2017 ART OF SONG FELLOWS

 

Adam Harris, baritoneAdam Harris

Canadian baritone Adam Harris has been described as an intuitively musical and distinctively dramatic young performer. He completed his BMus in vocal performance from Western University in his home town London, ON and is currently finishing his second year of a Master’s Degree in Opera at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Laura Tucker. This past November Adam performed the role of “Pluto” in UofT Opera’s production of Orphée aux Enfers.  Recent credits include Marcello in La Bohème (Opera NUOVA), Ben Benny/Western Union Boy in Paul Bunyan (UofT Opera), Mr Gobineau in The Medium (UofT Opera), Masetto in Don Giovanni (Toronto Opera Initiative), Curly in Oklahoma! (Opera NUOVA), Marcello in La Bohème (UWOpera), The Lord Chancellor in Iolanthe (Yorkshire OW), Al in City Workers In Love (UWOpera) and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro (AEDO). Concert credits include Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols with the Lyrica Chamber choir, as well as his first production of Carmina Burana with the Indian River Festival. In 2015/16, he won the University of Toronto Concerto Competition and thus performed George Butterworth’s Six Songs from a Shropshire Lad alongside the University of Toronto Orchestra under the baton of conductor Uri Mayer. Adam can next be seen singing the role of “Argenio” in Handel’s Imeneo in UofT Opera’s 2016/17 season and as a featured guest with Toronto based “Collectif” in their original production “Fȇte”, at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre.

 

Amy Seulky LeeAmy Seulky Lee, piano

Based in Toronto, Amy Seulky Lee is a versatile musician who performs as both collaborative and solo pianist. Ms. Lee made her solo debut with Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra in 2010 and has since performed in recitals across British Columbia in venues, such as Vancouver Art Gallery, The Terry Fox Theatre, and The CBC Studio 700. Recent concerts have included appearance at The Robert Gill Theatre with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre as a music director of Handel’s Julius Caesar, Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works for Azure Awards Gala, Canadian Music Centre, Metropolitan United Church noon hour concert series, and Rossini’s La Cenerentola with Accademia Europea Dell’Opera under conductor Simone Luti in Italy.

 Ms. Lee received her Masters of Music degree from University of Toronto where she studied with Steven Philcox and holds a Bachelors of Music degree from University of British Columbia, where she studied under the tutelage of Dr. Terence Dawson. Throughout her career, she has had the privilege to work with world-renowned musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Graham Johnson, Rena Sharon, André Laplante, and Warren Jones, to name a few. Ms. Lee is alumni of Orford Music Festival and Vancouver International Song Institution and has been the recipient of the Art Song Foundation of Canada grants, MRPM Art Council Scholarship, The Pearl Kerr Mossfield Memorial Scholarship, and The Grant F Hurst Memorial Scholarship.

 

Bahareh Poureslami, soprano Bahareh Poureslami

Soprano Bahareh Poureslami has been described as having a “warm-toned and confident instrument…radiant demeanor, sure footedness and a light touch” by The Boston Musical Intelligencer. She is currently completing her Master’s studies in Voice and Opera at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music under the tutelage of Sunny Joy Langton. Bahareh has appeared as a soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the Vancouver Bach Choir, the Vancouver Oratorio Society, the Fraser Valley Philharmonic Society and the Prince George Symphony Orchestra.

Her recent operatic roles include Blanche (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Belinda (Dido and Aeneas), Micaëla (Carmen.) Besides her love for opera, Bahareh has a great passion for concert repertoire and has performed as a soloist in Bach’s St. John Passion, Handel’s Messiah and Dixit Dominus, Mozart’s Requiem, Vesperae Solennes, and C minor Mass, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Brahms’ German Requiem, among others.

