UofT Opera | Faculty
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Co Directors

Sandra Horst

 

Director of Music Studies

University of Toronto Opera

 

BMus (WLU), MMus (NEC), COC Ensemble Studio. UofT conducting credits: L’elisir d’amore, La voix Humaine, Les Mamelles de Tiresias, Hansel and Gretel, L’Enfant et les sortilèges, L’Heure espangnol, Taptoo!, HMS Pinafore, Don Pasquale, Paul Bunyan. Chorus Master at COC since 1998; Audition Consultant for Opera Theatre of St Louis; frequent judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Recognized by Wilfrid Laurier University as “100 Alumni of Achievement”. Formerly chorus master of Opera Theatre of St Louis and Edmonton Opera and vocal coach/repetiteur at Juilliard Opera Center, Chautauqua Institute School of Singing, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Saskatchewan, Opera Ontario, Banff Centre for the Arts. Heard as the host of CBC Radio’s “This is My Music” and in recital on CBC and WGBH Radio in New England.

Michael Albano

 

Resident Stage Director

University of Toronto Opera

 

With U of T Opera Michael Albano has directed over 40 productions and has developed a graduate course in operatic composition. Michael Albano has directed at: New York City Opera, Yale School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, COC. Selected Directorial credits include: Il barbiere di Siviglia, Le Comte Ory, Le nozze di Figaro, L’elisir d’amore, La belle Hélène, La Traviata, The Gondoliers, Die Fledermaus, La Bohème, Gianni Schicchi, Swoon, Così fan tutte, L’Enfant prodigue, Paul Bunyan.

Selected original libretti include: The Machine Stops; Footsteps in Campbell House; Rob Ford, the Opera; The Last Duel; The Very Last Green Thing; A Dickens of a Christmas; Laura’s Cow, the Legend of Laura Secord; Alice in Wonderland. Currently working on Fall River, the legend of Lizzie Borden.

Resident Performance Specialists

Russell Braun

 

Resident Operatic Performance Specialist  

University of Toronto Opera

 

Russell Braun holds his BMus, Opera Dip (UofT) Selected repertoire: Chou En-lai (Nixon in China), Prince Andrei (War and Peace), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Ford (Falstaff), The Traveller (Death in Venice), Elijah, Peter Eötvös’s Senza Sangue, Carmina Burana, title role in Billy Budd, Pelléas et Mélisande, Don Giovanni, Louis Riel, Eugene Onegin, Il barbiere di Siviglia

Performed with: Metropolitan Opera, l’Opéra de Paris, State Opera in Vienna, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, LA Opera, La Scala, COC, Salzburg and Glyndebourne festivals, TSO, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, BBC Symphony, OSM

Selected discography: Das Lied von der Erde, Mozart Arie e duetti, Apollo e Daphne, Winterreise, Le Vaisseau Fantôme, Romeo et Juliette, Dido and Aeneas, Nixon in China

Wendy Nielsen

 

Head of Voice Studies

University of Toronto Opera

 

Head of Voice Studies at UofT,  lead vocal consultant for the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio Program, Artistic Director of St Andrews Summer Opera Workshop. Sang with Metropolitan Opera and every opera company in Canada.  Operatic roles: Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Micaela in Carmen, Vitellia in La clemenza di Tito and the title role in Tosca, Ariadne, Vanessa. Conductors: James Levine, Kurt Masur, James Conlon, Mario Bernardi, Charles Dutoit, Richard Bradshaw, Ivan Fischer. Former Chair Debut Atlantic. Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the Order of New Brunswick. BMus (Lethbridge), MMus (UBC).

Steven Philcox

 

Head of Collaborative Piano

University of Toronto Opera

 

BMus (UBC), MMus (Manhattan School of Music), Music Academy of the West. Head of UofT Collaborative Piano Program;  co-director of Canadian Art Song Project. For twelve years répétiteur, assistant conductor and orchestral continuo player with the Canadian Opera Company. Has given masterclasses and/or been a faculty member at Opera on the Avalon, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Vancouver International Song Institute, The Banff Center, Chautauqua Summer Institute, Center for Operatic Studies in Italy, Highlands Opera Studio.

