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

Wayne Gooding, Opera Canada

CREATORS
Suzy Smith
Narmina Afandiyeva
Stephen Hargreaves
Robert Cooper

PERFORMERS
Danlie Rae Acebuque
Holly Chaplin
Matt Chittick
Ryan Downey
Stuart Graham
Evan Korbut
Marjorie Maltais
Lauren Margison
Dion Mazerolle
Meghan Lindsay
Lauren Pearl
Scott Rumble

Creators
Suzy Smith

SUZY SMITH
LUCIO SILLA

Suzy's past highlights with SOLT include Massenet'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 Cosí 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.


NARMINA AFANDIYEVA
MÉDÉE

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).


Stephen Hargreaves

STEPHEN HARGREAVES
L'AMANT ANONYME

Hargreaves attended Indiana University as a horn major under the famed Myron Bloom. In Hargreaves' third year, he played piano for a performance of Turn of the Screw. The experience captivated him like no other and set the course for his professional career. Since then, Hargreaves has functioned as a répétiteur, coach, harpsichordist, assistant conductor and conductor to over 135 unique operatic productions ranging from early music to the most difficult of modern music. He has collaborated with innovative small companies and large scale opera companies throughout the United States and internationally. While doing this, he has continued to perform as a solo pianist (Brahms' 2nd, Rachmaninov 3rd concerti), recitalist and "re-orchestrator" (developing a new edition of Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle and the Chevalier Saint-Georges' L'amant anonyme). He lives in Montréal and is an associate professor at McGill.


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.


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.


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.



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.


RYAN DOWNEY

A proud Newfoundlander, tenor Ryan Downey is quickly gaining nationwide recognition for his “nimbleness of voice” (Bachtrack) and “attractive lyric tenor colour” (Edmonton Journal). Ryan recently appeared with his hometown Newfoundland Symphony as tenor soloist in MESSIAH, as Goro in Windsor Symphony Orchestra’s MADAMA BUTTERFLY and covering the lead tenor role of Pinkerton, and will be making his National Arts Centre debut reprising his role of John in Opera on the Avalon’s OURS by John Estacio. Ryan has recently been a regular with several opera companies and symphonies, including Vancouver Opera, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and Guelph Symphony Orchestra, Confluence Concerts and more. Recent select credits include Rodolfo in LA BOHEME, Danilo in THE MERRY WIDOW, the Witch in HANSEL AND GRETEL, Rinuccio in GIANNI SCHICCHI and much more. For concert credits and more detailed information on upcoming performances and recent news, please visit www.ryanpauldowney.com


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.


MARJORIE MALTAIS

Mezzo‐soprano Marjorie Maltais is rapidly earning an excellent reputation on both concert and operatic stages in Canada and beyond. A native of Clermont, Quebec, Marjorie won First Prize at the Ottawa Choral Society’s New Discoveries Competition in 2016, leading to engagements with Grand Philharmonic Choir, Chorus Niagara, and Peterborough Singers.

Performances in 2019 included Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro with Southern Ontario Lyric Opera, Messiah with Regina Symphony Orchestra. Marjorie looks forward to her debut as Mercedes in a future production of Carmen with Pacific Opera Victoria

During the pandemic, Marjorie starred in “Everything comes to a Head”, the first in Decameron Opera Coalition’s series of short green-screen digital operas Tales from a Safe Distance, inspired by Boccaccio’s novellas written in the 14th Century to pass the time while sheltering from the plague in Florence. Marjorie is featured in several OperaBreaks, cinematic videos directed by François Racine and filmed by Coffeeshop Creative, produced by Domoney Artists.

Recent highlights for this engaging young artist include a brilliant debut with Boston Early Music Festival in performances of “Versailles:Portrait of a Royal Domain”, (Charpentier and Lalande), Messiah with Elmer Iseler Singers, Bach’s Magnificat with Thirteen Strings, and the premiere of Ian Cusson’s song cycle “Le récital des anges” (poetry by Emile Nelligan), at Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Canadian Opera Company.

Marjorie has appeared as a guest soloist with Choeur St-Laurent, Les Boréades de Montreal, with Windsor Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, ReginaSymphony Orchestra, Montreal’s Orchestre Metropolitain, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Edinburgh International Festival.
Marjorie Maltais and tenor Jacques Arsenault join their considerable talents as French Squeeze, presenting original accordion arrangements of their favourite French songs from Canada and France, captivating audiences with recent performances at Indian River Festival in Prince Edward Island.


LAUREN MARGISON

Recognized for her ability to communicate with an audience, soprano Lauren Margison is making her mark as a young artist of note. An alumna of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, she was a member of the prestigious Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal, laureate of Jeune Ambassadrice Lyrique and she was the youngest finalist to appear in the prestigious and highly competitive Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Vocal Competition. A finalist and prizewinner in the 2017 George London Foundation Awards, Lauren went on to take first prize in the 2018 competition.

A versatile soprano, she has performed extensively both in Canada and internationally, specializing in classical, jazz and pop repertoire. Some highlights include performances for Opera Ontario, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, The Beaches Jazz Festival, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, the Cincinnati Pops, Hannaford Street Silver Band, the noon hour concerts at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts – Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Ottawa Choral Festival Gala, and the Venetian Ball under the baton of Marco Armiliato, (fundraiser for Villa Charities, Toronto) held on the main stage of the Four Seasons' Centre for the Performing Arts.


