeared as soloist in the Mozart Requiem with the Ottawa University Choir, at Sugar Creek Opera as the title role in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA. In 2017, Cairan made company debuts with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra/Het Concertgebouw as Der Notar in R. Strauss' INTERMEZZO, Op. 72, Nederlandse Reisopera in La Bohème, and sang the Immigration Officer in Tapestry Opera's World Premiere of OKSANA G.
Cairan is an alumnus of the Atelier Lyrique de L'Opéra de Montréal, The Virginia Opera, and Tanglewood Music Center. Cairan is a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions at the District Level and a finalist of the 2018 New York Oratorio Society Oratorio Competition. He holds degrees from The University of Victoria School of Music, The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the McGill University Schulich School of Music.


JENNIFER TAVERNER

Soprano Jennifer Taverner has been described as "resplendent and captivating" (Ottawa Life) and is in high demand as a soloist with orchestras and opera companies across Canada, in works ranging from baroque to contemporary.
Recent engagements include as Armida with Pacific Opera Victoria in Handel's RINALDO, the starring role of Lily in the premiere of BANDITS IN THE VALLEY with Tapestry Opera, Vivier's KOPERNIKUS with Against the Grain Theatre at Banff Centre for the Arts, Adele in DIE FLEDERMAUS (Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony), Kathie in THE STUDENT PRINCE (Toronto Operetta Theatre), and concert engagements including Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (Niagara Symphony) and Vivaldi motets with Thirteen Strings Orchestra, and Bach's Mass in B Minor (Toronto Mendelssohn Choir).
Other career highlights include Brian Current's AIRLINE ICARUS (Soundstreams Canada), Rose in STREET SCENE (VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert), and Fiordiligi in COSI FAN TUTTE (Jeunesses Musicales). Jennifer was awarded the Lyndon Woodside Encouragement Award in the 2016 New York Oratorio Society Competition.


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