LSM Newswire

Monday, June 2, 2014

Vancouver Opera Announces 2014-2015 Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program Participan​ts

Vancouver, BC ~ Five talented singers, one skilled pianist and one up-and-coming stage director will be the latest group to receive specialized industry training, one-on-one coachings and exclusive performance opportunities when the third year of Vancouver Opera's Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program commences in September 2014.

The Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program (YAP) began in 2012 as a bridge between university training and a professional career. The program is made possible through a monumental gift from the family of Yulanda Faris, and is named in honour of her outstanding service to opera in Vancouver.

During their term, participants in the program perform in mainstage productions, community events and private fundraising events in support of Vancouver Opera, and where possible, return the following season to perform in VO's mainstage productions.

“For young artists, the journey to a career can be long and difficult. Mentorship is absolutely key to ensuring success,” comments Yulanda Faris. “This program provides the comprehensive training that is so vital to helping our young artists blossom. I am so pleased to see the program thrive, so proud of the hard work our past participants have put in, and so excited to watch them as they go on to do great things. I applaud the team at VO who have worked so diligently in putting this program together; their vision has made it such an important asset to the organization".

The 2014-15 season participants who will participate in the comprehensive 26-week residency are mezzo-soprano Laurelle Jade Froese, baritone Zachary Read, soprano Caitlin Wood and stage director Brenna Corner. Tenor Rocco Rupolo and pianist Kimberley-Ann Bartczak will return for their second year in the program.

The participants, chosen through national auditions, will receive coaching in vocal and audition techniques, along with training in movement, acting and stage combat. In addition, they will receive career counseling, stress management and health and wellness support, and insight into industry business practices and public relations.

A series of master classes will also be held with visiting artists throughout the residency, allowing participants to work directly with established vocalists such as Judith Forst. The singers will be cast in mainstage and understudy roles in VO's upcoming productions and will take part in VO's community engagement and special events during the 2014-15 season.

The Coaches

Music Director – Jonathan Darlington
With recent and upcoming engagements taking him to the Vienna State Opera, the Paris Opera, the Dresden Staatskapelle, Frankfurt Opera and Opera Australia, Jonathan Darlington is a highly esteemed and sought-after international conductor. He has been Music Director of Vancouver Opera since 2002.

Program Director – Leslie Dala
Leslie Dala is Vancouver Opera's Associate Conductor and Chorus Director. He is also Music Director of the Vancouver Bach Choir and Music Director of the Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra, and was the past Music Director of the Prince George Symphony.  Mr. Dala will lead the upcoming world premiere of VO’s new commissioned opera, Stickboy in October/November 2014.

Principal Coach – Kinza Tyrrell
Dr. Kinza Tyrrell is Principal Répétiteur at Vancouver Opera, past Music Director of the Vancouver Opera In Schools touring program, and on the faculties of the Canadian Opera Company and the Centre for Opera Studies in Sulmona (COSI), Italy.
Vocal Coach – Carol Isaac
Carol Isaac has been a coach and répétiteur for Vancouver Opera, San Francisco Opera and Santa Fe Opera and is currently on the music staff of The Metropolitan Opera. She has been affiliated with Canadian Opera, Washington Opera, Arizona Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Teatro Municipal (Santiago, Chile) and Narodni Divadlo (Prague).
The Participants

Laurelle Jade Froese, Mezzo-Soprano
This year, Ms. Froese will have her professional opera debut in Saskatoon Opera’s Die Zauberflöte as Second Lady. She recently sang Florence in the University of Toronto Faculty of Music’s production of Albert Herring,  Flora in La traviata with Highlands Opera Studio, Meg Page in Falstaff with Opera Nuova, Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore, and role studies of Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte) and Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) at the University of Toronto.

Ms. Froese's musical roots stem from a strong background in sacred music. She continues to perform this repertoire with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festival, the Prairie Performances Gala Series and in various recitals. Ms. Froese is in her final year of her Masters of Music degree at the University of Toronto’s Opera Program under Wendy Nielsen. She is a 2013 Jeune Ambassadeur Laureate and represented Canada at the Minsk Opera House in Belarus this past Christmas.

