2019 Artists


Pamina
Born in Ontario, Lindsay Heyland attended the Glenn Gould School on a full scholarship, studying with Metropolitan Opera veteran Barbara Dever and Jennifer Tung. In…

Giulietta
Leslie Higgins is a 21 year old Soprano from Uxbridge Ontario.  She is entering her 4th and final year of voice performance at Western University,…

First Lady
Canadian soprano Skylar Cameron is currently working toward a Master of Music in vocal performance at Western University, studying with Torin Chiles. At Western, she…

First Spirit
Olivia Charlebois-Brandvold, soprano, is delighted to join the HSOF this summer, taking part in her first Opera production. Currently living in Montreal, completing a BFA…

Little Pamina, Chorus
Ava attends Dr. John C. Wickwire Academy in Liverpool, NS and will be starting grade 4 this Fall. She has been an audience member for…

Papageno
Hailing from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canadian baritone Luke Noftall is a multi-talented performer who has often been praised for his abilities in singing, acting and…

Oronte
Twenty-year-old tenor Justin Li, from Seattle, Washington, will start his third year of studies for a BM in Voice Performance at the Jacobs School of…

Queen if the Night
Praised as a “sophisticated artist” with a “gorgeous voice” and “stratospheric vocals” (Winnipeg Free Press), soprano Katherine Mayba is an exciting artist in the opera…

Olympia
Soprano Meggie McKay is a vibrant and passionate musician, who is at home performing in recitals, operas, and musical theatre. She has a Master of Arts in Musicology with a concentration in Women and…

Second Spirit (Flute) Chorus (Hoffmann)
Rhian Merritt is a young soprano from Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia. Rhian has studied voice at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts under the direction…

Queen of the Night
Anastasia Pogorelova, coloratura soprano, was born in Moscow where she studied at the College of Musical and Theatrical Arts. In 2015 She obtained her Master’s…

Morgana
Halifax Soprano, Abigail Sinclair, began her studies at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music this past year with professor Elizabeth McDonald, and is the…

Lindorf, Coppélius, Miracle, Dapertutto
Native of La Sarre in Abitibi-Temiscamingue, Québec, MarKo Hubert received his formation in voice performance at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in the…

Second Spirit (Flute) Chorus (Hoffmann)
Born and raised in Oakville, Ontario, Julia Kennific is a soprano who lives and studies in Montreal. A graduate of the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus…

Hoffmann
Iranian tenor Koosha Khorramian is thrilled to be performing the title role of Offenbach’s masterpiece Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Halifax Summer Opera Festival (HSOF). His debut with…

Antonia
Soprano Olivia LaPointe has been praised often by adjudicators and directors for her musicality and poise. Olivia has extensive experience singing in a variety of genres,…

Antonia
Kelsey Lee was raised in Las Vegas as the oldest of six kids. At the age of two, her parents were leads in the local…

Nathanael, Spalanzani, Frantz, Pittichinaccio
Eli Aronson, tenor, is in his second year at St. Olaf College pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal performance. Originally from Minnesota, USA, he…

Bradamante
Born in southern California, mezzo-soprano Laurel Coddington is currently pursuing a double degree in Music Performance (Voice) and Communication Sciences & Disorders at Biola University…

Third Lady
Currently studying vocal performance at Western University, Laura Curiale has been growing her voice and exploring all avenues of performing under the guidance of soprano…

Nicklausse
Máiri Demings is a mezzo-soprano hailing from Springhill, Nova Scotia. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Acadia University and has recently…

Oberto
Hailing from Southern Manitoba, Alyssa Hildebrand is thrilled to be participating in HSOF this summer.  She recently completed a Master of Music in Performance and…

Alcina
Soprano Jodie Alcorn-Miller has returned to her home Nova Scotia to continue sharing her love of music both on the stage and in the teaching…

Sarastro (Flute) Crespel (Hoffmann)
Duncan Stenhouse is an operatic bass and composer from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Originally born in Northern Ireland Duncan has moved numerous times and lived in…

Third Lady
Mezzo- Soprano Natalie Vong has recently obtained her Bachelor of Music Honours in Voice Performance degree under the tutelage of Patrica Green from the the…

Second Lady
Born in Hong Kong, soprano Serena Yeung started her vocal training at an early age in her hometown, under Alex Tam. She just finished her…

Olympia
Coloratura soprano Loren Graziano is a student of Nathalie Paulin at the University of Toronto, where she is currently pursuing her Master of Music in…

Melisso
Colombian baritone Camilo Rodriguez-Cuadrado obtained a Master degree in voice performance from The University of Western Ontario in 2018.  Camilo will join The Halifax Summer…

First Spirit
Soprano Emilie James is a classical singer from Toronto, Ontario. The Magic Flute is Emilie’s first operatic role. Emilie has been taking private vocal lessons…

Second Lady
Mezzo Soprano Corinne James is musical theatre and classical singer from Toronto, Ontario. Corinne is currently studying drama at Seneca College. Corinne participated in the…

Third Spirit
Keira Davis is returning to HSOF for her fourth season. She debuted as Willie Maurrant in the 2015 production of “Street Scene,” was in the…

Third Spirit
Raelyn Davis is happiest when singing and acting on the stage. She is returning to HSOF for her fourth season. She debuted as Myrtle in…

Little Pamina
Billie lives in Brooklyn, on the beautiful South Shore with her Mom and Dad, Ali and Ian, and her older brother, Oscar.  In the fall…

Pamina
Nova Scotia born Soprano, Meghan Jamieson, was raised in a musical family, making the decision to pursue a career in music and performance an easy…

Oberto
Emma Battel is soprano from Kingston, Ontario.  This fall she will begin her third year of the vocal performance program at Western University where she studies…

Monostatos
Mehdi began his singing career as a member of the ‘’ Tehran Choir ’’ in Iran in 2010 while taking classical voice lessons. In 2013,…

Papagena
Emily Zixin Wang is a Chinese-Canadian soprano based in Toronto, Ontario. She is currently entering her second year Masters of Voice Performance program at the…

Nicklausse
Lissy Meyerowitz is a Canadian mezzo-soprano from Toronto with Italian and Jewish heritage.  She is currently studying Vocal Performance at the University of Toronto under…

Alcina
Victoria Vass has recently completed a Masters degree in Vocal Performance and Literature from the University of Western Ontario. She has received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Western…

Papagena
Grace Hakala is a soprano from Sarnia, Ontario, and a fourth year Voice Performance student at Western University.  She studies with Torin Chiles and Marianna Chibotar-Rutkevich.  She…

Tamina
Raised in Scarborough Ontario, Alexander Cappellazzo has since moved to Montreal to continue cultivating his passion of singing. This year he has earned the degree…

First Lady
Oakville born soprano, Julie Gate, recently graduated with her Bachelor of Music Honours Performance degree at the University of Western Ontario, under the tutelage of…

Schlemil, Luther (Hoffmann) Speaker, High Priest (Flute)
Steven is a member of Halifax Camerata Singers and the Halifax Gay Men’s Chorus and studies vocal technique with Jason Davis. In his first season…

Giulietta
Canadian soprano, Olivia Spahn-Vieira is thrilled to be making her operatic debut as Giulietta, in the Halifax Summer Opera Festival’s production of Les Contes D’Hof…

Ruggiero
Sean Jordan recently graduated with a Masters in Opera Performance from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, studying under baritone Nathaniel Watson. Having returned to…

Morgana
Sevan Kochkarian is a lyric soprano from Vancouver, BC with “a stunning voice and character” (The Contributor). She studied at the Vancouver Academy of Music…

Chorus, understudy for Antonia's Mother
Andrea Johnston is excited to return to the Halifax Summer Opera Festival. On her last visit, she displayed her evil side as “Mrs. McLean” in…

Bradamante
Zoë Gotziaman just graduated from the University of Manitoba under the tutelage of Tracy Dahl. Zoë’s recent roles include: Hansel Hansel and Gretel (UofM School…

Antonia's Mother
Mezzo soprano Megan Hayward graduated with honours in performance from the University of Windsor. She began lessons many years ago with Doreen Uren-Simmons back in…

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Pamina

Lindsay Heyland

Born in Ontario, Lindsay Heyland attended the Glenn Gould School on a full scholarship, studying with Metropolitan Opera veteran Barbara Dever and Jennifer Tung. In 2009, Lindsay made her operatic debut as Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro for Provoce Studio, and revisited the role in 2011 with Opera NUOVA.

Other notable roles for Ms. Heyland include Pamina in Die Zauberflote (New York Opera Studio), Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Summer Opera Lyric Theatre), Agathe in Der Freischutz (Opera By Request), and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus (Provoce Studios).

In the competition area, Lindsay has claimed the President’s Trophy for the Toronto Kiwanis Festival, as well as becoming a finalist for the NYCO Festival Competition and the Canadian Music Competition.

Lindsay currently resides in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, where she operates a successful home business (LindsayHeyland.com) as a Massage Therapist, and performs the role of Mommy for her two young daughters!

 

Giulietta

Leslie Higgins

Leslie Higgins is a 21 year old Soprano from Uxbridge Ontario.  She is entering her 4th and final year of voice performance at Western University, studying with Rachel Mallon.  She has been taking private voice lessons since she was 9 years old, and has completed her grade 10 voice and grade 8 piano with the Royal Conservatory of Music.  She has performed in numerous festivals, concerts and programs over the years, and has had the opportunity to work with many different coaches, conductors, and teachers from across North America.  She also really enjoys musical theater, and has been performing onstage since she was 8.  Some of her favourite roles include Rizzo in Grease, Diana in A Chorus Line, Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, and Brigitta in The Sound of Music.  She discovered her passion for music while singing in choir, and has been fortunate enough to sing with the Ontario Youth Choir for the past 4 summers, and represented Ontario in the 2017 National Youth Choir under the direction of Timothy Shantz.  She is so excited to be making her opera debut this summer in Halifax Opera’s production of Offenbach’s ‘Les contes d’Hoffmann’ as Giulietta.

First Lady

Skylar Cameron

Canadian soprano Skylar Cameron is currently working toward a Master of Music in vocal performance at Western University, studying with Torin Chiles. At Western, she covered the role of Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Recently, Skylar performed the role of Donna Elvira in Halifax Summer Opera Festival’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Opera Canada commended her as a “persistent Elvira, successfully conveying a range of changing emotions in a demanding role”. She performed the title role in Mount Allison Opera Workshop’s production of Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon and was a featured soloist in Mt. A Choral Society’s performance of Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn. In the past, Skylar performed the roles of Sister Dolcina in Puccini’s Suor Angelica at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy and Venere in Cavalli’s L’Egisto at HSOF. Skylar has also performed in scenes from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Gluck’s Paride ed Elena, and Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea. In the coming season, Skylar will sing Sandrina in La finta giardiniera at Western, and First Lady in Die Zauberflöte at HSOF. Skylar has competed twice at the National Music Festival, has won first and second place for Senior Voice at the National Association of Teachers Songfest, and second place in Voice at the ENKOR International Music Competition.

First Spirit

Olivia Charlebois-Brandvold

Olivia Charlebois-Brandvold, soprano, is delighted to join the HSOF this summer, taking part in her first Opera production. Currently living in Montreal, completing a BFA at Concordia University, in music with specialization in performance, Olivia divides her career focus between music and community involvement. With a considerable background working and volunteering in the non-profit sector, coupled with a first Bachelor’s degree in International Development and Globalization, she aspires to merge her two passions in a way that fosters a sense of support, working together and social networking within the arts community. She currently co-runs a music improv club based on the teachings of Music For People, an organization started by award winning cellist David Darling. The club’s mandate is to bring students from all faculties, as well as community members together who share a passion for music and creation. She has also taught workshops and classes based on similar practices to children of all ages.

Olivia has had the opportunity to work with such respected faculty as Amanda Brunk, Mario Baron and M.J. Johnson, studying cross-over technique at Wilfred Laurier University. She has also participated in jazz workshops taught by Lisa Martinelli and Shanon Gunn at Humber College in Toronto.  Olivia has performed in multiple venues in Ottawa, Montreal and surrounding areas in various bands and solo projects.

Olivia would like to thank her family and friends for their unconditional love and support.

Little Pamina, Chorus

Ava Frail

Ava attends Dr. John C. Wickwire Academy in Liverpool, NS and will be starting grade 4 this Fall. She has been an audience member for the last 3 years but will be celebrating her 9th birthday on stage with the HSOF this year! She started voice lessons under the direction of Kim Umphrey at 6 years old and participates in the annual Liverpool Music Festival. Her first stage appearance was at 6 years old at the Liverpool Kiwanis Christmas concert before a full house of 330 people! She hopes to someday be an opera singer! Ava also enjoys attending a variety of Symphony NS productions, competitive dance with La Vie en Danse (Bridgewater, NS), Suzuki violin lessons with Bev Shaw (Mahone Bay, NS), taking care of her 28 beautiful chickens and being a mermaid at the beach every summer of course! She is super excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the HSOF for the first time along with her best friend, Billie Kent 🙂

Papageno

Luke Noftall

Hailing from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canadian baritone Luke Noftall is a

multi-talented performer who has often been praised for his abilities in singing, acting and dancing.  A well-versed musician, Luke has been performing widely from a young age, and has been part of numerous musicals where he has often held leading roles, such as Robert Martin in The Drowsy Chaperone, and Kurt Kelly in Heathers: The Musical.

