Join us for an evening of opera’s greatest hits with Ontario’s rising opera stars! These young singers, accompanied by collaborative pianist, Paul Digout, will be performing some of the most recognizable and beautiful opera hits. The singers will sing both solo and ensemble pieces, including some of the most popular operatic duets. This evening of romance, heart break, friendship and laughter will keep you on your toes and you are sure to be entertained by these vibrant young singers. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear your favourite opera songs being performed by these talented and engaging performers.
Bios for Divas & Divos ....
Hannah Lucas | Soprano
Hannah holds a Masters in Performance and Literature from the Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western University where she studied with soprano, Jackalyn Short. She also holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance from UWO and a Bachelor of Education from Trent University. Hannah has attended Opera programs throughout Canada including Opera NUOVA in Edmonton and Opera on the Avalon in Newfoundland. Hannah has performed roles such as Cinderella in Sondheim’s Into the Woods (UWOpera), First Spirit in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Opera on the Avalon), Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola under the musical direction of maestro Alain Trudel (UWOpera) and most recently performed the role of The Governess from Britten's Turn of the Screw in Lucca, Tuscany with Accademia Europea Dell'Opera. Hannah has been the recipient of many awards and honors over the years, including the London Opera Guild Scholarship in 2012 and was the silver medalist in the Ontario Music Festival Association’s Open Voice Competition. She recently took home the 2nd prize from the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals National Competition this August in Kelowna, BC.
Amanda Perera | Mezzo-soprano
Amanda is an undergraduate student at Western University, where she is enrolled in the Bachelors of Music in Voice Performance program. Amanda most recently had the privilege of performing the role of Tisbe in Rossini's La Cenerentola with UWOpera, under the baton of maestro Alain Trudel. Previous performance credits include Countess Charlotte Malcolm in Sondheim's A Little Night Music (Halifax Summer Opera Workshop), Dodo in The Merry Widow (UWOpera), Chorus in La Bohème (Opera McGill), Second Lady and Second Witch in Dido and Aeneas, Chorus in Don Pasquale (Hubbard Hall Opera Theater), and Dorabella in excerpts from Così fan tutte (Boston University Tanglewood Institute). Amanda has been the grateful recipient of several awards throughout the years. Most recently, she was the 2013 Silver Medalist in the Ontario Music Festival Association's Open Voice Competition, the James A. Harris Memorial Award recipient and First Award winner of the Open Voice Special Competition at the Kiwanis Music Festival of London, and a Semi-Finalist in the National Classical Singer Competition in Boston, MA. This past winter, Amanda performed at London’s historical Aeolian Hall with tenor, Ross Mortimer, in a sold out evening of Christmas favourites. Recently, Amanda sang Mercédès in Bizet’s Carmen with Opera NUOVA, and also attended Wendy Nielsen's prestigious St. Andrew's by the Sea Opera Workshop.
Michael Marino | Tenor
Michael is a London Ontario native who recently finished his residency as an Emerging Artist with Calgary Opera in 2013 and is thrilled to be joining the company for their summer festival production of Candide. He received his Masters in Performance and Literature at the University of Western Ontario where he studied with Canadian baritone Theodore Baerg. His most recent performances include the roles of Rodolfo in Pucinni's La Boheme with Jeunesse Musicales, the Tenor Soloist in Handel's The Messiah in Whitehorse Yukon, 4th Jew in Strauss's Salome with Edmonton Opera, and Rinuccio in Pucinni's Gianni Schicchi with the COSI summer training program in Sulmona Italy. Mr. Marino last appeared performing the roles of Gonzalve in Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole and Gastone in Verdi's La Traviata with Calgary Opera. Other past roles include Fenton (Falstaff), Lurcanio (Ariodante), Tamino (Magic Flute), Rodolfo (La Bohème), Romeo (Roméo et Juliette), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Davey Palmer (Siren Song), and Sam Kaplan (Street Scene).
Paul Digout | Piano
Paul holds a Masters of Music in Collaborative Piano and a Bachelor of Musical Arts degree from the Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western University where he studied with John Hess. As well Mr. Digout holds an Associate Diploma in Piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Paul has had the opportunity to work with various coaches and teachers including Michael McMahon, Martin Katz and Gary Wedow. He has attended Opera NUOVA, the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, and La Musica Lirica in Novafetria, Italy. At present Mr. Digout is in demand as a freelance collaborative pianist, adjudicator, and works with the Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia.
