The Italian Girl in Algiers

by Gioachino Rossini

April 28-30, 2017

Aki Studio
Daniels Spectrum
585 Dundas Street East, Toronto

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The Italian Girl in Algiers follows the story of Isabella, who finds herself in Algeria to save her lover Lindoro from the Bey, Mustafà. One of Rossini’s most outrageous comedies, The Italian Girl in Algiers is replete with laughs and virtuosic vocal fireworks, helmed by the powerful female hero who takes control of her less-than-ideal circumstances to get her way.

Production Team

Artistic Director – Kate Applin
Stage Director – Anna Theodosakis
Music Director – Natasha Fransblow
Lighting Designer – Wesley McKenzie


Isabella – Camille Rogers
Lindoro – Jan van der Hooft
Taddeo – Evan Korbut
Mustafà – Peter Warren
Elvira – Ashley Boychuk
Zulma – Anna Sharpe
Haly – David Boan

David Boan - Haly - The Italian Girl in Algiers 
David Boan, tenor, hails from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Born into a musical family, he tried his hand at many instruments throughout his youth before finding his true passion in voice. First exposed to opera through his hometown opera company’s chorus roles, he pursued more specific instruction at Interlochen Arts Academy for his final year of high school. From there, he achieved his BMus at McGill University before beginning his Master’s studies at Western last year.



Ashley Boychuk - Elvira - The Italian Girl in Algiers

Soprano Ashley Boychuk is originally from the Manitoba Prairies where she developed an enthusiastic and compassionate profile for singing and performing under the tutelage of soprano Tracy Dahl. During the 2016 season she sings the role of Könige der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte with the Manitoba Underground Opera. Opportunities during 2015/14 include a young artist residency with the Fargo-Moorhead Opera, working with artistic director Joan Dornamann at the International Canadian Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal, and receiving an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Past opportunities including singing La Fée in Cendrillon with Opera NUOVA, and the 2015 & 2013 scholarship recipient from the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg. Ashley holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Minnesota where she received the Hynninen Scholarship and performed the roles of Fiordligi in Così fan tutte, and Singing Keeley in Elmer Gantry.

Natasha Fransblow, Music Director - Italian Girl in Algiers
Natasha has enthusiastically carved her space in Toronto’s vibrant classical music community as an active and sought-after vocal collaborator and coach. She is a graduate of Dalhousie University (B.Mus.) and the University of Manitoba (M.Mus.). Natasha held a faculty position as Undergraduate Vocal Coach at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, and worked closely with their Opera Studies department. Since her move to Toronto, she has music directed with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre (Martha, 2015), Toronto Operetta Theatre (HMS Pinafore, 2015), and Loose Tea Music Theatre (Carmen, reimagined, 2016). She joined MYOpera in 2014 on Hänsel & Gretel for the Kawartha Concerts Encore Series in Lindsay, ON, and continued with Béatrice et Bénédict (2015) and The Rape of Lucretia (2016), to rave reviews. Recent engagements include Rodelinda with the 2016 Halifax Summer Opera Festival, and a cross-Canada recital tour with tenor Jan Van der Hooft. Natasha is thrilled to continue her involvement with MYOpera and their incredible roster of young artists. L’Italiana in Algeri is going to be a treat!

Evan Korbut - Taddeo - The Italian Girl in Algiers
Evan Korbut was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. He started his musical training at age 4, and played violin for 13 years. He has appeared in UWOpera’s production of Die Fledermaus as Eisenstein, and La Musica Lirica’s production of La Bohème as Marcello. He performed both Danilo in The Merry Widow and Guglielmo in Così Fan Tutte in UWOpera’s 2012-2013 season, as well as Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia later in 2013, and Dandini in La Cenerentola in association with FIO Americas in Brazil that same year. He then performed in The Rape of Lucretia with MYOpera in its 2016 season, this time singing the role of Junius, and later that year the title role in Opera Northwest’s production of The Marriage of Figaro.

Wesley McKenzie, Lighting Designer - Italian Girl in Algiers
Wesley McKenzie is a Sound, Video and Lighting designer. Previous Credits: Sound for A Line in the Sand (Factory Theatre); Sound and Video for LULU v.4 // but you are not a dead woman (the red light district); Lighting for L’enfance du Christ (Pax Christi Chorale); Sound for Heretic (Soup Can Theatre); Lighting for The Fatal Gaze (University of Toronto Opera); Lighting and Sound for Three Women Mourn the Apocalypse (Old Norman Productions); Video for the marquise of O— (the red light district. Lighting for Barefoot in the Park and Wait until Dark (Classic Theatre Festival); Lighting for Fruit Fruit Mouth Mouth (Illume Collective); Lighting for KATA (Theatre Parallax); Lighting, Sound and Video for Intangible Trappings (Lester Trips); Lighting for I was once on Fire (Little Black Afro); Sound and Video for LULU v.2 // because bad things happen to bad girls (the red light district).

