Mexican countertenor César Aguilar holds a Bachelor of Music (Voice Performance and Digital Audio Arts) from the University of Lethbridge, a Masters degree in Music Literature and Performance from the University of Western Ontario and is currently pursuing an Advance Certificate in Performance from the University of Toronto under renowned countertenor Daniel Taylor.
César Aguilar began singing at the age of 7 and showed a lot of interest in all genres of music that took him to perform Mexican Music (ranchero) amongst many other styles until finally discovering opera. At the age of 15 César Aguilar debuted the opera "La leyenda del Tepozteco" by Mexican composer Federico Alvarez del Toro. He had the privilege of working with renowned musicians and actors such as Ariane Pellicer and Jorge Reyes amongst many others.
He has performed with orchestras in México and in Canada, including the Marine Symphony Orchestra (Mexico), Chiapas Youth Symphony Orchestra (Mexico), Lethbridge Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and in music festivals such as Escapararte and Tercera Invasión Excéntrica amongst many others. His most recent opera credits include roles in "Hansel and Gretel", "L'Enfant et les Sortilèges" and "La Fille du Regiment". As well as work with companies including Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, Orford Music Academy and the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy. He recently created the ensemble KUYUM together with 3 other Mexican classical musicians which has had several performances around Ontario.
He is very excited to be part of this production of "The Magic Flute" and to work with such an amazing group of people.
Baritone Peter Bass, is thrilled to be taking part in the Toronto City Opera season, performing the role of Pizarro in Fidelio. A native of Edmonton, Alberta Mr. Bass has captivated audiences internationally with his dramatic baritone voice. He recently graduated from his Masters of Performance and Literature from the University of Western Ontario. Peter is a singer with vocal expression, theatrical nuance, and honesty.
His training in Theatrical Arts from Grant MacEwan College has given Mr. Bass the tools to create beautiful realizations of operatic roles. Most recently he performed the role of Schaunard in "La Boheme" and Tonio in "Pagliacci". Other roles include the title role in "Gianni Schicchi", Angellotti (Tosca), Ford (Falstaff), Vater (Hänsel und Gretel), Marcello (La Boheme), Dulcamara (L'elisir d'amore), Achilla (Giulio Cesare) and Sid (Albert Herring).
In addition to many soloist appearances in concert and oratorio, notable musical theatre credits include: Titanic, She Loves Me, Anything Goes, and Johnny Guitar.
In spring 2018, Mr. Bass will be performing Pandolfe in Cendrillon in Ottawa with South Ottawa Performing Arts Collaborative.
Sebastien Belcourt is a Toronto based baritone. A York University graduate in Music, Sebastien has sung with the Orpheus Choir under the baton of Robert Cooper, and the Ottawa Bach Choir with Dr. Lisette Canton performing solos in major works such as Johann Sebastian Bach's Mass in b minor, St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion, and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. With the latter choir he toured Europe and China including cities such as Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam, Florence, Venice, Beijing and Shanghai. Sebastien is relatively new to Opera and has had minor roles in York University's pan productions of Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and John Gay's The Beggars Opera. In the summer of 2017 he was cast as Masetto and Commendatore in Mozart's Don Giovanni with AEDO in Lucca, Italy. Sebastien also has two cats, and loves Rush.
Canadian mezzo-soprano Lillian Brooks has been praised for her legato, lyric sound, and easy handling of coloratura, known for delivering a powerful and layered performance in a wide range of repertoire. Winner of the 2015 Hnatyshyn Foundation Developing Artists Grant, Ms Brooks has appeared in many operatic roles and as an oratorio soloist throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Her roles on the operatic stage include Cornelia in Handel's Giulio Cesare in Egitto (2014 - Accademia Europea dell'Opera), Bradamante in Alcina (2016 - Glenn Gould School), Annio in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito (2016 - Rosedale Presbyterian Church), Filipyevna in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin (2016 - Opera Muskoka), Armelinde in Pauline Viardot's Cendrillon (2016 - Glenn Gould School), and Paoluccia in La Cecchina by Niccolò Piccinni (2017 - Glenn Gould School). She made her professional debut on the concert stage in 2015, as a soloist in Mozart's Requiem with Chorus Niagara, under the baton of Robert Cooper. In 2016 she was joined by other soloists to perform excerpts from Bizet's Carmen with the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, and also had the pleasure of revisiting Mozart's Requiem with the Mississauga Chorale Society and the Toronto Beach Chorale. In December of 2016 Ms Brooks performed as a soloist in Chorus Niagara's popular biennial performance of Handel's Messiah, and will be singing with them again in the spring of 2018 in a staged production of Bach's moving and dramatic St Matthew Passion. She joins the Orpheus Choir of Toronto for another exciting concert series as a Sidgwick Scholar, and can often be heard as a soloist with the choir in various venues throughout Toronto . Her upcoming opera roles will include Mrs. Nolan in a production of Menotti's The Medium with Opera by Request, and as the Third Lady in Mozart's The Magic Flute with Toronto City Opera.