She is the recipient of the Bienen School of Music Eckstein Grant, the Chicago Musicians Club of Women Lynne Cooper Harvey Foundation Scholarship, the Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan Opera National Audition’s Northwest Region, and the Dien East Memorial Scholarship. With the support of the Jacqueline Desmarais Grant for Young Canadian Opera Singers, she had the opportunity to attend the Franz Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien, Austria two summers ago and this past summer, Bahareh had the privilege of attending Tanglewood Music Centre as a fellow.

 

Chelsea WhitakerChelsea  Whitaker, piano

Chelsea Whitaker is a collaborative pianist in the Boston area, enjoying a diverse career involving art song, opera, chamber, musical theatre, worship, and choral performances in the United States and Europe. She is in high demand for her supportive and reliable collaboration, coaching, and teaching. A native of Kansas, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City: Conservatory of Music and Dance under the instruction of Dr. Robert Weirich. She continued her studies at the University of Southern California: Thornton School of Music and received her Master’s degree in Keyboard Collaborative Arts in 2014, studying under Dr. Alan Smith.

Chelsea has performed in the masterclasses of Thomas Hampson, Craig Rutenberg, Susan Graham, John Moriarty, Barbara Bonney, Margo Garrett, Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, Emma Kirkby, and numerous others. Her most recent work in the Boston area has included serving as the assistant music director and keyboardist for Show Boat at the Shubert theater; Liederabend concerts with New England Conservatory and the Boston Art Song Society; performances of John Heiss’ Songs from James Joyce, John Harbison’s Mirabai Songs, and György Ligeti’s “Der Sommer” in New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall; and a salon-style performance collaborating with Greer Grimsley and Luretta Bybee.

Chelsea currently studies under Cameron Stowe and Jonathan Feldman at New England Conservatory, where she is working on her DMA.

 

Evanna Lai, mezzo-soprano Evanna Lai

Canadian mezzo-soprano Evanna Lai is at home on both the operatic and concert stage. Her 2016-17 engagements include chamber and art song recitals, as well as singing Nora in Riders to the Sea at the Beethoven Easter Festival in Poland, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with Connecticut Opera, and Nancy T’ang in Nixon in China with the Amsterdam Youth Orchestra.

Ms. Lai is the recipient of a Sylva Gelber Music Foundation grant and a BC Arts Council scholarship. In 2015, she was a semi-finalist at the Belvedere International Singing Competition, as well as a finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council district auditions. Recently, she made her Carnegie Hall debut, performing Sibelius and Mahler songs, and returned this year to perform De Falla’s Siete canciones populares españolas.

This summer, Ms. Lai apprenticed at Santa Fe Opera, covering the role of Stéphano in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. She holds a bachelor of music from the University of British Columbia and a master of music and artist diploma from Yale University.

 

    Jack OlszewskiJack Olszewski, piano

Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Jack Olszewski began his studies in piano at the age of 6. Currently based in Montreal, he holds multiple degrees in piano performance from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. Jack has received the Winspear Fund Scholarship for Advanced Classical Music from the Edmonton Community Foundation and funding from the Friends of the Anne Burrows Music Foundation. A grant from the Williamson Foundation for Music allowed him to travel during the summer of 2013 to take part in the International Music Workshop and Festival in Schloss Kirchberg an der Jagst, Germany. Most recently, he was at The Banff Centre as a repetiteur for the “Open Space: Opera in the 21st Century” program, a partnership between The Banff Centre, Against the Grain Theatre, and the Canadian Opera Company. Most recently, he took part in Opera NUOVA, as well as received the Austrian Society Scholarship from McGill University to travel to Austria to attend the Franz-Schubert-Institut. Jack has performed solo and chamber recitals in Canada and abroad.

