Toronto City Opera

Les Contes d'Hoffmann Soloists


Ryan Harper

HOFFMANN (Nov 21 & 23)

Handaya RusliTorontonian tenor Ryan Harper is excited to perform the role of Hoffmann with Toronto City Opera. Ryan earned his bachelor degree in Voice Performance from the University of Toronto and his Masters in Music Performance from Florida State University.


Continued studies included: performing with Internationale bachakademie Stuttgart under the direction of Helmut Rilling, The Tanglewood Music Festival, the NAC Summer Music Institute, and the Highlands Opera Studio. In 2009 Ryan moved to Montreal and participated in L'Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal.


Ryan has performed solo with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Buffalo Philharmonic, as well as the tenor solo in Mozart’s Requiem at the Festival of the Sound, Rodolfo in La Boheme with Against the Grain, and Cowtown Opera. He has performed the role of Georges in La Dame Blanche with Opera in Concert, and Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance with Toronto Operetta Theatre, and with Opera York, the roles of Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Camille in the Merry Widow, and Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte. Ryan has also performed numerous shows with Opera by Request and Calgary Concert Opera.


In the previous several years, Ryan has devoted his energy to singing with the Canadian Opera Company Chorus, and to growing his audio and video business.


Christopher Miller


Christopher MillerIn 2019, Mr. Miller has done a great deal of work in opera, debuting no less than five roles. On top of his two roles this fall, he has made his Koerner hall debut as Monostatos, in The Glenn Gould School’s production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”, and performed both the role of Alfredo, from Verdi’s “La Traviata” and Algernon, from the Canadian Operetta “Earnest: the Importance of being” in Summer Opera Lyric Theater’s summer season.


This upcoming fall 2019, Mr. Miller will be performing the role of the Regulator in The Glenn Gould School’s fall opera production of Johnathan Dove’s “Siren song”. Show dates for “Siren Song” are November 1st and 2nd and it will be in The Royal Conservatory’s Mazzoleni Hall. Additionally, Mr. Miller will be performing in Glenn Gould School’s production of “L’heure Espagnol” as the role of Gonsalve. This will take place in March 2020, and will be in The Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall.


In the past, Mr. Miller has been a chosen soloist for many works including Haydn’s “The Creation” and Carl Orff’s famous Roasted Swan solo in “Carmina Burana”. Outside the realm of oratorio, Mr. Miller has performed roles with Toronto’s Long Reach Opera Workshop, including: Lipo, in Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene”, and Sam Polk, in Carlisle Floyd’s “Susannah”. He also competes in vocal festivals abroad; he was accepted into Saarburg’s International Music Festival, Germany, where he performed works by Tosti, and Dubois, as well as the Operetta “Blue Paradise” by Edmund Eysler.


Mr. Miller was born in Canada and lives in Ajax, Ontario. He aims to be as well-rounded a singer as possible, singing repertoire from Bach to Weil. Graduated from York University earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts with Specialized Honours in Classical Voice Performance; he studied with bass—baritone, Dr. Michael Donovan. Currently Mr. Miller is completing second year of his Artist Diploma Program at The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory under the tutelage of Stephanie Bogle and Vocal coach Jennifer Tung.


Mr. Miller fills his free time with flora and fauna. He finds spending his downtime surrounded by nature to be incredibly therapeutic; taking long walks through parks and forest trails, tending to and creating bonsai trees, and hanging out with his rather large Sulcata tortoise named Panzer.


