Faculty and Staff 2020
Artistic Director and Acting Coach for Art Song Intensive
Nina Scott-Stoddart is an educator, stage director, singer and passionate advocate of opera's relevance to all Canadians. Originally from Calgary, and then Toronto, Nina moved to Lunenburg, NS in 2002, where she founded Maritime Concert Opera (which is in the middle of its 17th season) and the Halifax Summer Opera Festival (which is preparing for its 16th season). Before moving to Nova Scotia in 2002, Nina oversaw 8 seasons of 20th century opera in Toronto through her company Opera Anonymous.
As a singer, Nina Scott-Stoddart has sung as a featured soloist in Canada and the United States, with organizations including Opera in Concert, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Kingston Symphony Orchestra, Opera Nova Scotia, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Opera Maine, Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik, OperaLenawee (Michigan), Aradia Baroque Ensemble, Mississauga Choral Society, Arbor Oak Trio, Dance Oremus Danse and Opera York.
Nina has had an interest in contemporary music since her undergraduate degree at York University, where there was a lively community of student composers allied with performers. As a singer she draws some of her favourite performed roles from the works of Poulenc (Mme de Croissy from Les dialogues des carmelites), Menotti (The Secretary from The Consul and Madame Flora in The Medium), Stravinsky (Baba the Turk from The Rake’s Progress) and Britten (Lucretia from The Rape of Lucretia and Phaedra from Phaedra). She has a special interest in Canadian music, having sung Sister Bridgeman in Timothy Sullivan’s opera Florence, the Lady with the Lamp with Opera in Concert, The Pope and Emma Darwin in the workshop premiere of Quentin Doolittle’s opera The Leviathan Hook (with libretto by Rex Deverell), Levercham in Healy Willan’s Deirdre as well as song cycles I never saw another butterfly by Srul Irving Glick and The Confession Stone by Robert Fleming, as well as the world premiere of Dr Derek Holman’s Requiem, which was broadcast coast to coast on CBC Radio.
Nina recently spearheaded the commissioning of a new opera by Elizabeth Raum and Rex Deverell, Time of Trouble. Nina brought the composer and librettist together with her opera company, Maritime Concert Opera, to commission the work from the Ontario Arts Council. She was also honoured to create the role of Mother Elizabeth in the inaugural performance of Time of Trouble in October 2015.
Nina directed opera for a number of groups in Toronto, and since moving to NS worked as Artistic Producer for ONS’s Opera Valentine for five years and as stage director for Halifax Summer Opera Festival’s productions of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte and Don Giovanni, Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Rodelinda, Menotti’s The Consul, Floyd’s Susannah, Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann and Orpheus in the Underworld, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. Nina was the guest stage director for the Dalhousie University Opera Workshop for four years: for Dal she directed Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief, The Telephone, Barber’s A Hand of Bridge, Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and Mollicone’s Face on the Barroom Floor. In 2011 she directed RENT for DGM Music Inc. in Halifax, Amahl and the Night Visitors for Maritime Concert Opera and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown for Acadia University’s Singing Theatre program. She directed The Sound of Music for Broadway Atlantic in Halifax in 2016.
Conductor for Les dialogues des carmélites
Nicholas Gilmore currently serves at the Conductor of the Denver Young Artist Conservatory Orchestras, Principal Conductor and Music Director of Ozark Family Opera, and a Music Director and Conductor for the Halifax Summer Opera Festival in Nova Scotia. Previous appointments include Artistic Director of Heartland Opera Theatre in Joplin, Missouri for six seasons, and three seasons as the Principal Conductor and Chorus Master of Loveland Opera Theatre.
As a guest conductor, Gilmore has lead performances with the Aurora Symphony Orchestra, Opera Fort Collins, The Kansas Dance Festival Ballet, The Wichita Contemporary Music Festival, Open Space New Music Festival, Opera on the Avalon in Newfoundland, Colorado’s Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, and Pacific Opera Project in Los Angeles. He has conducted as a special guest artist at Missouri Southern State University, Crowder College, Wichita State University, and the University of Northern Colorado where he also served for the 2014 spring semester as Director of Orchestras.
