David Stern is Music Director of Israel Opera and Music Director and founder of the Paris-based opera studio and period instrument ensemble, Opera Fuoco. Recent debuts include the Vienna Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Orchestra Haydn Di Bolzano e Trento. Future engagements include reinvitations to the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and Shanghai Symphony. As an operatic conductor David has performed at La Monnaie, Opéra de Lyon, English National Opera, Marseille, Rouen, Strasbourg and St.Gallen, where he was Music Director for four years. With Opera Fuoco, David recorded and toured a fully-staged production of Bach’s Zanaida, which premiered at Bachfest 2011 and received a Classica ‘CHOC’ award for the recording. 2014 sees him conduct newly commissioned work Cosi Fanciulli (prequel to Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte) at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées; composed by Nicolas Bacri with Eric Emmanuel Schmitt and staged by Jean-Yves Ruf.
Belgian director Waut Koeken’s productions include Abduction from the Seraglio (National Opera of the Rhine, Strasbourg), Die Feen (Vienna State Opera), Merry Wives of Windsor (Erfurt Opera), Die Fledermaus (National Opera Strasbourg, Nuremberg Opera), L’Ile de Tulipatan /Bataclan (Vienna Chamber Opera), Bluebeard (Opera Maastricht), La Princesse de Trébizonde (Opera-Theatre Saint-Etienne) and the world creations of La Strada (Flemish Opera) and Der Turm (Grand Théâtre Luxembourg). Waut has created many opera productions for children — Magic Flute has been seen in Antwerp, Brussels, and Luxembourg; his award-winning production of Nino Rota’s Aladin was seen in Antwerp, Luxembourg, Strasbourg and Lausanne, and Snow White was seen in Strasbourg and Paris (Théâtre de L’Athenée) last season. Upcoming — a new version of Bluebeard for the opera houses of Nancy, Nantes, Angers and Rennes, and La Vie Parisienne at the Opéra du Rhin Strasbourg.
Originally from Montreal, Yannik Larivée has worked extensively throughout Canada and Europe. Selected production credits include: Tancredi, Don Giovanni and Renard (Canadian Opera Company), Watch Her, Wolf’s Court and Monument (National Ballet of Canada), Dangerous Liaisons, The Odd Couple, Houdini, Amadeus (Critics Circle Award), I Am My Own Wife and Hedda Gabler (Montreal’s Segal Theatre), Simpl and Interiors (National Arts Centre in Ottawa), Past Perfect, Generous, John & Beatrice and Wild Mouth (Tarragon Theatre), Vida (Royal Alexandra Theatre and Teatro Nacional de Cuba in Havana), One of Three (American Ballet Theater, New York’s Lincoln Centre), Dreamland (Royal Swedish Ballet), Castle Nowhere (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), Die Fledermaus (Nurenberg Staatstheater and Opera National du Rhin), Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail (Opera National du Rhin) and Barbe-Bleue (Opera Zuid in the Netherlands). In 2013 he will design 4:48 Psychosis (Necessary Angel Theatre), Entertaining Mr. Sloan (Soulpepper Theatre Company) and The Flood Thereafter (Canadian Stage).
Bretta is the resident designer at Catalyst Theatre, where she has designed world premieres which have toured to the U.K., Australia, the U.S. and across Canada. Bretta also works at Canadian Stage, The National Arts Centre, Edmonton Opera, Calgary Opera, Theatre Calgary, The Banff Centre, Trinity Laban Conservatoire and The Globe Theatre. She is the recipient of over 20 Sterling Awards, Jessie Richardson Awards, SATA, and Betty Mitchell Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Set, Lighting and Costume Design; The Enbridge Award for Best Emerging Artist; The Global Women of Vision Award; Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40 and was short-listed twice for the Siminovitch Prize.