David Diston's rapidly developing artistry is quickly gaining him recognition as a 'sonorous baritone' (Huffpost Alberta) with 'full-throated and characterful singing' (Calgary Herald). A 2016 graduate of the Calgary Opera Emerging Artist program, Mr. Diston's professional credits include Frederic (Lakmé), Pish-Tush (The Mikado), Moralès (Carmen), des Grieux (Le portrait de Manon), L'horloge and Le chat (L'Enfant et les sortilèges), Dr. Mann in the World Premier of Vehar's SHOT, and William Dale in the Canadian Premiere of Putt's Silent Night. With Calgary Opera in Schools David has performed King Osiris in Isis and the Seven Scorpions, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. He was most recently invited home to Calgary Opera as Ping in their acclaimed Spring 2017 production of Puccini's Turandot.
On the concert stage, Mr. Diston recently made his Toronto Symphony Orchestra debut as the baritone soloist in C. Nielsen's Symphony No. 3, and his debut with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra as part of their Orchestra Moves series. Concert credits include The Messiah (Handel), Liebeslieder & Neue Liebeslieder Waltzes (Brahms), The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace (Jenkins), Fantasia on Christmas Carols (Vaughan Williams), Seven Last Words of Christ (Dubois), Requiem (Fauré), Lord Nelson Mass (Haydn), and Requiem (Mozart). Mr. Diston was a 2017 finalist in the IRCPA Singing Stars: Next Generation competition.
David Diston is a proud and appreciative recipient of a 2017-2018 Canada Council for the Arts Professional Development Grant.
Armenian-Canadian soprano Lynn Anoush Isnar is a Toronto based artist known for her "suitably dramatic [voice] with a nice combination of power and accuracy,"(Opera Ramblings, John Gilks).
Ms. Isnar had a whirlwind 2016-2017 season. She performed the role of Cleopatra from Handel's Giulio Cesare with the Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, the role of La Marchesa from Piccinni's La Cecchina where she successfully "met the challenge of having to sing three arias, including a vengeance aria with some impossible coloratura," (Musical Toronto, Joseph So), made her debut with Opera in Concert performing Emma in Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina.
To start off the 2017-2018 season, Ms Isnar performed the role of Susanna from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro with SOLT and made her debut with the Toronto Operetta Theatre performing Nanine in Lavallee's The Widow. In March 2018, she will be singing Adele in Strauss' Die Fledermaus with the Glenn Gould School, and make her Toronto City Opera debut singing Papagena in Mozart's Magic Flute.
Ms. Isnar holds a Bachelor Degree in Music and Bachelor Degree in Education from the University of Toronto, and she is completing her final year of the Artist Diploma Program at the Glenn Gould School.
Joey Jang is a 21-year-old Korean-Canadian tenor who resides in Toronto. He is currently in his fourth year of the Bachelor of Music (Performance) program at the University of Toronto, where he is the recipient of the Robert William Bygrave Voice Studies Bursary (full tuition) and the Lillian Florence Blanch Scholarship. He currently studies with Laura Tucker. At the University of Toronto, Joey has been selected as a soloist for performances of Bach's Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12 (with MacMillan Singers) and Handel's Messiah (with Schola Cantorum). He has also sung the role of Pete Peterson in U of T Opera's production of Britten's Paul Bunyan.
Outside of U of T, Joey has performed solo recitals at the Metropolitan United Church, as part of the Noon at Met Concert Series. He is currently the principal cantor/organist at St. Mark's Catholic Church, a section lead in the Metropolitan Festival Choir, and a Sidgwick Scholar in the Orpheus Choir of Toronto. In the past, Joey has been a cantor at St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica. He is a graduate of St. Michael's Choir School. This July, Joey will be performing in the Toronto Summer Music Festival as a Fellow of the Art Song Program.
