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.