UofT Opera | History
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UofT Opera

History

A rich training ground, a rich heritage

 

Established in 1946, University of Toronto Opera is a unique training ground in Canada. With a class (or ‘cast’) of around 20 singers, UofT Opera operates more like a company-based opera house than a traditional university music faculty. Limited admission ensures that every student benefits from the exceptional training offered by our renowned faculty. A busy season of three productions with orchestra, excerpt concerts and recitals allows every student to put their continually-honed skills to the test. Over its 70 years, University of Toronto Opera has seen many of Canada’s premiere talents train in its halls. Jon Vickers, Teresa Stratas, Adrianne Pieczonka and Russell Braun are only four of the many artists we are honoured to name among our alumni. Now in our eighth decade, we are proud to continue the tradition of excellence established by so many who have come before.

First steps

1946-1959

 

The Opera School started with a shoestring budget of $500. In December 1946, the Opera School presented its first performance in Hart House Theatre: a program of excerpts that included La Traviata, La Bohème, Otello, Fidelio, and Der Rosenkavalier. The first full-length production was Smetana’s The Bartered Bride in April 1947. Nicholas Goldschmidt conducted and Herman Geiger-Torel was the stage director. The Opera Festival succeeded beyond all expectations. By 1954, the “Opera Festival” was granted letters patent and became the Opera Festival Association of Toronto. The Opera Festival and the Opera School maintained close ties. In 1959, the Opera Festival became the Canadian Opera Company.

A new home

1964-1971

 

The MacMillan Theatre,
The Edward Johnson Building

 

In 1964, the Opera School was given a new home at the University of Toronto. The Edward Johnson Building, named for the great Canadian tenor who became general director of the Metropolitan Opera, was officially opened on 2 March 1964. Its centrepiece was the MacMillan Theatre, named for Canada’s only musical knight, Sir Ernest Campbell MacMillan.The MacMillan Theatre opened with a performance of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring.

Growing Opera

1978-present

 

Establishing Canada’s Premiere Opera School

 

Under the direction of James Fraser Craig, Stephen Ralls, Michael Albano and Sandra Horst the Opera School has continued to succeed not only as a professional training program but a Masters program of study through the University of Toronto. The continuously  high standard of excellence and achievement has kept the legacy of opera in Toronto and Canada thriving.

1997-2016

Past productions

Dialogues of the Carmelites 1999

L’Elisir d’amore 2007

Candide 2010

Albert Herring 2014

Uoft Opera

Alumni

Discover more about past U of T Opera artists

Abramsky, Arlene
Adair, Michael
Adams, Ernest
Addis, Phillip
Adorno, Constance
Adridge, Andrew
Afandiyeva, Narmina
Agur, Kristina
Ainsworth, Colin
Albino, Laura
Alexandroff, Naomi
Allert, Grant
Allison, Joel
Ambrose, David
Amelard, Sarah
Anantawan, Justin
Anderson, James
Anderson, Kristine
Anderson, Valdine
Angelo, Joseph
Angelo, Lorelle
Angus, Joan
Angus, Sarah
Antony, Rosa
Apps, Rebecca
Archibald, Heather
Arciniegas, Fabian
Arends, Allison
Atchison, Meghan
Atkinson, Ernie
Attrot, Ingrid
Ayers, Corinne

