Angus Kellett is a freelance pianist and music director working primarily in opera and musical theatre. Recent music directing credits include Il barbiere di Siviglia, Carmen, and La bohème (Burnaby Lyric Opera), City of Angels (Putting It Together Collective), Songs for a New World (Fabulist Theatre), and Into the Woods (Fighting Chance Productions). As a keyboardist Angus has performed in Wicked and The Book of Mormon (Broadway Across Canada), Mary Poppins, Les Misérables, and Beauty and the Beast (Arts Club), West Side Story (Theatre Under the Stars), Rent (Fighting Chance Produductions), and Annie, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Wizard of Oz (Gateway Theatre). With Vancouver Opera, Angus has worked as a répétiteur on nearly 20 productions and was the chorus director for their 2016 production of Hansel and Gretel.
Jeanine Fynn is an active director in the Vancouver opera scene who is known for putting twists on traditional works. Trained as a singer and performer, her imagination, experience and expertise are assets to every production she helms. A proponent of Opera as entertainment for all, Jeanine was founding Artistic Director of DragonDiva Operatic Theatre which premiered in 2007 and closed its doors after a triumphant run in the Summer of 2014. The award-winning non-profit company produced semi-professional shows across the lower mainland, giving performance opportunities to young professionals, post-secondary students, and community members. Jeanine is the founding Curator/Director for the viral photography project Fez on a Chaise as part of her ongoing commitment to community engagement. She is also a proud member of Vancouver Opera’s professional chorus, and can be seen in this season’s upcoming production of Requiem for a Lost Girl.
Nichole Annis, Soprano
Soprano Nichole Annis’s “solo singing generated plenty of excitement” (Ken Keuffeul Winston-Salem Journal) in her portrayal of The Princess in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute’s presentation of Dvorjak’s The Devil and Kate. She has also performed Zenobia in Handel’s Radismisto, Mrs. Webb in the Southeastern premier of Ned Rorem’s Our Town and Mrs. Murrant in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene at the University of North Carolina School of Music A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute. Her operatic credits include Brünnhilde in Die Walküre and Venus in Tannhäuser with Heroic Opera, Turandot (cover) in Turandot, Chamber Maid in Turandot, Leonra (cover) in Il Trovatore, and Rosealinde (cover) in Die Fledermaus with Piedmont Opera.
Sarah Templeton, Soprano
Sarah Templeton is a dynamic Vancouver-based soprano, noted for her rich, dark voice and dramatic intensity. Her recent portrayal of Amelia in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera was reviewed as “…a force of nature,” displaying “both elegance and vulnerability” (Review Vancouver). She has appeared as Sieglinde in Die Walküre, Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, Wellgunde in Das Rheingold, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Angelica in Suor Angelica, Gertrude in Hänsel und Gretel, Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Cio-cio San in Madama Butterfly, and the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Recent concert engagements include Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder and Saint-Saëns’ Requiem. In the summer of 2016, Sarah was awarded a prestigious Canada Council for the Arts Individual Grant for Professional Musicians, which she used to study the repertoire of Wagner in Germany.
Melissa Ratcliff, Mezzo-Soprano
Reviewed as having “a voice so pure and clear, I can only describe it as crystalline“, Mezzo-Soprano Melissa studied music at the University of Alberta before moving to Vancouver. Recent appearances include her Wagnerian premiere as Rossweisse in Die Walküre with Heroic Opera, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with the North Shore Light Opera Society, Griselda in Alma with East Van Opera, Houdini’s Mother in Ragtime with Fighting Chance Productions, Lt. Commander Joanne Galloway in A Few Good Men and Judge Group in Miracle on 34th Street with Theatre in the Country, and Cio Cio San’s Aunt in Madama Butterfly with Burnaby Lyric Opera. Melissa has performed regularly with the Vancouver Bach Choir, Burnaby Lyric Opera, Opera Opulenza, Chilliwack Opera and others.