Having recently finished his third year at the University of Toronto, Luke studies with Professor Lorna MacDonald, who hold the Lois Marshall Chair in Voice Studies.  He is currently perusing his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, and is also part of the University of Toronto’s Opera Undergraduate Program, where he was seen performing in their fall production of Street Scene.  Since coming to Toronto, Luke has been part of a number of very exciting performances and competitions, including: placing first at the NATS Ontario Vocal Showcase in 2017, being selected to sing in the University of Toronto’s first ever Vocalini Concert for Outstanding Undergraduate Singers in 2018, and performing the roles of both Papageno and Monostatos in a production of Die Zauberflöte at the Arts & Letters Club.

Luke recently finished Opera NUOVA’s 4-Week Apprentice Program in Edmonton where he took part in Purcell’s Fairy Queen, and also portrayed Benedick, the leading role in the newly workshopped opera by James Garner and Patrick Hansen: Much Ado! which is set for its world premiere in 2021 by Opera McGill.

Luke is extremely exciting to be playing Papageno in HSOF’s production of Die Zauberflöte, as this has been one of his dream roles.

 

Oronte

Justin Li

Twenty-year-old tenor Justin Li, from Seattle, Washington, will start his third year of studies for a BM in Voice Performance at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington in the fall of 2019. This past year, he has appeared in the choruses for the IU Opera Theatre’s productions of Dialogues des Carmélites and L’Elisir d’Amore, and participated in the school’s Undergraduate Opera Workshop’s opera scenes program, singing the Duke of Dunstable, from Patience, and Jupiter, from Orphée aux enfers. He is a student of Professor Patricia Havranek.

Queen if the Night

Katherine Mayba

Praised as a “sophisticated artist” with a “gorgeous voice” and “stratospheric vocals” (Winnipeg Free Press), soprano Katherine Mayba is an exciting artist in the opera scene. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, she has performed with Manitoba Underground Opera as Ilia (Idomeneo) and Amore (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Manitoba Opera (Don Giovanni, Falstaff, Madama Butterfly) and has made regular appearances with Flipside Opera. She has also performed as a soloist with the WSO and through the Orville J. Derraugh Scholarship Competition, and has competed in the Winnipeg Music Festival winning several awards including the Rose Bowl. This season she joined the WSO on their Holiday Tour and future engagements include: Titania (The Fairy Queen), Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute) and the Ukrainian Art Song Project. Katherine studies at the University of Manitoba and is a student of Tracy Dahl. A multidisciplinary musician, she holds her ARCT Performance Diploma in Voice, Piano and Violin from The Royal Conservatory of Music.

Olympia

Meggie McKay

Soprano Meggie McKay is a vibrant and passionate musician, who is at home performing in recitals, operas, and musical theatre. She has a Master of Arts in Musicology with a concentration in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Ottawa (2019) and a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Acadia University (2016). She completed the Artist Diploma program in Voice Performance at Western University in May of this year. Meggie is an avid equestrian and is a provincially-rated dressage rider in Nova Scotia.

Meggie enjoys acting as well as singing and has performed for many years with Quick as a Wink Theatre Society in her hometown of Windsor, Nova Scotia. Her roles include: Lucy Van Pelt, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown; Rose Lennox, The Secret Garden; Arabella Stannus, Glory Days; and Bertha Mason, Jane Eyre: the Musical. She has also performed as a guest soloist for the Bedford-based Enchor East Chorus, the Eastern Shore Summer Arts Festival, and for the North Grenville Concert Choir in Kemptville, Ontario. She previously performed with the Acadia University Singing Theatre Company and the Acadia University Chorus. In August 2015, Meggie performed the role of Evangeline in the Canadian Premiere of Gwyneth Walker’s opera Evangeline, in the historic Covenanter Church in Grand Pre. Meggie performed the role of Cobweb in the 2018 HSOF production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Meggie enjoys stage managing and assisting behind-the-scenes. During her musicology studies, Meggie was a Teaching Assistant for the University of Ottawa’s Opera Productions of Bizet’s Carmen in 2017 and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in 2018. Meggie has won several provincial awards and Equine Canada bronze level championships with her Paint Horse, Jigs. She is passionate about animals and is known around her hometown for her eclectic collection of misfit critters.

Second Spirit (Flute) Chorus (Hoffmann)

Rhian Merritt

Rhian Merritt is a young soprano from Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia. Rhian has studied voice at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts under the direction of Paula Phillips and now has continued her education at Acadia University (Wolfville, Nova Scotia). At Acadia, Rhian has just completed her third year in a Bachelor of Music where she is focusing in Vocal Performance with teachers Dr. Christianne Rushton and Dr. Jennifer Farrell.

Rhian has competed many times as a soloist in competitions such as the Nova Scotia Registered Music Teachers’ Association’s Scholarship Competition where she placed first in the Senior Class (2018). She has also competed in the Kiwanis Music Festival where she competed provincially in 2017 and will again in 2019. As well as solo singing, Rhian has been a member of several different Canadian choirs. In 2016, 2017, and 2018 Rhian represented Nova Scotia in the National Youth Choir of Canada. She also participated in the Nova Scotia Youth Choir and Xara Choral Theatre. In 2017 and 2018, Rhian was a performer in Xara Choral Theatre’s touring show ‘Fatty Legs’ that tells the true story of Olemaun Pokiak / Margaret Pokiak Fenton’s experiences before, during, and after attending residential school as a young Indigenous girl.

This summer Rhian is delighted to be performing in the Halifax Summer Opera Festival in both Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffman. She is excited to learn from her peers and mentors and grow from this program in new and maybe unexpected ways! After completed her undergraduate degree, Rhian hopes to continue her studies in a Master’s degree and use her voice as a tool for healing, entertainment, reconciliation, unity, and empowerment.

Queen of the Night

Anastasia Pogorelova

Anastasia Pogorelova, coloratura soprano, was born in Moscow where she studied at the College of Musical and Theatrical Arts. In 2015 She obtained her Master’s degree in Opera and Chamber Music as well as Teaching from the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music in Moscow under the supervision of professor Valentina Levko. As a student, she regularly sang in Vishnevskaya Children’s Theatre performing in Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and throughout Russia. In 2012 she won the 2nd place in the Kabalevskiy International Competition in Moscow.

She has appeared in concerts in Florence, Italy (2013), Ischia, Italy (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), and Salzburg, Austria (2014). During this period, she was an active participant in master classes with Ines Salazar, Janet Perry, Mikhail Hallak, Mary Pinto, David Bowser and Michael Paul.

While studying in the Academy Anastasia performed in Mozart’s “La nozze di Figaro” as Susanna and Barbarina. She sang several times at the Opera Night Project in Moscow under the direction of Haik Grigoryan (2013-2015). After graduating, Anastasia continued her vocal training with Maestro Michael Paul in New York. In 2016 she moved to Toronto and performs with the Belle Voci Ensemble as well as a recital artist.

Anastasia performed as a soloist in classical music concerts including one organized be Maestro Kerry Stratton with Polish saxophone virtuoso Ryszard Zoledziewski and pianist Anna Shalaykevych, Toronto, 2016, a Christmas concert with the Greater Toronto Philarmonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro P.Busato, Toronto, 2017, a Symphony in the gardens concert at Casa Loma, Toronto, 2018, a Christmas Concert with Toronto Concert Orchestra, Richmond Hill, 2018.

Anastasia’s repertoire consists of songs and arias of different genres and eras. She performs Baroque vocal music (Handel, Bach, Pergolesi), German, Italian, French arias and romances (Shubert, Strauss, Donizetti, Bellini, Arditi, Debussy, Poulenc) and Russian songs and Arias (Rimskiy-Korsakov, Varlamov and others). She enjoys singing Mozart, finding his music genial and very helpful for singers.

Anastasia is a native Russian speaker and is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian.

Morgana

Abigail Sinclair

Halifax Soprano, Abigail Sinclair, began her studies at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music this past year with professor Elizabeth McDonald, and is the recipient of the Ethel Berney Jackson Scholarship from the University of Toronto. In 2018, she competed in the ACNMP Contemporary Showcase, Advanced Vocalist class, singing works by Canadian Composer Mary Gardiner. She has participated in many concerts through University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, including performances presenting original works by students from the Composition Faculty, the XXII Collective, and reprising the role of Sister Mary Amnesia from “Nunsense” for the Vocal Faculty’s “Give My Regards To Broadway” Musical Theatre Cabaret. Before that, she studied voice at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts with Paula Phillips from 2009-2018. Abigail was a member of the Intensive Training Program at Halifax Dance from 2011-2017. She has spent the last three summers with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, performing in Suor Angelica in 2016 (Una Novizia), Albert Herring in 2017 (Emmie) and finally L’incoronazione di Poppea (La Fortuna/Damigella) under the baton of Dr. Vicki St. Pierre. She is the recipient of the 2016 and 2017 Ifan William Senior Trophy, and the 2017 Opera Nova Scotia Voice Scholarship. Abigail has competed in the Halifax Kiwanis Music Festival and the Nova Scotia Federation of Music Festivals, Provincials. In the 2018 Provincial Festival, she competed in both junior Classical Voice and Musical Theatre, taking home the provincial title in both, as well as third place in Musical Theatre at the National Music Festival. She is very excited to be joining HSOF again this summer, making her role debut as Morgana in Handel’s Alcina, with Conductor Markus Howard and Director Erin Bardua.

Lindorf, Coppélius, Miracle, Dapertutto

MarKo Hubert

Native of La Sarre in Abitibi-Temiscamingue, Québec, MarKo Hubert received his formation in voice performance at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in the studio of Colette Boky and later continued his studies with Robert Savoie, Stuart Graham, Lyne Fortin and Jason Davis. Since then he has enjoyed varied artistic life that has seen him on the dramatic, operatic and concert stages as well as the small and large screen with various productions for film and television throughout the province of Québec. Some of his performance credits include a miner from QUELQUE CHOSE D’ORGANIQUE (Bonello), Sparafucille from RIGOLETTO (Verdi), Alvadoro/Général-Marquis d’Urfé/un Ange from LE MANUSCRIPT TROUVÉ À SARAGOSSE (Evangelista), Louchard from LA FILLE MME. ANGOT (Lecocq), the Grand Inquisitor of Spain from THE GONDOLIERS (Gilbert & Sullivan), Antonio from UN MARIAGE DE RAISON (Thomas), la Duchesse from LA DUCHESSE DE LANGEAIS (Tremblay), Moralez and le Dancaïre from CARMEN (Bizet), and finally in 2018 Demetrius from MIDSUMMER NIGHT DREAM (Britten) with HOSF. He has also perform the roles of Benoit and Alcindoro from Puccini’s LA BOHÈME with the Maritime Concert Opera Society. This year he has the opportunity to sing the 4 Villains in LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN (Offenbach) back with the Halifax Opera Summer Festival MarKo Hubert has interest in staging and teaching acting master class in the future.

Second Spirit (Flute) Chorus (Hoffmann)

Julia Kennific

Born and raised in Oakville, Ontario, Julia Kennific is a soprano who lives and studies in Montreal. A graduate of the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus and the Canadian Opera Company’s Summer Youth Intensive, she is currently completing a BFA in Music (Performance Specialization) at Concordia University. Julia divides her career focus between opera and musical theatre; an accomplished actress, she has been described by reviewers as giving “standout performances” (Montreal Times), “expertly displaying her comedic and vocal chops” (BroadwayWorld). Her recent credits include an ensemble role in Riders to the Sea (Snowglobe Theatre), Adult Woman in Spring Awakening (AUTS), and Blanche Barrow in Bonnie & Clyde (Contact Theatre). She is overjoyed to be working with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival this summer. Julia would like to thank her family for their love and support.

Hoffmann

Koosha Khorramian

Iranian tenor Koosha Khorramian is thrilled to be performing the title role of Offenbach’s masterpiece Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Halifax Summer Opera Festival (HSOF). His debut with HSOF was in their 2017 season where he performed as Don José in Bizet’s Carmen. Koosha has been studying voice for three years with his mentor, Jason Davis, at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts where he has been awarded three vocal scholarships and more recently has been working with Tara Scott as both repertoire coach and collaborative pianist. Previously, he also studied voice for one year with Ardalan Jabbari and has a strong passion for playing piano. Koosha has performed as a soloist in concerts and recitals including the World Music Museum concerts based in Halifax. Koosha also has sung tenor parts with the Sorayesh choir group from 2007 – 2009, where they participated in the competitive section of the Fadjr Festival (one of the most well-known festivals in Iran), in both 2008 and 2009. Beside his interests in singing and music, Koosha has worked for several years building a solid career as a structural engineer. Recently, he is a PhD candidate in the structural engineering field of the Department of Civil and Resource Engineering at Dalhousie University. Koosha’s possesses a strong passion for opera and is happiest when balancing his engineering career with his strong love of performing opera.