Janaka Welihinda | Barritone
Janaka is described as "a dynamic Papageno, with a clear talent for comic acting, and a very agreeable, clear voice" (Opera Canada, 2011), Sri Lankan Canadian baritone Janaka Welihinda is establishing himself as a young artist. He has also delivered other comic roles such as Uberto in La Serva Padrona, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro, Pooh-Bah in The Mikado, Frank in Die Fledermaus, and Ben in The Telephone, to high acclaim. In 2007, Janaka developed the role of Meursault in the Canadian premier of Ian Cherry’s new opera based on the novel by Camus: L'Étranger. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Brandon University and a Masters of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Western Ontario.
An electrifying duo-duel of pianists formed with Matt Herskowitz and John Roney. Two grand pianos facing each other. Classical music and jazz merge in a burst of virtuosity! This unique show concept invites the audience to attend a concert where two pianos clash, speak and complete each other in a fusion of classical and jazz music. Undisputed masters of improvisation, these two virtuosos take pleasure in revisiting jazz standards and great classics pieces to bring it in new trails.
The Artists ....
Originally from Toronto, pianist John Roney now lives in Montreal, where he divides his time between composing, teaching and performing on the international jazz scene. As a composer and pianist equally adept in both the jazz and classical styles, his versatility attests to an astonishing range of artistic skills and sensibilities. Roney studied jazz piano, classical piano and composition at the University of Toronto before relocating to Montreal to complete his master’s degree in jazz piano at McGill University.
Since his arrival, he has played with a number of local jazz scene luminaries. Working with artists like Chet Doxas, Remi Bolduc, Effendi Jazzlab, Bernard Primeau and Jean-Christophe Béney, he has performed across Canada, Europe and the Middle East, as well as participating on a number of recordings for CBC/Radio-Canada, Global Television, JustinTime Records, Effendi Records and Swingin’ Time Productions. He has toured widely with soprano Nathalie Choquette (Canada, Japan, China, Europe and West Africa). He has also played or recorded with such legendary figures as drummers Peter Erskine and Steve Houghton, bassists Christian McBride and Alain Caron, composers Johnny Mandel, Gary Kulesha and Alf Clausen, Belgian guitarist Phillipe Catherine, and saxophonists Seamus Blake, Nick Brignola, François Théberge, Michael Blake, Jerry Bergonzi and Donny McCaslin. As a composer, he has created music for orchestras and chamber ensembles in Ontario and Quebec, as well as for radio, film, television and theatre. Other achievements including working on transcriptions and arrangements for the Triplets of Belleville (Benoît Charest) and Houdini (Elan Kunin) soundtracks as well as on various productions for Choquette. To date, Roney has released three albums, Rate of Change (2006), Silverbirch (2010) and Saint-Henri (2012), a tribute to Oscar Peterson.
Uniquely combining the superlative technique of a classical virtuoso with his prowess in jazz, world music and free improvisation, pianist, composer and arranger Matt Herskowitz has carved out a unique and personal voice in music. Over the course of the last decade, Matt has produced a series of critically-acclaimed recordings, premiered his works in settings from New York’s Central Park to Germany’s Köln Philharmonie, collaborated with top classical, jazz and pop artists, and has performed at music festivals across the globe.
His newest release, for Justin Time Records, is Matt Herskowitz Upstairs, a solo outing ranging from Gershwin to Schumann to Dave Brubeck to originals by Herskowitz, including Bella’s Lament and “Bach à la Jazz,” his arrangement of Bach’s Prelude in C Minor which Herskowitz previously recorded for EMI’s Grammy-nominated soundtrack to The Triplets of Belleville. In naming the release “Solo Album of the Year,” Le Devoir declared: “Herskowitz deploys his art with a rare passion, but without ever sacrificing musicality. Exceptional technique, precise sense of nuance, Herskowitz here brilliantly fuses his mastery of jazz and classical.” And Downbeat magazine praised Upstairs in its Editor’s Picks: “Throughout these eight tracks, [Herskowitz] displays touch, power, artistry and chops along with a firm grasp of the daring needed for a great performance.”
Upstairs follows-up Matt’s critically-acclaimed, Juno-nominated world music fusion album Jerusalem Trilogy, which features the pianist’s original compositions and arrangements in his signature synthesis of contemporary jazz and classical styles, combined with a striking blend of Arab and Jewish grooves. Among the album’s fans was the late great Dave Brubeck who commended Matt on the recording, saying: “Congratulations! You have transformed the concept of ‘world’ music as I conceived of it half a century ago. You have carried it further than I could imagine.”In addition to his jazz trio, the album features violinist Lara St. John, saxophonist/flutist Daniel Schnyder and special guest Bassam Saba on Nay and Oud. Matt and his group have performed Jerusalem Trilogy all over the world, including the El Paso Chamber Music Festival, Le Poisson Rouge in New York City, the Bremen International Musikfest, the Warsaw Singer Festival, and the Montreal International Jazz Festival.
