Toronto City Opera

Le Nozze di Figaro Soloists

 

Dylan Wright

FIGARO

 

Dylan WrightCanadian bass-baritone Dylan Wright has been praised for “seducing the audience with his rich, sonorous voice” (Beat Magazine) and is a graduate of the Atelier Lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal. He recently created the role of Sherman Booth in the new opera Joshua with ArsMusica, and performed the roles of Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore and Baldassare in La Favorita with Opera by Request, Rocco in Fidelio with Toronto Ciy Opera, and Colline in La Boheme with Southern Ontario Lyric Opera. Other operatic highlights include Mephistopheles in Gounod’s Faust, the titular role in Don Pasquale, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Seneca in L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette. Dylan has also performed as the soloist in such oratorios as the Mozart Reqiuem, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, and Beethoven’s Mass in C Major as well as in musical theatre as Emile de Becque in South Pacific.

 

 

Brittany Rae

SUSANNA

 

Brittany RaeBrittany is a young soprano with a prolific performance career. She has been a featured soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Cowtown Opera Company, Calgary Civic Symphony, Opera NUOVA, Lyric Opera Studio Weimar, Mountain View Festival, VoiceScapes, Classical Revolution Calgary, ProArts Society, and Foothills Philharmonic, among others. Recently, Brittany performed the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera McGill and was a featured soloist as part of Mountain View Festival’s 2017-2018 concert season. Her other operatic performances include featured roles with Opera NUOVA and Lyric Opera Studio Weimar as Carrie in CarouselGiulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. She also studied the role of Despina in Cosi fan tutte with the British Youth Opera. Beyond her interest in opera, Brittany is an avid performer and advocate of contemporary music and competed as a semi-finalist in the 2014 Eckhardt-Grammaté National Music Competition. This past season she performed with the McGill Contemporary Ensemble and was also a part of the ‘Sonic Blossom’ exhibition by Lee Mingwei at DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art in Montréal, Québec. Brittany will be returning to DHC/ART this season as a performer in Jasmina Cibic’s exhibition, ‘Everything That You Desire and Nothing That You Fear’.

 

Brittany holds a Graduate Artist Diploma from McGill University, a Master of Arts degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and a Bachelor’s degree in Music (Performance) from the University of Toronto. She is currently based in Montréal, Québec, and studies under the direction of Dominique Labelle.

 

 

Peter Bass

COUNT ALMAVIVA

 

Peter Bass, BaritonePeter Bass is a recent graduate of the University of Western Ontario, where he earned a Master’s degree in Performance and Literature. He subsequently trained in the Theatrical Arts at Grant MacEwan College.

 

Peter has captivated audiences internationally with his dramatic baritone voice. Most recently, he performed the role of Schaunard in La Boheme, Tonio in Pagliacci, and Pandolfe in Cendrillon. His other roles include the titular role in Gianni Schicchi, Angellotti in Tosca, Ford in Falstaff, Vater in Hänsel und Gretel, Marcello in La Boheme, Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, Achilla in Giulio Cesare, and Sid in Albert Herring. In addition to his many soloist appearances in concert and oratorio, Peter’s notable musical theatre credits include: Titanic, She Loves Me, Anything Goes, and Johnny Guitar.

 

 

Jonelle Sills

COUNTESS ALMAVIVA

 

Jonelle Sills, SopranoCanadian Soprano, Jonelle Sills has been praised for her “...rich, warm voice and commanding stage presence” (​Bracebridge Examiner​, Sharon Tikiryan).

 

In November, Jonelle will make her TOT (Toronto Operetta Theatre) debut in ​Out of Character, ​a concert. In the Spring of 2019, Ms. Sills will make another company debut with Against the Grain Theatre, singing soprano in Vivier’s ​Kopernikus​.