Zachary Read, Baritone
Nova Scotia native Zachary Read is currently completing his Masters in Operatic Performance at the University of Toronto under the guidance of Patrick Raftery.

He has appeared as Malatesta in the University of Toronto production of Don Pasquale, and as Mars in Orpheus in the Underworld. He has also appeared in scene selections from The Barber of Seville, Cosi fan tutte, Die Fledermaus, Die Tote Stadt, Der Evangelimann, and Zar und Zimmermann. Last year, he sang Creon in the University of Toronto's Antigone, an opera project by four University of Toronto composers.

Before his studies in Toronto, Mr. Read sang Guglielmo in the Accademia Europea dell’Opera production of Cosi fan tutte in Pistoia, Italy. Most recently, he sang Sid in the U of T Opera production of Albert Herring.

Caitlin Wood, Soprano
Caitlin Wood recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a Masters in Operatic Performance under the tutelage of Mary Morrison. During her time at U of T she performed many roles, including Terese (Les mamelles de Terésias ), Marie (La fille du régiment), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Lady Herriet Durham (Martha), Flora (The Turn of the Screw), and Homeless Woman (Rob Ford: The Opera). Her past roles have included Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance) and Patience (Patience) with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Winnipeg; Despina (Cosi fan tutte) and Nannetta (Falstaff) with Opera NUOVA; and Johanna (Sweeney Todd) with Dry Cold Productions.

Ms. Wood has also taken part in many concerts including the Cobourg Friends of Music Stars of Tomorrow Concert and was a soloist in the Manitoba touring production of Handel’s Messiah. This past season she placed third in the Great Lake Region in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition and was the 2012-2013 recipient of the Richard Bradshaw Graduate Fellowship in Opera.

Upcoming engagements include performing the role of Poppea in L'incoronazione di Poppea with the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI) in Sulmona.

Brenna Corner, Stage Director
Brenna Corner has worked as a director, actor, singer, choreographer, and fight director across Canada and in the United States and Europe. Her past directing projects include Don Giovanni at Accademia Europea dell’ Opera; Summer Opera Workshop 2013 &2012 at Indiana University; 1791: Mozart Finale  with Prince George Symphony Orchestra; Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi  with Accademia Europea dell’ Opera; and Giulio Cesare with Manitoba Underground Opera.

Ms. Corner's past assistant directing projects include: Macbeth with Shakespeare in Action; Otello, Der fliegende Hollander and L’Italiana in Algeri (Calgary Opera); Le nozze di Figaro (Vancouver Summer Opera Studio); and The Velveteen Rabbit (The Little Opera Company). Her past singing roles include: Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte); Juliet (Romeo and Juliet); and Lady Macbeth (Macbeth).

Ms. Corner is a member of Fight Directors Canada and has choreographed many fights for both opera and theatre. She has a degree in music from The University of Manitoba, and has studied theatre at both Grant MacEwan College and The British American Drama Academy.

Rocco Rupolo, Tenor
Rocco Rupolo completed the Opera Diploma Program at the University of Toronto. During his studies, he sang the roles of Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Monsieur Lacouff in Les mamelles de Tirésias, L’Amante in Amelia al Ballo, Cecco in Il mondo della luna, and the Governor/Ensemble in Candide. His recent performances include Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore and Pâris in Offenbach’s La belle Hélène at the University of Toronto, Anthony in Sweeney Todd with the Aspen Summer Music Festival, and Don Ottavio (understudy) in VO’s 2014 production of Don Giovanni.

Kimberley-Ann Bartczak, Pianist
Kimberley-Ann Bartczak holds a Master's Degree in Collaborative Piano from the University of Toronto. During her studies, she was the répétiteur for the university's opera program, accompanist for the university's Women’s Chorus and for the Mississauga Festival Choir, and music director for Opera 5's production of Milton Granger’s Talk Opera. Ms. Bartczak was also a pianist and coach at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI), at Opera on the Avalon, and at St. Andrews Opera Workshop. A native of Montreal, and very active in the choral community, Ms. Bartczak was the conductor for the Choir Chant-O-Vent, as well as accompanist to many semi-professional choirs in the Montreal area.

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