Judith Yan is a Canadian conductor, born in Hong Kong. Equally adept at conducting opera, ballet, and symphony, her career has taken her internationally, conducting for major companies in Germany, Poland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. She has held Staff Conductor positions at the San Francisco Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, and the National Ballet of Canada. 2017/18 season includes a revival of An American Dream for Seattle Opera, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel for GSO, Tosca and Dead Man Walking for Opera on the Avalon, Le Corsaire for Hong Kong Ballet, and Giselle for Korean National Ballet. She looks forward to a 2018/19 season that includes debuts with Edmonton Opera (La Traviata) and Vancouver Opera (La Boheme), Estacio’s Ours at the National Arts Centre and Opera on the Avalon, and a return to West Australian Ballet for the world-premiere of Krzysztof Pastor’s Dracula and La Bayadère.
Director Alain Gauthier
Regarded by critics as a sure bet in today’s opera scene, stage director Alain Gauthier is continuing to make his mark in north-American opera houses. Collaborating regularly with the Opéra de Montréal, Alain Gauthier has staged a number of important works of the repertoire, including L’Étoile, Suor Angelica, Il tabarro, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Pagliacci/Gianni Schicchi, Faust, Dead Man Walking, Samson et Dalila and Elektra. He has also worked with Calgary Opera, Minnesota Opera, New York City Opera, and Cincinnati Opera. In April 2018, he will create a new production of La Traviata at Manitoba Opera that will also be presented in four other Canadian opera companies, including Edmonton Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria, over the next three years.
Production Designer Christina Poddubiuk
Violetta Laquita Mitchell
Soprano Laquita Mitchell consistently earns acclaim in eminent opera companies throughout North America and Europe. Already in her young career, she has led performances with the Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Opéra Comique in Paris, among many others. The New York Times praised her portrayal of Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata in New York City Opera’s production, saying “Ms. Mitchell’s voice is rich, shimmering and sizable, her singing was tender and expressive”. She is thrilled to make her Canadian debut in Edmonton Opera's La Traviata this fall.
Alfredo Jason Bridges
Tenor Jason Bridges has been seen in opera houses and concert halls throughout Europe and the United States. Recent and upcoming engagements include the Welsh National Opera (Lensky in Eugene Onegin), Wiener Staatsoper (Froh in Das Rheingold), Dutch National Opera (Andres in Wozzeck), and the Israeli Opera (Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni). Notable operatic roles include the title roles in both Candide and Albert Herring, Gernando in Haydn’s Isola Disabitata, Ferrando in Così Fan Tutte, Pylade in Iphigénie en Tauride, Renaud in Armide, Tamino in an adaptation of The Magic Flute, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Hussar in Stravinsky’s Mavra, Alfredo in La Traviata, Tybalt in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette, Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon, Nemorino in The Elixir of Love, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Lyonel in Martha, Prince Sou-Chong in The Land of Smiles, and as Cyrille in the world premiere of Phillipe Boesmans’ opera Yvonne, Princess de Bourgogne. Most recently, Jason created the role of Lorenzo in the world premiere of The Merchant of Veniceby André Tchaikowsky for the Bregenzer Festspiele.
Germont James Westman
Baritone James Westman’s recent engagements include the Doctor in Barber’s Vanessa (Wexford Festival), Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor (Utah Opera), as well as Sir John A MacDonald in Somers’ Louis Riel (Canadian Opera Company/National Arts Centre/Opéra de Québec), celebrating Canada’s Sesquicentennial Year. Last season, Mr. Westman sang Germont in La Traviata (COC), Brahms’ Requiem (National Arts Centre Orchestra and Vancouver Symphony), Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Calgary Symphony), Bach’s B Minor Mass (Kitchener Grand Philharmonic Choir), Carmina Burana (Okanagan Symphony), Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (Brott Festival), Messiah (McGill Chamber Orchestra), and Germont in La Traviata (Orchestre Symphonique Trois-Rivières) During the 2014 – 2015 season he was featured as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly (Utah Opera), Lt. Gordon in Puts’ Silent Night (Calgary Opera), Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor (Pacific Opera Victoria), the Count in Le nozze di Figaro (Opera Lyra Ottawa), Baron Scarpia in Tosca (Opéra de Québec) and on the concert stage, Messiah (New York Philharmonic) and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri (Vancouver Symphony).
Annina Cara McLeod
Cara Lianne McLeod is a Canadian soprano praised for her "enviable clarity of tone" (Opera Canada), and is recognized as a vibrant and generous artist both on and off stage. Ms. McLeod recently received critical acclaim as Berta in The Barber of Seville with Edmonton Opera, with whom she made her company debut in the role of High Priestess in Aida. Other credits include Nedda in Pagliacci, Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro and Micaëla in Carmen with Mercury Opera, Calgary Concert Opera, Vancouver Island Opera and Operafestival di Roma. Ms. McLeod has appeared as a featured soloist with Vancouver Island Opera, Red Deer Symphony, Edmonton Youth Orchestra, Calgary Concert Opera Company, and on numerous occasions with Alberta Symphony Orchestra, led by Emilio De Mercato.