Serge Bennathan was the artistic director of Toronto’s Dancemakers from 1990 to 2006. He lives in Vancouver where he created Les Productions Figlio and is the recipient of the Rio Tinto Alcan Award 2012 with Elles. Recent creations are Conversations (LPF), Les chercheurs de dieu (Ballet BC), L’éloge du rêve (DansEncorps), Orages (LADMMI), Écriture en silence (SFU), Mémoires 1, 2 et 3 (Sarah Roche and Lise McMillan). Serge’s next projects are an opera dance, The Flight, and a one-man show, Mr. Auburtin. A writer and a painter, he has written and illustrated five books: Julius le piano voyageur, The Other Moon of Mr. Figlio, A Few Thousand Miles, a collection of poems about dance, dancers and the dance of life and recently Not-a-fear/Peurderien. Soon to come is Vent d’Automne. An exhibit of his paintings took place at the French Cultural Centre in Vancouver and at La Petite Cuillere in Montreal in January 2013.
Soprano Maida Hundeling returned to the roles of Senta in Der fliegende Holländer with Opéra de Montréal and Slovenian National Opera, the title role of Jenufa in a return to Slovakian State Theater, Giulietta in Les contes d’Hoffmann at the Estates Theater Prague, and Giorgetta in Il tabarro at the Volksoper Wien in the 2012/13 season. She sings her first performances of the title role of Salome, at the Volksoper Wien and Elsa in Lohengrin in Ostrava in addition to singing a benefit concert in Prague.
This season includes a return to Edmonton Opera, as well as her debut with Houston Grand Opera with a re-engagement in a title role the following season. She is a frequent guest with the Prague State Opera, where she has sung critically acclaimed performances of Senta in Der fliegende Holländer, the title roles of Turandot, Aida and Tosca, Marta in Tiefland, and Amelia in Un ballo in maschera.
Highlights of 2012/13 include Scarpia in Tosca (Portland Opera), Ferrando in Il trovatore in a return to Utah Opera and Brahms’ Ein deutches Requiem (North Carolina Symphony. In 2011/12, Mark Schnaible sang his first performances of Der Wanderer in Siegfried in a return to Den Nye Opera, and returned to Utah Opera for Pizarro in Fidelio. Other recent performances include Orest in Willy Decker’s production of Elektra (Polish National Opera), Escamillo in Carmen (New Orleans Opera and the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra), Four Villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann (Den Nye Opera), Friedrich in the North American stage premiere of Das Liebesverbot and the Count in Le nozze di Figaro (Glimmerglass Opera), Biterolf in Robert Carsen’s production of Tannhäuser (Tokyo Opera Nomori), the title role in Sweeney Todd and Scarpia in Tosca (Shreveport Opera), Mephistofeles in Faust (Shreveport Opera and El Paso Opera) and Jochanaan in Salome in his home state of Iowa (Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre). He is a past winner of the Marseille International Opera Competition.
Internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Mary Phillips is particularly in demand in the repertoire of Wagner, Verdi, Beethoven, and Mahler. Recent appearances have included her acclaimed role debut as Brangaene in Tristan und Isolde for Dallas Opera, and Schwertleite in Wagner's Ring and Mrs. Alexander in Satyagraha for the Metropolitan Opera. She has sung Fricka and Waltraute in Die Walküre and Waltraute in Götterdämmerung (Canadian Opera Company), Erda for Scottish Opera, and Wellgunde and Rossweise with Seattle Opera. Also hailed for her Verdi, she is perhaps best known for her Amneris in Aida, reprised in 2012 for Hawaii Opera Theatre, but she has also sung Eboli in Don Carlo (Canadian Opera Company), and Azucena in Il Trovatore (Seattle Opera, Arizona Opera). Recent concert performances have included Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Baltimore Symphony, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with the Milwaukee Symphony and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Nashville Symphony.
Declared by Opera magazine as “heroically voiced,” Czech tenor Jan Vacik’s recent engagements include Albert Gregor in Makropulos Case, Skuratov in From the House of the Dead, and Laca Klemeň in Jenůfa (Deutsche Oper am Rhein), Aegisth in Elektra (Grand Théâtre de Genève), further performances of Jenůfa (Oper Leipzig, Košice State Theatre), Tichon in Káťa Kabanová (NDM Ostrava, Theater Regensburg); Vítek in Makropulos Case (Teatro Maggio Musicale di Firenze), Yannakos in Martinů’s The Greek Passion (Teatro Massimo di Palermo), Florestan in Fidelio (Teatro alla Scala) and Herod in Salome (National Theatre Prague). Upcoming engagements include a return to NDM Ostrava for Michalek in Smetana’s Čertova stěna.
