Maple Sugar – February 26, 2017
Born in Winnipeg and based in Toronto, Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk is completing a doctorate in classical and fiddle music traditions on the viola at the University of Montreal.
Upon the discovery of her Métis roots, Alyssa and her younger brothers were inspired to explore the Native and Métis fiddling traditions of Canada, with the help of renowned Canadian musicologist, Anne Lederman.
Alyssa’s mentorship with Ojibwe elder fiddler Lawrence “Teddy Boy” Houle, led her to collaborate with his brother James Flett to create: “Oméigwessi, Reel Métis: A Tribute to Walter Flett”, which won ‘Best Fiddle’ and ‘Best Instrumental Album’ at the 2008 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards.
Along with her brothers, Alyssa performs in the Métis Fiddler Quartet. Their first release, North West Voyage reflects the beauty and diversity of the Indigenous fiddle traditions of Canada, infusing these tunes with a diverse musical palette, from Beethoven to the Beatles, and beyond. The album received ‘Best Traditional Album’ at the 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards.
Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk is a dynamic performer, drawing inspiration from his heritage to fuse Métis folk traditions with contemporary musical genres and styles. He completed his Bachelor of Music at the University of Ottawa, in classical voice performance. In addition to recitals and lead roles in several operas, he explored jazz on electric bass, recording, sound production, and multimedia art projects. He has toured extensively along with his three siblings in the Métis Fiddler Quartet. Recent performances include: the 2015 Parapan Am games opening ceremony, and La Grande Gigue, a collaborative performance with the Caprice Baroque Ensemble for the 2016 Montreal Baroque Festival.
Mozart Requiem – April 14, 2017
Soprano Jocelyn Fralick, from St. Catharines ON, is in her final year at the Glenn Gould School of Music where she studies with Monica Whicher and Rachel Andrist. This year at the GGS Jocelyn will be singing the role of Maguelonne in Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon.
Jocelyn has appeared in many works such as, Mozart’s Requiem, Rutter’s Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Eriks Esenvalds’ Passion and Resurrection and most recently Haydn Lord Nelson Mass. In the summer of 2015, Jocelyn travelled to Edmonton, Alberta to perform the role of Kitty Hart in Opera Nuova’s production of Dead Man Walking.
Canadian mezzo-soprano Lillian Brooks has been praised for her legato, lyric sound, and easy handling of coloratura, known for delivering a powerful and layered performance in a wide range of repertoire. Winner of the 2015 Hnatyshyn Foundation Developing Artists Grant, Ms Brooks has appeared in many operatic roles and as an oratorio soloist throughout the GTA. She made her professional debut in 2015 under the baton of Robert Cooper, singing W. A. Mozart ’s Requiem with Chorus Niagara. In 2014, she sang her first operatic role as Cornelia in G iulio Cesare with Accademia Europea dell’Opera in Lucca, Italy. In 2016, Ms Brooks revisited Handel opera in the role of Bradamante, in the Glenn Gould School produc tion of Alcina.
On the concert stage, Ms Brooks had the privilege of singing excerpts from B izet’s Carmen in spring 2016 with the Missisauga Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Denis Mastromonaco. During the summer of 2016 she sang her first concert role as Annio in Mozart’s La cl emenza di Tito, and appeared as Filipyevna in OperaMuskoka’s production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. In December 2016, Ms Brooks made her debut at the Niagara Performing Arts Centre in Chorus Niagara’s biennial Christmas performance of Handel’s Messiah. She will be returning this season for another exciting concert series as a Sidgwick Scholar with the Orpheus Choir of Toronto, under the baton of Robert Cooper. During her final year of study at the Glenn Gould School, Ms Brooks can be seen in the role of Arm elinde in Cendrillon by Pauline Viardot, and as Paoluccia in Niccolò Piccinn i’s La buona figliuola.
