"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
Helen Becqué
Robert Cooper

PERFORMERS
Tonatiuh Abrego
Cesar Bello
Belle Cao
Alexander Cappellazzo
Vania Chan
Holly Chaplin
Evan Korbut
Julia MacVicar
Julie Nesrallah
Andrea Núñez
Scott Rumble
Handaya Rusli
Justin Welsh

Creators
Suzy Smith

SUZY SMITH
UN GIORNO DI REGNO

Highlights for Suzy Smith include Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges and L'heure espagnole (VOICEBOX), Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, 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 (SOLT). 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
ERNANI

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).


David Fallis

HELEN BECQUÉ
LA BATTAGLIA DI LEGNANO

Belgian pianist Helen Becqué gave her European début at the age of nine, and has since been noted for her consistently thoughtful and emotionally-committed performances which have made her an increasingly sought-after artist in Europe and North America. Helen is a graduate of the Royal Conservatory in Brussels Belgium, where she studied with Boyan Vodenitcharov. She also completed post-graduate studies at the München Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Germany under the tutelage of Helmut Deutsch and Fritz Schwinghammer. Contemporary music has featured frequently in Helen's collaborations and programming. She has been involved in many world premieres and recordings of new music, including Maarten Van Ingelgem's Pianoconcerto with the Kortrijks Symfonisch Orkest, Three Songs from the Tang Dynasty by Alice Ping Ye Ho, and Sur Incises by Pierre Boulez with the Royal Conservatory New Music Ensemble. Helen has been a faculty member at the Hochschule for Music und Theater Nürnberg-Augsburg in Germany and currently is a doctoral candidate studying with Steven Philcox at the University of Toronto.


Robert Cooper

ROBERT COOPER, C.M.
VOICEBOX CHORUS DIRECTOR

Mr. Cooper has served as President of both Choirs Ontario and the Association of Canadian Choral Communities. He was on the Board of Chorus America and the Advisory Board of the International Federation of Choral Music and is Canada's representative on the World Choir Council.
He has been a member of the Jury of the international choral competition Let The Peoples Sing, as well as adjudicating the World Choral Games in Shaoxing, China (2010), Cincinnati (2012), Sochi (2016) and Tshwane, South Africa (2018).
Recipient of the St. Catharines' Trillium Arts Award, Robert Cooper has also received an Honorary Doctorate from Brock University, the Order of Canada, and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for his significant contribution to the Canadian choral community.
In May 2016, he was awarded Choral Canada's Distinguished Service Award. This prestigious national award is given in recognition of significant, transformative, and long-term service in building, nurturing, and promoting choral music in Canada.
In 2018, Robert Cooper, along with Orpheus Managing Director Lisa Griffiths, composer Eriks Esenvalds, and producer Laura Adlers were awarded Choral Canada's Award for Outstanding Choral Innovation for their multi-media presentation, Nordic Light.


Performers

TONATIUH ABREGO

Winner of the St. Andrew's Council of the Arts International Aria Competition, Tenor, Tonatiuh Abrego has performed across North America as a leading artist.

He is a graduate of the Calgary Opera Emerging Artist program and a grant recipient from Jeunesses Musicales du Canada. Previous credits include Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (Jeunesses Musicales); Maurizio - Adriana Lecouvreur (VOICEBOX OIC); Male Chorus - The Rape of Lucretia & The Witch Hansel and Gretel (Calgary Opera); Nemorino - L'Elisir d'amore (Opera York); Count Almaviva - Il barbiere di Sviglia (Capital City Opera), Don Ottavio - Don Giovanni (The Banff Centre); Frederick - Pirates of Penzance (Opera North). Upcoming performances: Lancelot - Camelot (Victoria Playhouse Theatre)


CESAR BELLO

Mexican-Canadian baritone Cesar Bello started his vocal training with Professor Enrique Jaso at the Conservatory of Music of Mexico. He was selected by the Accademia d'Arte Lirica Osimo in Italy in 2019.

Recent credit include at Toronto Operetta Theatre's La Verbena de la Paloma (Festival of the Dove) as Tabernero, Teatro dell'opera di Roma in the production of NOS (The nose) by Shostakovich, Donizetti's L'elisir d'Amore as Belcore, Perosi's La Passione secondo Marco, Beethoven's Choral Fantasy as well as in Mexico, Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana as Alfio, Leoncavallo's Pagliacci as Tonio, Rossini's Barbiere di Siviglia as Firgaro and Fiorello, Carmen as Morales, Don Giovanni as Masetto, Rigoletto as Ceprano, Carmina Burana by Orff, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Requiem by Fauré and Requiem by Mozart.