 

Past highlights include the roles of Rosalinda in J. Strauss’ ​Die Fledermaus ​with The Glenn Gould School, Musetta in ​La Boheme​ in the Muskoka Opera Festival, Micaëla in C​armen ​with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, Cecchina in ​La Cecchina​ with The Glenn Gould School (GGS)​ which John Gilks of ​Opera Canada ​stated​ “​ music that suited her beautiful voice”​, ​and also the title role ​in ​Cendrillon​ with GGS which Joseph So of LvT “a winning Cendrillon, singing with pure, rich tone.” Other performance acclamations include: Female Chorus in ​The Rape of Lucretia ​with MYOpera where “she handles the huge vocal range expertly and takes us on a beautiful dramatic arc throughout the show.” (​Schompera​, Greg Finney) and Cercartrici​ ​and Converse in ​Suor Angelica ​with Oshawa Opera​. ​Last January, Jonelle was a featured performer in Toronto’s Arts and Letters Club afternoon recital series. Other concert highlights include performances at Toronto’s York and Heliconian Club.

 

In 2014, Miss Sills was a winner of the York University Concerto Competition, received First Place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) auditions and the title of “Most promising singer”. In the summer of 2013 and 2015, Ms. Sills made her European debut in the Saarburg International Music Festival in Germany.

 

Currently based in Toronto Ms. Sills has completed her second year at The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory of Music in the Artist Diploma Program (ADP) under the mentorship of Stephanie Bogle and Rachel Andrist. Jonelle has also performed in master classes and coachings with notable artist such as Gerald Finley, Liz Upchurch, Adrianne Pieczonka, Tim Noble, Martin Katz, Catherine Robbin, Dawn Upshaw, and Joan Dornemann.

 

 

Lillian Brooks

CHERUBINO

 

Lillian Brooks, Mezzo-SopranoCanadian mezzo-soprano Lillian Brooks is a recent graduate of the Artist Diploma Program at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, Ontario, and a ​cum laude​ alumna of the York University Vocal Performance program where she studied with mezzo-soprano Catherine Robbin. Ms Brooks has appeared in many operatic roles and as an oratorio soloist throughout Ontario. Most recently, she performed as the alto soloist in a staged production of Bach’s moving and dramatic ​St. Matthew Passion with Chorus Niagara. Her operatic roles include Cornelia in ​Giulio Cesare,​ Filipyevna in ​Eugene Onegin​, Bradamante in ​Alcina, ​Armelinde in Viardot’s ​Cendrillon,​ Paoluccia in Piccini’s ​La Cecchina​, Mrs Nolan in Menotti’s ​The Medium​, and Third Lady & Spirit in Mozart’s ​The Magic Flute. ​Ms Brooks has sung as a soloist in many prestigious venues in Ontario, including Koerner Hall, Roy Thomson Hall, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Mississauga Living Arts Centre, and the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. In the summer of 2018, Ms. Brooks had the privilege of joining fellow young artists in the Britten-Pears Programme in Aldeburgh, UK where she studied with renowned faculty members including Matthew Rose and Anne Sofie von Otter. Ms. Brooks looks forward to an exciting season this year, singing the role of Cherubino in ​Le nozze di Figaro​ with Toronto City Opera, and Suzuki in a concert production of ​Madama Butterfly​ with Opera by Request. She can also be heard performing as a soloist this season with exceptional ensembles throughout the Greater Toronto Area, including the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, and Chorus Niagara.

 

 

Jeffrey Smith

BASILIO/DON CURZIO

 

Jeffrey Smith is a Toronto-based tenor with a quickly-rising career. He recently appeared with Toronto’s Long Reach Opera Workshop as Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte and has previously performed alongside the Halifax Summer Opera Festival as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. He is excited to have finally performed all three of the Mozart/Da Ponte operas, the last of these three performances being with Toronto City Opera in its production of Le nozze di Figaro. In September 2018, Jeffrey will be working with the Rossini Opera Academy at the Lunenburg Academy of Music and Performance as an understudy for the role of Lindoro in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri.

 

Prior to launching his operatic career, Jeffrey obtained a Bachelor’s degree in French Studies from York University.

 

 

Daniella Theresia

MARCELLINA

 

Daniella TheresiaDaniella Theresia is a classically-trained mezzo-soprano with international reach. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music (Voice) and Geology at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Her pursuit of excellent musical training has taken her to programs and festivals in the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, and The Netherlands. In 2013, she emigrated to Israel in order to study with internationally renowned pedagogue Professor Tamar Rachum-Roth in Tel Aviv.