 

Antonia

Olivia LaPointe

Soprano Olivia LaPointe has been praised often by adjudicators and directors for her musicality and poise. Olivia has extensive experience singing in a variety of genres, as well as acting and dancing. Olivia has performed many leading roles in musicals such as Heathers: The Musical, Evita, Once Upon a Mattress, and the title role in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. She has also performed in multiple shows with Theatre New Brunswick, including the title role in Mary Poppins. She sings regularly at churches in both Fredericton and Toronto and she has performed in many concerts throughout Canada, Maine and New York. Olivia has won numerous awards in her hometown and provincially, and she won first place at the Great Lakes Regional NATS Auditions in Toronto in 2017. Olivia was selected to represent New Brunswick in the National Youth Choir of Canada in both 2017 and 2018. She was also chosen to sing in the University of Toronto’s first Vocalini concert for outstanding undergraduate singers in 2018. Olivia just completed her third year for a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at the University of Toronto, where she studies with Frédérique Vézina and is a member of the University of Toronto Opera Undergraduate program. This summer, Olivia is excited to be portraying Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, as well as Lily in The Secret Garden with Opera NUOVA in Edmonton.

Antonia

Kelsey Lee

Kelsey Lee was raised in Las Vegas as the oldest of six kids. At the age of two, her parents were leads in the local theatre and brought her along; she was officially hooked. Before university, Kelsey sought out every opportunity to perform in musicals. She has directed, choreographed, or performed in over forty musicals. While attending Brigham Young University – Idaho, she studied with renowned dramatic soprano Kristine Ciesinski and found her passion for opera. She performed as the soprano in the trio for Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti at BYU-I in 2014 before graduating with a BM in Vocal Performance. Kelsey is currently attending the University of Oklahoma, studying with Dr. Leslie Flanagan while working towards her masters in opera performance. She is so excited to be here in Halifax and make her role debut as Antonia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffman with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival.

Nathanael, Spalanzani, Frantz, Pittichinaccio

Eli Aronson

Eli Aronson, tenor, is in his second year at St. Olaf College pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal performance. Originally from Minnesota, USA, he has received recognition from the MacPhail Center of Music and NATS. In 2017, he was named a Triple-Threat Finalist by the Hennepin Theater Trust, one of only twelve teenage men in the state of Minnesota. He has previously sang as a Young Artist with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre in Turandot (Chorus) and Brigadoon (Stuart Dalrymple), with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Snout) and L’incoronazione di Poppea (Soldato/Lucano/Liberto), and with Simpson College Opera in La Canterina (Don Pelagio). Upcoming roles include Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Nathanael/Spalanzani/Frantz/Pittichinaccio) with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, and Into the Woods (Cinderella’s Prince) and a masterclass with pianist Martin Katz with the St. Olaf Lyric Theater. At St. Olaf College, he studies with Dale Kruse.

Bradamante

Laurel Coddington

Born in southern California, mezzo-soprano Laurel Coddington is currently pursuing a double degree in Music Performance (Voice) and Communication Sciences & Disorders at Biola University under the tutelage of Jeanne Robison. She has continually placed in the annual Collegiate NATS competition, performed with the Biola Symphony Orchestra as a winner of the conservatory’s Honors Concerto Competition, and participated in various masterclasses. Laurel has also received numerous awards and scholarships for her contribution to the voice department and musical achievement at Biola.

A four-year member of the prestigious Biola University Chorale, Laurel has had the opportunity to perform at the Western Regional ACDA convention and national NCCO conference, as well as tour across Arizona, northern California, and Ireland.

Laurel has appeared in multiple mainstage productions during her time at Biola including Le Nozze de Figaro (Cherubino), Die Fledermaus (Prince Orlofsky), Street Scene (Mrs. Olsen), and Die Zauberflöte (Zweite Knabe), along with a variety of operatic and musical theatre excerpts.

In the fall at Biola, Laurel will perform as the Third Spirit in an excerpt from Clive Hamilton (world premiere), composed by Calgary native, Joel Balzun. Other features will include The Music Man and spring opera scenes program.

Third Lady

Laura Curiale

Currently studying vocal performance at Western University, Laura Curiale has been growing her voice and exploring all avenues of performing under the guidance of soprano Bethany Hörst and vocal coach Charmaine Fopoussi.

Curiale has enjoyed singing  in the Amabile Choirs of London for twelve seasons and now sings with Western University’s Les Choristes. She frequently excels in competitions and showcases.  She placed first in the Kiwanis Music Festival London in 2015 and National Association of Teachers Regional Competition in 2016. In 2018, Laura organized and performed a recital featuring fellow music colleague, Josee Landry, and in 2019 received honours with distinction for her year-end recital.

Curiale is actively pursuing her performance career with enthusiasm. In the 2017-2018 school year, she portrayed the character Elena in Theatre Western’s production of If/Then and this past year enjoyed being a part of Western University Opera Workshop production of Le Nozze di Figaro. Curiale looks forward to all she will learn as a part of the Halifax Summer Opera Program and as Third Lady in their production of Die Zauberflöte.

Nicklausse

Máiri Demings

Máiri Demings is a mezzo-soprano hailing from Springhill, Nova Scotia. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Acadia University and has recently completed her Masters of Music in Vocal Literature and Performance at the University of Western Ontario. While at Acadia she was an active member of Acadia’s Singing Theatre Production Ensemble, as well as a soloist in the Acadia Performing Arts Series Tom Regan Memorial Concert, Acadia University Chorus, Parrsboro’s Classics by the Bay, and was the Nova Scotia voice representative for the 2016 National Music Festival in Edmonton. Recent roles include Mercédès in Carmen (Halifax Summer Opera Festival), Edith in The Pirates of Penzance (UWOpera), Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro (Accademia Europea Dell’Opera), creating the role of Professor Van Helsing in Dylan Langan’s Dracula (Vera Causa Opera), and Maddalena in Rigoletto (La Music Lirica). She currently resides in London, Ontario where she studies with tenor Torin Chiles and keeps up an active teaching and performing schedule. She is thrilled to be back in her home province and participating in HSOF again!

Oberto

Alyssa Hildebrand

Hailing from Southern Manitoba, Alyssa Hildebrand is thrilled to be participating in HSOF this summer.  She recently completed a Master of Music in Performance and Literature at the University of Western Ontario, studying with Jackalyn Short.  She completed her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance in Winnipeg, at Canadian Mennonite University, studying with David Klassen.  Alyssa has been the finalist in several music competitions, including the Verna Mae Janzen Competition and Winnipeg’s Tudor Bowl.  Alyssa has had the opportunity to learn through several summer programs including Opera NUOVA and Accademia Europea dell’Opera.   She has performed several roles including: Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Josephine in HMS Pinafore, Bastienne in Bastien und Bastienne, and understudying the role of Anne Page in the Merry Wives of Windsor.

Alyssa has a passion for music performance and vocal pedagogy.  She is excited to be returning to Manitoba to open up a private voice studio, and become involved in the vibrant music community present in Winnipeg.  After two years teaching voice at the Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, she is exciting to be starting her own music camp for young vocalists in Manitoba, called Find Your Voice Music Camp.  She hopes to spend the next several years developing artistry through the art of performance and teaching.

Alcina

Jodie Alcorn-Miller

Soprano Jodie Alcorn-Miller has returned to her home Nova Scotia to continue sharing her love of music both on the stage and in the teaching studio.

Jodie studied under Dr. Christianne Rushton at Acadia University and with Elizabeth McDonald at The University of Toronto. She is the recipient of several awards and scholarships including the Nova Scotia Talent Trust and First Place in both Music Theatre and Classical Voice at the Nova Scotia Provincial Music Festival.

While completing her undergraduate studies, Jodie performed at the annual Tom Regan Concert as well as several roles with the Singing Theatre Ensemble. While at The University of Toronto, she was selected as soloist for The MacMillan Singers’ recording Dawn of Night through the Canadian Music Centre. She is an alumna of both Opera NUOVA and the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy. Highlights include Satirino in Cavalli’s La Calisto, Miss Titmouse in Penhorwood’s Too Many Sopranos, Eileen in Bernstein’s Wonderful Town, Sarah Brown in Loesser’s Guys & Dolls.

Jodie sang two seasons with the Elmer Iseler Singers with performances at Koerner Hall, Roy Thompson Hall, as well as two Canadian tours.  She was section lead and soloist for Metropolitan United Church under Dr. Patricia Wright, and was in-demand in the Toronto choral scene, working with the Toronto Voice Lab, Toronto Festival Singers, Trinity Chapel Choir, and as a soloist with Mendelssohn Choir’s Singsation.

Since moving to Halifax, Jodie has began collaborating with the Upstream Ensemble, which is a creative music ensemble focusing on improvisation. Other performances include those with the Halifax Camerata Singers, SNS Chorus, and Eastern Horizon. In June, Jodie is performing in Pirates of Penzance as Mabel with Maritime Concert Opera.

Sarastro (Flute) Crespel (Hoffmann)

Duncan Stenhouse

Duncan Stenhouse is an operatic bass and composer from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Originally born in Northern Ireland Duncan has moved numerous times and lived in many different places around the UK and Canada. His love for singing classically began in his high-school years where he sang in five choirs and took private voice lessons at Mount Royal Conservatory in Calgary.

Currently, Duncan is completing his bachelor degree as a voice performance major with a minor in composition at Memorial School of Music in St. John’s Newfoundland.

In the past five years Duncan has performed as The Caterpillar in Will Todd’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with Memorial University’s Opera Roadshow program, both Figaro and Bartolo in scenes from Le nozze di Figaro, Gianni Schicchi in scenes from Gianni Schicchi, Colline in scenes from La bohème, and Grandpa from The Tender Land in Memorial University’s Opera Workshop program. He has also sung as Raphael in excerpts from Haydn’s Creation with a group from the Calgary Youth Orchestra.

Duncan is thoroughly excited to be able to portray both Sarastro in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Crespel in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann this summer at HSOF. He hopes you enjoy the performance as much as he has loved every minute learning and singing these fascinating roles.

Third Lady

Natalie Vong

Mezzo- Soprano Natalie Vong has recently obtained her Bachelor of Music Honours in Voice Performance degree under the tutelage of Patrica Green from the the University of Western Ontario. Some of her past experiences have included Sour Mathilde in Dialoghi delle Carmelitane with La Musica Lirica (USA) and participating as chorus members of both Die Zauberflöte and Le Nozze di Figaro with UWOpera. Natalie is excited to revisit Die Zauberflöte and play the Third Lady with Halifax Summer Opera Festival this summer. She would like to thank her friends, family and teachers for supporting her throughout her musical journey. 

Second Lady

Serena Yeung

Born in Hong Kong, soprano Serena Yeung started her vocal training at an early age in her hometown, under Alex Tam. She just finished her third year of Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at the University of Calgary, where she studies with Laura Hynes. Serena was a recipient of RCM Provincial Gold Medal for Grade 9 Voice and the Polyna Savridi Memorial Music Undergraduate Scholarship. She has also been awarded the NATS Songfest competition scholarships for three years consecutively. She recently appeared as debut soloist at Early Music Voices’ Sing Along Messiah.

With a strong passion in operatic repertoires, Serena performed her first opera scenes as Sophie (Werther), Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro), and Spirit (Die Zauberflöte). In 2016 and 2018, she also performed with Opera Hong Kong as a chorus member in their production of Madama Butterfly and Die Zauberflöte.

She recently got recommended to represent Calgary at the Provincial Music Festival in Edmonton.

 

Olympia

Loren Graziano

Coloratura soprano Loren Graziano is a student of Nathalie Paulin at the University of Toronto,
where she is currently pursuing her Master of Music in Voice Performance, and, in 2018, graduated
with a Bachelor of Music. Loren has been featured on stage and in recital across Toronto, including
Opera Atelier’s 2019 production of Mozart’s Idomeneo (Chorus), the University of Toronto Opera’s
production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Chorus), Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing (Chorus), and as a soloist
in the University of Toronto Vocalis series. This May, she performed her solo recital, Birds of the Blue
and Creatures of the Dust, in Walter Hall at U of T, which featured programmed works by Louis
Beydts, Camille Saint-Saëns, Hugo Wolf, and more. She has also been involved in choral and
ensemble work, including U of T’s early music ensemble Schola Cantorum lead by Daniel Taylor, the
MacMillian Singers conducted by Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt, and the Opera Undergrad Ensemble. Loren
has had the pleasure of being apart of several prestigious summer programs, such as St. Andrews by
the Sea, the Cornish-American Song Institute, Opera NUOVA, Oberlin in Italy, COSI: Centre for Opera
Studies in Italy Apprentice Program, and the Orford Music Summer Academy. This summer, Loren
will be performing at the Halifax Summer Opera Festival as Olympia in Offenbach’s Les Contes
d’Hoffmann.