An alumnus of Calgary Opera's Emerging Artists Development Program, Robert made his mainstage debut as Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor with Calgary Opera. Other credits include Al in The Barber of Barrhead, Sam in Kurt Weill's Street Scene, the Teapot, the Old Man and the Frog in Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges and Bénédict in Berlioz's Béatrice et Bénédict. Recent engagements include Beppe in Pagliacci with Edmonton Opera, Flask and Ahab (cover) in the Canadian première of Moby Dick with Calgary Opera, Jaquino in Fidelio with Edmonton Opera, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Highlands Opera Studio, Macduff in Macbeth with Pacific Opera Victoria and Roderigo in Otello with Calgary Opera. Robert was also the cover for Charlie in Pacific Opera Victoria's world première of Mary's Wedding.
Elizabeth Turnbull's varied credits include appearances with major orchestras and opera companies across North America. Recent operatic performances include Ljubica in the European and Canadian tours of Svadba, Zita in Gianni Schicchi (Calgary Opera), Olga in Eugene Onegin (Opera Lyra Ottawa), Emilia in Otello (Dallas, Edmonton) and Ruth in Calgary Opera's new summer opera festival. Concert perfomances have included Verdi's Requiem (Edmonton), Das Lied von der Erde (Edmonton, Victoria and London), Mozart's Requiem (Vancouver), Messiah (National Arts Centre) and Bach's St. Matthew Passion (Edmonton). Elizabeth teaches at the University of Alberta, where she has been part of the voice faculty for five years.
A native of Joliette, Quebec, bass-baritone Bertrand Malo graduated from McGill University in 2003 with a bachelor of music in voice performance. In 1999, he won the first prize in his category at the National Association of Teacher of Singing (NATS) competition in Potsdam, New York. He performed for companies such as Opera McGill, Edmonton Opera and Opera Rimouski (Quebec), and with various ensembles and orchestras. He sang in several productions such as Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Christopher Sly, Don Giovanni, Fidelio and Le Nozze di Figaro. In the concert arena, he appeared as a guest soloist in performances such as Seven Last Words of Christ by T. Dubois, Canada/France national anthems at Brive La Gaillarde (France), Requiem by G. Fauré and at the Vermont International Opera Festival (VIOF) galas. His last appearance with the Edmonton Opera was at Opera al Fresco in June 2013.
Tenor Adam Luther recently completed his tenure as a member of the Canadian Opera Company Studio Ensemble where he performed many mainstage roles to great critical and audience acclaim. Recent performances at the COC: Steuermann (Die fliegende Holländer), Sailor (Tristan und Isolde), Gherardo (Gianni Schicchi), Arbace (Idomeneo), Jaquino (Fidelio) and Lysander (Midsummer Night’s Dream). Other appearances: Anatol in Vanessa (Pacific Opera Victoria), Don José in Carmen (Saskatoon Opera) and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus (Toronto Operetta). He received his bachelor of music degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as a diploma in opera from both Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto.
Canadian tenor John Kriter last appeared with Edmonton Opera as Goro in 2004. His numerous roles with the Canadian Opera Company include Goro, Spoletta in Tosca, Borsa in Rigoletto, Hotel Porter in Death in Venice, Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor, Emperor Altoum in Turandot, Old Convict in From the House of the Dead, Bardolfo in Falstaff, Reverend Horace Adams in Peter Grimes, Red Whiskers in Billy Budd, Nick in La fanciulla del West, Ringmaster in The Bartered Bride, Tanzmeister in Ariadne auf Naxos, Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi and Don Basilio/Don Curzio in The Marriage of Figaro. Other credits include Don Basilio/Don Curzio (Calgary Opera); Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus (Opera Hamilton); the Witch in Hansel and Gretel (Opera Division, University of Toronto); Mr. Snarlygob in The Midnight Court (Queen of Puddings Music Theatre – Toronto and Linbury Theatre, Covent Garden); and, Princess Zebra in The Mummers’ Masque (Toronto Masque Theatre).
Michael Barrett is a former member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio. Recent roles with the COC include Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte, High Priest of Neptune in Idomeneo, El Remendado in Carmen, Lieutenant Bonnet and Aide de Comp to General Compans in War and Peace, First Prisoner in Fidelio, the Gamekeeper in Rusalka, Captain of Archers in Simon Boccanegra, Parpignol in La Bohème, Snout in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ferrando in the Ensemble Studio production of Così fan tutte.