Camille Rogers - Isabella - The Italian Girl in Algiers
Mezzo-soprano Camille Rogers is currently in her second year of a Masters of Music at the University of Toronto. With U of T Opera, Camille has appeared as Mrs Gobineau in The Medium and Moppet in Paul Bunyan. Camille has been the recipient of several major academic awards, including the Alberta Heritage Fund Arts Graduate Scholarship, the Janet Stubbs Graduate Fellowship in Opera, and this year, a Canadian Graduate Scholarship at the Master’s level. In addition to her studies at U of T, Camille has participated in summer workshops such as the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, where she sang the role of Attendant in a workshop of scenes from Purcell’s Fairy Queen, the Vocal Baroque Program at the Orford Arts Centre, and Early Music Vancouver’s Baroque Vocal Programme. This year Camille appears with U of T Opera as Vénus in Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers and as Tirinto in Handel’s Imeneo.

Anna Sharpe - Zulma - The Italian Girl in Algiers
Anna frequently performs with the Theatre of Early Music (TEM) in Canada and abroad. She also recorded with them the Juno-nominated disc Early German Music (Analekta).
Most recently, Anna sang the title role in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the University of Toronto’s (U of T) Schola Cantorum and joined the Opera Atelier chorus for their 2016 production of Lucio Silla. Last year, Anna was featured in a concert alongside renowned early music soprano Dame Emma Kirkby.
Performed roles include Nardil in the U of T original production of Rob Ford: The Opera, Cherubino in Le Nozze Di Figaro, and Hansel in Hansel und Gretel. She also performed in many operas as a part of the U of T; Candide, Lucia di Lammermoor, Hansel und Gretel, Don Giovanni, Amelia al Ballo, Les mamelles de Tirésias, Così fan Tutte, and La Fille du Régiment.

Anna Theodosakis, Stage Director - Italian Girl in Algiers
Anna Theodosakis is a Toronto based director and choreographer originally from Vancouver. Anna has a Masters in Opera Performance from UBC and recently graduated with her Diploma in Operatic Stage Direction from the University of Toronto under the guidance of Michael Albano. This March she directed Opera Laurier’s Les contes d’Hoffmann and was the assistant director for the Glenn Gould Conservatory’s La Cecchina.
2016 directing credits include Muskoka Opera Festival’s Eugene Onegin, Manitoba Underground Opera’s The Magic Flute, Toronto Summer Music Festival’s Rape of Lucretia, and MYOpera’s Rape of Lucretia. Anna was the assistant director for Paul Curran’s Lucretia at The Banff Centre this past summer. She also assistant directed Joel Ivany’s staged Mozart’s Requiem with the TSO. This fall Anna choreographed UofT Opera’s Orphèe aux enfers and teaches the dance classes for the Masters and Diploma opera students. In 2015 Anna had the honour of being the student to direct a UofT Opera main stage opera with The Medium.
Anna is the Resident Stage Director for MYOpera as well as The Canadian Art Song Project. In May she will direct the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble members in a new art song cycle “dawn always begins in the bones” by Ana Sokolovic, commissioned by the COC and Canadian Art Song Project. The premiere will be May 17th at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre as a part of the free noon hour series and it will also be performed May 25th as a part of the 21C Festival. Other upcoming productions include directing L’elisir d’amore at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy as well as assistant directing Tim Albery’s Arabella this fall at the COC.

Jan van der Hooft - Lindoro - The Italian Girl in Algiers
Tenor Jan van der Hooft completed his Masters in Vocal Performance at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in May 2016. He also holds a Bachelor and a Post Baccalaureate from the University of Manitoba, in his home town of Winnipeg. Over the past two and a half years, Mr. van der Hooft has lived and worked in Montreal, where notable performance credits include roles such as Jean-Phillip Rameau’s title character Pygmalion, Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (with Opera McGill Ensemble), and Pedrillo in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail in concert with Compagnie Baroque Mont-Royal. Recently relocated in Toronto, Jan is excited to make his debut as Lindoro with MYOpera, marking his first foray into the Rossini canon.
In the fall Jan will head further west to begin his residency with the Calgary Emerging Artist program for the 2017/18 season.

Peter Warren - Mustafà - The Italian Girl in Algiers
As an aspiring vocal performer, bass-baritone Peter Warren enjoys keeping busy on the operatic stage. He recently made his debut performance of Olin Blitch (Susannah) with Long Reach Summer Workshop in July, and prior to that Leporello (Don Giovanni) with the Toronto Opera Initiative in February. Last summer Peter sang Don Alfonso (Così fan Tutte) at the Centre for Operatic Studies in Italy (COSI) in Sulmona, Italy, where he had also performed the role of Colline (La Bohème) in July 2014. In the spring of 2015, Peter had the privilege of performing the role of Guard no. 3 in the world premiere of Führerbunker by Canadian composer Andrew Ager with the COSI-Connection. Peter had also previously collaborated with Ager in 2014 in his opera Casanova as Count Z. Further operatic credits include Publio (La Clemenza di Tito), Don Pedro (Béatrice et Bénédict), Dick Deadeye (H.M.S. Pinafore), and Achilla (Giulio Cesare).