Melisso

Camilo Rodriguez-Cuadrado

Colombian baritone Camilo Rodriguez-Cuadrado obtained a Master degree in voice performance from The University of Western Ontario in 2018.  Camilo will join The Halifax Summer Opera Festival 2019, performing the role of Melisso in Händel’s “Alcina”.  He also will be part of Vera Causa Opera’s season 2019 – 2020, singing in the operas “The Child and The Spells” by Maurice Ravel, “The Dino Opera / Rapunzel” (Double Bill) by Canadian composer Dylan Langan, and the Canadian Opera Fest.  Camilo has performed with Vera Causa Opera, The University of Western Ontario Opera Workshop, Accademia Europea dell’Opera, Fundación Jaime Manzur, Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, Caldas Symphony Orchestra, Universidad Nacional de Colombia Symphony Orchestra and Universidad Nacional de Colombia Opera Workshop, among others.

First Spirit

Emilie James

Soprano Emilie James is a classical singer from Toronto, Ontario. The Magic Flute is Emilie’s first operatic role. Emilie has been taking private vocal lessons with Jessica Lane and Peter Bass.

Second Lady

Corinne James

Mezzo Soprano Corinne James is musical theatre and classical singer from Toronto, Ontario. Corinne is currently studying drama at Seneca College. Corinne participated in the 2014 Halifax Summer Opera Festival where she performed the role of Hebe in Orpheus in the Underworld, and the 2015 Halifax Summer Opera Festival as Mae Jones in Street Scene. Corinne has been taking private vocal lessons with Jessica Lane and Peter Bass.

Third Spirit

Keira Davis

Keira Davis is returning to HSOF for her fourth season. She debuted as Willie Maurrant in the 2015 production of “Street Scene,” was in the chorus for both “Carmen” and “Don Giovanni” and is thrilled to be back as the Third Spirit in Die Zauberflöte. With the Broadway Company Players, Keira has performed the lead roles of Gertrude in “Seussical,” Fiona in “Shrek The Musical” and most recently the title role in “Mary Poppins.” Keira will be entering 12th grade at Citadel High School in the fall.

Third Spirit

Raelyn Davis

Raelyn Davis is happiest when singing and acting on the stage. She is returning to HSOF for her fourth season. She debuted as Myrtle in the 2015 production of “Street Scene,” was in the chorus for both “Carmen” and “Don Giovanni” and is delighted to play the Third Spirit in Die Zauberflöte. With the Broadway Company Players, Raelyn has played Young Kangaroo in “Seussical,” Young Fiona in “Shrek The Musical” and most recently “Robertson Ay” in “Mary Poppins.” Raelyn will be entering 7th grade at Halifax Central Junior High School in the fall.

 

Little Pamina

Billie Kent

Billie lives in Brooklyn, on the beautiful South Shore with her Mom and Dad, Ali and Ian, and her older brother, Oscar.  In the fall she starts grade four at Dr. John C. Wickwire Academy in Liverpool.

Early on, Billie sparked a love for the arts performing at the Queens County Music Festival on the historic Astor Theatre stage.  Billie studies voice with Kim Umphrey and piano with Gregory Waters.  She loves to paint, write and dance.  Through the winter, Billie plays hockey for the Queens County Cougars and enjoys skiing at Martock with her girls.

This is Billie’s first production.  She has truly enjoyed every minute of her Halifax Summer Opera Festival experience and hopes to play with you all again some day soon.

Pamina

Meghan Jamieson

Nova Scotia born Soprano, Meghan Jamieson, was raised in a musical family, making the decision to pursue a career in music and performance an easy decision at a very young age. Jamieson returns home for her first Pamina in this years Halifax Summer Opera Festival.

Other performances include Maritime Concert Opera debut singing the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and later the role of Amor in Orfeo ed Euridice, the DGM Music Inc. production of Rent and several Dalhousie Opera Workshops including Mahagonny Songspiel, where she sang the role of Jessie and Cinderella, where she brought the character of Miranda to life. Her performance as Cathleen in Riders to the Sea at the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop was reviewed in the magazine Opera Canada, where she was described as “an exciting and beautiful young singer with a wide vocal range and much acting ability.” In the summer of 2016 Meghan played the role of the First Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. She debuted at the Glenn Gould School in her role as Parthénis in Offenbach’s La belle Hélène, her title debut in El Gato con Botas playing the role of the Cat and as Alcina in Alcina where she received a review in the Globe and Mail which stated “…when Jamieson dialed it back a notch, in the heartbreaking aria which ended the first half of Alcina… it was as though for a second you could see into her future as an artist, and a glorious future it was.”

Meghan has completed her Bachelor of Music in Performance at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, close to her hometown, under the tutelage of Lucy Hayes-Davis and her Artist’s Diploma at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, Ontario studying with Monica Whicher.  She has recently begun studying with the incredible Laura Tucker in Toronto, Ontario.

Oberto

Emma Battel

Emma Battel is soprano from Kingston, Ontario.  This fall she will begin her third year of the vocal performance program at Western University where she studies under Patricia Green.

Prior to university, Emma was a 7-year chorister of Cantabile Choirs, sang annually in the Kiwanis Festival and immersed herself in performing through piano, flute and musical theatre.  Since then, she has played many roles such as Brenda in Catch Me If You Can, Vivienne in Legally Blonde, and Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Emma also enjoys plays and appeared in a compelling two-person piece: Come Away, Come Away, advancing to the provincial level of the Sears Ontario Drama Festival in 2017. Subsequently, Emma has prepared two annual spring recitals in collaboration with her Western colleague Ellita Gagner.

This summer’s production of Alcina is Emma’s opera debut and she is excited to be bringing the character of Oberto to life on stage with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival.

Monostatos

Mehdi Mikaeilzadeh

Mehdi began his singing career as a member of the ‘’ Tehran Choir ’’ in Iran in 2010 while taking classical voice lessons. In 2013, he moved to Istanbul to be a chorister and soloist of the ‘’Koral Istanbul Choir‘’ participating in many concerts, while continuing to take voice lessons. In the beginning of 2015, Mehdi was accepted to be a part of a quartet group called “Singers of United Lands” located in the United States. For five months they toured the States singing in various concert halls, universities, churches and schools. In 2016, he moved to Montreal to study at McGill University where he is currently in his fourth year as an undergraduate student with Professor Stefano Algieri.

Papagena

Emily Zixin Wang

Emily Zixin Wang is a Chinese-Canadian soprano based in Toronto, Ontario. She is currently entering her second year Masters of Voice Performance program at the University of Toronto studying under the tutelage of distinguished soprano, Nathalie Paulin. She recently performed the title role in Handel’s Semele with the Toronto Opera Lyric Theatre. In May 2019, she performed the role of Second Woman (Dido and Belinda) with OperaQ and a solo recital with pianist Helen Becqué in Walter Hall, featuring works by Handel, Poulenc and Marx. Emily sang in the University of Toronto Vocalis series at the Extension Room and in Walter Hall. In 2017-2018, she sang Solomon’s Queen (Solomon) and was a soloist in the Bach Cantata Evening concert, both at Alix Goolden Hall in the Victoria Conservatory of Music. She also participated in the Stratford Summer Music Vocal Academy and the Orford Music Academy Piano and Voice Duet Intensive. She looks forward to performing her upcoming role of Papagena (Die Zauberflöte) with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival.

Nicklausse

Lissy Meyerowitz

Lissy Meyerowitz is a Canadian mezzo-soprano from Toronto with Italian and Jewish heritage.  She is currently studying Vocal Performance at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Mark Daboll and is a recipient of the 2019-20 Pinchas Ziegel Memorial Scholarship. She also intends to minor in Italian language. Lissy has had a very musical life; she began piano lessons at the age of 7 and played various concert instruments throughout her high school years. She discovered her passion for singing soon after and dove straight into her studies. She has performed regularly with the U of T Women’s Chamber Choir conducted by Dr. Lori-Anne Dolloff and has appeared in many U of T concerts such as Give My Regards to Broadway and the vocal division’s Noon Hour series. After she completes her undergraduate degree, Lissy intends on continuing her musical studies in an opera-focused post-graduate program. Lissy is very excited to make her opera debut as Nicklausse in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival.

Alcina

Victoria Vass

Victoria Vass has recently completed a Masters degree in Vocal Performance and Literature from the University of Western Ontario. She has received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario and completed her Bachelor of Music degree at Queen’s University in Kingston. While at Queen’s she performed as Sister Genevieve in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and was featured as a soloist for A Night in Vienna and A Night at the Proms. She performed in Western University Opera’s Carmen as a member of the chorus and performed the role of Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro. Victoria is excited to be in Halifax and perform the role of Alcina!  

Papagena

Grace Hakala

Grace Hakala is a soprano from Sarnia, Ontario, and a fourth year Voice Performance student at Western University.  She studies with Torin Chiles and Marianna Chibotar-Rutkevich.  She is very excited for her HSOF debut as Papagena in “The Magic Flute”.

Grace has participated in the Western University Opera Workshop for the past three years; there she sang the First Spirit in “The Magic Flute”,  as well as ensemble roles in “The Turn of the Screw” and “The Pirates of Penzance”.  She also performed in the 2018 Canadian Operatic Arts Academy in London.

Throughout elementary and high school, Grace sang roles in many musical theatre productions, including the Gingerbread Man in “Shrek: the Musical” and Zaneeta Shinn in “The Music Man”. She has also been an active participant in the Lambton County Music Festival, where she was nominated several times to sing in Ontario Music Festival Association’s provincial competition; here she won a Bronze Medal in the 2016 Grade 8 voice competition, and was a provincial finalist in the 2018 Grade 10 competition.

Follow me and my future musical endeavours on Instagram: @grace.hakala

Tamina

Alexander Cappellazzo

Raised in Scarborough Ontario, Alexander Cappellazzo has since moved to Montreal to continue cultivating his passion of singing. This year he has earned the degree of Master of Music at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music under the tutelage of Stefano Algieri. His operatic and oratorio debut was in 2017, in the ensemble of Die Fledermaus and as Jepthe in Carissimi’s Jepthe. Alexander has since been involved in thirteen operas, including Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (1st Sailor), Arne’s Thomas and Sally (Squire), Britten’s Albert Herring (Mayor Upfold), and McGill’s production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Monostatos). In sacred works, Alexander has performed as a soloist in Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio, Bach’s B Minor Mass, and Vivaldi’s Magnificat. With regards to art song, he holds a strong passion towards songs after 1900, and has performed works such as Benjamin Britten’s Who are these Children?, Gavin Bryars’ Songs from Northern Seas, Shostakovich’s From Jewish Folk Poetry, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Southern Love Songs. Not only a performer, Alexander also has directed (Haydn’s La Canterina), assistant directed, assistant stage managed, as well as designed set, costume and sound for opera and spoken word theater. When he is not singing, he enjoys cooking, nature walking, and playing D&D. Alexander is both thankful and delighted to be a part of the festival!

First Lady

Julie Gate

Oakville born soprano, Julie Gate, recently graduated with her Bachelor of Music Honours
Performance degree at the University of Western Ontario, under the tutelage of Rachel Mallon.
In the past, she has performed in Western Universities Opera Gala (2016/2019) and made her
operatic debut as Helena in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Halifax Summer Opera
Festival (2018). Julie had the opportunity to attend Opera Nuova’s 10-day opera program (2018)
in Edmonton Alberta. While there she worked with many accomplished Canadian singers, and
completed workshops led by Carol Castel, Rebecca Hass, and Kim Mattice Wanat. Julie has
spent time learning languages such as French, Spanish and Italian to further her performance
skills. She is looking forward returning to the Halifax Summer Opera Festival as the First Lady
in Die Zauberflöte.

Schlemil, Luther (Hoffmann) Speaker, High Priest (Flute)

Steven Dewitt

Steven is a member of Halifax Camerata Singers and the Halifax Gay Men’s Chorus and studies vocal technique with Jason Davis. In his first season with the HSOF, Steven is the Speaker in The Magic Flute and Schlemil and Luther in The Tales of Hoffmann. Steven learns his music while doing his second-favourite thing, running.

Giulietta

Olivia Spahn-Vieira

Canadian soprano, Olivia Spahn-Vieira is thrilled to be making her operatic debut as Giulietta,
in the Halifax Summer Opera Festival’s production of Les Contes D’Hof mann.

With a strong musical theatre background, Olivia started performing at age 10, and, since then,
has gone on to sing in more than twenty productions; most recently, as a featured soloist in Wavestage
Theatre Company’s June 2019 production of Godspell.

Olivia currently studies at the University of Toronto, under Peter Barnes, and will be
beginning the third year of her undergraduate degree in September. Prior to her University studies, she
trained at the Royal Conservatory of Music, in Toronto, under Insook Chung.

She attended high school at Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts. Her years in the highly
intensive Musical Theatre program brought her invaluable experience, performing on Breakfast
Television, CBC, and Show Choir Canada, as well as many events across Toronto, with the Wexford
Gleeks. Olivia frequently stepped into the role of the “swing” at Wexford, learning music, text, and
staging quickly and accurately, and ready to take on any role at a moment’s notice.

Olivia is very proud of the progress she has made, and continues to make, as a growing young
singer, and is extremely grateful for the support of her family, friends, and mentors.

She aspires to do crossover work throughout her career, and, every time she sings, to make a
statement that her audience can identify and connect with.

Ruggiero

Sean Jordan

Sean Jordan recently graduated with a Masters in Opera Performance from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, studying under baritone Nathaniel Watson. Having returned to Philadelphia, PA, he will begin auditioning for Young Artist Programs across the United States. He is excited to return to the HSOF, and is honored to portray such an iconic Handelian primo uomo as Ruggiero in Alcina.

Morgana

Sevan Kochkarian

Sevan Kochkarian is a lyric soprano from Vancouver, BC with “a stunning voice and character” (The Contributor). She studied at the Vancouver Academy of Music under the direction of David Meek for five years with an emphasis in Opera before heading to McGill to continue her degree in Voice Performance studying with Joanne Kolomyjec, specializing in Opera. Opera McGill’s renowned director Patrick Hansen and principal coach Stephen Hargreaves accepted Sevan into their studio her first year at McGill where she was part of the main stage chorus as well as a principal role in Michael Ching’s Speed Dating Tonight! (Dater 13/Pathological Liar). Sevan has been seen performing across Canada in numerous different roles such as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Paquette in Candide, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzances, Mrs.McLean in Susanna and Adina in Elisir d’amore.

Sevan was awarded a scholarship from the Vancouver Opera’s Guild for showing a promising career in the field at the age of 18 for her hard work and dedication to the arts. That same year she won the first place overall in the Kiwanis Music festival for the opera division. Sevan worked with the ARS in giving a benefit concert to help raise money for the orphans of Armenia. She raised $6,000 to build them a school in Artsakh. Last summer Sevan played the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro in Lucca, Tuscany with AEDO. Earlier this summer she workshopped a new opera Much Ado playing the role of Hero with Opera Nuova.

Chorus, understudy for Antonia's Mother

Andrea Johnston

Andrea Johnston is excited to return to the Halifax Summer Opera Festival. On her last visit, she displayed her evil side as “Mrs. McLean” in Susannah.  Andrea is a native of Moncton N.B.  She received a Bachelor of Music majoring in Voice from Mount Allison University. After taking some time away from the stage to raise a family, Andrea returned to performing a few years ago. Recent roles include “Hebe” in H.M.S Parliament (Tryptych Opera) and Choir Member in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Collective Theatrics).  Recent choral work has included singing with the Indian River Festival Chorus and the Fundy Sound Choir.

Bradamante

Zoë Gotziaman

Zoë Gotziaman just graduated from the University of Manitoba under the tutelage of Tracy Dahl. Zoë’s recent roles include: Hansel Hansel and Gretel (UofM School Tour), Phoebe Yeomen of the Guard (G&S Society of Winnipeg), Venèto The Confused Castrato (Little Opera Company), Nancy in Albert Herring (HSOF), and she has been in the Manitoba Opera Chorus for two seasons. She is so excited return to HSOF and sing her first Handel role!

Antonia's Mother

Megan Hayward

Mezzo soprano Megan Hayward graduated with honours in performance from the University of Windsor. She began lessons many years ago with Doreen Uren-Simmons back in her hometown of Orillia, Ontario and enjoyed performing in local musicals from the age of 15. This is her 4th time singing with HSOF having played Mercedes in Carmen, La Notte and Didone in L’Egisto, and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Now a Haligonian she is excited for another summer performing with HSOF and looks forward to many more.

Pamina

Lindsay Heyland

Born in Ontario, Lindsay Heyland attended the Glenn Gould School on a full scholarship, studying with Metropolitan Opera veteran Barbara Dever and Jennifer Tung. In 2009, Lindsay made her operatic debut as Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro for Provoce Studio, and revisited the role in 2011 with Opera NUOVA.

Other notable roles for Ms. Heyland include Pamina in Die Zauberflote (New York Opera Studio), Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Summer Opera Lyric Theatre), Agathe in Der Freischutz (Opera By Request), and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus (Provoce Studios).

In the competition area, Lindsay has claimed the President’s Trophy for the Toronto Kiwanis Festival, as well as becoming a finalist for the NYCO Festival Competition and the Canadian Music Competition.

Lindsay currently resides in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, where she operates a successful home business (LindsayHeyland.com) as a Massage Therapist, and performs the role of Mommy for her two young daughters!

 

Giulietta

Leslie Higgins

Leslie Higgins is a 21 year old Soprano from Uxbridge Ontario.  She is entering her 4th and final year of voice performance at Western University, studying with Rachel Mallon.  She has been taking private voice lessons since she was 9 years old, and has completed her grade 10 voice and grade 8 piano with the Royal Conservatory of Music.  She has performed in numerous festivals, concerts and programs over the years, and has had the opportunity to work with many different coaches, conductors, and teachers from across North America.  She also really enjoys musical theater, and has been performing onstage since she was 8.  Some of her favourite roles include Rizzo in Grease, Diana in A Chorus Line, Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, and Brigitta in The Sound of Music.  She discovered her passion for music while singing in choir, and has been fortunate enough to sing with the Ontario Youth Choir for the past 4 summers, and represented Ontario in the 2017 National Youth Choir under the direction of Timothy Shantz.  She is so excited to be making her opera debut this summer in Halifax Opera’s production of Offenbach’s ‘Les contes d’Hoffmann’ as Giulietta.

First Lady

Skylar Cameron

Canadian soprano Skylar Cameron is currently working toward a Master of Music in vocal performance at Western University, studying with Torin Chiles. At Western, she covered the role of Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Recently, Skylar performed the role of Donna Elvira in Halifax Summer Opera Festival’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Opera Canada commended her as a “persistent Elvira, successfully conveying a range of changing emotions in a demanding role”. She performed the title role in Mount Allison Opera Workshop’s production of Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon and was a featured soloist in Mt. A Choral Society’s performance of Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn. In the past, Skylar performed the roles of Sister Dolcina in Puccini’s Suor Angelica at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy and Venere in Cavalli’s L’Egisto at HSOF. Skylar has also performed in scenes from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Gluck’s Paride ed Elena, and Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea. In the coming season, Skylar will sing Sandrina in La finta giardiniera at Western, and First Lady in Die Zauberflöte at HSOF. Skylar has competed twice at the National Music Festival, has won first and second place for Senior Voice at the National Association of Teachers Songfest, and second place in Voice at the ENKOR International Music Competition.

First Spirit

Olivia Charlebois-Brandvold

Olivia Charlebois-Brandvold, soprano, is delighted to join the HSOF this summer, taking part in her first Opera production. Currently living in Montreal, completing a BFA at Concordia University, in music with specialization in performance, Olivia divides her career focus between music and community involvement. With a considerable background working and volunteering in the non-profit sector, coupled with a first Bachelor’s degree in International Development and Globalization, she aspires to merge her two passions in a way that fosters a sense of support, working together and social networking within the arts community. She currently co-runs a music improv club based on the teachings of Music For People, an organization started by award winning cellist David Darling. The club’s mandate is to bring students from all faculties, as well as community members together who share a passion for music and creation. She has also taught workshops and classes based on similar practices to children of all ages.

Olivia has had the opportunity to work with such respected faculty as Amanda Brunk, Mario Baron and M.J. Johnson, studying cross-over technique at Wilfred Laurier University. She has also participated in jazz workshops taught by Lisa Martinelli and Shanon Gunn at Humber College in Toronto.  Olivia has performed in multiple venues in Ottawa, Montreal and surrounding areas in various bands and solo projects.

Olivia would like to thank her family and friends for their unconditional love and support.

Little Pamina, Chorus

Ava Frail

Ava attends Dr. John C. Wickwire Academy in Liverpool, NS and will be starting grade 4 this Fall. She has been an audience member for the last 3 years but will be celebrating her 9th birthday on stage with the HSOF this year! She started voice lessons under the direction of Kim Umphrey at 6 years old and participates in the annual Liverpool Music Festival. Her first stage appearance was at 6 years old at the Liverpool Kiwanis Christmas concert before a full house of 330 people! She hopes to someday be an opera singer! Ava also enjoys attending a variety of Symphony NS productions, competitive dance with La Vie en Danse (Bridgewater, NS), Suzuki violin lessons with Bev Shaw (Mahone Bay, NS), taking care of her 28 beautiful chickens and being a mermaid at the beach every summer of course! She is super excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the HSOF for the first time along with her best friend, Billie Kent 🙂

Papageno

Luke Noftall

Hailing from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canadian baritone Luke Noftall is a

multi-talented performer who has often been praised for his abilities in singing, acting and dancing.  A well-versed musician, Luke has been performing widely from a young age, and has been part of numerous musicals where he has often held leading roles, such as Robert Martin in The Drowsy Chaperone, and Kurt Kelly in Heathers: The Musical.

Having recently finished his third year at the University of Toronto, Luke studies with Professor Lorna MacDonald, who hold the Lois Marshall Chair in Voice Studies.  He is currently perusing his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, and is also part of the University of Toronto’s Opera Undergraduate Program, where he was seen performing in their fall production of Street Scene.  Since coming to Toronto, Luke has been part of a number of very exciting performances and competitions, including: placing first at the NATS Ontario Vocal Showcase in 2017, being selected to sing in the University of Toronto’s first ever Vocalini Concert for Outstanding Undergraduate Singers in 2018, and performing the roles of both Papageno and Monostatos in a production of Die Zauberflöte at the Arts & Letters Club.

Luke recently finished Opera NUOVA’s 4-Week Apprentice Program in Edmonton where he took part in Purcell’s Fairy Queen, and also portrayed Benedick, the leading role in the newly workshopped opera by James Garner and Patrick Hansen: Much Ado! which is set for its world premiere in 2021 by Opera McGill.

Luke is extremely exciting to be playing Papageno in HSOF’s production of Die Zauberflöte, as this has been one of his dream roles.

 

Oronte

Justin Li

Twenty-year-old tenor Justin Li, from Seattle, Washington, will start his third year of studies for a BM in Voice Performance at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington in the fall of 2019. This past year, he has appeared in the choruses for the IU Opera Theatre’s productions of Dialogues des Carmélites and L’Elisir d’Amore, and participated in the school’s Undergraduate Opera Workshop’s opera scenes program, singing the Duke of Dunstable, from Patience, and Jupiter, from Orphée aux enfers. He is a student of Professor Patricia Havranek.

Queen if the Night

Katherine Mayba

Praised as a “sophisticated artist” with a “gorgeous voice” and “stratospheric vocals” (Winnipeg Free Press), soprano Katherine Mayba is an exciting artist in the opera scene. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, she has performed with Manitoba Underground Opera as Ilia (Idomeneo) and Amore (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Manitoba Opera (Don Giovanni, Falstaff, Madama Butterfly) and has made regular appearances with Flipside Opera. She has also performed as a soloist with the WSO and through the Orville J. Derraugh Scholarship Competition, and has competed in the Winnipeg Music Festival winning several awards including the Rose Bowl. This season she joined the WSO on their Holiday Tour and future engagements include: Titania (The Fairy Queen), Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute) and the Ukrainian Art Song Project. Katherine studies at the University of Manitoba and is a student of Tracy Dahl. A multidisciplinary musician, she holds her ARCT Performance Diploma in Voice, Piano and Violin from The Royal Conservatory of Music.

Olympia

Meggie McKay

Soprano Meggie McKay is a vibrant and passionate musician, who is at home performing in recitals, operas, and musical theatre. She has a Master of Arts in Musicology with a concentration in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Ottawa (2019) and a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Acadia University (2016). She completed the Artist Diploma program in Voice Performance at Western University in May of this year. Meggie is an avid equestrian and is a provincially-rated dressage rider in Nova Scotia.

Meggie enjoys acting as well as singing and has performed for many years with Quick as a Wink Theatre Society in her hometown of Windsor, Nova Scotia. Her roles include: Lucy Van Pelt, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown; Rose Lennox, The Secret Garden; Arabella Stannus, Glory Days; and Bertha Mason, Jane Eyre: the Musical. She has also performed as a guest soloist for the Bedford-based Enchor East Chorus, the Eastern Shore Summer Arts Festival, and for the North Grenville Concert Choir in Kemptville, Ontario. She previously performed with the Acadia University Singing Theatre Company and the Acadia University Chorus. In August 2015, Meggie performed the role of Evangeline in the Canadian Premiere of Gwyneth Walker’s opera Evangeline, in the historic Covenanter Church in Grand Pre. Meggie performed the role of Cobweb in the 2018 HSOF production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Meggie enjoys stage managing and assisting behind-the-scenes. During her musicology studies, Meggie was a Teaching Assistant for the University of Ottawa’s Opera Productions of Bizet’s Carmen in 2017 and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in 2018. Meggie has won several provincial awards and Equine Canada bronze level championships with her Paint Horse, Jigs. She is passionate about animals and is known around her hometown for her eclectic collection of misfit critters.

Second Spirit (Flute) Chorus (Hoffmann)

Rhian Merritt

Rhian Merritt is a young soprano from Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia. Rhian has studied voice at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts under the direction of Paula Phillips and now has continued her education at Acadia University (Wolfville, Nova Scotia). At Acadia, Rhian has just completed her third year in a Bachelor of Music where she is focusing in Vocal Performance with teachers Dr. Christianne Rushton and Dr. Jennifer Farrell.

Rhian has competed many times as a soloist in competitions such as the Nova Scotia Registered Music Teachers’ Association’s Scholarship Competition where she placed first in the Senior Class (2018). She has also competed in the Kiwanis Music Festival where she competed provincially in 2017 and will again in 2019. As well as solo singing, Rhian has been a member of several different Canadian choirs. In 2016, 2017, and 2018 Rhian represented Nova Scotia in the National Youth Choir of Canada. She also participated in the Nova Scotia Youth Choir and Xara Choral Theatre. In 2017 and 2018, Rhian was a performer in Xara Choral Theatre’s touring show ‘Fatty Legs’ that tells the true story of Olemaun Pokiak / Margaret Pokiak Fenton’s experiences before, during, and after attending residential school as a young Indigenous girl.

This summer Rhian is delighted to be performing in the Halifax Summer Opera Festival in both Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffman. She is excited to learn from her peers and mentors and grow from this program in new and maybe unexpected ways! After completed her undergraduate degree, Rhian hopes to continue her studies in a Master’s degree and use her voice as a tool for healing, entertainment, reconciliation, unity, and empowerment.

Queen of the Night

Anastasia Pogorelova

Anastasia Pogorelova, coloratura soprano, was born in Moscow where she studied at the College of Musical and Theatrical Arts. In 2015 She obtained her Master’s degree in Opera and Chamber Music as well as Teaching from the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music in Moscow under the supervision of professor Valentina Levko. As a student, she regularly sang in Vishnevskaya Children’s Theatre performing in Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and throughout Russia. In 2012 she won the 2nd place in the Kabalevskiy International Competition in Moscow.

She has appeared in concerts in Florence, Italy (2013), Ischia, Italy (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), and Salzburg, Austria (2014). During this period, she was an active participant in master classes with Ines Salazar, Janet Perry, Mikhail Hallak, Mary Pinto, David Bowser and Michael Paul.

While studying in the Academy Anastasia performed in Mozart’s “La nozze di Figaro” as Susanna and Barbarina. She sang several times at the Opera Night Project in Moscow under the direction of Haik Grigoryan (2013-2015). After graduating, Anastasia continued her vocal training with Maestro Michael Paul in New York. In 2016 she moved to Toronto and performs with the Belle Voci Ensemble as well as a recital artist.

Anastasia performed as a soloist in classical music concerts including one organized be Maestro Kerry Stratton with Polish saxophone virtuoso Ryszard Zoledziewski and pianist Anna Shalaykevych, Toronto, 2016, a Christmas concert with the Greater Toronto Philarmonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro P.Busato, Toronto, 2017, a Symphony in the gardens concert at Casa Loma, Toronto, 2018, a Christmas Concert with Toronto Concert Orchestra, Richmond Hill, 2018.

Anastasia’s repertoire consists of songs and arias of different genres and eras. She performs Baroque vocal music (Handel, Bach, Pergolesi), German, Italian, French arias and romances (Shubert, Strauss, Donizetti, Bellini, Arditi, Debussy, Poulenc) and Russian songs and Arias (Rimskiy-Korsakov, Varlamov and others). She enjoys singing Mozart, finding his music genial and very helpful for singers.

Anastasia is a native Russian speaker and is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian.

Morgana

Abigail Sinclair

Halifax Soprano, Abigail Sinclair, began her studies at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music this past year with professor Elizabeth McDonald, and is the recipient of the Ethel Berney Jackson Scholarship from the University of Toronto. In 2018, she competed in the ACNMP Contemporary Showcase, Advanced Vocalist class, singing works by Canadian Composer Mary Gardiner. She has participated in many concerts through University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, including performances presenting original works by students from the Composition Faculty, the XXII Collective, and reprising the role of Sister Mary Amnesia from “Nunsense” for the Vocal Faculty’s “Give My Regards To Broadway” Musical Theatre Cabaret. Before that, she studied voice at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts with Paula Phillips from 2009-2018. Abigail was a member of the Intensive Training Program at Halifax Dance from 2011-2017. She has spent the last three summers with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, performing in Suor Angelica in 2016 (Una Novizia), Albert Herring in 2017 (Emmie) and finally L’incoronazione di Poppea (La Fortuna/Damigella) under the baton of Dr. Vicki St. Pierre. She is the recipient of the 2016 and 2017 Ifan William Senior Trophy, and the 2017 Opera Nova Scotia Voice Scholarship. Abigail has competed in the Halifax Kiwanis Music Festival and the Nova Scotia Federation of Music Festivals, Provincials. In the 2018 Provincial Festival, she competed in both junior Classical Voice and Musical Theatre, taking home the provincial title in both, as well as third place in Musical Theatre at the National Music Festival. She is very excited to be joining HSOF again this summer, making her role debut as Morgana in Handel’s Alcina, with Conductor Markus Howard and Director Erin Bardua.

Lindorf, Coppélius, Miracle, Dapertutto

MarKo Hubert

Native of La Sarre in Abitibi-Temiscamingue, Québec, MarKo Hubert received his formation in voice performance at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in the studio of Colette Boky and later continued his studies with Robert Savoie, Stuart Graham, Lyne Fortin and Jason Davis. Since then he has enjoyed varied artistic life that has seen him on the dramatic, operatic and concert stages as well as the small and large screen with various productions for film and television throughout the province of Québec. Some of his performance credits include a miner from QUELQUE CHOSE D’ORGANIQUE (Bonello), Sparafucille from RIGOLETTO (Verdi), Alvadoro/Général-Marquis d’Urfé/un Ange from LE MANUSCRIPT TROUVÉ À SARAGOSSE (Evangelista), Louchard from LA FILLE MME. ANGOT (Lecocq), the Grand Inquisitor of Spain from THE GONDOLIERS (Gilbert & Sullivan), Antonio from UN MARIAGE DE RAISON (Thomas), la Duchesse from LA DUCHESSE DE LANGEAIS (Tremblay), Moralez and le Dancaïre from CARMEN (Bizet), and finally in 2018 Demetrius from MIDSUMMER NIGHT DREAM (Britten) with HOSF. He has also perform the roles of Benoit and Alcindoro from Puccini’s LA BOHÈME with the Maritime Concert Opera Society. This year he has the opportunity to sing the 4 Villains in LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN (Offenbach) back with the Halifax Opera Summer Festival MarKo Hubert has interest in staging and teaching acting master class in the future.

Second Spirit (Flute) Chorus (Hoffmann)

Julia Kennific

Born and raised in Oakville, Ontario, Julia Kennific is a soprano who lives and studies in Montreal. A graduate of the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus and the Canadian Opera Company’s Summer Youth Intensive, she is currently completing a BFA in Music (Performance Specialization) at Concordia University. Julia divides her career focus between opera and musical theatre; an accomplished actress, she has been described by reviewers as giving “standout performances” (Montreal Times), “expertly displaying her comedic and vocal chops” (BroadwayWorld). Her recent credits include an ensemble role in Riders to the Sea (Snowglobe Theatre), Adult Woman in Spring Awakening (AUTS), and Blanche Barrow in Bonnie & Clyde (Contact Theatre). She is overjoyed to be working with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival this summer. Julia would like to thank her family for their love and support.

Hoffmann

Koosha Khorramian

Iranian tenor Koosha Khorramian is thrilled to be performing the title role of Offenbach’s masterpiece Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Halifax Summer Opera Festival (HSOF). His debut with HSOF was in their 2017 season where he performed as Don José in Bizet’s Carmen. Koosha has been studying voice for three years with his mentor, Jason Davis, at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts where he has been awarded three vocal scholarships and more recently has been working with Tara Scott as both repertoire coach and collaborative pianist. Previously, he also studied voice for one year with Ardalan Jabbari and has a strong passion for playing piano. Koosha has performed as a soloist in concerts and recitals including the World Music Museum concerts based in Halifax. Koosha also has sung tenor parts with the Sorayesh choir group from 2007 – 2009, where they participated in the competitive section of the Fadjr Festival (one of the most well-known festivals in Iran), in both 2008 and 2009. Beside his interests in singing and music, Koosha has worked for several years building a solid career as a structural engineer. Recently, he is a PhD candidate in the structural engineering field of the Department of Civil and Resource Engineering at Dalhousie University. Koosha’s possesses a strong passion for opera and is happiest when balancing his engineering career with his strong love of performing opera.

 

Antonia

Olivia LaPointe

Soprano Olivia LaPointe has been praised often by adjudicators and directors for her musicality and poise. Olivia has extensive experience singing in a variety of genres, as well as acting and dancing. Olivia has performed many leading roles in musicals such as Heathers: The Musical, Evita, Once Upon a Mattress, and the title role in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. She has also performed in multiple shows with Theatre New Brunswick, including the title role in Mary Poppins. She sings regularly at churches in both Fredericton and Toronto and she has performed in many concerts throughout Canada, Maine and New York. Olivia has won numerous awards in her hometown and provincially, and she won first place at the Great Lakes Regional NATS Auditions in Toronto in 2017. Olivia was selected to represent New Brunswick in the National Youth Choir of Canada in both 2017 and 2018. She was also chosen to sing in the University of Toronto’s first Vocalini concert for outstanding undergraduate singers in 2018. Olivia just completed her third year for a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at the University of Toronto, where she studies with Frédérique Vézina and is a member of the University of Toronto Opera Undergraduate program. This summer, Olivia is excited to be portraying Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, as well as Lily in The Secret Garden with Opera NUOVA in Edmonton.

Antonia

Kelsey Lee

Kelsey Lee was raised in Las Vegas as the oldest of six kids. At the age of two, her parents were leads in the local theatre and brought her along; she was officially hooked. Before university, Kelsey sought out every opportunity to perform in musicals. She has directed, choreographed, or performed in over forty musicals. While attending Brigham Young University – Idaho, she studied with renowned dramatic soprano Kristine Ciesinski and found her passion for opera. She performed as the soprano in the trio for Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti at BYU-I in 2014 before graduating with a BM in Vocal Performance. Kelsey is currently attending the University of Oklahoma, studying with Dr. Leslie Flanagan while working towards her masters in opera performance. She is so excited to be here in Halifax and make her role debut as Antonia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffman with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival.

Nathanael, Spalanzani, Frantz, Pittichinaccio

Eli Aronson

Eli Aronson, tenor, is in his second year at St. Olaf College pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal performance. Originally from Minnesota, USA, he has received recognition from the MacPhail Center of Music and NATS. In 2017, he was named a Triple-Threat Finalist by the Hennepin Theater Trust, one of only twelve teenage men in the state of Minnesota. He has previously sang as a Young Artist with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre in Turandot (Chorus) and Brigadoon (Stuart Dalrymple), with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Snout) and L’incoronazione di Poppea (Soldato/Lucano/Liberto), and with Simpson College Opera in La Canterina (Don Pelagio). Upcoming roles include Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Nathanael/Spalanzani/Frantz/Pittichinaccio) with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, and Into the Woods (Cinderella’s Prince) and a masterclass with pianist Martin Katz with the St. Olaf Lyric Theater. At St. Olaf College, he studies with Dale Kruse.

Bradamante

Laurel Coddington

Born in southern California, mezzo-soprano Laurel Coddington is currently pursuing a double degree in Music Performance (Voice) and Communication Sciences & Disorders at Biola University under the tutelage of Jeanne Robison. She has continually placed in the annual Collegiate NATS competition, performed with the Biola Symphony Orchestra as a winner of the conservatory’s Honors Concerto Competition, and participated in various masterclasses. Laurel has also received numerous awards and scholarships for her contribution to the voice department and musical achievement at Biola.

A four-year member of the prestigious Biola University Chorale, Laurel has had the opportunity to perform at the Western Regional ACDA convention and national NCCO conference, as well as tour across Arizona, northern California, and Ireland.