 

An avid lover of art song, Daniella's recording “Alma Mahler in the Mediterranean” features works inspired by the Mediterranean region. Her latest concert series and upcoming CD "The Eternal Feminine" celebrates women's lives, dreams, and creativity with a program that features women composers, poets, and characters. Since moving to Toronto in 2016, Daniella has appeared as Idamante (Idomeneo) and Unulfo (Rodelinda) with Opera by Request and in the chorus of Toronto Masque Theatre's recent production of Dido and Aeneas/Aeneas & Dido. She is thrilled to be singing the feisty Marcellina in Toronto City Opera's production of Le nozze di Figaro this winter.

 

 

Gabriel Sanchez-Ortega

BARTOLO

 

Gabriel Sanchez-OrtegaGabriel Sanchez-Ortega is a promising operatic bass praised for his “booming bass sound,” and his “surprising low and rich voice” (Schmopera). He recently sang the role of Colline in Opera York’s production of La Bohème, under the baton of Maestro Mastromonaco.

 

This season, Gabriel will be making his Toronto City Opera debut singing the role of Bartolo in their production of The Marriage of Figaro. He will also be returning to the role of Colline with the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, and will make his debut as Sarastro in the Glenn Gould School Opera’s production of The Magic Flute.

 

Past performances include: Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro in Concert with the Mississauga chamber music society, Zuniga in Bizet’s Carmen, with the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra and Opera York, The Ogre in El Gato con Botas, by Montsalvatge, and Man with a cornet case/Puppet Maker in Postcard from Morocco, by Argento, with The Glenn Gould School. Gabriel has also had the pleasure of performing with the Aspen Opera Center in their 2016 productions of La Bohème (chorus), and Béatrice et Bénédict (extra, cover: Don Pedro).

 

Born in Montreal in 1993, Gabriel holds a Performance Diploma in voice from The Glenn Gould School, in Toronto, studying primarily under Joel Katz. While at the Aspen Opera Center, he had the privilege of studying under W. Stephen Smith.

 

 

Janelle Lapalme

BARBARINA

 

Janelle LapalmeJanelle completed Master’s degrees in Historical Performance and Music (Vocal Performance) at, respectively, the University of Toronto and the Université de Montréal. She also completed a Baccalaureate in Vocal Performance at the University of Ottawa, and is the proud recipient of the prestigious Baxter and Alma Ricard Award.

 

Janelle’s skill and precision as a soprano has led her to perform around Ontario. Highlights from her recent performances include roles as Adina in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, the Bride in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with Toronto Masque Theatre, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte with the University of Ottawa. As a guest soloist, Janelle has performed works such as Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the University of Ottawa Orchestra, Leçon des Ténèbres by Couperin, and Bach’s Magnificat with Laurentian University. Outside of her performing career, Janelle has been a private music instructor for 10 years.

 

 

Austin Larusson

ANTONIO

 

Ellen McAteer, Mezzo-SopranoPraised for his "fine baritone voice" (The Brooklyn Eagle), "Austin Larusson sang beautifully" (www.barczablog.com), Austin was most recently seen as Brétigny in MANON and Athamas in SEMELE with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, Ajax A in THE BEAUTIFUL HELEN and Archbishop/Father Bernard in CANDIDE with Toronto Operetta Theatre; Malatesta in DON PASQUALE with Vera Causa Opera; Benoit/Alcindoro in LA BOHEME and Ceprano in RIGOLETTO with Southern Ontario Lyric Opera. Previous Toronto appearances: Lorenzo in I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI and George Jones in STREET SCENE with Opera in Concert; Police Sergeant in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, Massakroff in THE CHOCOLATE SOLDIERCamilo in LOS GAVILANES, Lucas in THE STUDENT PRINCE and Botswain in H.M.S. PINAFORE, Toronto Operetta Theatre. New York appearances include Second Priest in THE MAGIC FLUTE, Yamadori in MADAMA BUTTERFLY, Hermann in LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN and Sciarrone and the Jailer in TOSCA, Regina Opera.  Upcoming engagements include Johann in WERTHER with Opera in Concert.

