by Benjamin Britten
April 29 – May 1, 2016
585 Dundas Street East, Toronto
Britten’s first chamber opera, The Rape of Lucretia is a dark and tragic story based on the life of a Roman housewife. The original story, as told by the likes of Ovid, Fasti, and Livy takes place in 509 BC and the events of it are, in part, a catalyst for the founding of the Roman Republic. MYOpera’s production will transplant this story from Ancient Rome to mid-20th century Rome in 1946, as the country prepares for its first election after the terrors of World War II. Regardless of the historical setting, this sombre story resonates clearly in today’s conversations about consent and gendered violence.
Artistic Director – Kate Applin
Stage Director – Anna Theodosakis
Music Director – Natasha Fransblow
Stage Manager – Katherine Belyea
Male Chorus – Daevyd Pepper
Female Chorus – Jonelle Sills
Collatinus – Jacob Feldman
Junius – Evan Korbut
Tarquinius – Nicholas Borg
Lucretia – Christina Campsall
Bianca – Victoria Marshall
Lucia – Anne-Marie MacIntosh
Katherine is delighted to join MYOpera again for this season’s 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.
Nicholas Borg, Baritone recently finished his Masters in Opera at the University of Toronto with Wendy Nielsen. This summer he will perform the title role in Eugene Onegin with The Muskoka Opera Festival. Nicholas had a very busy 2015-2016 season with UofT Opera. He portrayed Ben in The Telephone, as well as Hel Helson in Benjamin Britten’s Paul Bunyan. Nicholas also appeared in The Art of the Prima Donna and The Fatal Gaze. In the 2014-2015 season Nicholas performed the role of Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore and The Man with the Cornet Case in Postcard from Morocco. This past summer Nicholas was a member of the St. Andrews Arts Council Opera Workshop. Other recent roles include Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Curio in Giulio Cesare both with Opera McGill, Count in Le nozze di Figaro with The Halifax Summer Opera Festival and Masetto in Don Giovanni with Opera NUOVA, as well Simone in Gianni Schicchi with Opera on the Avalon.
Mezzo-soprano, Christina Campsall, was praised by SCHMOPERA, “Her sound is focused and rich, and her top is really thrilling especially for a mezzo with a middle voice like hers”, after her performance in Berio’s Folk Songs. OPERA CANADA declared, “The standout was Christina Campsall’s Hélène. She combined a beautiful, dark-toned mezzo with great acting and movement skills”, after her performance as the title role in Offenbach’s La belle Héléne. Christina Campsall most recently performed as Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina, and Elle in Poulenc’s La voix humaine, with The Glenn Gould School. Ms. Campsall has also performed as Laura (Die Freunde von Salamanka), and Lady Essex (Gloriana) with Voicebox: Opera in Concert, Praskovia (The Merry Widow) with Toronto Operetta Theatre, Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) with Toronto Summer Opera Workshop, and Suzanne (La mère coupable) Summer Opera Lyric Theatre.
Alida Doornberg is a recent graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston where she earned her Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance with Academic Honors. Alida was a featured performer in the 2015 Chopin Symposium at the Rivers Conservatory in a historical recreation of a recital programme performed by Chopin in 1832. Alida is looking forward to singing the role of Cornelia in Giulio Cesare this August with the Summer Opera Lyric Theatre of Toronto. Alida has so enjoyed the experience of understudying with MYOpera and hopes to be involved in future projects with this exciting young company.
Jacob Feldman has been praised as a highly promising young baritone. Mentored by Russell Braun, Jacob has had many opportunities to work with some of the finest voices and teachers in classical music today, including: John Relyea, Neal Davies, Christopher Purves, Michael Chance, and Lynne Dawson. He is praised for his mature musical sense and quick learning ability. Jacob has grown through his experiences at musical programs and competitions: including the Siena Summer Music Academy, the Victoria Conservatory Summer Vocal Academy, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. In the 2015/16 season Jacob debuts in his first operatic role with MYOpera as Collatinus in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. Jacob is completing his second year of undergraduate study at the University of Toronto and is currently studying with world-renowned countertenor Daniel Taylor. He is the recipient of multiple scholarships from the faculty including most recently, the Luciano Pavarotti Award.
Fredericton-born pianist Natasha Fransblow is a sought-after recitalist, coach, music director, and répétituer. Over the past two years, she has enthusiastically carved her space in Toronto’s vibrant classical music and opera community. Natasha completed her Masters in collaborative piano at the University of Manitoba, where she held a position as an undergraduate vocal coach, and performed extensively throughout the Winnipeg community. She worked closely with the UofM Opera Theatre Department, and attended Opera Nuova (2013/14), UofM’s Contemporary Opera Lab (2012/13), and The Scotia Festival of Music (2010) as an emerging artist – her first forays into the world of opera, from which she has never looked back! Natasha began music directing with MYOpera in Fall of 2014. The Rape of Lucretia is her third opera with the company, and she has since worked with such companies as Summer Opera Lyric theatre and Toronto Operetta theatre. Natasha looks forward to spending an exciting summer season on the East Coast, touring a recital of Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin with Toronto-based tenor, Jonathan MacArthur, and joining the faculty of the Halifax Summer Opera Festival as they present Handel’s Rodelinda.
Evan Korbut was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. He started his musical training at age 4, and from then 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 is looking forward to once again performing in The Rape of Lucretia with MYOpera, this time as the role of Junius.
