Hänsel & Gretel

April 25-27, 2014

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

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Creative Team

Artistic Director – Kate Applin
Stage Director – Alison Wong
Music Director – Blair Salter


Hänsel – Lyndsay Promane
Gretel – Kate Applin
The Mother – Kelsey Vicary
The Father – Peter Bass
Sandman – Karine White
The Dew Fairy – Alexandra Smither
The Witch – Stephanie Tritchew

K. Applin
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. She continues private studies in Toronto with Joel Katz. Kate has trained at programs such as Opera on the Avalon, Opera NUOVA, the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, and the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop. Some favourite roles include Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Soeur Constance (Dialogues des Carmélites), Héro (Béatrice et Bénédict), and Anne Egerman (A Little Night Music). 

Kate’s love of opera and the vocal arts reaches beyond performing. In 2010, at the age of 23, she founded Metro Youth Opera, a new opera company designed to create viable development opportunities for young artists in all fields related to the world of opera: singers, stage directors, music directors, and more. In addition to her roles as Founder, Artistic Director, and President of the company, she has performed with the company as Despina in Così fan tutte in 2011, Adina in The Elixir of Love in  2012, and Serpina in La serva padrona in 2013.

P. Bass
Baritone Peter Bass is thrilled to be taking part in this super fun show! Originally from Edmonton, he completed his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at the University of Toronto (2013). Prior to that, he was an actor in western Canada, having completed a Theatre Arts program in Edmonton.

Peter’s recently performed roles include the title role in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (2013). Other roles include Sid in Albert Herring and the Perückenmacher in Ariadne Auf Naxos, Peter Quince in A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and multiple roles in A Brother’s Grimm. Some upcoming roles include Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, Schaunard in La Bohème, and Achilla in Giulio Cesare.

In 2013, Peter received the Douglas Bodle-St. Andrew’s Award: “awarded to a student…from the Performance program in Voice, has the strongest potential in the area of Oratorio and concert repertoire.” Peter has performed Fauré’s and Mozart’s Requiems along with oratorio selections such as Britten’s War Requiem, Dvorak’s Requiem, Saint-Saens’ Oratorio de Noël, Handel’s Messiah, and Mendelssohn’s Paulus and Elijah.

L. Promane NewMezzo-soprano Lyndsay Promane began her classical voice training with Irene Ilic in September 2008. From there, Lyndsay has participated in several voice masterclasses including Professor Edith Wiens, soprano Mary Lou Fallis, mezzo-soprano Laura Tucker, and, most recently, Canadian vocal coach Stuart Hamilton.

Lyndsay is currently finishing a Bachelor of Music degree in classical voice performance at the University of Toronto. Most recently, Lyndsay made her debut with Opera Atelier in their fall production of Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio with the Tafelmusik orchestra under the baton of David Fallis. In University of Toronto’s 2013-2014 season, Lyndsay sang in the chorus in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale under the direction of Michael Albano and Sandra Horst.

Lyndsay currently studies under the tutelage of Canadian mezzo-soprano Jean MacPhail. She is looking forward to singing the title role in Metro Youth Opera’s production of Humperdinck’s Hänsel and Gretel in April 2014.

B. Salter
Originally from St. Catharines, Blair Salter is currently based in Toronto as a collaborative pianist. Blair completed her Master of Music in collaborative piano with John Hess at the University of Western Ontario, where she worked as a freelance vocal coach and accompanist. In 2009, she was honoured to perform as a soloist with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra and was invited to appear again with the NSO in 2011, performing under the baton of Maestro Uri Mayer. Blair was a pianist with the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy in 2009 and 2010, La Musica Lirica in Italy in 2011, and Opera NUOVA in 2011 and 2012.

Blair works as a freelance vocal coach at the University of Toronto. She has worked as a pianist with Toronto Opera Repertoire and as a music director with the Hallifax Summer Opera Workshop. In the summer of 2014, Blair will be traveling to San Francisco to participate as an Apprentice Coach with the Merola Opera Program.