His 2007 solo release, Matt Herskowitz Plays George Gershwin, featuring Matt’s original solo arrangements of the Concerto in F, Cuban Overture and Rhapsody in Blue, was nominated for Quebec’s prestigious Prix Opus, while his 2006 solo release, Gabriel’s Message, featuring original arrangements and compositions based on Christmas themes, was nominated for Québec’s Félix award for “Best Jazz Album.” Matt’s 1998 recording of Glazunov’s 2nd Piano Concerto with I Musici de Montréal (Chandos Records) was hailed by Strad Magazine as “by far the best performance [of the work] on disc.”
their website ..... Piano Caméléons
Juno nominees 2014, Guy and Nadina are Canada’s most vibrant and visible wind soloists.
“Few and Jackson play with polished tone, immaculate intonation and infectious high spirits; it’s obvious they’re having a blast” (allmusic.com). Known internationally as soloists, chamber musicians, recitalists and fashionistas, Guy Few and Nadina Mackie Jackson have performed in Canada and the USA as concerto soloists, multi-instrumental recitalists and recording artists.
“...the bassoon and corno da caccia can blend almost seamlessly in both tone and timbre...This pair of performers is indeed a good one, and I am glad that they are collaborating as much as they have.” - AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
“….completely engaging from the moment they walked on stage…. glorious… a fascinating and joyful concert…” - OLIVER CHRONICLE
Read More About Guy Few & Nadina Mackie Jackson …
Thank You To Our Pre-Concert Chat Sponsor
A NEW CABARET ON THE LIVES OF CLAUDE DEBUSSY AND MAURICE RAVEL
Written by Tom Allen
Tom Allen: narration, trombone, voice
Kevin Fox: voice, cello, guitar
Lori Gemmell: harp, trumpet, piano, voice
Bryce Kulak: piano, voice, accordion
Patricia O’Callaghan: voice, piano, percussion
Most people who have listened to CBC Radio 1 or 2 will be familiar with the voice of Tom Allen. At the moment he is the host of Shift on Radio 2. His programs are always filled with interesting facts about the selection, the composer or about our times. Tom is also known a host and consultant for symphony orchestras and smaller concerts, and as an author, a musician and broadcaster.
…beautiful arrangements of works by both composers as well as evocative new compositions riffing on themes in their life and music. – NOW Magazine
They are an engaging company that is able to address the topics of love, war, history, art and beauty in such a way as to make light of them without being flip. I was entertained and moved as well as educated. – Emily Hanlon, Ottawa Chamberfest
Read More About The Artists ...
Described as ... “a real personality with a dark edge to her mezzo as well as clear top notes" WhatsOnStage, UK
... As well as “exhilarating” by Opera Canada
Canadian mezzo Catharin Carew holds Masters of Music in Vocal Performance both from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London England and McGill University, Montreal. Whilst pursuing her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Toronto, Catharin studied vocal pedagogy with Lorna MacDonald and is, alongside being a classical soloist, a workshop technician specializing in vocal projection with choral groups.
Read More About CATHARIN CAREW …
Fascinated by the music of French Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, Taiwanese-Canadian guitarist Denis Chang’s formative years were spent alongside the Gypsies of France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany, where he learned to play the style of music that is now known as Gypsy Jazz. There, he learned to understand the Romany way of life, and was completely immersed in the culture…
“The audience was mesmerized by the musical wizardry of Chang and hi back up musicians.” — LDNews, BC, Canada
“He plays faster than his shadow. As many know, that is also the case for many European Manouche gypsies […]. Denis, however, who is also equally at ease at Bebop and other jazz styles is somewhat of a Django cosmopolite. As such, he has assimilated both yesterday and today’s artforms.” — Jazz Podium, Germany
Read More About DENIS CHANG GYPSY JAZZ QUARTET
Mauro Bertoli, pianist, born in Brescia, Italy, and resident in Ottawa, Canada, has established himself on the international stage and has been praised by the press for his formidable technique and exceptional sensitivity.
