Tenor Andrew Derynck: Halifax Summer Opera Festival 2017 Featured Artist

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Mayor Upfold in Britten’s Albert Herring

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“My constant singing in the fields or while harvesting would startle my dad and we would stop as he would think that I was hollering since something may have gone wrong, although often it was just that I was entertaining myself.”

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Where are you from? How did you first get interested in opera or musical theatre? 

I’m from a small farming community in south-western Ontario called Jeannettes Creek. My interest in musical theatre came about as I went through school and watched some of my siblings get involved in musicals, and when I got into high school I finally got to explore some musicals for myself. I didn’t actually begin to explore opera until I entered my undergrad, however once I was introduced I knew that it was what I wanted to do.

When did you start studying voice? Where are you studying now?

I started studying voice around the age of 16, my voice did not drop until I was 17 and it happened quickly, the week before a competition, made for a bit of an adventure on the day of. From there I went on to study at Wilfrid Laurier University where I completed my BMus and Opera Diploma.

What came first for you, theatre or music?

Music likely came first for me, as it surrounded me in church and as I was out working on the farm with my siblings. My constant singing in the fields or while harvesting would startle my dad and we would stop as he would think that I was hollering since something may have gone wrong, although often it was just that I was entertaining myself.

What are your dream roles?

I quite enjoy larger roles, this past year I had the opportunity to perform Hoffmann which is likely one of the highlights of my performing career so far. Some other dream roles include Werther (Werther), Cavaradossi (Tosca) and Des Grieux (Manon Lescaut).

Who are your favourite performing artists?

Currently I listen mainly of Jonas Kauffmann and Ben Heppner. More casually I listen to a lot of country music,

What are you most looking forward to about this summer?

I am looking forward to exploring some of Canada’s east coast, while meeting more artists that are working towards similar goals as me. I am also quite excited to learn and perform Mayor Upfold, while working on the score I have found some really enjoyable tidbits.

Thanks, Andrew!

Are you a participant or staff member this year? Why not submit your own answers to our questionnaire!

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