Nicole Dubinsky


Nicole DubinskyMs. Dubinsky is thrilled to be performing as Olympia/Giulietta/Antonia in the TCO’s Tales of Hoffmann this season! She has been praised for her “warm, engaging soprano voice and excellent, nuanced dramatic presentation” (Weill Music Institute). She has sung ‘the Queen of the Night’ with Opera York, Premiere Productions Ottawa, the Accademia Europea dell’Opera in Amsterdam, and in Opera Laurier’s 100th Anniversary Production. “Nicole Dubinsky nailed the Queen of the Night’s treacherous coloratura with aplomb” (Opera Canada). Additional roles include Gretel in the Toronto Opera Initiative’s production of Hänsel und Gretel, Cleopatra (GIULIO CESARE), Mademoiselle Silvertone (IMPRESSARIO) for the Grand Opening of the Milton Centre for the Arts, Zerlina in DON GIOVANNI, Diane in ORPHÉE AUX ENFERS with L’Opera de Périgord, Sandrina in LA FINTA GIARDINIERA, Soprano Soloist in Händel’s MESSIAH with the Bach Elgar Chamber Orchestra and the Kincardine Summer Music Festival, and Sister Constance in DIALOGUES OF THE CARMELITES.


She has performed with Tapestry New Opera 101, The National Vocal Arts Institute, Accademia Europea dell’Opera, completed a year as Arcady’s Emerging Artist (culminating with the interpretation of an original work, written for her, by Ronald Beckett), and sang in a series of concerts with Orchestra London; also singing the role of Susanna (LE NOZZE DI FIGARO) in the Orchestra’s school tour.


Ms. Dubinsky holds a MMus in Voice Performance and Literature from the University of Western Ontario, an Opera Diploma, & an Honours BMus in Voice Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University.


​Zoe Clarke


Zoe ClarkeHaving just finished her studies in both biology and music at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Zoe Clarke leaves the studio of Colleen Renihan to join the studio of Shannon Coates in Toronto. Although currently pursuing graduate studies in computational biology at the University of Toronto, Zoe is an incredibly passionate performing mezzo-soprano.


This past summer, Zoe had the opportunity to take on roles at Opera NUOVA's 2019 season such as Puck in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Through Opera NUOVA and the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute (2019), she has also been involved with Leoncavallo's La Bohème, Purcell's The Fairy Queen, a concert version of Kiss Me, Kate!, various cabarets, and masterclasses with Donna Fletcher and Judith Forst.


An excited storyteller, Zoe is a huge fan of new opera - although she is just as excited to share the beautiful music that comes out of the mouth of the voice of Antonia's mother in Les Contes d'Hoffmann!


​Alex Heatherington


Alex HetheringtonAlex Hetherington, mezzo-soprano, recently completed her Bachelor of Music at the University of Toronto. She graduated with honours and was a 2019 recipient of a prestigious Faculty of Music Graduating Award. During her degree, through the John R. Stratton Visitor Program, Alex had the honour of performing in concert with Barbara Hannigan (2016), and in the masterclass for Jessye Norman (2019).


Most recent performances include her debut as Juno in Toronto Lyric Opera Centre’s Semele, and singing mezzo-soprano in the Manitoba premiere of dawn always begins in the bones, a new song cycle by Ana Sokolović, at the Century of Sound Connections Conference in Winnipeg.  This performance was then presented in Toronto, as A New Dawn for Art Song. Alex sang Öt Arany-dal, in Classical Context’s spring concert, Prehistoric Ligeti. She also performed at Toronto Summer Music as a 2019 Art of Song Fellow, in their reGENERATION concert series, and Voices Across the Atlantic.


In recent seasons, Alex performed as a soloist with Tapestry Opera (Songbook VIII, 2018), Camera Ensemble (Art Song Project, 2016), and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (The Bear, 2014).   In addition to performing, Alex loves working with composers and is passionate about working to expand the Canadian repertoire for singers.  She is also a composer herself, with works performed by the Gryphon Trio and members of Esprit Orchestra.


Alex is delighted to be singing with Toronto City Opera this season, and to be making her debut as Nicklausse.