Baedke, Sydney
Bagan, Christopher
Baker, Kenneth
Baldwin, James
Ball, Susan
Barber, Julia
Barber, Kimberley
Barcza, Peter
Barker, Lauri
Barnes, Peter
Barr, James
Barrett, Lindsay
Barrett, Michael
Bartczak, Kimberley
Bassett, Laurie
Bassingthwaite, George
Bataligin, Sasha
Baumgartel, Karen
Beal, Kenneth
Beaudet, Ghislaine
Beckwith, Lawrence
Beley, Alexandra
Bell, Beverley
Bell, Christina
Bella, Mary
Belluz, Scott
Benn, Brian
Bennett, Linda
Bent, Allison
Berge, Brenda
Bergeron, Jo-Anne
Bergin, Emma
Bernardi, Mario
Bertram, Jerod
Bewley, Clare
Bindig, Marianne
Birkett, Sally
Bissonnette, Sarah
Bjornson, Heidi
Black, Susan
Blades, Deirdre
Blaser, Lynn
Bluy, Oksana
Bogdanowicz, Michèle
Bogle, Stephanie
Bolton, James
Bolton, Rita
Bonhomme, Jean
Borg, Nicholas
Borgeson, David
Boutet, Benoit
Boutet, Pierre
Bowes, Trevor Eliot
Bowmer, Leonard
Boyd, Gerard
Boys, Gloria
Bradford, James
Bradley, Leslie Ann
Braun, Adreana
Braun, Richard
Braun, Russell
Braun, Victor
Brett-Crowther, Monica
Bridgman, Billie
Briggs, Robert
Brockington, Maggie
Brockington, Margaret Ann
Brode, Janice
Brough, George
Brown, Gary
Brown, Maurice
Brown, Nils
Brunner, Richard
Buchanan, Silvia
Budgell, David
Burashko, Georgia
Burgess, Norine
Burke, Eugene
Burns, Glenn
Burrows, John
Burton, Darryl
Butler, Geoffrey

Cairns, Matthew
Caissie, Melanie
Calbes, Eleanor
Cameron, Christopher
Campbell, David
Campbell, Rod
Caña, Lilac
Cann, Brittany
Carl, Jeffrey
Carley, Marilyn
Carley, Robert
Carmichael, Philip
Carmona, Stacie
Carpenter, Gregory
Carr, Mary
Carter, Barbara
Carver, Kate
Castaldo, Thomas
Cerswell, Andrea
Cesaroni, Lucia
Chabursky, Oleh
Chamandy, Dan
Chamandy, Jennifer
Chamandy, Jennifer
Chang, Saemi
Chenier, Brenda
Chi, Joseph Song
Chiles, Torin
Chris, Ariana
Christensen, Bradley
Christidis, Mary
Chung, Sam
Clark, Anne Marie
Clark, Donald
Clark, Jesse
Clark, Sean
Cleland, Rachel
Clemons, Nora
Clerke, Thomas
Coates, Janet
Colbeck, James
Collett, Rebecca
Collins, Martha
Collins, Peter
Colvin, Michael
Complak, Marie
Cookson, Penelope
Cormier, Bruno
Corrigan, Beth
Cotton, Lawrence
Coulter, David
Couture, Hélène
Covey, Benjamin
Croft, Robert
Cross, Gregory
Crowther, Sharon
Cruickshank, Timothy
Crum, George
Culham, Lynda
Cunningham, Mary
Curry, Carrol Anne
Curtis, Sherri
Curto, Alyssa

D’Angelo, Emily
d’Entremont, Marcel
Dahl, Gregory
Dalen, Matthew
Dallaire, David
Dalton, Jennifer
Dann, Robin
Davies, Miranda
Davis, Karen
Dawson, Oliver
Day, Marie
de Jong, David
de la Haye, Eve-Lyn
De Long, Nancy
deSevigné, Claire
Dean, Lloyd
Dean, Tito
Décosse, Jon-Paul
DeFelice, Marco
Dellaire, David
Delorme, Melinda
Demougin, Anne
Dent, Debra
Derr, Alan
Desjardins, Marguerite
Diblee, Sally
Dill, Larry
DiMaria, Lisa
Dirstein, Robert
Diston, David
Dobson, Alex
Dodington, John
Domingues, Stephanie
Donaldson, Frederick
Douglas, Elizabeth
Downey, Ryan
Downie, Michael
Dowsett, Michele
Drake, Daphne
Driedger, Ross
DuBois, Mark
Duff, Catherine
Duncan-Brown, Elizabeth
Dunn, Adanya
Dunstan, Darren
Dupuis, Rayanne
Durnie, Alyssa
Dytyniak, Halyna

Eliakis, David
Enns, Christopher
Erickson, Stephen
Estabrooks, Brian
Estabrooks, Jonathan
Ettlinger, Jack
Evans, Glyn
Evans, Michael
Eyman, Linda