 

Jared Tehse, piano Jared Tehse

Jared Tehse has performed and collaborated throughout Canada, Europe and the United States, and has been the recipient of many scholarships and awards. His past teachers include Bonnie Nicholson, Sara Laimon, and most recently, Michael McMahon. Jared obtained his ARCT in Piano Performance with First Class Honours with Distinction in 2013. Jared received his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Saskatchewan in 2014. He has performed with Music Fest Perugia, Orford Arts Centre Piano Master Classes, Opera NUOVA, the University of Saskatchewan Jazz Ensemble, the Université de Montréal Jazz Ensemble, and McGill University’s Song Interpretation Ensembles. Jared has been an accompanist for McGill University and a repetiteur for Opera McGill. Jared received his Masters of Music in Collaborative Piano Performance in May of 2017 from McGill University from the studio of Michael McMahon.

 

Joel AllisonJoel Allison, bass-baritone

Canadian Bass-Baritone Joel Allison has been praised for his “Crisp tones blessed with a silken smoothness” (Brian Hay). He has performed throughout Canada with many different Canadian ensembles including: Saskatoon Opera, National Academy Orchestra, Theatre of Early Music, Talisker Players, and Peterborough Singers.

Highlighting Joel’s 2016/17 season are his debuts with Saskatoon Symphony (Bach’s Cantata BWV 140 and Larysa Kuzmenko’s Golden Harvest), Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir (Mozart’s Mass in C Minor), and Chorus Niagara (Handel’s Messiah). Joel also appears in the two Main stage productions with the University of Toronto Opera Program as a part of his Opera Master’s degree; “Jupiter” in Orpheus in the Underworld by Offenbach and “Imeneo” in Imeneo by Handel. In recital, Joel can be heard this season in Vancouver with a program for Douglas Collage and in a program called “Land of the Silver Birch” with the Talisker Players in Toronto.

Joel holds a BMus. in vocal performance from the University of Ottawa and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Opera Performance at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Daniel Taylor. He is a recipient of the 2016/17 Richard Bradshaw Fellowship in Opera at the University of Toronto. Joel has also won the 2016-17 Jim and Charlotte Norcop prize in Art Song at the University of Toronto. In 2015 Joel won 3rd prize, Best Male singer, and the Audience Choice Award at the Brian Law Opera Competition in Ottawa.

 

Megan Miceli, sopranoMegan Miceli

Canadian soprano Megan Miceli holds her Masters of Music in Opera and Voice Performance from McGill University as well as a Graduate Diploma in Performance from McGill, under the tutelage of Joanne Kolomyjec, Michael McMahon, and Esther Gonthier. The 2016-2017 season saw Megan singing the roles of Morgana in Handel’s Alcina and Aurore in Massenet’s Le portrait de Manon, as well as covering the role of Adele in Die Fledermaus (Opera McGill). Soloist work included performing Beethoven’s Mess C-dur with The Cantabile Chorale under the baton of Peter Willsher, Fauré’s Requiem with the McGill Concert Choir and Handel’s Israel in Egypt with McGill concert choirs and the McGill Baroque Orchestra, both conducted by Jean-Sébastien Vallée. Recent operatic credits include Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte (Halifax Summer Opera Festival), chorus in Die Fledermaus (Opera5), Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore, L’amour in Rameau’s Pygmalion, Rose in At the Statue of Venus by Jake Heggie, Suor Osmina in Suor Angelica (Opera McGill), and being a solo performer for Opera Conference 2016 held in Montreal, QC. Megan has also had the opportunity to perform as a a solo actor with the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble in Laborintus II by Berio and has performed in the Canadian premiere of Michael Ching’s opera Speed Dating, Tonight! as part of Opera McGill’s Horizon Project. This summer, she is thrilled to be joining Toronto Summer Music Festival’s Art of Song Program.