DION MAZEROLLE

Acadian baritone Dion Mazerolle has earned a solid reputation in Canada and Europe as an artist of the highest calibre. A former member of the Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal, he is acclaimed for his musical finesse and strong stage presence in both opera and concert. Dion has performed with many choirs, ensembles and orchestras across Canada including: Elmer Iseler Singers, Musica Orbium, Grand Philharmonic Choir, Festival International de Musique Baroque de Lamèque, Newfoundland Symphony, Ensemble Caprice, Ensemble Boréades de Montréal, Chorus Niagara, Kitchener Waterloo Symphony and Regina Symphony.

Comfortable in both traditional and contemporary opera, in recent seasons Dion starred as Germont in Verdi's La Traviata with Opéra du Royaume, and in Massenet's Werther and Bizet's Carmen with the Opéra de Québec. He also appeared in Harry Somers' Canadian opera Louis Riel with the Canadian Opera Company and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. A frequent guest artist with Chants Libres, Dion created the role of Soulayed in the world premiere of L'orangeraie (Tremblay/Moultaka), as well as a digital concert of works dedicated to Silvio Palmieri with the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal.

Dion appears in several OperaBreaks videos, produced by Domoney Artists and directed by François Racine. In 2022, Dion will make his debut with Opéra National de Lorraine in Nancy as the King of Clubs in Prokofiev's Love of Three Oranges.


MEGHAN LINDSAY

Praised as being equal to "the best Mozart interpreters anywhere in the world", Canadian soprano Meghan Lindsay continues a diverse practice as a performer, creator, and researcher. During the 2019-2020 season, she performed in a variety of repertoire highlighted by Handel's Dixit Dominus at the Music and Beyond Festival, Saffi in Strauss' Der Zigeunerbaron for Toronto Operetta Theatre, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Opera Atelier and performed Mary Magdalene in Opera Atelier's film Handel's La resurezzione. In the wake of COVID-19, she expanded her creative practice to collaborate with composers Krists Auznieks and Luis Fernando Amaya on two new chamber music commissions. She premiers the role of Eve in Edwin Huizinga and Chris Bagan's Angel October 2021 and will be recording a filmed version of Frauenliebe und Leben with choreographer Jennifer Nichols for world premiere 2022. In the 2018/19 season, she appeared as Ilia in Idomeneo (Opera Atelier), Paride in Paride ed Elena (Odyssey Opera), Sandrina in La Finta Giardiniera (Opera Nova Scotia), Arethuze/Hunter and Galatée in a double bill of Actéon and Pygmalion (Opera Atelier/Royal Opera Versailles/ Harris Theater Chicago). An artist eager to stretch the bounds live theatre, Ms Lindsay co-created and performed in an installation for the Contact Festival/Division Gallery with visual artist Alex McLeod, is co-creating a piece of chamber music with Latvian composer Krists Auznieks, is recording a digital album of Schumann's Frauenliebe und Leben, and is involved in the development of an integrative piece of theatre with Montreal Playwright's Workshop.


LAUREN PEARL

Canadian-American settler Lauren Pearl is a non-conforming interdisciplinary artist known for her "luscious, rich tone" (Opera Canada), "robust, dramatic voice" (BroadwayWorld), and for her reputation as "an artist of subtle skill" (Classical CD Choice). Lauren's mission as a performer is to inspire and invigorate. They strive to question and disrupt conditioned models and structures in order to support equity and inclusivity. Now is the time to be fully present, reconnect with our source, and inspire empathetic awareness through art. Lauren hopes to do this through an interdisciplinary approach to performance art, by blending crafts to engage and welcome audiences through the use of a dynamic artistic spectrum.

Lauren's adaptable instrument and versatile stage presence allow them to be a chameleon on stage; their repertoire ranges from Baroque to Wagnerian and everything between and beyond. Equally comfortable on both the operatic and concert stages, Lauren has made debuts across North America and Europe. Notable Canadian collaborations include performances with the Hornby Island Festival; interdisciplinary concerts with Echo Chamber Toronto; a fabulous and inspiring run as Bino in Against the Grain Theatre's modern adaptation of Le Nozze di Figaro: Figaro's Wedding; and numerous engagements with the Canadian Opera Company, including the self-produced Les Adieux, a performance of Messiaen's transformational song cycle Poèmes pour Mí, in which pianist Rachael Kerr and Lauren brought the music to life while Lauren painted by hand on a stage of canvas. Lauren Pearl is grateful for the community in Toronto, both on and off the stage.


SCOTT RUMBLE

Tenor Scott Rumble was a member of the Calgary Opera's Emerging Artist Development Program and Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program at Vancouver Opera. He holds a Master of Music in Opera Performance from the University of British Columbia. Mr. Rumble was just seen as the tenor soloist in the Vancouver Bach Choir performance of Mozart's REQUIEM and as Ferrando in Brott Opera's drive-in production of COSI FAN TUTTE. While at Calgary Opera he worked on a myriad of workshops for new operas and performed in virtual concerts. He was seen as the role of Flavio in NORMA, Rooster in BREMEN TOWN MUSICIANS, and was scheduled to perform Benedict in BEATRICE ET BENEDICT and Tanzmeister in ARIADNE AUF NAXOS before the pandemic. During his time with Vancouver Opera, Mr. Rumble sang the role of St. Brioche in THE MERRY WIDOW and covered both the title role in Gonoud's FAUST and Rodolfo in LA BOHÈME.


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