Canadian bass Matthew Li's work sees him regularly appearing as a concert soloist, with highlights including the role of Jesus in Johannes-Passion (Schütz), and the bass solos in Messe des Morts (Charpentier), Requiem (Biber), Missa in Angustiis (Haydn), Choral Fantasy (Beethoven), Coronation Mass (Mozart), and Requiem (Fauré). On the opera stage, he has performed in a concert production of Don Giovanni as Masetto and Il Commendatore, and as a chorus member in full productions of The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Atelier), Carmen (Mississauga Symphony Orchestra), Gianni Schicchi (Amalfi Coast Music Festival), and Paul Bunyan (University of Toronto Opera). An ardent choral singer as well, Matthew can easily be found in Toronto's professional choral scene, where he sings with the The Elora Festival Singers and the St. James Cathedral Choir. Throughout his training at the University of Toronto and in musical programs abroad, Matthew has had many opportunities to work with some of the finest educators and performers in classical music, including John Relyea, Timothy Noble, Peter Harvey, and Victoria Livengood. Currently, Matthew is in his undergraduate studies in voice performance at the University of Toronto, where he studies under renowned Canadian countertenor Daniel Taylor. In the 2017/2018 season, he looks forward to debuting as a soloist with Tafelmusik in their program titled Four Weddings, a Funeral, and a Coronation, making his debut with the Toronto City Opera as Sarastro in their production of The Magic Flute, and working with the University of Toronto Opera Division in all of their major opera productions this year.
Canadian soprano Ellen McAteer is the two-time recipient of the Richard Bradshaw Graduate Fellowship in Opera, and has been awarded the Ruby Mercer Opera Award, a Schulich Scholarship, the Gaelyne Gabora Memorial Prize and the E. M. Wirth Scholarship.'s appearance as Lola in James Rolfe's new opera critically acclaimed: "Ellen McAteer was stunning as Lola. Universally admired, McAteer braved Rolfe's challenging score with virtuoso daring, and her eloquently played characterization became the hinging point of success for the entire opera." (Opera Canada)
Ellen's performed operatic roles include Armida in Handel's Rinaldo, Lucia in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia, Chorus II in James Rolfe's Overcoat, Despina in Joel Ivany's A Little Too Cozy, Tigrane in Handel's Radamisto, Dido, First Witch and Second Woman in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. In concert, Ellen recently performed Golijov's Tenebrae, Handel's Messiah, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, C. P. E. Bach's Magnificat, Haydn's The Creation, Britten's Les illuminations de Rimbaud, Orff's Carmina Burana, Bach's Saint Matthew Passion. Ellen holds a M.Mus in Voice Performance from the University of Toronto, a B.Mus in Voice Performance from McGill University and was a recipient of the Glenn Gould School's Rebanks Family Fellowship.
Described in recent reviews as "scintillating", "exciting", and "superb", Maeve Palmer is a soprano in the Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program at the Glenn Gould School, and the soprano Sidgwick Scholar with Orpheus Choir of Toronto. Maeve is the second prizewinner of the 2017 Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition, and a recent graduate of the Masters of Music (University of Toronto), under Mary Morrison, O.C.
Maeve has performed as a soloist in concert with Opera Atelier, Off-Centre Music, Tapestry Opera, Chorus Niagara, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Orpheus Choir of Toronto, and with the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music competition, among others.
Recent roles include Zerlina (Don Giovanni), soprano in Derek Holman's Laudes Creationis, Matriarch (The Farthest Shore), The Angel of Death (No Mortal Business), Leah (Swoon), Satirino (La Calisto), and soloist in Bach's B minor mass, and Britten's Hymn to St. Cecelia.
Soundtrack credits include The Space Between Us, and Aftermath.
Zachary Rioux is a young lyric tenor playing the role of Tamino in Toronto City Opera's production of Mozart's The Magic Flute in their 2017-18 season. The opera will be performed in March, 2018 at the Al Green Theatre in Toronto. Other future performances include the tenor soloist for Mississauga Symphony Orchestra's Messiah in December, 2017 at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, and the role of Doctor Blind in the Glenn Gould School's production of Die Fledermaus in March, 2018 at Koerner Hall.
His other operatic experience includes chorus for the MSO's production of Bizet's Carmen, conducted by Denis Mastromonaco; GGS' production of Handel's Alcina, conducted by Ivars Taurens; and Opera Atelier's productions of Mozart's Lucia Silla in 2015 and the Marriage of Figaro in 2017 conducted by David Fallis.