A. SmitherCanadian soprano Alexandra Smither made her role debut as Valancienne in Opera York’s 2013 production of The Merry Widow and her orchestral debut with Orchestra London in 2011. More recently, Alexandra has performed in the concert “Songs of Enchantment: A Britten Celebration” at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto and as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the King’s College University Choir.

An accomplished art song singer, Alexandra recently stepped in for an ailing performer at the 2013 Debut Series of the Prince Edward County Music Festival. Additionally she was named a 2013 Colburn Fellow at Songfest, a festival of art song in Los Angeles, CA. She also placed second in the 2012 National Music Festival of Canada Voice Competition, and received the “Spirit Award”.

Alexandra is currently in her final year of the Bachelor of Music of Voice Performance program at the University of Toronto where she studies with Elizabeth McDonald. Alexandra is thrilled to make her Metro Youth Opera debut as the Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel!

S. Tritchew
Stephanie Tritchew is a mezzo soprano in her second year of the Opera Diploma program at the University of Toronto, under the tutelage of Canadian soprano, Wendy Nielsen. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Honours Performance and a Masters of Music in Performance and Literature from The University of Western Ontario. Past roles include Mrs. Grose in Turn of the Screw (UofT Opera), Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro (Centre for Opera Studies in Italy), Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus (UWOpera), Mère Marie de l’incarnation in Dialogues des carmélites (Accademia Europea Dell’Opera) and Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro (UWOpera). Stephanie’s concert performances include soloist positions in Handel’s Messiah, and Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, and she has also been featured in concert with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. Stephanie recently had the opportunity to work with Tapestry New Opera Works in workshopping scenes from a new opera, Hover, by Benton Roark and participating in the Tapestry101 Songbook concert. This season, Stephanie has also been named a Sidgwick Scholar with the Orpheus Choir, conducted by Robert Cooper. She is looking forward to her role as Nancy in UofT Opera’s upcoming production of Albert Herring in March and is excited to compete in the semi finals of the Eckhardt-Gramatté competition this May. Stephanie is so excited to portray the Witch in MYOpera’s production of Hänsel und Gretel!

K. VicaryOntario-born soprano Kelsey Vicary is a young performer praised for her unique vocal timbre and impressive musicality. She recently completed a Master of Music degree from Western University under the instruction of Ms. Christiane Riel. In the upcoming season, she will appear in concert with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra as Micaela in Carmen, and with Opera on the Avalon as Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She is a past finalist in the COC Ensemble competition, the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra competition, and a winner of the Grand River Chorus’ Spotlight on Youth competition where she recently performed a gala concert under the baton of Richard Cunningham.

In February 2013, Ms. Vicary sang the role of Fiordiligi in UWOpera’s production of Così fan tutte under the baton of Maestro Alain Trudel.  Her other roles include Mimi in La Bohème with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, Micaela in Carmen at the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, the title role in L’incoronazione di Poppea with UWOpera as well as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro during the inaugural year of the Accademia Europa dell’Opera (AEDO).  She currently studies in Toronto with Ms. Nathalie Paulin.

K. WhiteSoprano Karine White is a student of Nathalie Paulin in the Diploma of Operatic Performance program at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about the performing arts and enjoys studying music, drama and dance. Recent role credits include Adele in Die Fledermaus and Gianetta in L’elisir d’amore. Karine is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a Masters in Performance and Literature. She has been awarded the prestigious Silver medal with the Royal Conservatory of Music and has received First Class Honours with Distinction for her Associate Performer exam with Conservatory Canada. Karine has travelled to Europe where she attended the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy and performed the role of Soeur Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites with Accademia Europea dell’Opera. She will be seen in the role of Emmie with U of T Opera’s Albert Herring, commemorating 50 Operatic years in the MacMillan Theatre. As the winner of the London Kiwanis Rose Bowl competition, Karine is thrilled to be performing with Orchestra London in 2014.

Alison Wong ThumbnailDriven 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 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. Her recent credits include directing Metro Youth Opera’s Triple Bill and L’elisir d’amore and performing in Pelleas et Melisande for 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. She is currently developing a staged adaptation of Canadian composer Claude Vivier’s Love Songs for presentation in Toronto.