Fairchild-Taylor, Gwenna
Fallis, Alec
Fallis, Mary Lou
Fanning, John
Farber, Asher
Farrell, Shawna
Fast, James
Fawcett, David
Fedkenheuer, Liesel
Fetherston, Carol
Fidlar, Jacqui Lynn
Field, Janet
Fina, Jennifer
Fitch, Bernard
Fleming, Thomas
Fletcher, Micheal
Flynn, Kathleen
Ford, William
Forestieri, Sarah
Forster, Elizabeth
Forte, Carol
Foster, Gillian
Fowler, Charles
Francis, Constance
Franko, Edward
Fraser, Timothy
Frederics, Paul
Freeman, Marianne
Freeman, Michael
Frey, Paul
Friesen, Brenden
Friesen, Laura
Friesen, Naomi
Fris, Barbara
Froese, Laurelle
Fulton, Deirdre

Gaasenbeek, Lisa
Gagnon, Carmen
Galloway, Matthew
Garawchynsky, Tyrsa
Gardiner, Glenn
Garvanliev, Vasil
Gavinchuk, Sandra
Gawrachynsky, Tyrsa
Gay, Ann Cooper
Gayowsky, Sebastian
Geary, David
Genga, Simona
Gentry, Theodore
Gerson, Stephanie
Gibson, Diane
Giesbrecht, Raymond
Ginzer, Frances
Glynne, Howell
Goerz, Thomas
Gokool, Steve
Goldschmidt, Nicholas
Golsband, Inna
Gooch, Jean
Good, Martin
Gordon, Leah
Gosein, Rachel
Gosman, Measha
Gosse, Sonya
Gottschalk, Nancy
Gough, Gabe
Gould, Monette
Goulet, Robert
Grabowski, Genevieve
Graham, William
Graner, Ronald
Grant, Andrea
Grant, Bruce
Grant, Helen
Grant, Regan
Gray, Rebecca
Greenwood, Nancy
Gregory, Christine
Grenier, Robert
Greydanus, Ronald
Griffin, Patricia
Groenewegen, Nicholas
Gubbe, Jamilynn
Gudgeon, Susan
Guy, Elizabeth Benson
Gyurica, Lois

Haberl, Betty
Hahn, Mari
Haji, Andrew
Hajnik, Helen
Hakala, Gail
Haldane, Christine
Hales, Jason
Hall, Joan
Hamilton, Michael
Hamper, Emily
Haney, Ronald
Hanks, Robert
Hanushak, Luba
Harach, Janet
Harris, Adam
Harris, Joey
Harris, Mia
Hart, Carolyn
Harton, Patricia
Harvey, Marion
Harwood-Jones, Rachael
Hatfield, Virginia
Hays, Marjorie
Heard, Robert
Hearst, Lorna
Hebert, John Jay
Hegedus, Stephen
Hendricks, Deanna
Hendsbee, Blaine
Hennig, Robert
Henrikson, Steven
Henson, Joni
Heppner, Ben
Hermann, Marta
Hermiston, Nancy
Hernandez, José
Herriot, Robert
Hess, John
Heyer, Julia
Hickman, Cheryl
Hicks, Elizabeth
Hill, Megan
Hirst, Darlene
Hirst, Susan
Hockridge, Edmund
Holborn, George
Holder, Carol
House, Blair
Houtman, Martin
Huang, Erica Iris
Hughes, Claire
Huhtanen, Carla
Huisman, Monica
Hurst, Donna
Hvidsten, Solveig

Iannello, Richard
Ianni, Barbara
Iles, Sarah
Imastounian, Ani
Inch, Carol
Ingram, Henry
Ingram Jr., Barney
Irwin, Henry
Ivany, Joel

Jackson, Bernard
Jakobsh, Randall
James, Celia
James, Eleanor
Jamieson, Douglas
Jang, Joey
Jang, Patrick
Janus, Catherine
Jeans, Deborah
Jefferies, David
Jellis, Danny
Jenkin, Merna
Jewson, Heather
Johnson, Emma
Johnson, Will
Johnston, Amanda
Johnston, David
Johnston, Michael
Jones, Gaynor
Jones, Tim
Jovanovic, Ivan