Gastone James McLennan
An alumnus of the Montreal Opera’s Atelier Lyrique, James McLennan has been celebrated for his "strong yet pure tenor” in a career encompassing over 25 roles. Also an alumnus of Toronto's famed Second City improv group, his lovesick protagonists, quirky villains and comical sidekicks have been winning over audiences from coast to coast. Recently: Young Bilodeau in Les Feluettes (Opéra de Montréal, Pacific Opera Victoria, Edmonton Opera), Pang in Turandot, Almaviva in Barber of Seville and Triquet in Eugene Onegin (Edmonton Opera), Caius in Falstaff (Opéra de Montréal), and Bardolfo in Falstaff (Mantioba Opera).
Flora Beste Kalender
Mezzo-soprano Beste Kalender's first appearance at Carnegie Hall was in 2017 as part of the Spotlight Recital Series. She returned to Carnegie Hall in 2018 for the Marilyn Horne Song Celebration, along with internationally celebrated artists such as Isabel Leonard, Nicole Cabell, and Lester Lynch. Beste was featured as The New Artist of The Month by the Musical America Worldwide. She has recently made her Russia debut with Helikon Opera, and also performed at the Bolshoi Theatre in Minsk. Beste is a recipient of the 2015 & 2017 Canada Council for The Arts Grant for Professional Musicians, the winner of the 2016 Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award, and the 2017 inaugural Stuart Hamilton Memorial Award. Beste’s repertoire includes roles, such as Jade Boucher & Mrs. Patrick DeRocher (Dead Man Walking, Opera On The Avalon), Zerlina (Don Giovanni, Amici Chamber Ensemble), Bianca (The Rape of Lucretia, Banff Centre & Against The Grain Theatre & Canadian Opera Company), Giovanna (Rigoletto, Teatro Comunale di Bologna), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel, CoOPERAtive Program at Westminster), Cenerentola (La Cenerentola, Music Academy of The West), Mercedes (Carmen, Music Academy of The West), Carmen (Carmen, Calgary Opera) and Boy Fox (The Cunning Little Vixen, Glenn Gould School Opera-GGS).
Marcheses d'Obigny Aaron Dimoff
Ontario born Bass-Baritone Aaron Dimoff has gained a reputation as a versatile, powerhouse vocalist across western Canada and beyond. After studying with renowned Canadian baritones Kevin McMillan and Ted Baerg at the University of Western Ontario, and earning his Masters degree in Music, Aaron was offered a position with the Calgary Opera Emerging Artists in 2013. Aaron has since been rising in demand while keeping regular appearances with his home company, Calgary Opera. Recently, he had engagements with both Edmonton Opera and Calgary Opera, in their productions of Elektra and Turandot respectively. Concert appearances include the Mozart Requiem with the Bow Valley Chorus, and the Durufle Requiem with the Calgary Bach Society.
Dr. Grenvil Giles Tomkins
Bass-baritone Giles Tomkins is recognized as one of Canada’s most versatile singers, widely praised for his vocal virtuosity and lyricism in an impressive range of repertoire. Operatic highlights for Giles include Timur (Turandot), Tutor (Elektra), andRaimondo (Lucia diLammermoor) with Edmonton Opera, Colline (La Boheme) with Manitoba Opera and Don Basilio (Barber of Seville) with Pacific Opera Victoria. Last summer, Giles portrayed Gandalf in the Canadian Childrens’ Opera Company performances of Dean Burry’s The Hobbit and in the spring debuted with Canadian Opera Company as Sciarrone in Puccini’s Tosca.
Baron Duphol Justin Welsh
The burgeoning career of British Columbia baritone Justin Welshwas given new impetus by his recent success as Crown in Porgy and Bess. Queegueg in the Canadian premiere of Moby Dick for Calgary Opera was another career highlight, praised by the Calgary Herald’s Kenneth Delong, who noted “Justin Welsh brings a finely drawn vocal technique to the part, his voice beautiful throughout the register. Dramatically, too, Welsh’s role was exceptionally well-realized, a major accomplishment as a singing actor.” He has also been recently heard as Marcello in La bohème for l’Opéra de Montréal and Papageno In The Magic Flute and Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro for Pacific Opera Victoria. Of particular note was Vivier’s Music für das Ende produced by Soundstreams with upcoming performances in Toronto and he was also heard in Against the Grain’s on-going project, Bound.
This coming season, he looks forward to a variety of repertoire beginning with Baron Duphol in La traviata for Edmonton Opera followed by Verdi’s Requiem for the Okanagan Symphony, Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors for Calgary Opera, Soundstreams’ Electric Messiah, Schubert’s Fierabras for VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert, an Opera Gala for Niagara Symphony and the World Premiere of Barbara Croall’s miziwie (everywhere) for Pax Christi Chorale at Koerner Hall.
Lighting Designer Kevin Lamotte
Kevin has created lighting designs for opera, theatre and dance companies across Canada and internationally. Recent credits include La Traviata (Manitoba Opera); La Bohème (Pacific Opera Victoria); Mythos (with Stephen Fry), The Magician’s Nephew, Henry V, The Baroness and the Pig, (Shaw Festival); Waiting for Godot (Soulpepper); John (Canadian Stage). He has been awarded many times including Ontario’s Pauline McGibbon Award and Toronto’s Dora Mavor Moore Award. Kevin is the Lighting Design Director for the Shaw Festival and a member of the Associated Designers of Canada.