Larz Klotz, Bass-Baritone
Following his operatic debut as Sarastro, Lars has been challenged, (chronologically) and blessed with roles such as Olin Blitch in Carlyle Floyd’s “Susannah”, numerous scene studies as Leporello and Il Commendatore in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni, Rocco in Beethoven’s “Fidelio” and others. Following his first title role as Gianni Schicchi, Lars was pleased to plunge back into Mozart as the vindictive Dr. Bartolo in “The Marriage of Figaro” with DragonDiva, before returning to “The Magic Flute” once again as Sarastro. After a brief baroque stint as the bumbling Umberto in “La Serva Padrona”, Lars recently took his rightful place at the head of the Norse pantheon as Wotan in Heroic Opera’s production of “Die Walküre”. The comic Baron Zeta in “The Merry Widow”, as well as the murderous Jud Fry in “Oklahoma!” are also among the roles Lars has enjoyed. Lars is privileged to study privately with David Meek in Vancouver. Many thanks are due for the support, wisdom and knowledge necessary on this journey. So to Everyone: Thank you for everything. Vancouver.
David Gibbons, Tenor
David Gibbons has already established himself as a unique Canadian talent, including awards with the Metropolitan Opera, the Alberta Festival for the Performing Arts, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. David has also appeared as a Canadian Opera Company finalist and studied with the Met in Southern California. He received his Bachelor of Music with Distinction from the Vancouver Academy of Music in 2010. His stage credits include Eisenstein from Die Fledermaus, the title role of Albert Herring, and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. David has sung heroic tenor roles in many operatic excerpts including scenes from Ariadne auf Naxos, Lohengrin, Der Fliegende Holländer, Aida, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Giuditta. He has appeared in concerts in both North America and Europe. In 2017, he appeared as Don Jose in Burnaby Lyric Opera’s production of Bizet’s Carmen and as Siegmund in Heroic Opera’s production of Die Walküre.
Moriah Wax, Mezzo-Soprano
Moriah Wax is originally from Los Angeles, CA. She recently completed her MMUS in Opera
Performance at The University of British Columbia after completing her BMUS in Vocal Arts at The University of Southern California. She is currently a student of Leah Field, and has previously studied with J Patrick Raftery, Heather Thompson-Price, Gary Glaze, Gail Gordon, Roelof Oostwoud, and Edette Gagne. She has also performed for many years with groups such as Vancouver Opera, The USC Thornton Opera Ensemble, The UBC Opera Ensemble, The Lee Strasberg Theater in Hollywood, Musiktheater Bavaria, Operafestival di Roma, The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of UBC, The North Shore Light Opera Society, Heroic Opera, and The Westben Arts Festival Theatre. Previous roles include Waltraute (Die Walkure) Fillipyevna (Eugene Onegin), Mother (The Consul), Hippolyta (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Cornelia (Giulio Cesare), Agricola (Eine Nacht in Venedig), Lady Toodle (The English Cat), Nutrice (L’Incoronazione di Poppea), Florence Pike (Albert Herring), Mad Margaret (Ruddigore), Suor Osmina (Suor Angelica), and Mother Gerald (Dialogue of the Carmelites), as well as Ensemble for Turandot, Manon, Il Viaggio a Reims, The Tempest, Cosi fan tutte, Cendrillon, Don Giovanni, Louis Riel, Suor Angelica, Hansel and Gretel, Falstaff, and The Mikado. Currently, she is preparing to perform Jack’s Mother in Into The Woods with North Shore Light Opera, and The Witch in Hansel and Gretel with
Nadine Cornelius, Mezzo-Soprano
Nadine Cornelius was born and raised in South Africa where she was involved in music from a very young age. She sang with the South African National Youth Choir and toured all over Africa, recording and performing in chamber concerts and competitions. She has performed with many renowned South African artists including Lebo M, The Drakensburg boys choir and Ladysmith Black Mamboza. It was only when she moved to Canada that she started studying opera under world renowned dramatic soprano, Frances Ginzer, and went on to sing with the Calgary Opera Chorus for many years. Title roles include “Maurya” in Riders to the Sea and the “Old Maid” in Menotti’s Old Maid and theThief with Mount Royal University, as well as small main stage roles with Calgary Opera during her time with the chorus. Most recently Nadine appeared in Heroic Opera and Opera Mariposa’s production of Un Ballo in Maschera, and also sings throughout the year with Opera Opulenza and Burnaby Lyric Opera.
