Centre for Creative Learning at the Crescent School
2365 Bayview Ave., Toronto
Nemorino – Conrad Siebert
Adina – Kate Applin
Belcore – Johnathan D. Kirby
Dulcamara – Giovanni Spanu
Gianetta – Victoria Medeiros
Stage Director – Alison Wong
Music Director – Jennifer Szeto
Technical Director – Keith Hebert
KATE APPLIN (Adina)
Hailing from Toronto, soprano Kate Applin holds an Honours BMus in Voice Performance and an Opera Diploma from Wilfrid Laurier University, where she studied under the tutelage of Kimberly Barber and Christiane Riel. In the summer of 2011, Kate performed the role of Zerlina in Don Giovanni with the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy. In 2010, Kate attended Opera NUOVA where she performed the role of Héro in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict in the Vocal Arts Festival. With Opera Laurier, Kate performed the roles of Anne Egerman in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Sister Mathilde in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites and First Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Æenas. She currently continues private studies with Joel Katz.
2011 was a thrilling year for Kate, as she performed the role of Despina in Così fan tutte forMetro Youth Opera‘s inaugural season, in addition to her roles as Founder, Artistic Director and President of the company.
For nearly a decade, Kate sang with the Canadian Children’s Opera Company, performing in various productions including Little Red Riding Hood in Sondheim’s Into the Woods, Carrie in Rodgers’ Carousel and children’s chorus in Hansel and Gretel (COC, 1997), which cemented Kate’s love of opera for life. Noted for her strong acting, Kate has been described as “intriguingly intense” (The Cord Weekly), “compelling and powerful” and “filled with raw emotion” (The Imprint).
JOHNATHON D. KIRBY (Belcore)
Johnathon Kirby is a young baritone from Newmarket, Ontario. He is proud to be making his debut this spring with Metro Youth Opera. Praised for his heroic presence on stage and mature performance, Johnathon has already begun his journey towards a professional career. In 2010 he made his first professional appearance with Opera Nova Scotia’s Canadian premier of Zaïde by Mozart, in the Role of Osmin. He returned to ONS in 2011 in the lead role of Macheath in John Gay’s period piece The Beggar’s Opera. In the last four years he has performed several roles with the Dalhousie University Opera Workshop, including the title role in Gianni Schicchi, and The Brewer in Martinu’s The Comedy on the Bridge. In the summer of 2011 he had the pleasure of performing the roles of Giorgio Germont in La Traviata and La Voce in Idomeneo for Summer Opera Lyric Theatre. In 2011-12, Johnathon has had several debuts here in Toronto. He appeared as the Count of Nevers in the Canadian premier of Les Huguenots with Opera in Concert, and made his first appearance with Toronto Operetta Theatre in their production of The Gypsy Princess.
VICTORIA MEDEIROS (Gianetta)
Victoria’s international soprano career has included solo performances with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra in British Columbia, the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra in Toronto, and the AIMS Orchestra in Graz, Austria. In March of 2005, she was named one of Canada’s “Étoiles montantes / Rising Stars” by La Scena Musicale. Her roles have included Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Nora in Riders to the Sea, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, the Witch in Into the Woods, Sonia in Godspell, and Adelaide in Guys and Dolls. Victoria has a Master’s Degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Toronto. She excited to perform withMetro Youth Opera this season as Gianetta in The Elixir of Love.
CONRAD SIEBERT (Nemorino)
Born in Morden, Manitoba, tenor Conrad Siebert spent his childhood in Bogota Colombia. After returning to Canada and completing degrees in theology and music, he now studies with Patrick Raftery at the University of Toronto Opera School. On the opera stage, he was most recently seen as Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore (Centre for Opera Studies in Italy), a role he is pleased to reprise with Metro YouthOpera this season. Other roles include: Ramiro in La Cenerentola(Opera NUOVA), Wilhelm in The Brothers Grimm (Little Opera Company), Alfred in Die Fledermaus (Opera NUOVA), and Frederic inThe Pirates of Penzance (G&S Society of Winnipeg). On the concert stage he has performed Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat, Handel’sMessiah, and collaborated with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra on Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light. His love for Lieder and Art Song has also led to success in recent competitions including first prizes for the Genser and Zita Bernstein competitions in Winnipeg, and representing Manitoba in the National Music Festival, Montreal 2010.
GIOVANNI SPANU (Dulcamara)
Giovanni Maria Spanu, baritone, is a graduate of the Master of Music in Opera Performance degree at the University of Toronto, where he obtained a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. He continues private lessons with J. Patrick Raftery. He appeared in the University of Toronto Opera Division’s main stage productions of Haydn’s Il mondo della luna as a scholar, and Bernstein’s Candide as Maximilian. During the final year of his Master’s degree, Giovanni performed the role of Peter in Hänsel und Gretel and Leporello in Don Giovanni. Other operatic performances include Curio in Giulio Cesare, the Hunter in Rusalka, and Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro. Contemporary pieces include Mr. Moreover in Mr. Moreover’s Magic by Isaiah Bell, and Signor Naccarelli in The Light in the Piazza by Adam Guettel. In December 2010, Giovanni was featured in concert at Massey Hall (Toronto) with St. Michael’s Choir School in performances of Fantasia on Christmas Carols, by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Upcoming performances include Litaniae Lauretanae (KV 109) by Mozart, March 31 2012, at Trinity College Chapel (Toronto) with the Cantabile Chamber Singers under the direction of Cheryll Chung, and Ariadne auf Naxos (Harlekin) with Opera NUOVA.
JENNIFER SZETO (Music Director)
Miss Szeto most recently served as repetiteur in Opera McGill’s productions of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw (October 2011) and Mozart’s Don Giovanni(January 2012). In 2011, she completed summer studies at the prestigious Franz Schubert Institute’s “Poetry and Performance of the German Lied” in Baden-bei-Wien, Austria, where she participated in classes by master teachers including Roger Vignoles, Elly Ameling, and Julius Drake. She was the Apprentice Pianist in the 2011 Emerging Artist Program at Green Mountain Opera Festival. In May 2011, she joined Metro Youth Opera Company as music director and pianist for their inaugural season in Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Other performances in 2011 included the Eckhardt-Gramatté Canadian Music Competition in Brandon, Manitoba, accompanying award-winning soprano Jana Miller in an all-Canadian contemporary programme of Somers, Chatman, Oesterle, Greer, and Tiefenbach.
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 Honors Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, she began her private 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. Her recent credits include directing Così fan tutte with Metro Youth Opera and assistant-directing 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.