From the pit, Gilmore has conducted over 50 productions in the United States and Canada, most recently La Traviata, Carmen, Susannah, La fille du régiment, Kismet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Evita, and Trouble in Tahiti. His recent performances of L’elisir d’amore with Pacific Opera Project we’re called “fiercely conducted” by LA’s Splash Magazines, and Opera Today wrote, “Gilmore’s light, airy but propulsive reading of the score captured both its comedy and its underlying sentiment.” During his tenure as Artistic Director of Heartland Opera Theatre, the company experienced massive growth, both artistically and financially, becoming the strongest regional voice for quality opera in Southwest Missouri.
Gilmore has served on the faculty at Missouri Southern State University, Crowder College, and Laramie County Community College, teaching private horn, voice, vocal diction and literature, theory, and introductory music history courses, in addition to conducting and coaching large and small ensembles. In 2009 he received a Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Award for “Excellence in Music Direction and Conducting” for his work on George Gershwin’s Lady be Good!.
He holds a BM in Horn Performance and an MM in Instrumental Conducting from Wichita State University, where he was named the Dora Wallace Hodgson Outstanding Masters Student in 2009. He is currently finishing his Doctor of Arts in Orchestral Conducting and Operas Studies at the University of Northern Colorado under Dr. Russell Guyver.
Stage director for Dido/Venus
Soprano Erin Bardua is a co-founder of Essential Opera, frequent stage and concert performer, and director based in Atlantic Canada. She has sung with Vancouver Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, the Talisker Players, Nota Bene Baroque Players, Pax Christi Chorale, the Toronto Sinfonietta, the Oshawa-Durham Chorus, the Arcady Baroque Ensemble, Capella Intima, London Pro Musica, the Menno Singers, and the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, among others.
Erin's operatic roles have encompassed numerous Mozart including Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), the Countess (Le nozze di Figaro) and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni); and title roles in Alcina (Handel) and Paride ed Elena (Gluck). Erin has also premiered leading roles in several new compositions, including Frankenstein by Andrew Ager, Regina by Elisha Denburg, and Etiquette by Monica Pearce.
Erin has provided dramatic coaching and stage direction for Mount Allison University's Opera Workshop and the Halifax Summer Opera Festival (Monteverdi's La coronazione di Poppea in 2018 and Handel's Alcina in 2019)
Sean is pleased to be back for a sixth season designing for the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, and his first as our official Technical Diretor. When not with the festival he works as a freelance Designer and as a stage technician. He is a member of Associated Designers of Canada.and IATSE 680. Sean is the 2018 Robert Merritt Award winner for Outstanding Technician.
Stage director for Les dialogues des carmélites
Stage director for Les dialogues des carmélites
Lyric soprano Monike Porter was raised just outside of Halifax Nova Scotia, with a passion for music which stemmed from a deep love for Shirley Temple musicals. She studied with Paula Rockwell at Acadia University and graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance in 2015, having performed in many operatic productions and concerts. Most notably, while at Acadia she performed the role of Dame Doleful in Edwin Penhorwood’s Too Many Sopranos and was a featured soloist in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Acadia University Orchestra. She has also taken part in opera programs in Canada and internationally, such as Halifax Summer Opera Festival and Yorkshire Opera Workshop in the United Kingdom. Monike recently graduated with her Master’s degree in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance from Memorial University of Newfoundland under the guidance of Shelley Neville. While at Memorial she participated in four productions with the MUN Opera Workshop in which she performed the role Geraldine from Samuel Barber’s Opera, A Hand of Bridge, as well excerpts from the roles of First Lady in The Magic Flute and Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito among others. Having recently performed as Helena in Halifax Summer Opera Festival's production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night's Dream, Monike returned to HSOF as Assistant Stage Director last year for Les Contes d'Hoffmann.
Stage director for Threepenny Opera
Music director for Art Song Intensive
After graduating from Dalhousie with a Bachelor of Music in performance, Greg Myra worked in the department as a staff pianist primarily for the voice studio of Lucy Hayes-Davis. Mr. Myra has performed with Opera Nova Scotia (Massenet's Don Quichotte), and has been the music director for Die Zauberflöte and Britten's Midsummer Night's Dream with Halifax Summer Opera Workshop. He has also served as a repetiteur and coach for the Contemporary Opera Lab at the University of Manitoba, where he earned a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano.
Vocal Coach for Threepenny Opera
Tenor Jason Davis has been hailed by critics as “truly a fine tenor” and “one of the most exciting voices of his generation possessing a voice of tremendous beauty, colour and power”. Daphna Levit of Opera Canada Magazine recently wrote “Jason Davis was perfect as the unscrupulous Duke of Mantua; his huge voice effortlessly communicated whatever emotion he choose to portray - delight, desire, contempt or arrogance.” He has performed concert and operatic repertoire throughout North America including Vaughn William’s On Wenlock Edge (The Scotia Festival Chamber Music Society) Haydn’s Mass in the Time of War (Paukenmesse) (Farmington Valley Orchestra), Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (Dalhousie Orchestra), Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (Coro Collegium), Vaughn William’s Four Hymns (Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra) Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (Kings Chapel Choir) and a recent performance as the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion with Collegium Cantorum. Jason’s operatic performances have included roles with Opera New Hampshire, Opera Connecticut, The Opera Theater of Connecticut, Opera New Jersey and more recently as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte (Opera New Brunswick), Idomeneo in Idomeneo(Opera Nova Scotia) as well as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème, the Duke of Mantua in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Canio in Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci (Maritime Concert Opera). Along with his busy performing schedule Jason is the founder and Artistic Director of the Maritime Conservatory’s Broadway Company Players music theatre ensemble and Halifax’s Breaking Waves vocal theatre company and he also maintains an active teaching schedule at the Maritime Conservatory where a number of his students have gone on to pursue studies in vocal performance at top music and theatre programs throughout North America.
Music director for Threepenny Opera
Chuck has musically directed more than 67 productions and has toured internationally including three Broadway shows. At Neptune Theatre he has musically directed Shakespeare in Love, Into the Woods, Frog and Toad, Sweeney Todd, West Side Story, Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Carol: The Musical and Disney’s High School Musical. Chuck was Neptune Theatre’s Director of Education for eight years, overseeing Theatre School programs and the Young Neptune Touring Company. He has taught at the Banff Centre, Dalhousie University and Neptune Theatre School. At Neptune he created the Prep program for advanced students wishing to gain entry to post secondary schools of the performing arts.
In addition to conducting and arranging for musical theatre Chuck is also a busy clinician as a choral conductor, singing actor coach and collaborative pianist. He has recently returned from China where he taught for the American Musical Theatre Academy.
Collaborative Pianist for Les dialogues des carmélites
Born in Montreal, Giancarlo Scalia is very active as a pianist, vocal coach and composer. He has performed as a collaborative pianist throughout Canada, Italy, Austria, Germany, France and China and his compositions have been presented throughout North America and Europe.
Mr. Scalia has served as musical director or répétiteur for various companies such as Opéra immédiat (Chauve-Souris, Carmen, Aïda, Elisir d’amore, I Capuleti e i Montecchi), l’Opéra bouffe du Québec (Les Brigands, Véronique, Le Baron Tzigane) and the Halifax Summer Opera Festival (Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, Carmen) as well as for Snowglobe Theatre (The Medium, Riders to the Sea), Light Opera of Montreal (The Tender Land), Lakeshore Light Opera (The Mikado), Opéra Outside the Box (Le Téléphone) and the Festival Classica. He has also collaborated with l’Opéra de Montréal and it’s Atelier lyrique, Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, Opera Atelier in Toronto, Gesellschaft für Musiktheater in Vienna, l’Istituto Italiano di Cultura de Montreal and the Société d’art vocal de Montréal. As a coach, he has worked with numerous young singers at Concordia University, the Université de Montréal, McGill University and the École de musique Vincent d’Indy (voice department and operetta workshop).
As a performer, his diverse repertoire ranges from full operas to the major art song cycles of Schumann, Schubert, Vaughan-Williams, Debussy and Poulenc. In October 2017, he performed 8 concerts in China with baritone Hugo Laporte, mezzo soprano Marie-Andrée Mathieu and soprano Jessica Latouche. In 2016, he recorded and released the album Arie e canzoni with soprano Sophie De Cruz. The CD is available worldwide and features arias by Puccini, Donizetti and Verdi; art songs by Donaudy, Gastaldon and Tosti as well as his composition Ideale.
As a composer, Giancarlo Scalia’s catalogue includes works for a variety of instrumentations (solo instruments, voice, chamber groups, ensembles, mixed music) and his compositional style incorporates both traditional and contemporary elements; a combination of modal, tonal and atonal music. He is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre and has composed for soloists and ensembles such as l’Orchestre de la Francophonie, l'Ensemble Paramirabo, l’Ensemble Saxologie, cellist Julie Hereish, percussionist David Therrien-Brongo, the Orchestre d'Harmonie Leonardo da Vinci, the Grand Ensemble de Cuivres de l'Université de Montréal and the École de musique Vincent d'Indy string orchestra.
Mr. Scalia’s work in film music began when he was commissioned in 2006 by the Laurier Macdonald Media Foundation to compose the music for the award-winning documentary Ripples in Time. His 2008 collaboration with the Spanish director Raimundo Morte was premiered at the Liber Barcelone festival in Spain.
Giancarlo Scalia obtained a Bachelor’s degree and a DESS in piano performance under the direction of Jimmy Brière and Marc Durand and a Master’s in composition under the direction of Denis Gougeon from the Université de Montréal before continuing his studies privately with pianists Walter Moore and Norman Shetler in Vienna and Claude Webster in Montréal. He has also participated in vocal accompaniment programs at the Orford Arts Centre, the Académie Francis Poulenc (Tours, France) the Wiener Musikseminar (Vienna, Austria), Vox Musicae (Senigallia, Italy) and the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (La bohème).
Lucy Hayes Davis
Vocal Coach for Art Song Intensive
Mezzo-soprano Lucy Hayes Davis is pleased to call Halifax home. Lucy returned to Nova Scotia in 2007 after pursuing intensive voice pedagogy studies with Dr. Scott McCoy and Marvin Keenze at Westminster Choir College, where she completed a Masters degree. Lucy went on to further operatic studies at the Hartt School joining the voice faculty there in 2001. In addition to maintaining a large voice studio, she taught all of the diction courses and a voice class for students majoring in Music Education.
In Nova Scotia Lucy has taught voice at Dalhousie and Acadia Universities as well as Lyric Diction, Voice Pedagogy and Voice Clinics for students in the Dalhousie acting program. She acts as music director for several programs offered through the Maritime Conservatory including the Elementary and Junior Broadway Company Players. Lucy will return for her fifth tenure as vocal coach for the Halifax Summer Opera Festival where she will help prepare the cast of A Midsummer Nights Dream.
This summer, Lucy will also be returning as vocal coach for the seventh consecutive season of Opera from Scratch. Lucy is also an active adjudicator and clinician. Her operatic roles include Dorabella in Mozarts Cosi fan tutte, the Witch from Humperdincks Hnsel und Gretal, Zita from Puccinis Gianni Schicchi, Marcellina from Mozarts Le nozze di Figaro, the Old Lady from Bernsteins Candide, and the Mother from Menottis Amahl and the Night Visitors. In spring 2013 she sang the role of Frederica in Verdis Luisa Miller for Opera Nova Scotia. Lucy and her husband, Jason Davis were Musicians in Residence for the St. Cecilia Series 2013/14 season.
Vocal Coach for Dido/Venus
Maureen Batt is celebrated for her “rich, warm sound and masterful acting” (Opera Canada). Recently, Maureen’s solo career has focused on promoting Canadian classical contemporary repertoire by collaborating with established and emerging composers to commission, première, and re-perform their works. In June 2017, her debut CD, Lady of the Lake was released (Leaf Music/Naxos). The album pairs two song cycles based on the epic poem by Sir Walter Scott: Op. 52 by Schubert, and a new song cycle by Canadian composer, Fiona Ryan. Lady of the Lake was nominated for ‘Classical Album of the Year’ by The East Coast Music Association and Music Nova Scotia.
She has created several Canadian opera roles including Helen, Aunt Helen (Monica Pearce); Keri Ferrell, Hipster Grifter (Elisha Denburg); Lorelei Henderson, Stockholm Syndrome (Fiona Ryan); Bride, Cake (Pearce); Hannah, Hannah & Paige and the Zombie Pirates (Christopher Thornborrow); Dorothy Parker, Etiquette (Pearce); Anna, Regina (Denburg); Cindy, Heather: Cindy + Mindy =BFFS 4EVER (Thornborrow); and Mother/Sister Mary Francis, Time of Trouble (Elizabeth Raum).
She has been engaged by Opera Nova Scotia, Maritime Concert Opera, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, VOICEBOX, Toronto Operetta Theatre, New Hamburg Live!, Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound, Whale Song Theatre, The Toy Piano Composers, and has performed recitals across Canada and in the United States.