 

 

 

La Traviata Soloists

 

Beth Hagerman

VIOLETTA VALÉRY

 

Beth HagermanCelebrated as “a clear, strong lyric with a wonderful bloom in her upper register [and with] her acting... on point.” (Schmopera), Beth is a graduate of the Artist Diploma Program (Voice) at the Glenn Gould School, where she was a Fellow in the Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program. She also holds Bachelor degrees in German & Italian Studies and Music from, respectively, Dalhousie University and Mount Allison University.

 

Beth’s musical career encompasses dynamic performances in both Nova Scotia and Ontario. Notable performances include Leonora in Fidelio, Nedda in Pagliacci, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. In January 2017, Beth was presented by Opera San Miguel in the 3rd Annual Mexico-Canada Co-OPERA-tive Concert in San Miguel, Mexico. She was also the resident soprano at the National Arts Centre’s Young Artist Program in June 2016 and has recorded a recital in collaboration with John O’Connor in CBC’s Studio One.

 

 

Kijong Wi

ALFREDO GERMONT

 

Kijong WiPraised for his “vocal and dramatic power as Canio in Opera Pagliacci  (National Capital Opera Society) and “sensitively sung and wonderfully acted Faust in Opera Faust (Opera Canada), Kijong completed his Bachelor of Music in Voice at Chu-Gye University for the Arts in Seoul, Korea. To further his studies, Kijong studied in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. In Rome, he received a Diploma di Canto from Accademia di Roma. After completing his Master of Arts in Music Performance at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Switzerland, Kijong has appeared as a soloist and guest artist with various opera companies throughout Europe. Kijong’s strong and sonorous tenor voice has taken him to perform around the world. His international debut took place in Italy with a performance in La Traviata, Alfredo Germont.

 

After moving to Canada, he performed in Montreal, Halifax, Moncton and many other cities on the east coast in 25 performances as Don José in Carmen with Jeunesses Musicale du Canada. In the same year, Kijong performed the role of Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) and Chevalier de la Force (Dialogues des Carmélites) in Italy. Within the past years, Kijong has performed as Cavaradossi in Tosca, Faust in Faust, and Canio in Pagliacci. Outside of his operatic roles, Kijong is an active presence within the Ontario music community and has performed with the Toronto Korean-Canadian choir and the Durham Chamber Orchestra. He also performed as a soloist in Haydn's The Creation, Beethoven's Symphony No.9, and Verdi's Messa da Requiem. Kijong performed Don José in Carmen with Opera York in the 2017-2018 season.

 

 

Jeffrey Smith

GASTONE DE LETORIÈRES

 

Jeffrey Smith is a Toronto-based tenor with a quickly-rising career. He recently appeared with Toronto’s Long Reach Opera Workshop as Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte and has previously performed alongside the Halifax Summer Opera Festival as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. He is excited to have finally performed all three of the Mozart/Da Ponte operas, the last of these three performances being with Toronto City Opera in its production of Le nozze di Figaro. In September 2018, Jeffrey will be working with the Rossini Opera Academy at the Lunenburg Academy of Music and Performance as an understudy for the role of Lindoro in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri.

 

Prior to launching his operatic career, Jeffrey obtained a Bachelor’s degree in French Studies from York University.

 

 

Handaya Rusli

GIORGIO GERMONT

 

Handaya RusliHandaya is an avid opera singer and had performed in various opera productions. In March 2018, he made his operatic debut as Guglielmo in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, which was staged by OperaLab at The Esplanade, Singapore.  In the same year, Handaya also performed his debut role as Lescaut in Jules Massenet’s Manon, produced by the Summer Opera Lyric Theatre and also sang the role of Jimmy in Kurt Weill's Little Mahagonny production by Voicebox: Opera in Concert, both in Toronto.

 

Handaya was also chosen to sing for the critically-acclaimed Sonic Blossom project staged at the National Gallery Singapore as part of the Singapore “Light to Night Festival 2018”. He participated in the performance of Schubert’s lieder under the leadership of world- renowned New York- and Paris-based artist Lee Mingwei.