Toronotonian tenor Ryan Harper eagerly joins the inspiring musical director, Mervin Fick, as he leads both the MCS Chorus of Mississauga and the Toronto Beach Chorale in performances of Mozart’s most heavenly composition, the Requiem in D minor k.626. This season, Ryan is singing in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung with the Canadian Opera Company Chorus, the role known as “Italian Tenor” in Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier with OBR, as well as performing in various concerts around Southern Ontario. Ryan most recently performed with Off Centre Music Salon (Russian Salon,) Carmen (with Loose TEA Music Theatre,) and Carmen with the Canadian Opera Company. Ryan received his education from the University of Toronto (B.A.) and Florida State University (M.A.) and continued his studies at the L’Opéra de Montréal young artist program, L’Atelier Lyrique.
Praised by the Montreal Gazette for his “clear, silvery tone minted for French repertoire,” baritone Matthew Cassils sings with great sensitivity and range on the opera and concert stages. This past season Mr. Cassils was baritone soloist in Bach’s Mass in B Minor at the Elora Festival, under the baton of Noel Edison. A versatile performer, he was also heard in Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins at the Young Centre with Patricia O’Callaghan at the Young Theatre Cabaret Festival. The Montreal native has appeared with the Regina Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with Ensemble Prima in Poulenc’s profane Le Bal Masqué and with The Theatre of Early Music in the cantatas of Bruhns, Kuhnau and Purcell. In recent years he also performed the Beethoven Ninth Symphony with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra, directed by Peter Oundjian. Mr. Cassils is also quickly building a national reputation in such operatic roles as The Count in Il Nozze di Figaro (Saskatoon, 2011), Guglielmo (Toronto, Mario Bernardi) and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte (Italy), as well as several recordings.
Messiah for the City – December 10, 2016
Canadian Soprano Marion Samuel-Stevens has been described as an engaging, direct performer and actress. Her performances range from the intimacy of recital performance to the grandeur of opera. She is a graduate from the University of Toronto’s Voice Performance program. As well as studies at Wilfrid Laurier University she has attended many prestigious enrichment programs across North America and Europe where she had the pleasure of studying with many acclaimed musicians including Elly Ameling, Rudolph Jansen and Martin Katz. Equally comfortable on the operatic and concert stage, Marion is sought after for her subtle interpretations of text and character, as much as for her warm, supple and luminous voice.
Reviewers have said, “Mezzo Jillian Yemen has a luxuriant voice that’s wonderfully dramatic” (Monday Magazine), and “Jillian Yemen sang with a luscious mezzo-soprano” (National Post). Upcoming engagements include excerpts from Wagner’s Tannhäuser and Parsifal in concert with the Wagner Society of Washington DC. Recently, Jillian was a performer a the Miami Wagner Institute, lead by Christine Goerke, and attended the American Wagner Project headed by Luana Devol and Dolora Zajick. Recent engagements include Waltraute in Wagner’s Die Walküre at the Miami Music Festival, Parry’s oratorio Judith in the role of Meshullemeth with the Pax Christi Chorale, soloist in Vivaldi’s Introduction and Gloria and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Mississauga Choral Society, as Waltraute in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, the title role in Handel’s Giulio Cesare with the Aradia Ensemble and the Thirteen Strings, soloist in Vivaldi’s Nisi Dominus and Gloria with the Valley Singers, and several acclaimed performances of Handel’s Messiah. Past highlights of Jillian’s concert include soloist at the International Bach Festival under the baton of Helmuth Rilling, as Juno in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen at the Britten-Pears Festival with Harry Bickett, and as the mezzo soloist for the Lord of the Rings Symphony at Roy Thomson Hall.
Baritone, Peter Bass, is a native of Edmonton, Alberta. Peter has captivated audiences across Canada and internationally with his dramatic baritone voice. A singer with theatrical nuance and honesty, he has created beautiful realizations of operatic roles such as the title role in “Gianni Schicchi”, Ford “Falstaff”, Vater “Hänsel und Gretel”, Dulcamara “L’elisir d’amore”, Achilla “Giulio Cesare” and Sid “Albert Herring”. With a vast interest base, Peter has also enjoyed successes in Musical Theatre and oratorio. In February of next year, Peter will be portraying the role of Tonio “Pagliacci” in Ottawa with South Ottawa Performing Arts Collaborative.