Memorable opera credits from standard repertoire include Susanna, Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart); Zerlina, Don Giovanni (Mozart); Despina, Così fan tutte (Mozart); Serpina, The Maid Mistress (Pergolesi), Belinda, Dido and Aeneas (Purcell); Yum-Yum, The Mikado (Sullivan), Lauretta, Gianni Schicchi (Puccini); Polly, The Threepenny Opera/Die Dreigroschenoper (Weill); Morgana, Alcina (Händel); Nina, Chérubin (Massenet). Her selected concert and oratorio credits include Händel’s Messiah and Esther, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore and Exsultate Jubilate, Bach’s BWV 187 Es wartet alles auf dich, BWV 4 Christ lag in Todesbanden, and BWV 245 St. John Passion.
Maureen, with her colleague Erin Bardua, is co-artistic director of Essential Opera—an opera company founded in 2010, and part of the Indie Opera Toronto collective. In 2014, Maureen founded Crossing Borders, a contemporary classical recital series which has toured programs of art song, opera arias, musical theatre, and electronics to the United States and Canada with Cheryl Duvall (piano). She has been the recipient of awards from the SOCAN Foundation, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, SSHRC, FACTOR, Music Nova Scotia, and Arts Nova Scotia.
Vocal Coach for Les dialogues des carmélites
Rose Naggar-Tremblay is a versatile mezzo-soprano, noticed for the richness of her voice and the intelligence of her interpretations.
She makes use of her creativity and love of languages through varied artistic projects including song writing, composing original librettos and music and dramaturgical conception of staged concerts and of musical workshops for children. She is particularly inclined to perform contemporary opera. She recently took part into the Opera de Montreal production of Svadba (Sokolovic) that won the Opus Prize for musical event of the year. She also sang the lead role of Gertrude Stein in the Atelier Lyrique’s production of Twenty-Sven (Gordon and Vavrek) and she will create the role of Gabrielle in La nuit est ma femme (Côté and Ivy) over the 2019-2020 season.
Her vast musical experience and curiosity allowed her to explore a very diverse repertoire. She was recently heard at the Opéra de Montreal, the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, with La Compagnie baroque Mont-Royal, the Opéra de Lévis, Stella Musica, Production point d’arrêt, the Lyric Montreal Ensemble,and Opera McGill, appearing most notably in the roles of Zora (Svadba, Sokolovic), Tisbe (Cenerentola, Rossini), Carmen (Carmen, Bizet), Dejanira (Hercules, Handel), and Dido (Dido and Aeneas, Purcell). Her interpretation of Dido was warmly described by L'Opéra - Revue québécoise d'art lyrique ''La voix sombre et veloutée de Rose Naggar-Tremblay- presque une voix de contralto- intrigue et séduit'' Anne Denise Carette
Rose is also a very active chamber music performer, taking part in many concerts and recitals. She is recently heard in the Mozart Requiem (Orchestre philharmonique et chœur des mélomanes), in the Duruflé Requiem (Chœur de l’Orchestre Métropolitain) in the cantatas BWV 7, BWV 89, BWV 21 (Serenata at St-John) and in recital with Festival Montréal Baroque, the Highlands Opera Studio and the Toronto Summer Music festival.
Rose has been awarded the Schulich Scolarship, the Maureen Forrester – Montreal Musician's Guild Scholarship, the Foundation McAbbie Scholarship, the Maureen Forrester Award, the E.M Wirth Scholarship, the Peter and Mary White Award and the Schulich Entrance Scholarship. Her second year at the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal is generously sponsored by Elizabeth Wirth and Lucien Fauteux.
Costume designer for Les dialogues des carmélites
Wafaa is a Fashion and Costume designer, and was a part of the fashion industry in Egypt, created Fidele studio (a fashion brand) in 2014, and worked in performing art theatre for few years as well as styling for TV shows.
She received her AEC (Attestations d'études collégiales) in costume design from La College LaSalle in Montreal, where she also worked and assisted designers on theatre shows and costume preparations. she loves the creative world of costume and wardrobe styling as it helps the story makers' visions comes to reality.
She made her opera debut last year, designing steampunk costumes for HSOF's Les contes d'Hoffmann.