Praised for his "clarion tone" (Ludwig van Toronto) and "impressive vocal colour" (Opera Canada), Canadian-American baritone Geoffrey Schellenberg has been featured in a number of North American opera productions, including those with Opéra de Montréal, Vancouver Opera, Portland Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Calgary Opera, and Saskatoon Opera. He has been recognized for his performances of Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni), Marcello (La bohème), and Papageno (Die Zauberflöte).
In addition to his opera performances, he has been featured as a soloist with many other ensembles including Orchestre de l’Agora, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, l’Orchestre symphonique de Laval, and the Mississippi Valley Orchestra. Geoffrey has completed a number of artist residencies including l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, the Portland Opera Resident Artist Program, and the Calgary Opera Emerging Artist Development Program. He also has completed a number of revered training fellowships including Highlands Opera Studio and Music Academy of the West.
He has also earned a number of accolades in vocal competitions, including the of the Concours Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (Stingray Rising Stars Award), the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (District and Audience Choice Winner), and the Canadian Opera Company Centre Stage Competition (Third Prize).
Heralded for her “clear vibrant tone” (Opera Canada), Tamar Simon is an Armenian- Canadian soprano based in Montréal, Québec. She has been featured in many leading roles including Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Musetta (La bohème), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) which she performed in Highlands Opera Studio’s 2021 production. Tamar has sung as a soloist with Vancouver Opera, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, White Rock Concerts, and Burnaby Lyric Opera.
Tamar has also been seen on international stages, including appearances as Zerlina (Don Giovanni) in Kona, Hawaii and as Calisto (La Calisto) in Sulmona, Italy. This year she sang the role of Clorinda (La Cenerentola) with the Lunenburg Academy of Music and she reprised the same role later that summer with the Brott Opera Music Festival.
Tamar is a District Winner and an Encouragement Award Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and she is a graduate of University of British Columbia’s Master of Music program. Tamar continued her vocal and art song studies in Austria after receiving the Johann Strauss Foundation Scholarship, which sponsored study at the Internationale Sommerakademie Mozarteum.
Danlie Rae Acebuque
Described for possessing a “beautiful, warm baritone voice with enviable flexibility and an easy top” (Claudia Fliedlander), and his “fresh, suave baritone” (Opera Canada), Filipino-Canadian baritone Danlie Rae Acebuque holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and Master’s of Music in Opera Performance in the studio of the Canadian soprano, Frédérique Vézina at the University of Toronto.
A recipient of several awards, dedicated and passionate artist, Danlie Rae was the first recipient of the prestigious Ivan Alexandor Chorney Opera Scholarship at UofT in 2021 and in March of 2022, Danlie Rae became the recipient of the Stuart Hamilton Memorial Award with Voicebox Opera in Concert. This year, Danlie Rae was one of the Encouragement Award Recipients at The Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition – Oregon District.
Danlie Rae had debuted his opera roles as Figaro (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Guglielmo (Cosi fan Tutte), Billy (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny), Gianni Schicchi (Gianni Schicchi), Top (The Tender Land), Escamillo (La Tragedie de Carmen) and Reverend John Smithurst (Florence: The Lady ith The Nightlamp) to name a few. Danlie Rae was also featured as a soloist in premiering both standard and new composed works such as Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Brahms' Ein Deutschess Requiem, world premiere of Alpha and Omega for mezzo-soprano and baritone by Kai Leung and To a clump of Moss by Ma`hew Luong at the UofT Composer Series. Danlie Rae is currently working on premiering a Filipino art song cycle entitled Liham, a song cycle for mezzo-soprano/baritone and piano (music by Juro Kim Feliz; words by Riley Palanca) which will be premiered on a later date with Filipino mezzo-soprano, Renee Fajardo.
Tenor Joshua Clemenger began his training at The Theatre Aquarius Performing Arts Programme in Hamilton Ontario, where he performed in Miss Saigon, Chess, and Grease. He received a Bachelor's degree in vocal Performance from the University of Western Ontario, and then spent 4 years living and teaching abroad before returning to earn a Master’s degree in Opera from the University of Toronto. Joshua now runs a thriving vocal studio while continuing to perform around Ontario, and he’s thrilled to be making his Toronto City Opera Debut in Die Fledermaus!