​Dylan Wright


Dylan Wright Originally from Calgary, Alberta, bass-baritone 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 recently sang Cadmus and Somnus in Toronto Lyric Opera Centre’s Semele, Il Commendatore in Opera York’s Don Giovanni, and created the roles of Sherman Booth and Thomas Montgomery in the new opera Joshua by Colin Mendez Morris with ArsMusica. Upcoming performances include the four Villains in Toronto City Opera’s Les Contes D’Hoffmann, the Bonze and the Imperial Commissioner in Windsor Symphony Orchestra’s Madama Butterfly, and an exciting dive into a new style of repertoire – singing Fasolt and Hagen in Opera by Request’s performances of Wagner’s Ring Cycle in the spring. Other operatic highlights include Mephistopheles in Gounod’s Faust , the titular role in Don Pasquale, Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, Leporello in Don Giovanni and the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, Seneca in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Colline in La Boheme, Rocco in Fidelio, Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, and Zaccaria in Nabucco. Dylan has also performed as the soloist in such oratorios as the Mozart Reqiuem, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, and Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, as well as in musical theatre as Emile de Becque in South Pacific. He holds a Mmus in Opera from the University of Toronto.


​Jeffrey Smith


Jeffrey SmithJeffrey Smith is a Toronto-based light tenor. He played Don Basilio in Toronto City Opera’s production of Le nozze di Figaro, as well as Gastone in La Taviata and is excited to be a part of their new season. He has also performed as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, and Ferrando with the Long Reach Opera Workshop. He has also performed as Elder Hayes in LROW’s production of Susannah, Luiz, in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Gondoliers in the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Buxton, England, as well as in several productions as a part of Opera Atelier’s chorus. He also holds a French degree from York University.





​Austin Laurusson


Austin LaurussonPraised for his "fine baritone voice" (The Brooklyn Eagle), "Austin Larusson sang beautifully" (, Austin is pleased to return to Toronto City Opera after appearing as Antonio in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and Dottore Grenvil/Marchese in LA TRAVIATA; previous Toronto and GTA appearances include the Bass Soloist in THE MESSIAH at College Street United Church, Vicomte Cascada in THE MERRY WIDOW, William Fayre in PERCHANCE TO DREAM, Ajax A in THE BEAUTIFUL HELEN, Archbishop/Father Bernard in CANDIDE, Police Sergeant in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, Massakroff in THE CHOCOLATE SOLDIER, Camilo in LOS GAVILANES, Lucas in THE STUDENT PRINCE, Patrice in LA VIE PARISIENNE, Franz in THE LAND OF SMILES and Botswain in H.M.S. PINAFORE with Toronto Operetta Theatre; Benoit/Alcindoro in LA BOHEME and Count Ceprano in RIGOLETTO, Bartolo/Antonio in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Southern Ontario Lyric Opera; Johann in WERTHER, Lorenzo in I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI and George Jones in STREET SCENE with Opera in Concert; Leporello in DON GIOVANNI and Malatesta in DON PASQUALE with Vera Causa Opera; and Fiorello in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA with Opera York.  New York appearances include Second Priest in THE MAGIC FLUTE, Yamadori in MADAMA BUTTERFLY, Hermann in LES CONTES D’HOFFMAN and Sciarrone/Jailer in TOSCA with Regina Opera, as well as EIN DEUTCHES REQUIEM at Riverside Church. Upcoming engagements include Conte Carnero in THE GYPSY BARON with Toronto Operetta Theatre.


​Tony Bittar-Sayegh


Tony Bittar-SayeghVenezuelan-Canadian Tenor Tony Bittar-Sayegh started his music training at the Superior School of Music José Ángel Lamas in his hometown Caracas. Soon after completing an Artist Diploma in Voice Performance and earning a Bachelor of Business Administration granted by the Catholic University Andrés Bello, he relocated to Canada and pursued a Bachelor of Music in Voice at the University of Ottawa under the tutelage of Soprano Donna Brown. Later on, our West Coast welcomed him to embark on a Master of Music in Opera at UBC, Vancouver.