In Canada, he sang La Serva Padrona by Pergolesi, La Boheme as Schaunard at Brott Music Festival and Romeo et Juliette as Mercutio, and Rossini's Cenerentola as Alidoro.


BELLE CAO

Belle Cao is a Toronto based soprano. Her previous stage credits include Donna Elvira in Summer Opera Lyric Theatre's Don Giovanni, chorus roles with Opera in Concert: VOICEBOX and Toronto Operetta Theatre. She has been a featured soloist with Guelph Chamber Choir, and has sung with Orpheus Choir of Toronto, Chorus Niagara, Sechnust, Myriad Ensemble, and Arcady Ensemble. She currently studies with Dr. Charlene Pauls. Belle is also a practicing family physician and surgical assistant in the GTA.


ALEXANDER CAPPELLAZZO

Born on the auspicious Feast Day of Bach, Handel and Purcell, it was surely fated that Alexander Cappellazzo would immerse himself in music!

Starting with Strauss' Die Fledermaus in 2017, he has since performed roles like Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Lensky (Eugene Onegin), Acis (Acis & Galatea), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), and many more with companies across Canada including: Toronto City Opera, Opera By Request, OperOttawa, Nóżki Opera, Opéra Queens, and Opera McGill. Opera Canada describes Alex as 'a stunning Tamino, with clarity and richness of voice, natural ease onstage, and a credible portrayal of innocence and determination'.

Alexander is also the founder of Apocryphonia, and the Diapente Renaissance Vocal Quintet: two Toronto-based groups dedicated to creating concerts of rare and underperformed music.

Alex holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Vocal Performance and Opera from Montreal's McGill University.



VANIA LIZBETH CHAN

Vania Lizbeth Chan is a versatile artist, active in the fields of vocal performance and academia (M.M., Manhattan School of Music, PhD, York University). A lyric coloratura soprano, Vania's voice has been described as "gently shimmering" (Opera News, NY) and "lovely and agile" (@KarasReviews).

She made her Carnegie Hall debut as a 1st prize winner in the Barry Alexander International Competition (NY). In 2022, Vania completed a European tour with Soundstreams, premiered the role of Wenli in City Opera Vancouver's production of CHINATOWN, and performed in The Glenn Gould Foundation's Celebration of Gould's 90th Birthday Anniversary, singing the music of Alma Deutscher. Upcoming: Vivaldi: But "Not the Seasons" (Rezonance Baroque Ensemble).

www.vaniachan.com



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.



AMY MOODIE

Amy Moodie is thrilled to be singing Giunia in this season's production of Lucio Silla and Dircé in Médée. Earlier this year, Ms. Moodie joined Toronto Operetta Theatre as Franzi in A Waltz Dream and Glita in the world premiere of A Northern Lights Dream.

She began the year by revisiting the role of Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with COSA Canada and then performed contemporary opera scenes with Tapestry Opera for their Songbook XI Concert. In the fall of 2021, Ms. Moodie collaborated with A Good Mess Opera Theatre for their A Good Haunting virtual haunted house.

She has been a prizewinner at various competitions including, first place at the Toronto Mozart Competition, The American International Czech and Slovak Competition and the NATS Artists Awards. Other Recent performances include: Despina (Cosi fan Tutte), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Emma (Fierabras) and Semele (Semele).


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


NATALYA GENNADI

Ukrainian-Canadian singer Natalya Gennadi brings her "pure, strong, liquid soprano" to a wide range of repertoire. Natalya caused a sensation in her debut in the title role of Oksana G, Tapestry Opera's harrowing tale about human trafficking, earning a Dora Award nomination.

During the pandemic, Natalya led the cast as Adriana in a fully staged digital performance of Adriana Lecouvreur with VOICEBOX:Opera in Concert and appeared in several Opera Breaks cinematic videos produced by Domoney Artists. Natalya's opera roles include Violetta (La Traviata) and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) with Opera York, Countess Almaviva with Southern Ontario Lyric Opera's Le Nozze di Figaro, and Mimi in La bohème with Brott Opera.

In 2022, Natalya performed with Tapestry Opera's summertime outdoor Box Concerts, and was a guest artist with Toronto Concert Orchestra in a concert of opera favourites.

Natalya looks forward to her debut in 2023 with Pacific Opera Victoria as Gerhilde in Wagner's Die Walküre.


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.