Recent opera credits include; Colin in L’Amant Anonyme, with Opera in Concert, Jupiter in Orpheus in the Underworld with Toronto Operetta Theatre, Jo the loiterer in Mother of us All (OIC), L’abete in Adriana Lecouvreur (OIC), Luiz in Gondoliers (TOT), Camille in The Merry Widow (Opera York), Alfredo in La Traviata (SOLT), Fatty in Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (OIC), Count Belfiore in La Finta Giardiniera (UofT Opera), Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte (La Musica Lirica), and Ralph in TrypTych opera’s production of H.M.S. Parliament.
Katelyn Bird is a vibrant Canadian soprano heralded as a "powerful coloratura soprano [who] sings with precision and secure top notes fully at her command" (Christopher Hoile, 2022).
In February 2023, Ms. Bird had the opportunity to understudy the role of Donna Anna with Toronto City Opera. She also had the opportunity to attend Opera de Montreal's Atelier Lyrique National Auditions as a Finalist in October 2022. In March 2022, Ms. Bird performed in the GGS' production of Handel's Rinaldo in Koerner Hall, singing the role of Armida with great critical success. She also had the opportunity to perform the part of Milica in Ana Sokolović's Svadba in November 2021 and Young Heidi for an in-concert performance of Follies by Stephen Sondheim in Koerner hall in October 2021. In November 2020, she performed the role of Annunciata in W. Bolcom's Lucrezia. In 2019, she debuted as Papagena in the GGS' production of The Magic Flute in Koerner Hall and in the role of Cecily Cardew in The Importance of Being Earnest, a Canadian Operetta by E. Benson, and V. Davies. Lastly, she premiered IceFolding, a commissioned work by Anna Höstman for The Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble's 21c festival in 2019.
Praised for his "fine baritone voice" (The Brooklyn Eagle), "Austin Larusson sang beautifully" (barczablog.com), “Austin Larusson’s Crespel was a very effective and even touching foil” John Gilks operarambling.blog), “Soprano Thera Barclay and baritone Austin Larusson are a starry-eyed Zerlina and loveable lunkhead Masetto, actress and stuntman. Masterful singer-actors both”, Ian Ritchie (operagoto.com). Austin is pleased to return to Toronto City Opera this season with appearances in Don Giovanni as Masetto and Tosca as the Sacristan. He was pleased to return to the stage this past season as Shem and Patho in Conan and the Stone of Kelior with Mightier Productions, John Sorel in the The Consul with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, covering Conte Di Luna in Il Trovatore with Opera Sustenida, Montschi in A Waltz Dream and Mars in Orpheus in the Underworld both with Toronto Operetta Theatre, Fiorello in Il Barbiere Di Siviglia with the Mississauga Symphony, and Priest/Armed man in Die Zauberflöte With Opera York.
New York appearances include Sciarrone/Jailer, Tosca with Regina Opera, and the baritone soloist in Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem at Riverside Church.
Upcoming engagements include Portero/Sereno in La Verbena de la Paloma with Toronto Operetta Theatre.
Chelsea Melamed Cushman
Mezzo-Soprano Chelsea Melamed Cushman has been described as being “delightful as one hopes for Cherubino…Her first-act aria captured the breathless perfection of Mozart’s portrayal of adolescent emotions.” Pittsburgh Tribune
Chelsea’ 2023 season includes role debuts of Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with Toronto City Opera and the titular role in Cenerentola with COSA Canada. An avid performer of new music, Chelsea created the role of Jiyan in the 2019 world premiere of Leanna Kirchoff's Friday After Friday. For Opera Santa Barbara’s 2018 season, she performed Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, Mrs. Noye in Britten's Noye's Fludde, and Javotte in Manon. Other featured roles include the creation of Firdaus Noman in the world premiere workshop of Perla’s Shalimar the Clown at Cincinnati Opera, and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro for Pittsburgh Festival Opera.
Equally at home on the concert stage, Chelsea presented the Canadian premiere of Jake Heggie's Camille Claudel: Into the Fire in Toronto and virtually in collaboration with SparrowLive. Chelsea has been a featured recitalist with SongFest, Toronto Summer Music, and the Carnegie Hall Notables Soirée. Chelsea is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, San Francisco Conservatory and Lawrence University.