A third-year student in the Performance Diploma Program at the Glenn Gould School, Zachary studies with Joel Katz (teacher) and Jennifer Tung (vocal coach). He is twenty years old and was born in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, Canada. In June of 2017 he went to SongFest in Los Angeles, he worked with Graham Johnson, Bill McGraw, Sanford Sylvan, and many other incredible teachers and coaches from throughout North America.
Toronto based baritone, Anthony Rodrigues makes his Toronto City Opera debut this season as the Speaker/First Priest/Armed man in TCO's The Magic Flute.
Originally from Montreal, Quebec, Anthony's recent roles include Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Peter in Hänsel und Gretel, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Leporello and Masetto in Don Giovanni, Le Dancaire in Carmen, Sulpice in La fille du regiment, The Gameskeeper in Rusalka, Colline in La bohème, Will Parker in Oklahoma!, Mr. Gobineau in The Medium and The Sergeant of Police in The Pirates of Penzance. In concert setting, Anthony has also performed as bass soloist in Handel's Messiah, Fauré's Requiem and Mozart's Requiem.
Engaged by festivals and companies including Opera in Concert, Abridged Opera Company, Shoestring Opera, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Vera Causa Opera, Golden Classical Music Society, Cantabile Chorale, Fountainhead Theatre, Opera Nuova, Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Halifax Summer Opera Festival, Vox Musicae and Accademia Europea dell'Opera, Anthony's passion to perform has brought him to the stage in the styles of opera, musical theatre, classical ballet, oratorio and art song.
Anthony can be seen later this season in Toronto Operetta Theatre's La belle Hélène and Muskoka Opera Festival's Così fan tutte.
Toronto-native Sara Schabas recently spent two summers at the Aspen Music Festival, performing Candace (A Wedding) and Juliette (Roméo et Juliette). Her 2016/2017 season included recital appearances at Gallery345 and the Arts and Letters Club, Frasquita in Carmen with Mississauga Symphony, and Soundstreams' 21C Festival.
In the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Schabas debuts with Tapestry Opera, Toronto City Opera, and as soloist for Messiah (Oakville Choral Society), Brahms' Requiem (Hart House), and Vivaldi's Nulla in mundo pax sincera (Oakville Chamber Orchestra). She returns to the Mississauga Symphony and sings a recital for the Canadian Opera Company's Free Concert Series.
Ms. Schabas has been artist-in-residence with the Dayton Opera, performing Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Sister Catherine (Dead Man Walking), Messiah, and Shepherd on the Rock with the Dayton Philharmonic. She has been a fellow with Toronto Summer Music, Stratford Summer Music, and the Castleton Festival in Virginia.
A native of Toronto, Sara Schabas holds an Honours Bachelor of Music in Performance from the of Toronto, where she studied with Jean MacPhail, and a Master of Music from Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts, where she studied with Judith Haddon.
When she's not singing, Sara writes about her art form in features articles for Ludwig Van Toronto and Opera Canada.
Ilya Serebrianik is a young lyric tenor based in Toronto, who discovered his passion for singing 9 years ago and ever since has been following the dream of becoming an accomplished classical singer. He currently studies voice with Marjorie Sparks at the Kingsway Conservatory of Music, and previously with Gary Relyea.
Most recent engagements include the performance of Camille de Rosillon in Franz Lehar's "Merry Widow" with Toronto City Opera. Before the previous season, Ilya sang the lead role of Nemorino in Gaetano Donizetti's "L'Elisir d'Amore" also with the Toronto City Opera. Singing Nemorino was Ilya's most demanding and exciting undertaking. The role was a major step in the process of development as an opera singer. Ilya's debut with Toronto City Opera was as Don Ottavio in Mozart's famous opera "Don Giovanni". Past engagements included the roles of Don Basilio and Don Curzio from Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro" with Opera by Request and the role of Chekalinsky from "Queen of Spades" by Tchaikovsky. In his early years of vocal study, Ilya performed the lead role of Petro from Ukranian operetta "Natalka Poltavka" by Mykola Lysenko.
Ilya also participates in recitals and various local concerts. The latter include a solo concert in Collingwood in September of 2016, as well as in November of 2016. On July 1st, 2017, Ilya sang in Canada's 150 years anniversary festival in Collingwood, together with a violinist.
TCO is thrilled to have Slava back this year to take up the challenging role of Florestan in Fidelio.