Kalfman, Veronica
Kalmanovitch, Philip
Karry, Linda
Karvonen, Cassandra
Katotakis, Dimitri
Katz, Joel
Kaufman, Leanne
Kazdan, Eleanor
Keane, John
Kellett, Alastair
Kellett, Angus
Kelly, Bruce
Kelly, Christopher
Kelly, Mona
Kilgore, Suzanne
Kilianski, Lilian
Kim, Diana
Kim, Jooryun
King, Stephen
Kippen, Alice
Kittask, Avo
Klann, Heidi
Klassen, Kenith
Klassen, Laura
Klassen, Lori
Kmiyiwsky, Vera
Knapp, Kathryn
Kolomyjec, Joanne
Kompass, Suzanne
Kowan, Maria
Kozak, Adele
Kriter, John
Krysa, Brent
Kuehn, Caroline
Kulish, Taras
Kuntz, Brenda
Kuznetsov, Margarita
Kwon, Hyejin

Lamanna, Rosalba
Lamarche, Anick
Lambie, Jay
Lamont, Jason
Lamont, Maria
Landry, Rosemarie
Langford-Kyle, Sarah
Larusson, Austin
Latham, Megan
Latimer, Carole Ann
Lauher, Susan
Lavigne, William
Learmonth, Bob
Leatch, James
Leberg, John
LeBlanc, Claudette
Lee, Chia-Jung
Leibel, Jane
Leigh, Matthew
Lennox, Alexandra
Lennox, Mia
Lett, Andrea
Levesque, James
Lewis, Rosalind
Lexa, Susan
Leydier, Angelique
Lichter, Cheryl
Lichti, Daniel
Lieflander, Andrew
Little, Gwen
Lloyd, Jessica
Lloyd, Joseph
Lo, Perri
Locilento, Juniper
Loeb, Diane
Loewen, Robert
Loiselle, Henri
Longo, Robert
Longwell, Donald
Looma, Carol Ann
Lorange, Nicole
Lorcini, Nina
Lord, William
Lorèn, Danika
Love, Andrew
Love, Signa
Lucas, Jim
Ludwig, Andrea
Ludwig, Jeremy
Luka, Brenda
Luther, Adam

Maaloe, Adam
Mabee, Elizabeth
MacArthur, Jonathan
MacDonald, Pamela
Macfarlane, Rick
MacGregor, Barry
Macina, Giuseppe
MacKinnon, Jamie
Macko, Joseph
MacLoed, Gordon
MacMillan, Andrew
MacNeil, Iain
MacPhail, Jean
MacRae, Elizabeth
Maines, Jennifer
Makepeace, Anthony
Malinowski, Barbara
Malone, Brian
Maly, Paul
Mang, Robert
Mangus, Mark
March, Richard
Marchand, Helene
Marchant, Catherine
Marcinkus, Linda
Marshall, Victoria
Marter, Allan
Martin, Robert
Massel, Paul
Masterson, Mary-Jo
Matthews, Alix
Matthiessen, Ann
Matthiessen, Edward
Matyusheva, Natalya
Mauro, Ermanno
Maxwell, Joan
Mayer, Brittany
McCaughey, Caitlin
McClare, Stephen
McDonald, Ryan
McDowell, Mark
McEachen, Douglas
McGillis, John
McGillivray, Peter
McIntyre, Paul
McKenzie, Siphiwe
McLean, James
McLeod, Eve-Rachel
McMurray, Peggy
McWatt, Anne
Meadows, Arlene
Medeiros, Victoria
Medgessy, Michael
Medland, Matthew
Meek, David
Mellen, Brenda
Mercer, Shannon
Mero-Smith, Valerie
Meroniuk, Sonia
Micallef, Victor
Middleton, Marta
Miecznikowski, Alex
Miller, Victoria
Millman, Doreen
Mills, Paul
Milne, Elizabeth
Milne, Peter
Milne, Robert
Milsom, Deborah
Mintz, Adine
Missen, Robert
Mitchell, Graeme
Mitton, Dann
Montalbetti, Ileana
Moore, Barbara
Moore, Colin
Morais, Nathalie
Morfea, Elena
Morgan, Julia Raphael
Morningstar, Adrian
Morrill, Valerie
Morrison, Mary
Morse, Ruth Ann
Mossfield, Harold
Murphy, Conor
Murphy, Rosanna
Mutya, Frank
Myhal, Joanna