 

Sinead WhiteSinéad White, soprano

Irish-American soprano, Sinéad White completed both her BMus and MMus in Voice/Opera at McGill University in Montréal and is now currently based out of Vancouver, Canada where she maintains an active performing and teaching schedule. Past opera credits include the role of Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica with the Dublin Opera Studio Program, Zerlina in Don Giovanni with ViVace Opera, Giulietta in Opera McGill’s production of I Capuleti e I Montecchi as well as covering the roles of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and Armida in Handel’s Rinaldo. She has had additional training at the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute (CVAI) as well as working with soprano and conductor, Barbara Hannigan at the Sibelius Academy in Santa Fe, NM- one of the musical highlights of her career to date. Sinéad was a past first prize winner of the McGill Concerto Competition: Voice Division as well as the Choeur de la Montagne Competition in Beloeil, QC. She was also a prizewinner at the Festival de Musique du Royaume and the Heida Herman’s Voice Competition in Connecticut. During her time in Vancouver, Sinéad has been an active performer in the concert and early/sacred music scene and is especially proud of her performances in the Cozily Baroque concert series at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United of which she was a co-creator as well as collaborating with mezzo-soprano, Emma Parkinson on a recital programme. Her next project with be performing Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in Vancouver with countertenor, Shane Hanson.

 

Sydney Baedke, soprano Sydney-Baedke

Canadian soprano Sydney Baedke recently made her professional operatic debut as Betty in Voicebox; Toronto Opera in Concert’s production of Salieri’s FALSTAFF. An Alberta native, she is in her final year of undergraduate voice studies at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Darryl Edwards. Other recent performance credits include Malwina in Marschner’s DER VAMPYR, Cunégonde in Bernstein’s CANDIDE, and Lauretta in Puccini’s GIANNI SCHICCHI. She has been featured in concert with both the Calgary Youth and Medicine Hat Symphonic Society Orchestras, and has performed in a wide variety of venues including Avery Fisher Hall and the Casa Verdi Centre in Milan. Sydney is an alumnus of several prestigious training programs, including the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy; Opera NUOVA; Summer Lyric Opera Theatre; and the Walnut Hill School for the Arts Summer Opera Intensive in Boston. Sydney has also had the pleasure of exploring contemporary Canadian compositions, including Pandora in Dean Burry’s PANDORA’S LOCKER, and the creation of Eva Braun in the 2015 premiere of Andrew Ager’s FÜHRERBUNKER. This past summer, Sydney was a vocal fellow at the Aspen Music Festival Opera Centre, performing the role of Muffin in William Bolcom’s A WEDDING. Upcoming performances include the premiere of Desire, a song cycle by Kevin Mulligan and Gwen Benaway for the Canadian Minority Art Song Project (March 2017),and an evening of “Waltzes & Overtures” with the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra (February 2017).

 

Victoria MarshallVictoria Marshall, mezzo-soprano

Mezzo-soprano Victoria Marshall has been hailed for her “rich and powerful voice,” and for her “performance with aplomb and humour,” (Pierre Meunier, La Liberté). She recently made her two professional debuts as guest soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Case Scaglione and with the Regina Symphony Orchestra under Hart Godden. Ms. Marshall was also honoured to create the role of Vashti in the world premiere of the science-fiction opera, The Machine Stops, based on E.M. Forster’s short story.

Recent highlights include singing Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (Muskoka Opera Festival), Messiah with Boris Brott and the National Academy Orchestra, Bianca in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia (MYOpera), Moppet in Benjamin Britten’s Paul Bunyan (U of T Opera), Mrs. Nolan in Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium (U of T Opera), and Madame de la Haltière in Massenet’s Cendrillon (Manitoba Underground Opera). While at the University of Manitoba, Victoria has sung Bianca/Princess Rosabella in Dean Burry’s Angela and Her Sisters and performed excerpts from Dido and Aeneas as The Sorceress.

Ms. Marshall is equally at home performing the works of the Baroque masters. She has appeared as a soloist performing such works as Bach’s B Minor Mass and St. Matthew Passion, Zelenka’s Te Deum, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, and Vivaldi’s Gloria with such companies as Winnipeg’s Canzona, Camerata Nova, and the U of M Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Marshall studies with Wendy Nielsen in Toronto, and formerly with Mel Braun at the U of M Desautels Faculty of Music.

 

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