"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
Danlie Rae Acebuque
Michael Barrett
Emilia Boteva
Holly Chaplin
Matt Chittick
Joshua Clemenger
Rómulo Delgado
Sally Dibblee
Anika-France Forget
Lynn Isnar
Geneviève Lévesque
Cairan Ryan
Jennifer Taverner

Creators

NARMINA AFANDIYEVA
ADRIANA LECOUVREUR

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

KAMOURASKA

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
KATYA KABANOVÁ

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
L'ENFANT ET LES SORTILÈGES & L'HEURE ESPAGNOLE

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

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).


EMILIA BOTEVA

Canadian-Bulgarian mezzo-soprano Emilia Boteva studied at the Bulgarian Academy of Music in Sofia. An award winner at the Svetoslav Obretenov National Competition in Bulgaria and a finalist in the Toulouse International Vocal Competition, she made her professional debut at the State Opera House in Sofia and has appeared there in such roles as Ulrica, Azucena, Maddalena, Fenena, Eboli and Amneris.
Of particular note is her Toronto Symphony debut as Albine in the performances and recording of Massenet's THAÏS conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Other engagements include The Older Woman in FLIGHT, Marthe in Vancouver Opera's FAUST, Brigitta in DIE TOTE STADT with Calgary Opera, Martha in KHOVANSHCHINA for Opera in Concert, Kostelnichka in JENUFA with Pacific Opera Victoria, and Filipyevna in EUGENE ONEGIN with Calgary Opera.
Ms. Boteva was introduced to Canadian audiences by Opera Ontario, singing Amneris in AIDA. She has appeared with Opera in Concert as Lyubov in MAZEPPA, and Opéra de Québec as Emilia in OTELLO while her European appearances include Ulrica in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA in Bari, Italy, LA SONNAMBULA in Bilbao, and Wagner's RING CYCLE (Wellgunde and Rossweisse) and Suzuki in MADAMA BUTTERFLY for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with Maurizio Barbacini. She also appeared in Las Palmas in RIGOLETTO, DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE and CARMEN and returned to Sofia in Bulgaria for a Verdi's REQUIEM in honour of Ghena Dimitrova. Her most recent engagements in Spain have included performances as Albine in THAÏS and Countess de Coigny in ANDREA CHENIER.


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.


RÓMULO DELGADO

Romulo Delgado is a classically trained tenor and a world music multi-instrumentalist. He was a region finalist at the Hans Gabor Belvedere International Opera competition in Vienna, Austria.
His operatic roles currently include Pinkerton in Puccini's MADAMA BUTTERFLY, Alfredo in Verdi's LA TRAVIATA, Don Jose in Bizet's CARMEN, The Duke of Mantua in Verdi's RIGOLETTO, Edgardo in Donizetti's LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, Idomeneo in Mozart's IDOMENEO, Mario Cavaradossi in Puccini's TOSCA, Macduff in Verdi's MACBETH, Rodolfo in Puccini's LA BOHEME, Calaf in Puccini's TURANDOT and Riccardo in the Canadian premiere of Verdi's OBERTO with Opera in Concert. His versatility as a performer has enchanted audiences all over North America and Europe. Ultimately, what distinguishes Romulo's singing is that "striking, powerful and ingratiating lyric tenor sound with all the money notes!" (Opera Canada).


SALLY DIBBLEE

Captivating opera audiences and critics alike since her Canadian Opera Company mainstage debuts in the roles of Lauretta in GIANNI SCHICCHI and Musetta in LA BOHÈME , soprano Sally Dibblee has performed the title roles in MADAMA BUTTERFLY and LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR with Calgary Opera, Elizabetta in MARIA STUARDA with Pacific Opera Victoria, Mimi in LA BOHÈME with Arizona Opera, Liu in TURANDOT with Kentucky Opera and the Canadian premiere of John Adams' NIXON IN CHINA playing Pat Nixon with Vancouver Opera, to name a few. She has been a featured soloist with the Toronto Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Symphony New Brunswick, and the Mineria Symphony in Mexico, among others.
Sally made her theatre debut with St. Andrews Summer Theatre Company playing the role of notoriously flawed singer Florence Foster Jenkins in the hilarious SOUVENIR.
A former faculty member of Mount Allison University, Sally is in demand as a voice teacher, Masterclass lecturer and adjudicator. She is the conductor of the Fredericton Ladies Choir.


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.


GENEVIÈVE LÉVESQUE

Heralded for her 'powerful, warm voice with immense beauty tone', mezzo-soprano Geneviève Lévesque is one of the most promising young artists of her generation.
She has participated in numerous high-level training programs including Toronto's Summer Opera Lyric Theatre (SOLT), the Atelier Lyrique du Centre d'Arts d'Orford, the AIMS Opera Studio and also at the Canadian Vocal Art Institute (CVAI in Montreal and IVAI in Virginia USA).
Role highlights include: Third Lady (DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE), Suzuki (MADAMA BUTTERFLY), Flora (LA TRAVIATA), Inès (IL TROVATORE), Carmen (CARMEN and LA TRAGÉDIE DE CARMEN), Alisa (LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR), Lola (CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA), Dorabella (COSÌ FAN TUTTE), Erika (VANESSA), Chatte and Tasse Chinoise (L'ENFANT ET LES SORTILÈGES) and Mignon (MIGNON). She made her European début as Geneviève in PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDRE by Debussy at the Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing in France. Geneviève's concert performances include Mahler's Song of the Earth, the Zwei gesänge Op. 91 and the Alto Rhapsody by Brahms. Lately, the Grand-Messe by B. Fecteau and G. Vigneault, Mozart's Requiem, Donizetti's Requiem, Rossini's Messe Solennelle, Vivaldi's Gloria. Geneviève Lévesque holds a Doctorate Degree, 'D. Mus. Voice Performance', from the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.


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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