Praised by Opera Canada for her “effervescent coloratura,” “stratospheric notes” and “dramatic vivacity,” coloratura soprano Anne-Marie MacIntosh is an exciting new face in Canada’s opera scene. Hailing from Langley, BC, Ms. MacIntosh is currently a Rebanks Family Fellow at the prestigious Glenn Gould School. In 2015, Anne-Marie made her professional debut as Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro at Manitoba Opera. Her other operatic credits include Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), and Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos). She has also had success in many vocal competitions, including the Metropolitan National Council Auditions (Second Place, Upper Midwest Region 2015). A graduate of the University of Manitoba (M.Mus 2014) and the University of British Columbia (B.Mus 2012), Anne-Marie is a student of Monica Whicher and Tracy Dahl. This coming fall, Anne-Marie will be joining Calgary Opera as one of their 2016-2017 Emerging Artists.
Mezzo-soprano Victoria Marshall has been hailed for her “rich and powerful voice,” (Pierre Meunier, La Liberté). Currently based in Toronto, this season she has sung Mrs. Nolan in The Medium, and Moppet in Paul Bunyan with U of T Opera. Victoria was also honoured to create the role of Vashti in the world premiere of the science-fiction opera, The Machine Stops, based on E.M. Forster’s short recent highlights include singing the Madame de la Haltière in Cendrillon (Manitoba Underground Opera), and Cousin Hebe in HMS Pinafore (U of T Opera). Ms. Marshall also has a passion for baroque music and has appeared as a soloist with Winnipeg’s Canzona (B Minor Mass, St. Matthew Passion), and Camerata Nova (Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610). She is currently studying with Wendy Nielsen at the University of Toronto, and has formerly studied with Mel Braun at the University of Manitoba.
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).
Daevyd Pepper is recognized for his soaring lyric voice, engaging stage presence and musical sensitivity, and recently received his BFA in Classical voice from York University studying with Norma Burrowes. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Opera Performance at the University of Toronto directed by Sandra Horst and studying with Dr. Darryl Edwards. Daevyd’s recent concert performances include C.P.E. Bach’s Maginifcat (York University Concert Choir), Carmina Burana (Near North Voices), Mozart’s Requiem (King Edward Choir) and Mozart’s Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento (COSI). Daevyd has recently portrayed Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte (Centre for Opera Studies in Italy) and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni (Toronto Opera Initiative) With U of T Opera: Narcissus in The Fatal Gaze directed by Tim Albery with musical direction by David Fallis and Johnny Inkslinger in Britten’s Paul Bunyan. This summer he will be portraying Lensky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (Chautauqua Muskoka’s Operafest), performing with the Ontario Pops Orchestra and traveling to New York to attend the Chautauqua Institution Voice program.
A native to Burlington, Ontario, Daniel is currently completing his undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Professor Lorna MacDonald. Past performances include Figaro in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, Papageno in Bloomington Opera Workshop’s Die Zauberflöte, Masetto in Opera By Request’s production of Don Giovanni, and most recently Toby in U of T Opera’s The Medium. As the recipient of numerous musical awards including the Walter Homburger Scholarship and the Anna Margaret Wallace & William McCoy Scholarship, Daniel made his professional recital debut this year at the Art and Letters Club and can be seen in recital at Walter Hall on April 30th at the University of Toronto.
Jonelle Sills is currently completing her BFA in Classical Vocal Performance and Bachelor of Education at York University. Jonelle has had the opportunity to sing with the York University Concert Choir as a a soprano soloist in Fanshawe’s African Sanctus and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle. In 2014, she was the winner in York University’s concerto competition. In 2014, she also won first place in the NATS auditions and “Most promising singer”. In the summer of 2015 and 2013 Ms. Sills participated in the Saarburg International Music Festival in Germany. In September 2015, Jonelle sang with Oshawa Opera in their production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica as Cercartrici and Converse. Jonelle is very excited to be working with the MYOpera cast and team as Female Chorus.
Anna Theodosakis completed her Diploma in Operatic Stage Direction at The University of Toronto this spring. In November she had the honour of being the first student director of a University of Toronto Opera mainstage production with The Medium. Past productions with UofT Opera as an assistant director/choreographer include Postcard from Morocco with Michael Cavanagh, HMS Pinafore with Michael Albano, as well as Tim Albery’s Last Days and The Fatal Gaze. In January Theodosakis joined Joel Ivany as assistant director for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s staged Mozart Requiem. This summer Theodosakis will be the assistant director for Paul Curran’s production of The Rape of Lucretia at The Banff Centre. She will also be travelling to Winnipeg to direct Manitoba Underground Opera’s The Magic Flute. Then she will return to Ontario to direct Eugene Onegin for The Muskoka Opera Festival in August.
Alyssa is a multi-faceted musician, originally hailing from Regina, Saskatchewan where she obtained her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Regina in 2010. Later that year she moved to Toronto to further refine her skills as a performer and is currently studying privately with Mark Daboll (University of Toronto). Some of her previous roles include Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Madam Silverklang in The Impressario, and The Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto. Alyssa is also a singer-songwriter and in 2015 she released her first full-length album Home, a collection of folk songs inspired by the prairies. Along with continuing to gig throughout Toronto, Alyssa is also currently a music educator at The Music Embassy in Etobicoke and a member of Florivox Choir. Alyssa is very excited to be a part of the Lucretia team and to work with everyone at MYOpera.