Canadian mezzo-soprano Rachel Miller is a multi-disciplinary performer who finds expression through voice, acting and dance. In the 22/23 season Rachel joins the Canadian Opera Company chorus for performances of Carmen, The Flying Dutchman and Macbeth; and performs as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria (Toronto Beach Chorale); Beethoven’s Mass in C major (Oakville Choral Society); and Mozart’s Coronation Mass (Mississauga Chamber Singers).
Rachel was a prize winner of the 2020 Toronto Mozart Vocal Competition. Past highlights include Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana (Toronto City Opera); Mercedes in Carmen under the Stars with Julie Nesrallah (Honens); Ramiro in La finta giardiniera (Accademia Europea Dell’Opera); Hansel in Hansel and Gretel (Glenn Gould School); as well as performances with Tapestry Opera, Toronto Mozart Players, and OperaQ (Toronto).
Based in Toronto, Rachel received an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, and holds an Honours B.Sc. in Psychology and Linguistics from the University of Toronto. Rachel has over 20 years of dance training and enjoys exploring movement and dance as part of her artistic practice.
Born on the auspicious Feast Day of Bach, Handel and Purcell, it was surely fated that Alexander Cappellazzo would immerse himself in music!
Starting with Strauss’ Die Fledermaus in 2017, he has since performed roles like Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Lensky (Eugene Onegin), Acis (Acis & Galatea), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), and many more with companies across Canada including: VOICEBOX: Opera In Concert, Toronto City Opera, Opera By Request, OperOttawa, Nóżki Opera, Opéra Queens, Cantabile Chorale, the Ashkenaz Festival, and Opera McGill. Opera Canada describes Alex as ‘a stunning Tamino, with clarity and richness of voice, natural ease onstage, and a credible portrayal of innocence and determination’.
Alexander is also the founder of Apocryphonia, and the Diapente Renaissance Vocal Quintet: two Toronto-based groups dedicated to producing concerts of rare and underperformed music. In the first three concerts produced, highlights include: six North American premieres, four recording premieres, and one of Canada’s only Ralph Vaughan Williams 150th Anniversary events officially sponsored by the Ralph Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust, and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Alex holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Vocal Performance and Opera from Montreal’s McGill University, and currently lives in Scarborough with his wife and his cat, Beatrice.
Alexandra Delle Donne
This season, Canadian-Italian soprano Alexandra Delle Donne performs with the Edison Singers as a soloist in Handel's Messiah, soprano soloist in Faure's Requiem, Rachmaninoff's Vespers, and will be performing in their Folk Song concert. She had the pleasure of performing with Toronto City Opera in Don Giovanni as Elvira's Maid/Chorus in February 2023. She is excited to be performing the role of Frosch with Toronto City Opera in their production of Die Fledermaus, June 2023. Alexandra holds a Master's Degree in Historical Voice Performance from the University of Toronto under direction of the esteemed Daniel Taylor.
Conductor, pianist and vocal coach Suzanne Yeo has performed in North America, Europe and Asia, to much praise for the intensity and sensitivity of her interpretations. After a stint as a doctoral candidate in the German department at Princeton University, she returned to music and obtained her M.Mus. in piano performance from the University of Toronto. Her long-standing affinity for opera and Lieder led her to the sphere of collaborative piano, where, in addition to working with singers, she participated in various collaborative piano workshops with Emily Hamper and Steven Philcox, and acted as répétiteur at the Miami Music Festival (2019).
In 2020 she co-founded Opera Sustenida, an opera collective noted for its wittily modern takes on the standard repertoire. At the same time, she has continued to study conducting with David Bowser, and in workshops, such as Jan Harrington’s choral/orchestral conducting masterclass at the Princeton Festival, where she made her conducting début.
Last season, she was assistant conductor in the 2021 TCO productions of Nabucco and Cavalleria Rusticana, and one of Orchestra Toronto's Apprentice Conductors for 2022, leading a performance of de Falla's Ritual Fire Dance in their "Carmen!" concert; most recently, as Music Director of Opera Sustenida, she conducted their production of Il Trovatore.