Before that, he has played Don Jose twice in TCO's productions of Carmen and Ricardo in Un Ballo in Maschera. Other engagements included Alfredo in La Traviata and Rodolfo in La Boheme with the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater in Ukraine.
Slava has also sung in many concerts, including a Gala Concert at Koerner Hall in March 2014, dedicated to the 200th birthday of Taras Schevchenko; Gala Concerts in 2013 with the Oakville Symphony Orchestra and the The Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra.
Slava studies with vocal teacher Marjorie Sparks. His current vocal coach is Adolfo De Santis.
Anna has performed with the Theatre of Early Music both in Canada and abroad in works such as the Bach Magnificat, the Tilford Bach Festival and Handel's Coronation Anthems. She also recorded with them the Juno-nominated disc Early German Music (Analekta). In 2016, Anna sang the title role in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, the University of Toronto's Schola Cantorum, and joined Opera Atelier's chorus for their production of Mozart's Lucio Silla.
Other performed roles include Nardil in the U of T original production of Rob Ford: The Opera, in Hansel und Gretel, and in Le Nozze di Figaro (Memorial University of Newfoundland Chamber Orchestra). She has also performed in Candide, Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Giovanni, Amelia al Ballo, Les mamelles de Tirésias, Così fan Tutte, and La fille du régimenta, part of the U of T Opera Undergraduate program.
Canadian soprano Michelle Veenhuizen is a current member of The Voicebox: Opera in Concert chorus, performing in operas such as Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina, Weill's Street Scene, and in the world premiere of Canadian opera Isis and Osiris by Togni.
Ms. Veenhuizen made her New York City debut with New York Lyric Opera Theater singing the role of Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni at Carnegie Hall and as Helmwige in scenes from Wagner's Die Walkure at The Lincoln Centre.
Ms. Veenhuizen has also performed the roles of Irma (Louise) with Voicebox: Opera in Concert, Fatima (Le Cadi Dupe) with New York Lyric Opera Theater, Ariadne (Ariadne auf Naxos) with Summer Opera Lyric Theater and Elletra (Idomeneo) with Opera by Request. Michelle has recently returned from Germany having had her European debut as the title role of Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos and will be returning next season as a featured soloist at the Eindhoven Muziekgebouw in Holland.
Canadian bass Dylan Wright has been praised for "seducing the audience with his rich, sonorous voice" (Beat Magazine) and is a graduate of the Atelier Lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal. He has recently performed the roles of Colline in 'La Boheme' with Southern Ontario Lyric Opera, Wurm in Verdi's 'Luisa Miller' with LAMP, and was the bass soloist in the Toronto Mozart Player's Requiem. Last year, he premiered the role of Mephistopheles in Gounod's 'Faust' with Highlands Opera Studio and made his American debut as the Doctor in 'Macbeth' and the Lackey in 'Ariadne auf Naxos' with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where he covered the roles of Banquo (Macbeth) and Bulbul Fakh for the world premiere of Jack Perla's opera 'Shalimar the Clown'. Also that year, he performed the roles of the Imperial Commissioner in 'Madama Butterfly' (Opéra de Montréal), Frère Laurent and Capulet in 'Roméo et Juliette' (Jeunesses Musicales du Canada), and Dulcamara in 'L'elisir d'amore' (Sinfonia de Lanaudi ère). Previous role highlights include: Figaro and Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Leporello and Il Commendatore (Don Giovanni), Don Pasquale, Seneca (L'incoronazione di Poppea), the Old Gypsy (Aleko), and Emile de Becque (South Pacific).
A soprano, Angela Yoo, she studied abroad in Italy and Switzerland. In Rome, she received her diplomas from Conservatorio Statale di Musica di Benevento, Accademia Musicale Pescarese, and Accademia di Arena. She participated in various competitions in Italy and won 4th place in Ravenna Singing Competition. In 2008, Angela then moved to Switzerland to be coached by classic contemporary Italian soprano, Luisa Castellani, at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana. In 2010, she attained her master's degree in performing arts with honour. Angela made her international debut in Italy, singing Adina from L'elisir d'amore. Not only did she sing Italian operas, she also sang lied, and many Baroque and contemporary pieces. In Switzerland, YoungEun performed with Orchestra Svizzera Italiana and Orchestra Svizzera da Camera. Recently, she performed the role of Olympia in Opera The Tales of Hoffmann with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre. Angela currently participated in various concerts and operas in Canada, Italy and Switzerland.
©2017-18 Toronto City Opera