Naccarato, Alessia
Nachtrab, Mary
Nadon, Suzette
Nafziger, Sharla
Nasimok, Briane
Nato, Jan
Nedecky, Jason Paul
Neff, Daniel
Nelsen, Ronald
Neufeld, Wilmer
Neville, Michelle
Newberry, Jeffrey
Newman, Kathryn
Ney, Patricia
Niceforo, Joey
Nickel, Brian
Nicklich, Anja
Nieboer, John
Nunez, Andrea

O’Brian, Jane
O’Grady, Francis
Obsadny, Jarek
Oeste, Wolfgang
Ohlmann, Daniel
Oldham, Sylvia
Olinyk, Karen
Oostwoud, Ralph
Opthof, Cornelis
Orenstein, Janis
Orsatti, Betti
Osborne, Linda
Ouellette, Hélène
Ozden, Denise

Pakalniskis, Anitasha
Pallett, Michael
Papizewska, Celine
Park, Thomas
Parkie, Dianne
Parkin, Sarah
Parl, Thomas
Parrish, Tania
Patenaude, Julien
Paterson, Janice
Patrick, Marnie Jane
Patterson, Jean
Pautz, Susan
Pedrotti, Mark
Peiou, Melissa
Peloquin, Pierre
Penner, Lana
Pepper, Daevyd
Perreault, Genevieve
Pert, Jill
Peterson, Mary
Petropoulos, Stephanie
Phim, Hugh
Pieczonka, Adrianne
Piercey, Sheila
Piercey, Stephanie
Piller, Heinar
Pilon, Danielle
Pipher, Jackalyn
Plawutsky, Eugene
Pociernicki, Dan
Poff, Rebecca
Polegato, Brett
Pomeroy, David
Porzecanski, Ayelet
Powell, Calvin
Prata, Gabrielle
Primak, Olga
Promane, Kathleen
Promane, Lyndsay
Pruden, Brian
Pujol, Marcos
Puskas, John
Pybus, Allison

Quick, Megan
Quilico, Gino
Quilico, John

Rainbird, Michael
Rainey, Mark
Ralls, Stephen
Ramsay, Jean
Rao, Doreen
Rashkis, Ruth
Ratcliffe, Glynis
Raulfs, Oskar
Read, Zachary
Reinke, George
Relyea, Gary
Richardson, Sylvia
Rideout, Gary
Rideout, Patricia
Robinson, Daniel
Robinson, Jennifer
Roche, Colin
Rogers, Camille
Rogers, Mary Alice
Rogerson, Maida
Rohozynsky, Sonia
Roman, Emilio
Rombouts, Herman
Rosen, Rene
Roslak, Roxolana
Roy, Louise
Rubes, Jan
Ruddell, Kathleen
Ruiz, Margarita
Rupolo, Rocco
Rutherford, Donald
Ryan, Christopher
Ryan, Theresa Lee
Ryerson, Gregory