 

In December 2016, Handaya successfully held his debut concert “Nella Fantasia” at The Art House in Singapore. Handaya was a finalist in the Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO)-ASEAN Vocal Competition 2016, and the Art Station Vocal Competition 2014.

 

 

Veronika Anissimova

FLORA BERVOIX

 

Veronika AnissimovaMezzo-soprano Veronika Anissimova was recently heard in Marilyn Horne's The Song Continues at Carnegie Hall, and has been described as an artist with “lovely presence” (Susan Hall, Berkshire Fine Arts) and “impressively quick and precise coloratura” (Matthew Timmermans, ludwig van Toronto). She has recently performed Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate with UofT Schola Cantorum, and sang Polluce in Cavalli's Elena with the Toronto Consort, Despina in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte with the Toronto Lyric Opera Centre, and l’Architecture in Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissants, as a Voice Fellow at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute. This fall Veronika sings the role of Zulma in L’Italiana in Algieri at the Lunenburg Rossini Opera Academy in Nova Scotia, and joins the Opera Atelier chorus for a double bill of Charpentier's Actéon and Rameau's Pygmalion.

 

Veronika’s sacred music experiences include serving as alto soloist in Handel's Dixit Dominus with UofT Schola Cantorum, soprano soloist in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Cor Unum Ensemble, and alto soloist in Bach's Mass in B Minor at the 2017 American Bach Soloists Academy (Early Music America Scholarship). She has studied with Silvana Bartoli at the Gstaad Vocal Academy, with Andreas Scholl at l’Académie de Sablé, at the Opera Atelier Summer Dance Program, the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, and the Vancouver International Song Institute.

 

Winner of the 2014 National Gold Medal in voice performance at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Veronika holds a MMus (2018) in historical voice performance and a BMus (2016) in piano and Italian studies from the University of Toronto. Veronika is a student of Inna Golsband and Daniel Taylor.

 

 

Anthony Rodrigues

BARONE DOUPHOL

 

Anthony RodriguesAnthony is a seasoned opera performer with a resonant and powerful baritone voice. His most recent roles include Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Peter in Hänsel und Gretel, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Leporello and Masetto in Don Giovanni, Le Dancaire in Carmen, and Sulpice in La fille du regiment. He has also worked with many ensembles throughout Canada, such as Opera in Concert, Abridged Opera Company, Shoestring Opera, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Vera Causa Opera, Golden Classical Music Society, Cantabile Chorale, Fountainhead Theatre, Opera Nuova, Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Halifax Summer Opera Festival, Vox Musicae and Accademia Europea dell'Opera. Anthony’s passion for music and performance has brought him to the stage in classical concerts as well, and he has performed as a bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Fauré's Requiem and Mozart's Requiem.

 

 

Dallas Chorley

ANNINA

 

Dallas ChorleyCanadian soprano Dallas Chorley is an exciting new face in the opera scene. This season, Dallas can be heard singing as the soprano soloist in two productions of Handel’s Messiah.

 

This past season, Dallas was heard singing the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto. She also sang as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah, and performed her final recital at Walter Hall as part of her completion of her Master of Music degree. Dallas’s previous operatic roles include La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi (Halifax Summer Opera Festival), Una Conversa in Suor Angelica (HSOF), Erste Knabe in Die Zauberflöte (Premiere Productions Ottawa), Eccho in Ariadne auf Naxos (Summer Opera Lyric Theatre), and Yum Yum in The Mikado (McGill Savoy Society). Ensemble credits include Die Fledermaus (Opera5), I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Opera McGill), and La Bohême (Opera McGill).

 

Dallas holds a Master’s degree in Music from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor’s degree in Music from McGill University and a diploma in Arts Administration and Cultural Management from Humber College. Other studies include the St. Andrew’s Opera Workshop, Orford Festival, Opera Nuova, Vox Musicae, Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, and Halifax Summer Opera Festival. When she is not performing, Dallas is a voice and piano teacher at Long and McQuade in North York.

 

©2017-18 Toronto City Opera