Laurel has appeared in multiple mainstage productions during her time at Biola including Le Nozze de Figaro (Cherubino), Die Fledermaus (Prince Orlofsky), Street Scene (Mrs. Olsen), and Die Zauberflöte (Zweite Knabe), along with a variety of operatic and musical theatre excerpts.

In the fall at Biola, Laurel will perform as the Third Spirit in an excerpt from Clive Hamilton (world premiere), composed by Calgary native, Joel Balzun. Other features will include The Music Man and spring opera scenes program.

Third Lady

Laura Curiale

Currently studying vocal performance at Western University, Laura Curiale has been growing her voice and exploring all avenues of performing under the guidance of soprano Bethany Hörst and vocal coach Charmaine Fopoussi.

Curiale has enjoyed singing  in the Amabile Choirs of London for twelve seasons and now sings with Western University’s Les Choristes. She frequently excels in competitions and showcases.  She placed first in the Kiwanis Music Festival London in 2015 and National Association of Teachers Regional Competition in 2016. In 2018, Laura organized and performed a recital featuring fellow music colleague, Josee Landry, and in 2019 received honours with distinction for her year-end recital.

Curiale is actively pursuing her performance career with enthusiasm. In the 2017-2018 school year, she portrayed the character Elena in Theatre Western’s production of If/Then and this past year enjoyed being a part of Western University Opera Workshop production of Le Nozze di Figaro. Curiale looks forward to all she will learn as a part of the Halifax Summer Opera Program and as Third Lady in their production of Die Zauberflöte.

Nicklausse

Máiri Demings

Máiri Demings is a mezzo-soprano hailing from Springhill, Nova Scotia. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Acadia University and has recently completed her Masters of Music in Vocal Literature and Performance at the University of Western Ontario. While at Acadia she was an active member of Acadia’s Singing Theatre Production Ensemble, as well as a soloist in the Acadia Performing Arts Series Tom Regan Memorial Concert, Acadia University Chorus, Parrsboro’s Classics by the Bay, and was the Nova Scotia voice representative for the 2016 National Music Festival in Edmonton. Recent roles include Mercédès in Carmen (Halifax Summer Opera Festival), Edith in The Pirates of Penzance (UWOpera), Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro (Accademia Europea Dell’Opera), creating the role of Professor Van Helsing in Dylan Langan’s Dracula (Vera Causa Opera), and Maddalena in Rigoletto (La Music Lirica). She currently resides in London, Ontario where she studies with tenor Torin Chiles and keeps up an active teaching and performing schedule. She is thrilled to be back in her home province and participating in HSOF again!

Oberto

Alyssa Hildebrand

Hailing from Southern Manitoba, Alyssa Hildebrand is thrilled to be participating in HSOF this summer.  She recently completed a Master of Music in Performance and Literature at the University of Western Ontario, studying with Jackalyn Short.  She completed her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance in Winnipeg, at Canadian Mennonite University, studying with David Klassen.  Alyssa has been the finalist in several music competitions, including the Verna Mae Janzen Competition and Winnipeg’s Tudor Bowl.  Alyssa has had the opportunity to learn through several summer programs including Opera NUOVA and Accademia Europea dell’Opera.   She has performed several roles including: Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Josephine in HMS Pinafore, Bastienne in Bastien und Bastienne, and understudying the role of Anne Page in the Merry Wives of Windsor.

Alyssa has a passion for music performance and vocal pedagogy.  She is excited to be returning to Manitoba to open up a private voice studio, and become involved in the vibrant music community present in Winnipeg.  After two years teaching voice at the Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, she is exciting to be starting her own music camp for young vocalists in Manitoba, called Find Your Voice Music Camp.  She hopes to spend the next several years developing artistry through the art of performance and teaching.

Alcina

Jodie Alcorn-Miller

Soprano Jodie Alcorn-Miller has returned to her home Nova Scotia to continue sharing her love of music both on the stage and in the teaching studio.

Jodie studied under Dr. Christianne Rushton at Acadia University and with Elizabeth McDonald at The University of Toronto. She is the recipient of several awards and scholarships including the Nova Scotia Talent Trust and First Place in both Music Theatre and Classical Voice at the Nova Scotia Provincial Music Festival.

While completing her undergraduate studies, Jodie performed at the annual Tom Regan Concert as well as several roles with the Singing Theatre Ensemble. While at The University of Toronto, she was selected as soloist for The MacMillan Singers’ recording Dawn of Night through the Canadian Music Centre. She is an alumna of both Opera NUOVA and the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy. Highlights include Satirino in Cavalli’s La Calisto, Miss Titmouse in Penhorwood’s Too Many Sopranos, Eileen in Bernstein’s Wonderful Town, Sarah Brown in Loesser’s Guys & Dolls.

Jodie sang two seasons with the Elmer Iseler Singers with performances at Koerner Hall, Roy Thompson Hall, as well as two Canadian tours.  She was section lead and soloist for Metropolitan United Church under Dr. Patricia Wright, and was in-demand in the Toronto choral scene, working with the Toronto Voice Lab, Toronto Festival Singers, Trinity Chapel Choir, and as a soloist with Mendelssohn Choir’s Singsation.

Since moving to Halifax, Jodie has began collaborating with the Upstream Ensemble, which is a creative music ensemble focusing on improvisation. Other performances include those with the Halifax Camerata Singers, SNS Chorus, and Eastern Horizon. In June, Jodie is performing in Pirates of Penzance as Mabel with Maritime Concert Opera.

Sarastro (Flute) Crespel (Hoffmann)

Duncan Stenhouse

Duncan Stenhouse is an operatic bass and composer from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Originally born in Northern Ireland Duncan has moved numerous times and lived in many different places around the UK and Canada. His love for singing classically began in his high-school years where he sang in five choirs and took private voice lessons at Mount Royal Conservatory in Calgary.

Currently, Duncan is completing his bachelor degree as a voice performance major with a minor in composition at Memorial School of Music in St. John’s Newfoundland.

In the past five years Duncan has performed as The Caterpillar in Will Todd’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with Memorial University’s Opera Roadshow program, both Figaro and Bartolo in scenes from Le nozze di Figaro, Gianni Schicchi in scenes from Gianni Schicchi, Colline in scenes from La bohème, and Grandpa from The Tender Land in Memorial University’s Opera Workshop program. He has also sung as Raphael in excerpts from Haydn’s Creation with a group from the Calgary Youth Orchestra.

Duncan is thoroughly excited to be able to portray both Sarastro in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Crespel in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann this summer at HSOF. He hopes you enjoy the performance as much as he has loved every minute learning and singing these fascinating roles.

Third Lady

Natalie Vong

Mezzo- Soprano Natalie Vong has recently obtained her Bachelor of Music Honours in Voice Performance degree under the tutelage of Patrica Green from the the University of Western Ontario. Some of her past experiences have included Sour Mathilde in Dialoghi delle Carmelitane with La Musica Lirica (USA) and participating as chorus members of both Die Zauberflöte and Le Nozze di Figaro with UWOpera. Natalie is excited to revisit Die Zauberflöte and play the Third Lady with Halifax Summer Opera Festival this summer. She would like to thank her friends, family and teachers for supporting her throughout her musical journey. 

Second Lady

Serena Yeung

Born in Hong Kong, soprano Serena Yeung started her vocal training at an early age in her hometown, under Alex Tam. She just finished her third year of Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at the University of Calgary, where she studies with Laura Hynes. Serena was a recipient of RCM Provincial Gold Medal for Grade 9 Voice and the Polyna Savridi Memorial Music Undergraduate Scholarship. She has also been awarded the NATS Songfest competition scholarships for three years consecutively. She recently appeared as debut soloist at Early Music Voices’ Sing Along Messiah.

With a strong passion in operatic repertoires, Serena performed her first opera scenes as Sophie (Werther), Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro), and Spirit (Die Zauberflöte). In 2016 and 2018, she also performed with Opera Hong Kong as a chorus member in their production of Madama Butterfly and Die Zauberflöte.

She recently got recommended to represent Calgary at the Provincial Music Festival in Edmonton.

 

Olympia

Loren Graziano

Coloratura soprano Loren Graziano is a student of Nathalie Paulin at the University of Toronto,
where she is currently pursuing her Master of Music in Voice Performance, and, in 2018, graduated
with a Bachelor of Music. Loren has been featured on stage and in recital across Toronto, including
Opera Atelier’s 2019 production of Mozart’s Idomeneo (Chorus), the University of Toronto Opera’s
production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Chorus), Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing (Chorus), and as a soloist
in the University of Toronto Vocalis series. This May, she performed her solo recital, Birds of the Blue
and Creatures of the Dust, in Walter Hall at U of T, which featured programmed works by Louis
Beydts, Camille Saint-Saëns, Hugo Wolf, and more. She has also been involved in choral and
ensemble work, including U of T’s early music ensemble Schola Cantorum lead by Daniel Taylor, the
MacMillian Singers conducted by Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt, and the Opera Undergrad Ensemble. Loren
has had the pleasure of being apart of several prestigious summer programs, such as St. Andrews by
the Sea, the Cornish-American Song Institute, Opera NUOVA, Oberlin in Italy, COSI: Centre for Opera
Studies in Italy Apprentice Program, and the Orford Music Summer Academy. This summer, Loren
will be performing at the Halifax Summer Opera Festival as Olympia in Offenbach’s Les Contes
d’Hoffmann.

Melisso

Camilo Rodriguez-Cuadrado

Colombian baritone Camilo Rodriguez-Cuadrado obtained a Master degree in voice performance from The University of Western Ontario in 2018.  Camilo will join The Halifax Summer Opera Festival 2019, performing the role of Melisso in Händel’s “Alcina”.  He also will be part of Vera Causa Opera’s season 2019 – 2020, singing in the operas “The Child and The Spells” by Maurice Ravel, “The Dino Opera / Rapunzel” (Double Bill) by Canadian composer Dylan Langan, and the Canadian Opera Fest.  Camilo has performed with Vera Causa Opera, The University of Western Ontario Opera Workshop, Accademia Europea dell’Opera, Fundación Jaime Manzur, Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, Caldas Symphony Orchestra, Universidad Nacional de Colombia Symphony Orchestra and Universidad Nacional de Colombia Opera Workshop, among others.

First Spirit

Emilie James

Soprano Emilie James is a classical singer from Toronto, Ontario. The Magic Flute is Emilie’s first operatic role. Emilie has been taking private vocal lessons with Jessica Lane and Peter Bass.

Second Lady

Corinne James

Mezzo Soprano Corinne James is musical theatre and classical singer from Toronto, Ontario. Corinne is currently studying drama at Seneca College. Corinne participated in the 2014 Halifax Summer Opera Festival where she performed the role of Hebe in Orpheus in the Underworld, and the 2015 Halifax Summer Opera Festival as Mae Jones in Street Scene. Corinne has been taking private vocal lessons with Jessica Lane and Peter Bass.

Third Spirit

Keira Davis

Keira Davis is returning to HSOF for her fourth season. She debuted as Willie Maurrant in the 2015 production of “Street Scene,” was in the chorus for both “Carmen” and “Don Giovanni” and is thrilled to be back as the Third Spirit in Die Zauberflöte. With the Broadway Company Players, Keira has performed the lead roles of Gertrude in “Seussical,” Fiona in “Shrek The Musical” and most recently the title role in “Mary Poppins.” Keira will be entering 12th grade at Citadel High School in the fall.

Third Spirit

Raelyn Davis

Raelyn Davis is happiest when singing and acting on the stage. She is returning to HSOF for her fourth season. She debuted as Myrtle in the 2015 production of “Street Scene,” was in the chorus for both “Carmen” and “Don Giovanni” and is delighted to play the Third Spirit in Die Zauberflöte. With the Broadway Company Players, Raelyn has played Young Kangaroo in “Seussical,” Young Fiona in “Shrek The Musical” and most recently “Robertson Ay” in “Mary Poppins.” Raelyn will be entering 7th grade at Halifax Central Junior High School in the fall.

 

Little Pamina

Billie Kent

Billie lives in Brooklyn, on the beautiful South Shore with her Mom and Dad, Ali and Ian, and her older brother, Oscar.  In the fall she starts grade four at Dr. John C. Wickwire Academy in Liverpool.

Early on, Billie sparked a love for the arts performing at the Queens County Music Festival on the historic Astor Theatre stage.  Billie studies voice with Kim Umphrey and piano with Gregory Waters.  She loves to paint, write and dance.  Through the winter, Billie plays hockey for the Queens County Cougars and enjoys skiing at Martock with her girls.

This is Billie’s first production.  She has truly enjoyed every minute of her Halifax Summer Opera Festival experience and hopes to play with you all again some day soon.

Pamina

Meghan Jamieson

Nova Scotia born Soprano, Meghan Jamieson, was raised in a musical family, making the decision to pursue a career in music and performance an easy decision at a very young age. Jamieson returns home for her first Pamina in this years Halifax Summer Opera Festival.