JULIA MACVICAR

Julia MacVicar; Soprano (They/Them/Her) is an opera singer and interdisciplinary artist based in Tkaronto. Hailing from Epekwitk (PEI), and an alumnus of the Fountain School of Performing Arts, Dalhousie University (B.A.Mus 2020), MacVicar has been described onstage as "impressive dramatically and vocally… a big stunning sound" (Barczablog.com). As a neurodivergent individual, they are passionate about increasing inclusivity within creative spaces and exploring different narratives. Performance highlights include: Diana - Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld (Toronto Operetta Theatre 2022); Dido - James Rolfe's Aeneas and Dido (Dal Opera 2020); The Queen of the Night, The Magic Flute (Dal Opera 2017)


JULIE NESRALLAH

The dazzling Julie Nesrallah performs for leading opera companies, symphonies, festivals and chamber music ensembles across Canada and around the world.

Miss Nesrallah sang God Save the Queen for Will and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, for Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill in a performance that was viewed by millions. She also sang for An Evening for Peace for Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan in Montreal.

Miss Nesrallah is the host of Tempo on CBC Music and is also the executive producer and star of Carmen on Tap which performs Georges Bizet's Carmen as dinner theatre. Miss Nesrallah has been the recipient of several distinguished awards including the Canada Council for the Arts Emerging Artist Award & Mid-Career Grant, and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for her cultural contribution to Canada's performing arts.


ANDREA NÚÑEZ

Praised for her "sumptuous timbre", Canadian soprano Andrea Núñez is establishing herself as a versatile young artist. She was heard as Adele in Die Fledermaus after her 2022 debut with the Toronto Operetta Theatre in O. Straus's A Waltz Dream.

Other 22-23 season highlights include Frasquita in Carmen with Pacific Opera Victoria and her role debut as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette with Québec's Opéra du Royaume. With Opéra de Montréal her roles have included First Lady in The Magic Flute, Kathleen in Riders to the Sea and Alice B Toklas in Gordon's Twenty-seven. Andrea is an alumna of Santa Fe Opera's Apprentice Artist Program and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis' Gerdine Young Artist Program where created the role of Pvt. Sonia Gonzalez in the world premiere of Huang Ruo and David Henry Hwang's An American Soldier.

Ms. Núñez completed her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at the University of Western Ontario under the tutelage of Jackalyn Short. She then went on to complete her Master of Music in Opera Performance at the University of Toronto under the instruction of Nathalie Paulin. She currently studies with Ariane Girard in Montréal.

Ms. Núñez has 11 years of competitive dance training in various styles including ballet, jazz, tap, and lyrical. She is of Peruvian and Chinese heritage and is fluent in Spanish.


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.


HANDAYA RUSLI

Handaya Rusli made his operatic debut as Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte by OperaLab in 2018, and later as Colline in Puccini's La Boheme. He also performed with SOLT as Lescaut in Massenet's Manon, Giorgio Germont in Verdi's La Traviata, John Sorrel in Menotti's The Consul, and the title role of Mozart's Don Giovanni. He reprised his role as Giorgio Germont in Toronto City Opera's Verdi's La Traviata. He performed with Opera in Concert as Jimmy in Kurt Weill's Little Mahagonny and as Dikoj in Janacek's Katya Kabanova. He also sang with Toronto Operetta Theatre as Cerberus in Offenbach's Orpheus In The Underworld, and as Frank, the Prison Governor, in Strauss' Die Fledermaus.


JUSTIN WELSH

British Columbia baritone Justin Welsh's career highlights include appearances as Crown in Porgy and Bess with Kent Nagano conducting l'Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Queegueg in the Canadian premiere of Moby Dick for Calgary Opera. Justin has also sung Marcello in La bohème for l'Opéra de Montréal and Papageno in The Magic Flute and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro for Pacific Opera Victoria. In the realm of newer opera, he has made notable appearances in Vivier's Musik für das Ende produced by Soundstreams, Flight for Pacific Opera Victoria, and Against the Grain Theatre's on-going project, Bound.

His 2022-23 season included Tim Brady's Backstage at Carnegie Hall in Montreal and continues with Schaunard in Orchestre Philharmonique et Choeur des Mélomanes' La bohème, followed by a return to Pacific Opera Victoria for Weidhoff in Braunfels' Die Vögel and to Tapestry Opera as Izunna in Of the Sea. The 2021-22 season included performances with Tapestry Opera, Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, White Snake Projects, and joining the Canadian Opera Company for their digital production of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. He also joined Pacific Opera Victoria for both digital and in person productions, appearing in Raum's The Garden of Alice and as Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni.


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