Praised for his "velvet quality of tone and magnetic stage presence" (Opera Canada) and for his "complex characterizations that range from the extreme dramatic to the comedic" (El Universal, Venezuela), Tony has performed for UBC Opera Ensemble, Opera NUOVA, Opera Kelowna, Vancouver Opera, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Underground Opera, The European Music Academy  (The Czech Republic), and in Latin America for Opera Teresa Carreño (Venezuela), Baroque Camerata of Caracas (Venezuela), Pro-lírica of Antioquia (Colombia), and Lyric Opera of Lima (Perú).


His most recent engagements include Julián, the leading role in Breton's Zarzuela LA VERBENA DE LA PALOMA, Don Ottavio in Mozart's DON GIOVANNI, Ferrando in Mozart's COSÍ FAN TUTTE, The Governor in Bernstein's CANDIDE, Le Remendado in Bizet's CARMEN, Vašek in Smetana's THE BARTERED BRIDE, Gastone in Verdi's LA TRAVIATA, Guillot in Massenet's MANON, Nero in Monteverdi's THE CORONATION OF POPPEA, Grimoaldo in Händel's RODELINDA, Oronte in Händel's ALCINA, Tamino and Monostatos in Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE, Don Basilio and Don Curzio in Mozart's THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, Gherardo in Puccini's GIANNI SCHICCHI, Ernesto in John Davis' Children's Opera THE THREE BILLY  GOATS GRUFF,  Pedrillo in Mozart's THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO, Belfiore in Mozart's LA FINTA GIARDINIERA, and Turmoil in the world premiere of Imant Raminsh's THE LAKE OF TEARS.


Tony has also appeared as the soloist tenor in Händel's MESSIAH, Mozart's REQUIEM, Beethoven's 9th SYMPHONY, and in lecture recitals on Art Songs - one of his biggest passions!


In his free time Tony keeps himself busy by being actively involved with arts-related organizations, highlighting his volunteer work as an assistant to the choir conductor for our very own Canadian organization OrKidstra (Ottawa, 2014), as well as his contributions to clinics for under-privileged people in Toronto. He is also a language instructor at The Spanish Centre, one of the most prestigious language and cultural institutes in our city, and is often heard singing Zarzuela excerpts (the Spanish version of the German Operetta). One of his many dreams is to perform the role of Lamparilla from Barbieri's Zarzuela THE LITTLE BARBER OF LAVAPIÉS and tour across Canada with his performances.


The eccentric and paternal Spalanzani marks his operatic debut in Toronto (his new home since March 2018) and with Toronto City Opera.Tony is overly excited to work again on stage with old colleagues and to get acquainted with new ones in TCO’s production of Les Contes d'Hoffmann.


Bittar-Sayegh now studies privately with Soprano Frédérique Vezina and thanks her for her unconditional support and technical advice.


​Chad Quigley


Chad QuigleyCanadian baritone Chad Quigley recently graduated from Honours Bachelor Mus in vocal performance, studying with mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber at Wilfrid Laurier University. During a production of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Opera Laurier), he was singled out by Nicole Stumpf of The Cord who wrote, “Quigley was able to play [The Four Villains] with ease...each character had their own distinct mannerism...never felt like the same person was playing different characters.” Chad’s energy and dominating presence on the operatic stage is incredibly clear in his artistry and dramatic abilities. Some of his roles include: Masetto (Don Giovanni), Portland Summer Opera Workshop; Le roi (Cendrillon), Four Villains (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Musiklehrer (Ariadne auf Naxos), Harašta (The Cunning Little Vixen), Opera Laurier; Marco (Gianni Schicchi), Halifax Summer Opera Festival; Hugh Dorsey (Parade) and Giuseppe (The Gondoliers), Opera NUOVA.


As a performer Chad has had the opportunity to attend esteemed programs as Opera NUOVA, Portland Summer Opera Workshop, and Halifax Summer Opera Festival. Most recently, Chad performed in the world premiere of Dylann Miller’s The Covenant, and had the distinguished pleasure to perform Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Laurier Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Paul Pulford. Chad is looking forward to appearing in Toronto City Opera’s production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann.

©2017-19 Toronto City Opera