Béatrice & Bénédict

April 24-26, 2015

By Hector Berlioz

Adapted by Rob Herriot

Presented at Aki Studio
Daniels Spectrum
585 Dundas Street East, Toronto

View Photos

Based on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Berlioz’s beautiful opera about the romance between Béatrice & Bénédict is perfect family fare, complete with love, laughter, and a healthy dose of scheming.

Béatrice & Bénédict Production Team

Artistic Director – Kate Applin
Stage Director – Alison Wong
Music Director – Natasha Fransblow
Stage Manager – Katherine Belyea
Lighting Design – Noah Feaver

Béatrice & Bénédict Cast

Béatrice – Simone McIntosh
Bénédict – Asitha Tennekoon
Héro – Lindsay McIntyre
Ursule – Alessia Naccarato
Claudio – Janaka Welihinda
Don Pedro – Peter Warren
Leonato – Christopher Pinhiero
Messenger/Minister – Megan Maeve McCarthy

TAC-City-40th-trans

Metro Youth Opera’s 2015 production of Béatrice et Bénédict is produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

 

KATHERINE BELYEA
Katherine Belyea, Stage Manager
Katherine is delighted to join MYOpera for this charming opera. Enjoy! Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome. Credits include: The Magic Flute, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Il trovatore (Opera York); Brundibar (Toronto Concert Orchestra); Nature of the Beast (safeword); X, Transgender Seeking (Sunny Drake); Circle Jerk, Love Is a Poverty You Can Sell 2, A Hand of Bridge, No Exit (Soup Can Theatre); Nightmare Dream (IFT/Obsidian); tick, tick… BOOM! (Angelwalk); Wild Dogs on the Moscow Trains (SummerWorks); Medieval and Renaissance plays (Poculi Ludique Societas); 5 seasons at the Toronto Fringe Festival; sketch comedy.

 

NOAH FEAVER
Noah Feaver, Lighting Design
Noah Feaver is excited to be working with Metro Youth Opera for the first time! Originally from Vancouver BC, Noah recently completed his second year at Ryerson Theatre School. Recent lighting designs include: PLAY, POPS Dance Co. (2015), Checkmate, Nuclear, Built on Sand (New Voices 2015), Ryerson Theatre School; Specificity, Innuendo, Head, Heart (Choreographic Works 2015) Ryerson Theatre School; Vixens of Wonderland, Concrete Vertigo (2014); Love’s Labour’s Lost, Carousel Theatre for Young People (2014).

 

 

NATASHA FRANSBLOW
Natasha Fransblow, Music Director
New to the Toronto scene, Natasha has enthusiastically carved her space in the city’s vibrant classical music community as a vocal coach, accompanist and repetiteur. She is thrilled to join MYOpera’s artistic team as Music Director for the 2014/15 season.

Natasha holds a masters in collaborative piano from the University of Manitoba (UofM). Throughout her studies, her interest in opera grew as she gained invaluable skills and experience through performing as repetiteur with the UofM Opera Theatre and Opera Studies Department. With the UofM Opera School Tour, she toured Dean Burry’s Brothers Grimm to communities throughout Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Natasha went on to attend Opera Nuova as a young artist, where she performed Don Giovanni, Cendrillon, and new Canadian work The Lives of Lesser Things. Her most recent accomplishments include performing Hänsel und Gretel as Music Director with MYOpera, in the Kawartha Concerts Encore Series in Lindsay, ON.

MEGAN MAEVE McCARTHY
Megan Maeve McCarthy - Messenger/Minister
Megan Maeve McCarthy was raised in Rochester, NY, where she was exposed to phenomenal musical experiences. Originating from a musical theater background, she appeared in roles such as Maria (The Sound of Music), The Narrator (Joseph and the Amazing Technicoloured Dreamcoat), Frenchie (Grease), and Florence (Chess). As a graduate from the Eastman Community School of Music, Megan Maeve earned an Advanced Diploma in Voice with Honours, as well as a diploma in Music Theory. In 2011 Ms. McCarthy performed in the renowned Kilbourn Hall and won the Jan DeGaetani scholarship, awarded by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and well as placing second for the Tessa Martin Award. Megan Maeve currently studies with Dr. Darryl Edwards at the University of Toronto, and is involved with their Schola Cantorum (under the direction of Prof. Daniel Taylor) as well as the Oratorio Ensemble (with Dr. Darryl Edwards). This past summer Ms. McCarthy appeared in the Halifax Summer Opera Festivals production of Rusalka as the 2nd Woodsprite, since then she has had an insatiable love for the art of opera, and plans to pursue a career with it upon graduating from her studies this June.