Sadej, Katarzyna
Sadowa, Raisa
Saika-Voivod, Igor
Saks, Gidon
Samuel-Stevens, Marion
Santelli, Sabrina
Santoni, Charlene
Sawicki, Christine
Schabas, Ezra
Schaef, Bruce
Schiel, Melissa
Schinzel, Jennifer
Schroeder, Micah
Schweitzer, Thomas
Scott, Douglas
Scott, Susan
Selig, Debra
Semchyshyn, Cecil
Semkiw, Ashleigh
Sereda, Susan
Shafer, James
Shakarian, Asdghig
Shalanko, Daniel
Sharpe, Blaine
Shaw, Eric
Sheehan, Chris
Shemet, Mikhail
Sherwood, Steven
Shields, James
Shin, Sung-Ha
Shust, Micheal
Siebert, Conrad
Sigurdson, Eric
Sigurdson, Gregory
Silva, Guillermo
Sim, Margot
Simmonds, Arlene
Sirek, Terese
Sirett, Geoffrey
Sjölander, Marian
Skarsgard, Lloyd
Sketris, Paul
Skull, Colleen
Smith, Amanda
Smith, Catriona
Smith, Janet
Smith, Michael
Smither, Alexandra
Smyth, Alastair
Smyth, Michael
Snethen, Laetitia
Solheim, Bethany
Solow, Marissa
Sottile, Mark
Spanu, Giovanni
Speedie, Penelope
Spence, Timothy
Spencer, Martin
Spiel, Belva
Spina, Alyson
Sproule, Michael
Stainton, Daniel
Stark, Manley
Stephen, Pamela
Stewart, Allan
Stewart, Robert
Stiff, Timothy
Still, Shauna
Stilmachenko, Sergei
Stilwell, Barry
Stoddard, Ray
Stoddart, John
Strano, Michele
Stratas, Teresa
Strathdee, Barbara
Strick, Susan
Strombergs, Alfred
Strong, Jessica
Strygg, Carl
Stubbs, Barbara
Stubbs, Janet
Sukis, Lilian
Sullivan, Curtis
Swanston, Marcia
Sy, Charles
Sywanyk, Ihor
Szuba, Richard

Tait, Alexandra
Tait, Danny
Tarver, Jennifer
Taub, Tzvi
Taylor, Corinne
Taylor, Debora
Taylor, Gordon
Taylor, Kelsey
Tchoubar, Katerina
Terrell, Kathy
Terry, Margaret
Theiss, Richard
Theodosakis, Anna
Thériault, Andrée
Thielmann, Daniel
Thomas, Matthew
Thompson, Ross
Thor, Erik
Ticknovich, Peter
Timney, Patrick
Tomkins, Giles
Towler, Charles
Townsend, Cindy
Tracey, Jacqueline
Trepanier, Paul
Tritchew, Stephanie
Turnbull, Elizabeth
Turner, Tanya
Turofsky, Ricky
Tyreman, Shelagh

Ubukata, Bruce
Uloth, Michael
Ursan, Robert

Vacca, Sabatino
Vaculik, Jan
Van Neer, Marcel
Van Winkle, Louise
van Wyck, Max
Vance, Marlene
Vaskevicius, Jonas
Vickers, John
Vienneau, Yvon
Vigod, Robert
Vigod, Tanya
Vitols, Vilma Indra

Walker, Michael
Walker, Ted
Walsh, Monica
Wang, Xin
Warren, Peter
Watson, Alison
Watson, Sean
Weingort, Severin
Wells, James
Wertman, Leah
Wertman, Leslie
West, Lynn
Westman, James
Whalen, Laura
Whicher, Monica
Whiting, Lenard
Whyte, Katherine
Wickberg, Paula
Wiens, Peter
Wierzba, Karen
Wilderforce, Heather
Wiliford, Lawrence J.
Wilks, Aviva
Wilks, Aviva-Fortunata
Williamson, Paul
Willinsky, Aaron
Wills, Sheila
Wilson, Chris
Wilson, Christopher
Wilson, Mark
Winter, Tina
Wiseman, Jeff
Won, Cindy
Wood, Caitlin
Woolner, Anne
Woolner, Anne
Wreglesworth, Peter
Wright, Anne Marie
Wright, Dylan
Wright, Gordon
Wysocka, Alicja

N/a

Yarnell, Shauna
Yemen, Jillian
Yoon, Byung
Young, Donald
Young, Madeline
Young, Stephen

Zarankin, Ilana
Zarou, Jeannette
Zeidman, Margaret
Zekulin, Nicolas
Zerbe, Monica
Ziemelyte, Slava
Zmiyiwsky, Vera
Zonta, Marcelle
Zubrack, Lesia