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

Wayne Gooding, Opera Canada

CREATORS
Narmina Afandiyeva
Larry Beckwith
Robert Cooper

PERFORMERS
Colin Ainsworth
Andrey Andreychik
Allison Angelo
Sydney Baedke
Michèle Bogdanowicz
Lucia Cesaroni
Adam Fisher
Natalya Matyusheva
Dion Mazerolle
Julie Nesrallah
Michael Nyby
Deanna Pauletto
Ernesto Ramirez
Geoffrey Sirett
Giles Tomkins
Justin Welsh

Creators

NARMINA AFANDIYEVA
PRINCE IGOR

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), Weill's STREET SCENE (Opera in Concert).


Larry Beckwith

LARRY BECKWITH
FALSTAFF

Artistic Director: Toronto Masque Theatre

Conducted Toronto Operetta Theatre's TAPTOO! byJohn Beckwith and LA VIE PARISIENNE by Jacques Offenbach as well as EARNEST, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING by Victor Davies

Professional singer: the Elora Festival Singers, Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and Opera Atelier

Baroque Violinist: The Aradia Baroque Ensemble

Holds undergraduate and graduate music degrees from the University of Toronto.


Robert Cooper

ROBERT COOPER, C.M.
VOICEBOX CHORUS DIRECTOR

ISIS AND OSIRIS

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

COLIN AINSWORTH

Performed with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in Bizet's DJAMILEH under the baton of Leon Botstein

Performed as Greenhorn with Calgary Opera in Heggie's MOBY DICK

Will be singing the role of Don Ottavio in Mozart's DON GIOVANNI with Vancouver Opera with Steuart Bedford conducting

Will join Soli Deo Gloria in Chicago singing the tenor arias in Bach's ST. MATTHEW PASSION and the Evangelist with the Grand Philharmonic Choir in the ST. JOHN PASSION


ANDREY ANDREYCHIK

Baritone, Andrey Andreychik graduated from Krasnoyarsk State University with a degree in International Economics. He also studied music at University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver to start his formal education in voice.

His professional Operatic debut as Figaro in Rossini's "BARBER OF SEVILLE" in 2012 with Theater Hof, Germany.

Andrey is a laureate of several Russia National vocal competitions, the finalist in "XVII Concorso Internazionale per Cantanti Lirici "Spazio Musica" in Orvieto, Italy and winner of Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques 2013 auditions.

His recent performances in Toronto including: Opera by Request, Toronto City Opera, "C.O.S.I Connection", Toronto Concert Orchestra and SOLT.


ALLISON ANGELO

Soprano Allison Angelo has seen in the Mozart REQUIEM with the Winnipeg Symphony, the MESSIAH with the Victoria Symphony, and as Yum Yum in the MIKADO at the Elora Festival as well as performances with Chorus Niagara, Off-Centre Music Salon, Mooredale Concerts, and the St. Cecilia Concert Series.

Ms. Angelo has performed with the Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver and Montreal Symphony Orchestras, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, as well as the Boston POPS, Toronto's Luminato Festival, the Aldeburgh Connection Series (Toronto), Chorus Niagara, The Mountain View Festival (Calgary), the Vancouver Bach Choir and at the Governor General's Arts Awards Gala at the National Arts Centre.

She has performed the title roles in THE MERRY WIDOW (Jeunesses Musicales du Canada), the Canadian opera FILUMENA (The Banff Centre), and lead roles in Toronto Operetta Theatre's THE COUNT OF LUXEMBOURG, THE BIRD SELLER and Canadian opera, TAPTOO!


SYDNEY BAEDKE

Soprano Sydney Baedke studies vocal performance at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Dr. Darry Edwards.

Originally from Medicine Hat, Alberta, her recent performance credits include Cunégonde in Opera NUOVA's CANDIDE, Lauretta in GIANNI SCHICCHI with The Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, and Josephine in the COSI Connection's concert version of HMS PINAFORE.

In 2013, she won the title of "Top Senior Vocalist" in the Alberta Provincial Music Festival, and has been awarded numerous academic and performance scholarships throughout her undergraduate studies.


MICHÈLE BOGDANOWICZ

Performed as Mercédès in CARMEN, New Ofglen in Ruders' THE HANDMAID'S TALE, Hansel in HANSEL AND GRETEL, Nancy in ALBERT HERRING and Papagena in THE MAGIC FLUTE with the Canadian Opera Company.