SIMONE McINTOSH
Simone McIntosh - Béatrice
Simone McIntosh holds a Bachelors of Music in Opera from the University of British Columbia. Over the course of her degree Simone has participated in numerous productions mounted by the UBC Opera Ensemble, in addition to the Ensemble’s collaborations with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. She distinguished herself as both a principal soloist, with leading roles such as: Giulietta (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), the Fox (The Cunning Little Vixen), Alexander Jr. (The Inventor, Bramwell Tovey), and Harry (Albert Herring). After a successful participation with Vancouver Opera in Schools, Simone was invited by the Vancouver Opera to perform the role of Cis in their mainstage production of Albert Herring, directed by Glynis Leyshon under the baton of Leslie Dala in 2013. In February 2014, Simone performed Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, with the Burnaby Lyric Opera Company under the direction of Richard Berg and conductor Michael Onwood. She is currently under the tutelage of Nathalie Paulin while she resides in Toronto.

LINDSAY McINTYRE
Lindsay McIntyre - Héro
Alberta-born soprano Lindsay McIntyre is a graduate of the M.Mus. Program majoring in Opera Performance at the University of British Columbia. While pursuing her studies, Lindsay performed the roles of Ann Putnam in The Crucible, First Woodsprite in Rusalka, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro, all with UBC opera. Lindsay also appeared as a soloist with the UBC Symphony Orchestra, University Singers Choir, Vancouver Bach Choir, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Since moving to Toronto, she has performed in chorus with Opera Atelier, and as a soloist with Opera by Request and the Toronto Summer Opera Workshop. This season, Lindsay is very excited to perform the role of Héro in Béatrice et Bénédict with Metro Youth Opera in Toronto. Lindsay continues her studies privately under Canadian soprano, Stephanie Bogle.

ALESSIA NACCARATO
Alessia Naccarato - Ursule
Toronto born mezzo-soprano Alessia Naccarato is currently in her final year of the MMus program in Opera at The University of Toronto, studying with Elizabeth McDonald. Alessia holds a B.FA in Classical Voice Performance from York University. In addition to her studies at York, Alessia has also participated in various professional development programs over the course of her undergraduate degree including the St. Andrew’s Summer School Vocal Techniques Weekend The Vancouver International Song Institute, The Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Opera NUOVA, and The Halifax Summer Opera Festival. Previous roles include La Maestra della Novicia in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Florence Pike in Britten’s Albert Herring, Paquette in Bernstein’s Candide, and The title role in Handel’s Giulio Cesare. Her current projects include the role of Sarah McConnell in UofT Opera’s production Footsteps in Campbell House. Forthcoming roles include The Lady with the Hat Box in UofT Opera’s upcoming production of Argento’s Postcard from Morocco, and Goffredo in Handel’s Rinaldo with Accademia Europa Dell’Opera in Lucca, Italy this summer.

CHRISTOPHER PINHIERO
Christopher Pinhiero - Leonato
Christopher Pinheiro was first onstage at age six, on radio at seven and on television at eleven. At twelve he sang the role of Petti-Sing in “the Mikado”. Theatre training began with the Trinidad Theatre Workshop of Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott was continued at the Jamaican School of Drama. He has been an actor, writer, director, singer, dancer, producer and publicist and is now working on his first feature film script. He is a past-President of the National Drama Association of Trinidad + Tobago, Foundation-member of the Banyan Television Workshop and the Callalloo Carnival Arts Company of Masquerade Maestro Peter Minshall. Also affiliated with Shadowland Theatre Inc. VideoCabaret, and b current performing arts, Pinheiro is the founding Artistic Director of the SwizzleStick theatre in Toronto, and a Curator-Programmer with the Caribbean Tales International Film Festival. Photo: Steve Carty

ASITHA TENNEKOON
Asitha Tennekoon - Bénédict
A native of Sri Lanka, Asitha Tennekoon’s operatic performances have seen him in the title role of Britten’s Albert Herring, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Arturo Bucklow in Lucia di Lammermoor, and several other comprimario roles in operas such as La Traviata, Ariodante, Cendrillon and Die Fledermaus. Upcoming, he will play Paris in La belle Hélène by Offenbach. As a concert soloist his résumé includes performances of J.S.Bach’s Johannes-Passione (Evangelist), numerous sacred cantatas by the same composer, the Monteverdi Vespers (1610), Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, and other notable works by Beethoven, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schütz, and Vaughan Williams. An avid recitalist, he has presented several concert programs in the USA and Sri Lanka. Tennekoon studied for his Undergraduate in Vocal Performance at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University in the studio of Dr. Brian Horne. He also holds Licentiate Diplomas in Voice and Piano from the Trinity College of Music, London and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London. Since the Fall of 2014, he has been a recipient of the Kay Hughes Vocal Scholarship in the the Artist Diploma Program at the Glenn Gould School, Toronto, where he studies with Stephanie Bogle. While in Indiana he was a featured soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Choir, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra. In addition to making regular appearances on the play-bill for the Opera Theatre at Indiana University, he has also performed with the Princeton Festival in Princeton, New Jersey, Operamission in New York City and the Bay View Music Festival in Michigan. In his native Sri Lanka Tennekoon has performed with the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka, the Chamber Music Society of Colombo, the Colombo Philharmonic Choir and the Camerata Musica Chamber Choir.