Other performances include Maritime Concert Opera debut singing the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and later the role of Amor in Orfeo ed Euridice, the DGM Music Inc. production of Rent and several Dalhousie Opera Workshops including Mahagonny Songspiel, where she sang the role of Jessie and Cinderella, where she brought the character of Miranda to life. Her performance as Cathleen in Riders to the Sea at the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop was reviewed in the magazine Opera Canada, where she was described as “an exciting and beautiful young singer with a wide vocal range and much acting ability.” In the summer of 2016 Meghan played the role of the First Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. She debuted at the Glenn Gould School in her role as Parthénis in Offenbach’s La belle Hélène, her title debut in El Gato con Botas playing the role of the Cat and as Alcina in Alcina where she received a review in the Globe and Mail which stated “…when Jamieson dialed it back a notch, in the heartbreaking aria which ended the first half of Alcina… it was as though for a second you could see into her future as an artist, and a glorious future it was.”

Meghan has completed her Bachelor of Music in Performance at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, close to her hometown, under the tutelage of Lucy Hayes-Davis and her Artist’s Diploma at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, Ontario studying with Monica Whicher.  She has recently begun studying with the incredible Laura Tucker in Toronto, Ontario.

Oberto

Emma Battel

Emma Battel is soprano from Kingston, Ontario.  This fall she will begin her third year of the vocal performance program at Western University where she studies under Patricia Green.

Prior to university, Emma was a 7-year chorister of Cantabile Choirs, sang annually in the Kiwanis Festival and immersed herself in performing through piano, flute and musical theatre.  Since then, she has played many roles such as Brenda in Catch Me If You Can, Vivienne in Legally Blonde, and Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Emma also enjoys plays and appeared in a compelling two-person piece: Come Away, Come Away, advancing to the provincial level of the Sears Ontario Drama Festival in 2017. Subsequently, Emma has prepared two annual spring recitals in collaboration with her Western colleague Ellita Gagner.

This summer’s production of Alcina is Emma’s opera debut and she is excited to be bringing the character of Oberto to life on stage with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival.

Monostatos

Mehdi Mikaeilzadeh

Mehdi began his singing career as a member of the ‘’ Tehran Choir ’’ in Iran in 2010 while taking classical voice lessons. In 2013, he moved to Istanbul to be a chorister and soloist of the ‘’Koral Istanbul Choir‘’ participating in many concerts, while continuing to take voice lessons. In the beginning of 2015, Mehdi was accepted to be a part of a quartet group called “Singers of United Lands” located in the United States. For five months they toured the States singing in various concert halls, universities, churches and schools. In 2016, he moved to Montreal to study at McGill University where he is currently in his fourth year as an undergraduate student with Professor Stefano Algieri.

Papagena

Emily Zixin Wang

Emily Zixin Wang is a Chinese-Canadian soprano based in Toronto, Ontario. She is currently entering her second year Masters of Voice Performance program at the University of Toronto studying under the tutelage of distinguished soprano, Nathalie Paulin. She recently performed the title role in Handel’s Semele with the Toronto Opera Lyric Theatre. In May 2019, she performed the role of Second Woman (Dido and Belinda) with OperaQ and a solo recital with pianist Helen Becqué in Walter Hall, featuring works by Handel, Poulenc and Marx. Emily sang in the University of Toronto Vocalis series at the Extension Room and in Walter Hall. In 2017-2018, she sang Solomon’s Queen (Solomon) and was a soloist in the Bach Cantata Evening concert, both at Alix Goolden Hall in the Victoria Conservatory of Music. She also participated in the Stratford Summer Music Vocal Academy and the Orford Music Academy Piano and Voice Duet Intensive. She looks forward to performing her upcoming role of Papagena (Die Zauberflöte) with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival.

Nicklausse

Lissy Meyerowitz

Lissy Meyerowitz is a Canadian mezzo-soprano from Toronto with Italian and Jewish heritage.  She is currently studying Vocal Performance at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Mark Daboll and is a recipient of the 2019-20 Pinchas Ziegel Memorial Scholarship. She also intends to minor in Italian language. Lissy has had a very musical life; she began piano lessons at the age of 7 and played various concert instruments throughout her high school years. She discovered her passion for singing soon after and dove straight into her studies. She has performed regularly with the U of T Women’s Chamber Choir conducted by Dr. Lori-Anne Dolloff and has appeared in many U of T concerts such as Give My Regards to Broadway and the vocal division’s Noon Hour series. After she completes her undergraduate degree, Lissy intends on continuing her musical studies in an opera-focused post-graduate program. Lissy is very excited to make her opera debut as Nicklausse in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival.

Alcina

Victoria Vass

Victoria Vass has recently completed a Masters degree in Vocal Performance and Literature from the University of Western Ontario. She has received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario and completed her Bachelor of Music degree at Queen’s University in Kingston. While at Queen’s she performed as Sister Genevieve in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and was featured as a soloist for A Night in Vienna and A Night at the Proms. She performed in Western University Opera’s Carmen as a member of the chorus and performed the role of Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro. Victoria is excited to be in Halifax and perform the role of Alcina!  

Papagena

Grace Hakala

Grace Hakala is a soprano from Sarnia, Ontario, and a fourth year Voice Performance student at Western University.  She studies with Torin Chiles and Marianna Chibotar-Rutkevich.  She is very excited for her HSOF debut as Papagena in “The Magic Flute”.

Grace has participated in the Western University Opera Workshop for the past three years; there she sang the First Spirit in “The Magic Flute”,  as well as ensemble roles in “The Turn of the Screw” and “The Pirates of Penzance”.  She also performed in the 2018 Canadian Operatic Arts Academy in London.

Throughout elementary and high school, Grace sang roles in many musical theatre productions, including the Gingerbread Man in “Shrek: the Musical” and Zaneeta Shinn in “The Music Man”. She has also been an active participant in the Lambton County Music Festival, where she was nominated several times to sing in Ontario Music Festival Association’s provincial competition; here she won a Bronze Medal in the 2016 Grade 8 voice competition, and was a provincial finalist in the 2018 Grade 10 competition.

Follow me and my future musical endeavours on Instagram: @grace.hakala

Tamina

Alexander Cappellazzo

Raised in Scarborough Ontario, Alexander Cappellazzo has since moved to Montreal to continue cultivating his passion of singing. This year he has earned the degree of Master of Music at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music under the tutelage of Stefano Algieri. His operatic and oratorio debut was in 2017, in the ensemble of Die Fledermaus and as Jepthe in Carissimi’s Jepthe. Alexander has since been involved in thirteen operas, including Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (1st Sailor), Arne’s Thomas and Sally (Squire), Britten’s Albert Herring (Mayor Upfold), and McGill’s production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Monostatos). In sacred works, Alexander has performed as a soloist in Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio, Bach’s B Minor Mass, and Vivaldi’s Magnificat. With regards to art song, he holds a strong passion towards songs after 1900, and has performed works such as Benjamin Britten’s Who are these Children?, Gavin Bryars’ Songs from Northern Seas, Shostakovich’s From Jewish Folk Poetry, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Southern Love Songs. Not only a performer, Alexander also has directed (Haydn’s La Canterina), assistant directed, assistant stage managed, as well as designed set, costume and sound for opera and spoken word theater. When he is not singing, he enjoys cooking, nature walking, and playing D&D. Alexander is both thankful and delighted to be a part of the festival!

First Lady

Julie Gate

Oakville born soprano, Julie Gate, recently graduated with her Bachelor of Music Honours
Performance degree at the University of Western Ontario, under the tutelage of Rachel Mallon.
In the past, she has performed in Western Universities Opera Gala (2016/2019) and made her
operatic debut as Helena in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Halifax Summer Opera
Festival (2018). Julie had the opportunity to attend Opera Nuova’s 10-day opera program (2018)
in Edmonton Alberta. While there she worked with many accomplished Canadian singers, and
completed workshops led by Carol Castel, Rebecca Hass, and Kim Mattice Wanat. Julie has
spent time learning languages such as French, Spanish and Italian to further her performance
skills. She is looking forward returning to the Halifax Summer Opera Festival as the First Lady
in Die Zauberflöte.

Schlemil, Luther (Hoffmann) Speaker, High Priest (Flute)

Steven Dewitt

Steven is a member of Halifax Camerata Singers and the Halifax Gay Men’s Chorus and studies vocal technique with Jason Davis. In his first season with the HSOF, Steven is the Speaker in The Magic Flute and Schlemil and Luther in The Tales of Hoffmann. Steven learns his music while doing his second-favourite thing, running.

Giulietta

Olivia Spahn-Vieira

Canadian soprano, Olivia Spahn-Vieira is thrilled to be making her operatic debut as Giulietta,
in the Halifax Summer Opera Festival’s production of Les Contes D’Hof mann.

With a strong musical theatre background, Olivia started performing at age 10, and, since then,
has gone on to sing in more than twenty productions; most recently, as a featured soloist in Wavestage
Theatre Company’s June 2019 production of Godspell.

Olivia currently studies at the University of Toronto, under Peter Barnes, and will be
beginning the third year of her undergraduate degree in September. Prior to her University studies, she
trained at the Royal Conservatory of Music, in Toronto, under Insook Chung.

She attended high school at Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts. Her years in the highly
intensive Musical Theatre program brought her invaluable experience, performing on Breakfast
Television, CBC, and Show Choir Canada, as well as many events across Toronto, with the Wexford
Gleeks. Olivia frequently stepped into the role of the “swing” at Wexford, learning music, text, and
staging quickly and accurately, and ready to take on any role at a moment’s notice.

Olivia is very proud of the progress she has made, and continues to make, as a growing young
singer, and is extremely grateful for the support of her family, friends, and mentors.

She aspires to do crossover work throughout her career, and, every time she sings, to make a
statement that her audience can identify and connect with.

Ruggiero

Sean Jordan

Sean Jordan recently graduated with a Masters in Opera Performance from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, studying under baritone Nathaniel Watson. Having returned to Philadelphia, PA, he will begin auditioning for Young Artist Programs across the United States. He is excited to return to the HSOF, and is honored to portray such an iconic Handelian primo uomo as Ruggiero in Alcina.

Morgana

Sevan Kochkarian

Sevan Kochkarian is a lyric soprano from Vancouver, BC with “a stunning voice and character” (The Contributor). She studied at the Vancouver Academy of Music under the direction of David Meek for five years with an emphasis in Opera before heading to McGill to continue her degree in Voice Performance studying with Joanne Kolomyjec, specializing in Opera. Opera McGill’s renowned director Patrick Hansen and principal coach Stephen Hargreaves accepted Sevan into their studio her first year at McGill where she was part of the main stage chorus as well as a principal role in Michael Ching’s Speed Dating Tonight! (Dater 13/Pathological Liar). Sevan has been seen performing across Canada in numerous different roles such as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Paquette in Candide, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzances, Mrs.McLean in Susanna and Adina in Elisir d’amore.

Sevan was awarded a scholarship from the Vancouver Opera’s Guild for showing a promising career in the field at the age of 18 for her hard work and dedication to the arts. That same year she won the first place overall in the Kiwanis Music festival for the opera division. Sevan worked with the ARS in giving a benefit concert to help raise money for the orphans of Armenia. She raised $6,000 to build them a school in Artsakh. Last summer Sevan played the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro in Lucca, Tuscany with AEDO. Earlier this summer she workshopped a new opera Much Ado playing the role of Hero with Opera Nuova.

Chorus, understudy for Antonia's Mother

Andrea Johnston

Andrea Johnston is excited to return to the Halifax Summer Opera Festival. On her last visit, she displayed her evil side as “Mrs. McLean” in Susannah.  Andrea is a native of Moncton N.B.  She received a Bachelor of Music majoring in Voice from Mount Allison University. After taking some time away from the stage to raise a family, Andrea returned to performing a few years ago. Recent roles include “Hebe” in H.M.S Parliament (Tryptych Opera) and Choir Member in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Collective Theatrics).  Recent choral work has included singing with the Indian River Festival Chorus and the Fundy Sound Choir.

Bradamante

Zoë Gotziaman

Zoë Gotziaman just graduated from the University of Manitoba under the tutelage of Tracy Dahl. Zoë’s recent roles include: Hansel Hansel and Gretel (UofM School Tour), Phoebe Yeomen of the Guard (G&S Society of Winnipeg), Venèto The Confused Castrato (Little Opera Company), Nancy in Albert Herring (HSOF), and she has been in the Manitoba Opera Chorus for two seasons. She is so excited return to HSOF and sing her first Handel role!

Antonia's Mother

Megan Hayward

Mezzo soprano Megan Hayward graduated with honours in performance from the University of Windsor. She began lessons many years ago with Doreen Uren-Simmons back in her hometown of Orillia, Ontario and enjoyed performing in local musicals from the age of 15. This is her 4th time singing with HSOF having played Mercedes in Carmen, La Notte and Didone in L’Egisto, and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Now a Haligonian she is excited for another summer performing with HSOF and looks forward to many more.