Other credits include Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Winnipeg Symphony and the Brott Music Festival, the title role in LUISA FERNANDA for Toronto Operetta Theatre, Opera Lyra Ottawa and Opera Hamilton.

She also sang Despina in COSÍ FAN TUTTE (Pacific Opera Victoria), Cuniza in Verdi's OBERTO and Mother in LOUISE with VOICEBOX: Opera In Concert.


LUCIA CESARONI

Recently seen as Yum-Yum in THE MIKADO and Julia in COUSIN FROM NOWHERE with Toronto Operetta Theatre.

Woglinde in Wagner's DAS RHEINGOLD with Pacific Opera Victoria Maria in West Side Story with Vancouver Opera Norina in Saskatoon Opera`s Don Pasquale Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera Hamilton


ADAM FISHER

Tenor Adam Fisher has been recently seen in Opera Atelier's ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO as Pedrillo and also City Opera Vancouver's world premiere of Margaret Atwood/Tobin Stokes' new opera, PAULINE.

Other engagements include MESSIAH with National Arts Centre, Gustav in LAND OF SMILES with Toronto Operetta Theatre and Alfred in Edmonton Opera's DIE FLEDERMAUS. He appeared in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at Westben, Lieutenant Cable in South Pacific with Victoria Symphony, "Best of Broadway" with Chorus Niagara, and "Some Enchanted Evening" with Brantford Symphony. This season, Adam is performing as Camille with Edmonton Opera's THE MERRY WIDOW and Lysander in Britten's MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM with Pacific Opera Victoria.


NATALYA MATYUSHEVA

Soprano Natalya Matyusheva has been heard as Suor Angelica in SUOR ANGELICA with Opera Oshawa, as Fiordiligi in COSI FAN TUTTE with TSOW, as Donna Anna in "DON GIOVANNI with​ Opera Nuova, Edmonton, as Tatiana "EUGENE ONEGIN with Opera Tchai, Toronto, Antigone in ANTIGONE with​ New Music Festival, as Mrs Grose in TURN OF THE SCREW with ​ University of Toronto Opera, and as Zemfira in ALEKO with​ Opera Five in Toronto.


DION MAZEROLLE

Baritone Dion Mazerolle has firmly established himself as an interpretive artist of the first rank. A native of New Brunswick, Dion is an alumni of L'Atelier Lyrique de l'Opera de Montreal.

Dion has earned praise for a wide range of operatic roles, including Dulcamara (ELISIR D'AMORE) on tour with Jeunesses Musicales, Don Alfonso (COSI FAN TUTTE) with Opera York, Escamillo (CARMEN) with Montreal's Opera Immediat, Schaunard (LA BOHEME) with Orlando Opera, Aeneas in DIDO AND AENEAS with Montreal Baroque Festival and as Father in LOUISE with VOICEBOX:Opera in Concert. Recent performances includes Verdi's REQUIEM with Choeur d'ete de Montreal, PIRATES OF PENZANCE with Opera Lyra Ottawa and the world premiere of Pierre Michaud's opera LE REVE DE GREGOIRE with Montreal's Chants Libres.

This season, Dion Mazerolle debuts with Montreal's Ensemble Caprice in Bach's Easter Oratorio, and stars in the world premiere this May of THE TRIALS OF PATRICIA ISASA with Chants Libres, Montreal's acclaimed contemporary music ensemble.


JULIE NESRALLAH

An acclaimed mezzo-soprano regularly engaged by opera companies, symphonies and festivals across North America and abroad.

She sang for Prince William and Kate during Canada Day festivities in 2011. She has also performed for Queen Noor and Princess Haya of Jordan.

Julie has made several recordings and has been the distinguished recipient of many awards including the Canada Council for the Arts Emerging Artist Award & Mid-Career Grant. Julie is also the host of Solo, the international award-winning television series seen on CBC/Bold channels.

She is a host of CBC Radio 2's classical music program "Tempo".


MICHAEL NYBY

Baritone Michael Nyby has performed with the Vancouver Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, Minnesota Opera, the Caramoor Festival, Burnaby Lyric Opera, Opera Atelier, Theatre Aquarius, Duluth Festival Opera, and others.

Recently performed the role of Brent Colgate in the world premiere of Gregory Vajda's GEORGIA BOTTOMS with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.