Daniel Taylor

 

Head of Early Music

University of Toronto Opera

 

Director: UofT Schola Cantorum Choir and Orchestra, Theatre of Early Music, Quebec International Festival of Sacred Music

Selected Repertoire: Rinaldo, Rodelinda, Theodora, Orfeo ed Euridice, Israel in Egypt, Carmina Burana, Christmas Oratorio, Saul, Bach St. John Passion

Selected Engagers: Metropolitan Opera, Glyndebourne, Welsh National Opera, COC, Academy of Ancient Music, Cleveland Orchestra, TSO, Philadelphia Orchestra Bachakademie Stuttgart, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, BBC Proms
Selected Discography: Bach Cantatas; Renaissance duets; Rinaldo; Theodora; Rodelinda; Cantatas “Before Bach”; Vivaldi Gloria; four recordings of Handel’s Messiah, Bach B minor Mass

Vocal Instruction

Peter Barnes

 

Voice Teacher

University of Toronto Opera

Peter Barnes is a versatile baritone with a reputation for outstanding performances in opera, oratorio, concert and musical theatre. He graduated from the University of Toronto Opera Division in 1985 and since then has appeared with opera companies and orchestras from coast to coast. His achievements include honours in the “Du Maurier Search for the Stars”, the National Bach Aria Competition, the CG Young Performers’ Competition.

Darryl Edwards

 

Voice Teacher

University of Toronto Opera

 

BMus, BEd, MMus (UWO), DMA (Michigan). His students regularly appear in leading roles with major opera companies and orchestras worldwide. As a performer: MSO (Charles Dutoit), Calgary Philharmonic (Hans Graf), Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (Noel Edison),  Heidelberg Bach-Chor (Christian Kabitz), National Arts Centre Orchestra (Franz-Paul Decker). In 2016-2017: voice adjudicator for Canadian National Music Festival Finals in Edmonton; Artistic Director, Centre for Opera Studies in Italy and Centre for Opera Studies & Appreciation. Guest instructor: Charles University, Prague; University of Auckland;  Royal College of Music; Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; Central Conservatory, Beijing;  Xi’an Conservatory.

Lorna Macdonald

 

Voice Teacher

University of Toronto Opera

 

BME (Dalhousie), MMus (New England Cons). Leads Vocal Pedagogy in a progressive, three-level program combining music, science and teaching. OCUFA Award for “teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to university teaching”

Performances and master classes across North America, Bermuda, Taiwan, China, France, Ireland, UK, Germany, and Austria. Lorna has performed with Metropolitan Opera, Chicago, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Washington, Fort Worth and Dallas Opera companies. Creator and librettist of The Bells of Baddeck – the Alexander Graham and Mabel Bell Story, music by Dean Burry. Other original programs include multi-media work “Lois Marshall in Russia”, and “Marrying Mozart”, adapted from the book by Stephanie Cowell.

Elizabeth McDonald

 

Voice Teacher

University of Toronto Opera

BMus (UofT), MMus (Eastman).  Further training: Banff Centre, Britten-Pears School, Orford Arts Centre, Santa Fe Opera and COC Ensemble. Roles include Elettra (Idomeneo), The Woman (Erwartung), Miss Jessel (The Turn of the Screw), Jenufa (Jenufa). Has appeared with the National Ballet Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, Kingston Symphony. Regular recitalist with Virginia Polytechnic University, Eastman School of Music, Off Centre Music Salon and the Universities of Toronto, Lethbridge, Queen’s, Carlton. Adjudicator for major voice festivals across Canada and regularly works as a vocal consultant for the Ontario Youth Choir, the Toronto Children’s Chorus and the University of Toronto’s annual Choral Symposium.

Wendy Nielsen

 

Voice Teacher

University of Toronto Opera

 

Head of Voice Studies at UofT,  lead vocal consultant for the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio Program, Artistic Director of St Andrews Summer Opera Workshop. Sang with Metropolitan Opera and every opera company in Canada. Operatic roles: Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Micaela in Carmen, Vitellia in La clemenza di Tito and the title role in Tosca, Ariadne, Vanessa. Conductors: James Levine, Kurt Masur, James Conlon, Mario Bernardi, Charles Dutoit, Richard Bradshaw, Ivan Fischer. Former Chair Debut Atlantic. Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the Order of New Brunswick. BMus (Lethbridge), MMus (UBC).

Nathalie Paulin

 

Voice Teacher

University of Toronto Opera

 

Native of New Brunswick. B.Mus, M.Mus (U de Montréal), post-grad with Dalton Baldwin and Lorraine Nubar, COC Ensemble Studio. Has sung with every Canadian opera company. Conductors: Sir Roger Norrington, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Andrew Parrott, Michael Christie, Robert Spano, David Agler, Bernard Labadie, Graeme Jenkins, Andrew Litton, Antony Walker, Jacques Lacombe, Yoav Talmi. Roles: Mélisande (Pelléas et Mélisande), Norina (Don Pasquale), Marzelline (Fidelio), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Antonia (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Micaëla (Carmen),  title role in Rodelinda, Semele and Massenet’s Manon. International engagers: Wexford Festival, Mercury Baroque of Houston, Chicago Opera Theater, Arizona Opera, Cincinnati Opera

Daniel Taylor

 

Voice Teacher

University of Toronto Opera

 

Director: UofT Schola Cantorum Choir and Orchestra, Theatre of Early Music, Quebec International Festival of Sacred Music

Selected Repertoire: Rinaldo, Rodelinda, Theodora, Orfeo ed Euridice, Israel in Egypt, Carmina Burana, Christmas Oratorio, Saul, Bach St. John Passion

Selected Engagers: Metropolitan Opera, Glyndebourne, Welsh National Opera, COC, Academy of Ancient Music, Cleveland Orchestra, TSO, Philadelphia Orchestra Bachakademie Stuttgart, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, BBC Proms
Selected Discography: Bach Cantatas; Renaissance duets; Rinaldo; Theodora; Rodelinda; Cantatas “Before Bach”; Vivaldi Gloria; four recordings of Handel’s Messiah, Bach B minor Mass

Laura Tucker

 

Voice Teacher

University of Toronto Opera

 

BA (Seattle Pacific U), MMus (Manhattan School of Music), Juilliard Opera Center.
She has performed at New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Philadelphia, COC, Wexford Festival, Huddersfield New Music Festival, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Chicago Ravinia Festival, New York Mostly Mozart Festival, Lincoln Center.

Roles include Charlotte (Werther), Sesto (La clemenza di Tito), Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), Erika (Vanessa), Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Helmwige (Die Walküre), Marco Polo in the North American premiere of Marco Polo by Tan Dun.

Frederique Vezina

 

Voice Teacher

University of Toronto Opera

 

Montreal native, alumna of COC Ensemble Studio and Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en- Provence. Conductors: Richard Bradshaw, James Conlon, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Hans Fricke, Bernard Labadie, Jacques Lacombe, Kent Nagano, Peter Oundjian, Yoav Talmi, Bramwell Tovey. Roles: Mimi (La Bohème), Lisa (Queen of Spades), Ellen Orford (Peter Grimes), Tatyana (Eugene Onegin), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Miranda (The Tempest), title role (The Merry Widow, Lillian Alling),  Micaëla (Carmen), Wellgunde (Das Rheingold). Companies: Washington National Opera, COC, Festival Lanaudière, New Jersey Festival, Opera Companies of Vancouver, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria and Quebec.

Monica Whicher

 

Voice Teacher

University of Toronto Opera

Has performed with every major Canadian orchestra and opera company. Conductors include Helmuth Rilling, Peter Oundjian, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Franz-Paul Decker, Mario Bernardi, Pinchas Zukerman, Richard Bradshaw, Timothy Vernon, Yanick Nezet-Seguin, Steuart Bedford. Master classes: Victoria Conservatory; U of Alberta; U of Manitoba, Guelph Spring Festival.
Recordings: Lullabies and Carols for Christmas; Erotikos Logos, Song Cycles (Hatzis); Singing Somers Theatre, the Music of Harry Somers; Castor et Pollux with Aradia Ensemble; Persée with Opera Atelier.
Roles: Thaïs (Thaïs), Countess (Le nozze di Figaro), Pamina and Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Anna Maurant (Street Scene), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), Governess (Turn of the Screw), Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia). BMus (UWO), Opera Diploma (UofT), COC Ensemble, Britten-Pears School of Music.

Coaching/ Masterclass

Rachel Andrist

 

Vocal Coach

University of Toronto Opera

 

Studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Ann Epperson and Warren Jones. Currently also at COC and Glenn Gould School.  Previously: Theatre Royale de la Monnaie, Salzburg Festival, Salzburg Easter Festival, Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Glyndebourne Festival, De Nederlandse Opera, ENO, Scottish Opera. Conductors: Sir Simon Rattle, Antonio Pappano, Ivor Bolton, Rene Jacobs, Valery Gergiev, Philippe Jordan, Kazushi Ono.

Sue Black

 

Vocal Coach

University of Toronto Opera

 

Both pianist and mezzo-soprano. As collaborative pianist, has performed numerous recitals with soloists, as well as touring with a variety of choirs from across Canada. As singer, has performed in several opera productions in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Member of  COC Chorus since 2001. As a vocal coach, member of the COC Ensemble Studio. Currently also on faculty at York University. BMus (UVic), Opera Diploma (UofT), MMus in collaborative piano (UofT)

Kate Carver

 

Vocal Coach

University of Toronto Opera

 

Has coached with UofT Opera since 1999. Also music staff at COC, Chautauqua Institute, Britten Pears School, Broomhill Opera in Kent, British Youth Opera, Banff Centre, University of Montreal, Toronto Summer Music Academy, Maritime Concert Opera, and Stratford Summer Music. Training included COC Ensemble Studio, National Opera Opera Studio in London, England and Guildhall School of Music. Studied Art Song with Martin Isepp and Graham Johnson. BMus, MMus (McGill).

Andrea Grant

 

Vocal Coach

University of Toronto Opera

 

BMus (WLU), MMus (UWO), Opera Diploma (UofT), also Head of Music Staff for Wexford Festival Opera; music staff of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Operavision Academy, and Highlands Opera Studio.
Engaged by COC, Tapestry New Opera Works, Queen of Puddings Music Theatre, Soundstreams Canada, Calgary Opera, Opera Atelier, Mirvish Productions, Banff Centre’s “Opera as Theatre” and has freelanced across Canada.

Hyejin Kwon

 

Vocal Coach

University of Toronto Opera

 

Home Town: Seoul, South Korea

Training: Interlochen Arts Academy, at Peabody Institute of Music of the Johns Hopkins University, UofT Opera, COC Ensemble Studio

Selected Engagers: Lyric Opera Baltimore, Repertory Theater of Washington, Aspen Music Festival, Canadian Opera Company

Selected Repertoire:  La Traviata, The Marriage of Figaro, Maometto Secondo, Ariodante, Götterdämmerung, Abduction from the Seraglio, Tosca

Current: launching new company with a stage director Anna Theodosakis

Jason Nedecky

 

Diction Coach

University of Toronto Opera

 

Winnipeg native. BMus (U Manitoba), MMus and Opera dip (UofT). Further study: Baden bei Wien, Aldeburgh, L’Académie Musicale de Villecroze in Provence, France, Banff Centre. As a baritone, engaged by NAC Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Chamber Choir,  Aldeburgh Connection, International Bach Festival Toronto, the Bach-Elgar Choir of Hamilton, COC, Saskatoon Opera, Opera Atelier, Aradia Ensemble. Language Coach at the Canadian Opera Company, the Luminato Festival, Radio-Canada, RCM. Teaches Lyric Diction at UofT,  French Diction and Repertoire at Glenn Gould School. Author: French Diction for Singers: A Handbook of Pronunciation for French Opera and Mélodie.

Visitors 2018/19

Thomas Hampson

 

Riki Turofsky Masterclass in Voice

 

Thomas Hampson, America’s foremost baritone, has received many honours and awards for his captivating artistry and cultural leadership including a Metropolitan Opera Guild Met Mastersinger, the Concertgebouw Prize and a Living Legend Award by the Library of Congress. With an opera repertoire of over 80 roles, Hampson’s discography comprises more than 170 albums, which include multiple nominations and winners of the Grammy Award, Edison Award, and the Grand Prix du Disque. Thomas Hampson enjoys a singular international career as an opera singer, recording artist and ‘ambassador of song,’ maintaining an active interest in research, education, musical outreach and technology. Through the Hampsong Foundation, which he founded in 2003, he employs the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.

Stephen Clarke

 

Hermann Geiger-Torel Lecture

 

Stephen Clarke is Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music with expertise in historic recordings, and Chair of the UK-based Historic Singers Charitable Trust. His interest in historic records and performance practice began in the 1950’s; he later studied singing with Howell Glynne, Elizabeth Benson Guy, and Greta Kraus.Through the Stratton Trust, he is custodian of a large collection of historic vocal recordings, a collection which will  eventually reside at the University of Toronto. For seventeen years, with Ward Marston of Marston Records, he has supported and co-produced CD reissues of historic recordings. As his latest project he worked with an expert computer programmer to create a searchable database of all the recordings made by The Gramophone Company (EMI) and its affiliates in the 78 RPM era.

Jessye Norman

 

John R. Stratton Visitor in Music

 

Jessye Norman, one of the world’s most celebrated performing artists, is acclaimed for her performances in a wide range of leading roles with the world’s premier opera companies, in solo recitals and in concerts of her cherished classical repertoire with preeminent orchestras all over the globe, as well as her latest artistic expansion with her jazz ensemble and the extensive programming of music from the American musical theater. She is the recipient of many awards and accolades including more than forty honorary doctorate degrees from colleges, universities and conservatories around the world, five Grammy awards including the ‘lifetime achievement award’, the National Medal of the Arts and is a Kennedy Center Honors recipient. Most recently she was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Gold Medal in London and the Glenn Gould Prize, in Toronto. Her community service includes trustee board memberships at Carnegie Hall, The New York Public Library, The New York Botanical Gardens and The Dance Theatre of Harlem. She is called upon often to speak to her passionate involvement and advocacy of arts education. The Jessye Norman School of the Arts in her hometown of Augusta, Georgia enables her to support and see first-hand the extraordinary results of a dedicated faculty and auxiliary personnel as students who would otherwise not be able to avail themselves of private tutelage in the arts, grow into the fullness of their talents and gifts as they develop their own sense of community and citizenship.