Roles with the University of Toronto Opera School included Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), Male Chorus (Rape of Lucretia) and Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus). Michael regularly appears with the Aldeburgh Connection, where he performed in Our Story for the 25th anniversary celebrations. Other recent performances include Hansel and Gretel (COC touring production), Taptoo! (Toronto Operetta Theatre), Messiah (Newfoundland Symphony), Spalanzani (Les Contes d’Hoffmann, COC), Quint (Turn of the Screw, Against the Grain), Spalanzani and Nathanael (Tales of Hoffmann, Edmonton Opera), and Salome, Dialogues of the Carmelites and Hansel and Gretel (COC).
Tenor Michael Marino is a London, Ont., native who recently finished his residency as an Emerging Artist with Calgary Opera and is thrilled to be joining Edmonton Opera for their production of Salome. He received his master’s in performance and literature at the University of Western Ontario where he studied with Canadian baritone Theodore Baerg. His most recent performances include the role of Rinuccio in Pucinni's Gianni Schicchi with the COSI summer training program in Sulmona, Italy, and his participation in the scenes program at Wendy Nielsen's St. Andrews By the Sea intensive training program in New Brunswick. Last season Michael had the pleasure of performing the roles of Gonzalve in L'Heure Espagnole and Gastone in La Traviata (Calgary Opera). Other past roles include Fenton (Falstaff), Lurcanio (Ariodante), Tamino (Magic Flute), Rodolfo (La Bohème), Romeo (Roméo et Juliette), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Davey Palmer (Siren Song) and Sam Kaplan (Street Scene).
Branch Fields, who has been described as "a bass of resonant richness," and declared by the New York Times to be "a gifted young bass," recently was chosen to understudy the role of Emile de Becque in South Pacific at the Lincoln Center Theater, a Bartlett Sher directed production which has won seven Tony Awards. His roles at New York City Opera have included Angelotti in Tosca, Major Domo in Vanessa and Zuniga in Carmen. Earlier this season he returned to the role of Emile de Becque in South Pacific with the famous Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine as well as the role of Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte with Intermountain Opera. Recent roles performed include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte with Opera on the James, Friar Laurence in Roméo et Juliette with Intermountain Opera, Mephistopheles in Faust with Opera Fort Collins and Man 3 in the world premiere of The Blind with American Opera Projects.
German-born and Calgary-based bass-baritone Uwe Dambruch has performed with Frankfurt Opera, Deutsche Oper am Rhein Duesseldorf, Zurich, Hannover, Karlsruhe, Bayreuth Festival, Taiwan Symphony, Vancouver Opera, Calgary Opera, Edmonton Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Hamilton, North Carolina Opera Company, Florentine Opera in Milwaukee and Alberta Ballet, and sang Wagnerian excerpts in the Cannes award-wining film Wahnfried. His repertoire includes Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Don Basilio (The Barber of Seville), Sarastro (The Magic Flute), Timur (Turandot), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Ramfis (Aida), Mephistopheles (Faust), Daland (The Flying Dutchman) and many others.
In the 2012/13 season, baritone Justin Welsh was heard in Faure’s Requiem (Regina Philharmonic), Messiah (Orchestra London and Ontario Philharmonic) and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Winnipeg Symphony). This season he will play Frazier in Porgy and Bess (Opéra de Montréal) and the title role in The Marriage of Figaro (Pacific Opera Victoria). His 2011/12 season was highlighted by the role of Queegueg in the Canadian premiere of Moby Dick (Calgary Opera). He also performed for Brott Summer Music, the Banff Centre, Toronto’s Talisker Players, the Mississauga Choral Society and with the Guelph Chamber Choir. Justin is a former member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio and an alumnus of young artist programs in the Czech Republic, Germany and with Pacific Opera Victoria and Opera Nuova. A Tanglewood Summer Institute fellow, he has also appeared with Tapestry New Opera and Regina Symphony, and toured with Jeunesses Musicales du Canada and Stravinsky’s Nightingale (COC). His awards include first place in the Kurt Weil Competition and an encouragement award from the Louis and Cristina Quilico completion. He holds a master’s of music from UBC.