“….dazzled by (the) up-and-coming pianist …with absolutely flawless technique and deep musicality…Here is a newcomer to watch out for.” John Terauds, Toronto Star
“I recommend the young and very gifted Italian pianist Mauro Bertoli…” Louis Lortie
An excerpt from The Whole Note music guide ….
“In the world of classical music, Italy has long been known for producing famous singers and conductors. For some reason, though, the list of renowned Italian pianists is considerably shorter — Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Maurizio Pollini are among those who come to mind. However, with the release of three CDs featuring a young artist by the name of Mauro Bertoli, that list should be immediately augmented!” Richard Haskell, The Whole Note
Read More About Mauro Bertoli …..
Listen & Enjoy .....
Thank You Our Returning Event Sponsor MR. SUB
Peter Longworth, piano
May 3 Program Change
8 Klavierstucke, opus 76.............Brahms
Pictures at an Exhibition.......Mussorgsky
"Peter Longworth is, I would like to argue, Toronto's most accomplished collaborative pianist right now. It sometimes looks like there's nothing he can't do. So it's particularly worth paying attention to his first solo album.' -John Terauds
Violinist Sheila Jaffé is unable to perform due to a recent accident.
Miss Jaffé has completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Montreal, and is currently working towards her masters degree at the world renowned Hanns Eisler conservatory with Stephan Picard. She recently auditioned for and won a one year position with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin. Sheila plays on a Francesco Gobetti violin (1710-15) generously loaned to her by Canimex.
Read more about Peter Longworth and Sheila Jaffé
Ariel Barnes, cello | Heidi Krutzen, harp
Works by Mortlock, Buhr, Lizotte and Maxwell
Couloir joins two of Canada's finest musicians, Ariel Barnes and Heidi Krutzen, to explore the sound world of cello and harp, a combination of instruments rarely heard together. Collaboration and commissioning are the cornerstones of this new duo.
Read more about Couloir
The Singing City of Naples
Bella Napoli is an “utterly beguiling … fusion of art and folk music” (Musical Toronto) that celebrates the musical richness — classical and traditional — of Naples and southern Italy.
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Canada's award-winning period instrument orchestra, was founded in 1979 and has long been renowned in North America and internationally for its distinct, exhilarating and soulful performances. Under the outstanding leadership of Music Director Jeanne Lamon, C.M., it has excelled equally in music ranging from the baroque and classical eras and beyond. In the words of Gramophone, Tafelmusik is “one of the world’s top baroque orchestras.”
Vesuvius Ensemble (Francesco Pellegrino, Marco Cera, and Lucas Harris, with special guest Ben Grossman) is dedicated to the musical and cultural heritage from Naples and other parts of southern Italy. The ensemble performs songs in dialect from the Italian countryside which have been passed on orally and in writing over centuries and finally researched and recorded in the twentieth century.Read more about Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Vesuvius Ensemble
Marc-André-Hamelin - Barcarolle (2012)
Nikolai Medtner - Sonata in e minor, Op. 25, No. 2, Night Wind
Franz Schubert - 4 Impromptus, D935 (Op. Posth., Op.142)
Pianist Marc-André Hamelin is renowned for his fresh readings of the established repertoire and his intrepid exploration of lesser known works of the 19th and 20th centuries. He is admired for his brilliant technique and his questing, deep thinking approach to everything he plays. In the words of James Oestreich of The New York Times: 'The pianist Marc-André Hamelin is fearless. No successful performer can afford to show fear from the stage, but with Mr. Hamelin, fearlessness is something more: a positive attribute, a confident calm that he exudes even while unleashing volcanic eruptions of sound and emotion.'
Read more about Marc-André Hamelin
Presenting two masterworks of the chamber music repertoire Maurice Ravel’s Piano Trio and Olivier Messiaen’s haunting and poetic Quartet for the End of Time: Quatuor pour la fin du temps – both composed because of war but for very different reasons.
“The Gryphon Trio is one of the best ensembles in the world, consistently making music of rare excellence.” - The Globe and Mail, Toronto. Having impressed international audiences and the press with their highly refined, dynamic performances, the two-time JUNO winning Gryphon Trio has firmly established itself as one of the world’s pre-eminent piano trios.
James Campbell has followed his muse to five television specials, more than 40 recordings, over 30 works commissioned, a Juno Award (Stolen Gems), a Roy Thomson Hall Award, Canada’s Artist of the Year, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and Canada’s highest honor, the Order of Canada. Called by the Toronto Star “Canada’s pre-eminent clarinetist and wind soloist”, James Campbell has performed solo and chamber music concerts in 30 countries in many of the world’s great concert halls.