Other credits include the world premiere of Scott Wheeler's 200 DREAMS FROM CAPTIVITY with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, the role of William Dale in Minnesota Opera's world premiere production of Kevin Putz's Pulitzer Prize winning SILENT NIGHT, the role of Demetrio in Kristin Hevner Wyatt's IL SOGNO with Opera Ithaca, and the singing role of the Young Man in the Canadian Premiere of Joe DiPietro's play THE LAST ROMANCE for Theatre Aquarius.


DEANNA PAULETTO

Mezzo-soprano Deanna Pauletto recently performed the role of Tisbe in LA CENERENTOLA at Music Academy of the West under the guidance of world renowned mezzo-soprano Ms. Marilyn Horne and conductor Jayce Ogren. Previous roles include singing the title role of CARMEN with Music Academy of the West with James Gaffigan, Giulietta in TALES OF HOFFMAN with Escales Lyriques, Bradamante in Handel's ALCINA, Ruggiero in Handel's ALCINA and Salud in LA VIDA BREVE.

Ms. Pauletto is a graduate of York University's Fine Arts Program. She received an artist diploma in classical voice at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatorio in Milan, Italy.


ERNESTO RAMIREZ

Performed as Paco in LA VIDA BREVE and title role in STIFFELIO with VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert.

Canadian Opera Company debut as Ruiz in IL TROVATORE.  Returns as cover artist for the title role in ROBERTO DEVEREUX

International appearances as Nemorino in L’ELISIR D’AMORE in Montpelier, France, Opera d’Anger-Nantes and Sarasota Opera

First Place Winner of the Kahn Award Foundation, the Giulio Gari Foundation, the Léni Fé Bland Foundation, the Profant Foundation, and the ORCH Foundation.  He has also received awards from the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions in Los Angeles

Recently played in Mexico City twice; first as Ramiro in CENERENTOLA and again as Tamino in THE MAGIC FLUTE


GEOFFREY SIRETT

Performed as Zoroastro in Handel's ORLANDO, and also as Count Stankar in Verdi's STIFFELIO with VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert

Performed at the Brott Music Festival singing Beethoven's SYMPHONY NO. 9 with Boris Brott and the Festival Orchestrarecitals for the Aldeburgh Connection and Bayfield Festival of Song, Van Cliburn Foundation, and the Chautauqua Institution. Canadian Opera Company 2013 tour in Pergolesi's LA SERVA PADRONA.  Other credits include Ottawa Choral Society, Grand Philharmonic Choir, Kingston Symphony, and Soundstreams

Further credits: Mozart's DON GIOVANNI and COSI FAN TUTTE, HANSEL AND GRETEL, CANDIDE, PAGLIACCI, THE MERRY WIDOW, Ullmann's DER KAISER VON ATLANTIS, GIANNI SCHICCHI and ALBERT HERRING


GILES TOMKINS

Bass-baritone Giles Tomkins is seen this season as Don Basilio at Opera Lyra Ottawa in their sparkling production of THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, a role he performed with Scottish Opera (directed by Sir Thomas Allen), and also sings with Pacific Opera Victoria in 2016. In his recent debut in Edmonton Opera's LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR Giles Tomkins "deserved every bit of the especially loud reception from the audience for his Raimondo". (Bill Rankin, Opera Canada)

Other engagements include MESSIAH with Elmer Iseler Singers, Elijah with Vancouver Bach Choir and Bach's CHRISTMAS ORATORIO with Symphony Nova Scotia.

Giles looks forward to performances of THE MUMMER'S MASQUE, a celebration of the Newfoundland tradition of Christmas revelry with Toronto Masque Theatre.


JUSTIN WELSH

The burgeoning career of British Columbia baritone Justin Welsh was given new impetus by his great success as Queegueg in the Canadian premiere of MOBY DICK in Calgary.

Recent highlights include the title role in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO for Pacific Opera Victoria, Frazier in Opéra de Montréal's PORGY AND BESS, the Second Soldier in SALOME for Edmonton Opera. He has also been heard in ROBERTO DEVEREUX for Opera in Concert, as Guglielmo in COSI FAN TUTTE for the COC Ensemble. Other roles in his repertoire include Lapak in Janacek's CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN, Lescaut in Massenet's MANON and the title role in GIANNI SCHICCHI.

A former member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, he was featured as Ari in the world premiere of the Ensemble production of SWOON and took the role of Fiorello on the mainstage in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, as Papageno in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE in the Andrew Porter production for the COC Ensemble.


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