PETER WARREN
Peter Warren - Don Pedro
Born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario, bass-baritone Peter Warren is a recent undergraduate of the voice performance program at The University of Toronto, and is currently continuing his studies at U of T pursuing a graduate degree in voice performance as a recipient of the Louis Quilico Memorial Scholarship. During the past year he has appeared in Andrew Ager’s Casanova as Count Z as part of the COSI-Connection, in La Bohème as Colline at the Center for Operatic Studies in Italy, in Giulio Cesare as Achilla at the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, and in H.M.S. Pinafore as Dick Deadeye with the University of Toronto Opera. Upcoming performances include Guard No. 2 in the world premiere of Führerbunker by Andrew Ager in association with the COSI-Connection, as well as Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte at the Centre for Operatic Studies in Italy.

JANAKA WELIHINDA
Janaka Welihinda - Claudio
Described as “a dynamic Papageno, with a clear talent for comic acting, and a very agreeable, clear voice” (Opera Canada, 2011), Sri Lankan Canadian baritone Janaka Welihinda is establishing himself as a young artist. He has also delivered other comic roles such as Uberto in La serva padrona, Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, Pooh-Bah in The Mikado, Frank in Die Fledermaus, and Ben in The Telephone, to high acclaim. In 2007, Janaka developed the role of Meursault in the Canadian premier of Ian Cherry’s new opera based on the novel by Camus: L’Étranger. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Brandon University and a Masters of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Western Ontario.

ALISON WONG
Alison Wong - Stage Director
Driven to explore and extend the Singer’s range in the craft of storytelling and performance, Alison began directing as an undergraduate at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. After completing her Honours Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, she began her private teaching studio in her native city of Toronto. In 2009 and 2010, she was chosen to complete the Stage Direction Fellowship at the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy. She recently toured with Nederlandse Reisopera as Assistant Director on a new production of Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles. Other recent credits include directing Butterfly for Academia Europa Dell’Opera in Lucca, Italy, Metro Youth Opera’s Hänsel und Gretel, and performing the role of Yniold in Pelleas et Melisande with Opera aan Zee in Noordwijk, Netherlands. Assistant Director credits include Giulio Cesare for OperaLondon, SONGSPIEL with Sylvia McNair for American Opera Theatre, Dido and Æneas at the international opera festival, Operadagen Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Aureliano in Palmira at the Festival della Valle d’Itria in Martina Franca, Italy, and back home in Toronto, Obeah Opera by Nicole Brooks for b current Performing Arts Co., where she also serves as Artistic Producer.

Understudies

Beatrice – Megan Maeve McCarthy
Bénédict – Daevyd Pepper
Héro – Patricia Auchterlonie

PATRICIA AUCHTERLONIE
Patricia Auchterlonie is a promising young soprano with a unique musical intellect. She is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto, where she studied with Elizabeth McDonald. Ms. Auchterlonie is equally at home performing art song, early music, new music, and operatic repertoire. She is especially passionate about the performance of the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, and is proud to have premiered multiple works by young composers. Previous operatic roles performed include the First Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore, and Sandman/Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel. Patricia will to be heading to London in September 2015 to attend The Guildhall School of Music. She is thrilled to be joining Metro Youth Opera this April to understudy the role of Héro.

DAEVYD PEPPER
Daevyd Pepper is known for his engaging stage presence and musical sensitivity. Daevyd is currently finishing his BFA in Classical Vocal Performance at York University. Performances include York University’s Dido and Aeneas (First Sailor) and Carmina Burana (Swan Soloist), as well as Basilio (Le nozze di Figaro) and Oronte (Alcina) with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre. In October 2014 he performed in the chorus of Opera Atelier’s production of Handel’s Alcina. In 2012 he had competed in the Newmarket Voice Festival receiving the “best Male Vocalist” award and placed second for the 2nd year post-secondary male category of the regional NATS competition. In November 2014 he placed first for the 4th year post-secondary male category at the NATS competition and performed as the tenor soloist for CPE Bach’s Magnificat. His upcoming performances include Mozart’s Requiem with the King Edward Choir in Barrie, and Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte in two productions: one in Toronto as well as one in Sulmona, Italy with the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy.