UofT Opera | Faculty
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2022/23

Faculty

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

 

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).

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

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.

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.

Gregory Dahl

Gregory Dahl

 

Voice Teacher

University of Toronto Opera

 

Gregory Dahl is one of Canada’s busiest baritones, in demand for both concert and operatic appearances in Canada, UK and the United States. His debut as Tomsky in The Queen of Spades for English National Opera was notable for “a splendidly oily and corrupt Count Tomsky” while the press hailed his “appealingly lyrical baritone [that] emphasized Golaud’s inner turmoil over his villainy” in Opera Theatre of St. Louis’s Pelléas et Mélisande. 

In the summer of 2019, Dahl made his debut in the title role of Der Fliegende Holländer in a new production for Opéra de Québec, destined for the Met’s New York stage in coming seasons.  A great favourite in Québec, he will be heard as Germont Pere for Opéra de Québec in the fall followed by Messiah for Orchestre classique de Montréal and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. During the 2018/19 season Greg appeared as Hermogines in the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s opera Hadrian with the Canadian Opera Company, joined l’Opéra de Montréal for Donner in Das Rheingold, sang Messiah with the Winnipeg Symphony, and reprised the title role in Rigoletto for Calgary Opera.

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

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

 

Head of Voice Studies

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.

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).

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 2022/23

Elliot Madore

ELLIOT MADORE
September 2022

 

2022-23 Turofsky Masterclass in Voice

 

Canadian Grammy® Award-winning baritone, Elliot Madore has established himself as one of the most sought after, accomplished singers of his generation, enthralling audiences around the world with his “robust singing and take-no-prisoners acting” (The New York Times), “exquisite vocal beauty” (Opera News) and “movie star good looks” (Merkur). At just 34, Madore’s career spans the past decade, singing in major opera companies and orchestras throughout Europe, the United States and Canada.

 

The 2021-2022 season saw Mr. Madore’s house debut in the world premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s new opera Julius Caesar with Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, directed by Robert Carsen and conducted by Daniele Gatti. Mr. Madore also made his role debut as Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus with the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in Japan. Orchestral work includes Handel’s Messiah with the US Naval Academy Orchestra and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Santa Cruz Symphony, conducted by music director Daniel Stewart. Mr. Madore also joined the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music faculty this season, in a newly created position as a performing Associate Professor of Voice.

Margo Garrett

MARGO GARRETT
October 2022

 

2022-23 John R. Stratton Visitor in Music

 

Margo Garrett has enjoyed a long and respected career as an internationally performing collaborative pianist. Her relationships with many of the most noted singers and instrumentalists before the public today include long partnerships on the stage as well as in the recording studio with sopranos Kathleen Battle, Barbara Bonney, Elizabeth Futral, the late Judith Raskin, Lucy Shelton, and Dawn Upshaw.  With these and a number of leading instrumentalists and chamber music groups, including violinists Jaime Laredo, and Daniel Phillips, cellists Sharon Robinson, the late Stephen Kates, and clarinetist David Shifrin, Ms. Garrett has premiered over 35 works. Her recordings can be found on Albany, CRI, Delos, Deutsche Grammophon (1992 Grammy for Best Vocal Recital), Delos, Dorian, Musical Heritage Society, Nonesuch, Orion and Sony Classical. Her 2018 Delos release of the works of Ernest Bloch with violist Paul Neubauer, at this writing, is nominated for an International Classical Music Award.

 

A devoted teacher, Ms. Garrett co-directed the newly created Collaborative Piano Department at New England Conservatory from 1986 to 1992 while simultaneously heading the Collaborative Piano department at The Juilliard School from 1985 to 1991 at which time she became the first holder of the Ethel Alice Hitchcock Chair in Accompanying and Vocal Coaching at the University of Minnesota’s School of Music, the first privately endowed collaborative chair in the US. She returned, in 2000, to The Juilliard School where she remained until May, 2018. Ms. Garrett directed the Tanglewood Music Center vocal fellowship program for the last 6 of her 19 years there (1979-1997) and has now returned since 2016 to again teach in the TMC Vocal Program. Ms. Garrett was awarded the 1989 American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) Most Creative Programming Award for her curation of programs for the Cape and Islands Chamber Music Festival, where she was Co-Director with her mentor, Samuel Sanders, during her early Tanglewood years. From 1999 through 2006, Ms. Garrett served as Faculty Chair of The Steans Institute for Young Artist’s vocal programs at Chicago Symphony’s Ravinia Festival.

Martha Guth

MARTHA GUTH & GRAHAM JOHNSON
March 2022

 

Soprano Martha Guth’s operatic performances include the Santa Fe Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, the Grazer Oper, in Austria, Opera Lyra in Ottawa, Canada and Palma de Mallorca, Spain. In recital she has performed at the Wigmore Hall and the Leeds Lieder Festival with Graham Johnson at the piano, the Vancouver International Song Institute and the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival with Erika Switzer, a world premiere at Lincoln Center, the Liederkranz with Pianist Dalton Baldwin, and an all Britten recital with Pianist Malcolm Martineau in NYC. Her recitals have been recorded and broadcast for the CBC Radio/Radio Canada, the BBC Radio in the U.K and the WDR in Germany. Other performances include St. John’s Smith Square in London, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Voices of Ascension in NYC, The National Cathedral, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Aldeburgh Connection in Toronto, and both Claveçin en Concert and the André Turp society in Montreal. She is proud to have worked under the batons of Maestro’s Seiji Ozawa, Robert Spano, Helmut Rilling, John Nelson and Richard Bradshaw, and Alan Gilbert among many others.

GRAHAM JOHNSON
Pianist 03/00
Credit: Clive Barda/ArenaPAL

Described as “that peerless song accompanist” (Daily Telegraph November 2015) Graham Johnson has performed with the world’s leading recitalists, and has recorded extensively for Hyperion Records. He is Senior Professor of Accompaniment at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He was made an OBE in the 1994 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, created Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Government in 2002 and made an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2010. In 2013 he was awarded the Wigmore Hall Medal, and received Honorary Doctorates from both Durham University and the New England Conservatory of Music. He was awarded the Hugo Wolf Medal in 2014 for his services to the art of song, and his three volume Schubert: The Complete Songs was also published in that year.