Carole Bertho, Mezzo-Soprano
Carole Bertho completed her music studies at the Université Paul Valéry III in Montpellier, France, and at the age of 26, was awarded her Ph.D., with distinction. Simultaneously, she studied vocal performance at the Opera of Montpellier and at the national conservatories of Paris, Montpellier, Saint-Etienne, and Clermont-Ferrand. She is a recipient of the SACEM national award for excellence in musical analysis. Carole made her operatic debut in 2001 with the Montpellier Opera under the direction of Vladimir Kojoukharov. She has performed numerous concerts: with the Minsk Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Michel Cardon, with the Ochestre du Capitol de Toulouse directed by Michel Plasson, with the India Galante directed by Vincent de Meester, with the Adelphi Symphony Orchestra directed by Christopher Lyndon-Gee. She has also performed several recitals in Europe and in Japan.
Hayley Crittenden, Soprano
Originally from Vancouver, Hayley is a graduate of the University of Victoria’s Bachelor of Music Program. She then went on to complete her Artist Diploma in Opera Performance at the Vancouver Academy of Music. Hayley sang with Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist studio in 2008, touring Alberta in an English production of Rossini’s Barber of Seville. In 2012, Hayley was a winner of the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques competition in Montreal. She has sung Fiordiligi in both Germany and Canada with Lyric Opera Studio Weimar and Capital City Opera in Ottawa. She appeared in Heroic Opera’s 2017 production of Die Walküre as Ortlinde. Other credits include Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges, Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, as well as various excerpts from operas such as Romeo et Juliette, La Boheme, La Traviata, Faust, and Carmen.
Kallie Clayton, Soprano
Soprano Kallie Clayton holds a Master of Music in Opera from UBC where she studied under the tutelage of tenor J. Patrick Raftery. While at UBC she performed the title role of Massenet’s Manon, Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), and Mimí (La Bohème). Kallie also performed the role of Pamina in the Czech Republic and in Vancouver at Bard on the Beach. Her other roles include Noémie (Cendrillon), Cupidon (Orphée aux Enfers), and Linfea (La Calisto). Kallie has also been featured as a soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for their Tea and Trumpets concert series and Traditional Christmas Concerts. Kallie’s most recent engagements include chorus in Turandot with Vancouver Opera and Oscar in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera with Opera Mariposa/Heroic Opera Company. Kallie was also an emerging artist with MYOpera for their inaugural Performance Intensive. In April, Kallie will rejoin Heroic Opera Company as Fifth Handmaiden in their production of Strauss’ Elektra.
Libby Donald, Soprano
Libby is an Australian born Soprano who has been living in Vancouver. After completing her degree in Vocal Performance at the Australian National University in her hometown of Canberra, Australia, she moved to Canada. Trained in opera, music theatre and film she has spent her time training, teaching and performing in Vancouver and Europe. She has been a participant at the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts festival in Italy, performing various operatic scenes and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. She is also a performer in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and has appeared as a Madrigal singer in London’s Summer Music Festival. In May she will be heading to Edmonton to study at Opera Nuova. Some of her other roles and scene performances include Zaneeta Shin (The Music Man), Peep Bo (The Mikado), Lakme (Lakme), Violetta ( La Traviata), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) and Viola (Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night). When not performing she teaches early childhood music as a Colourstrings Kindergarten music educator and is the director of the Children’s Vocal Ensemble at the Vancouver Symphony School of Music.
Frantz de Rycke , Bass-Baritone
Frantz started to learn music (piano) at age five with Director Mantia of Conservatorio di Musica di Roma. His passion for Lyric Opera logically led him to singing, and he is very grateful for the guidance from his voice teachers, Joseph Shore and Richard Williams. He has sung with Vancouver Opera, Burnaby Lyric Opera, Opera Mariposa, Heroic Opera, Opera Opulenza, North Shore Light Opera Society and Opera Pro Cantanti. While living in Paris, he performed with opera companies such as Choeurs Symphoniques de Paris, Allegro Assai, and Operacademy.
Kurt Haunsperger , Tenor
Originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, tenor Kurt Haunsperger will be entering his fourth year of study in the UBC Bachelor of Music program under the instruction of Professor J. Patrick Raftery with specializations in Opera Performance and German Language. He is very excited to make his Heroic Opera debut in their production of Strauss’ Elektra. Kurt studied Linguistics at the University of Saskatchewan, German literature at the Philipps University in Marburg as well as classical voice both in North America (Marilyn Whitehead) and in Germany (Konstanze Berger, Heidi Muendel). An engaging actor with a flair for comic timing, Kurt frequently specializes in Comprimario tenor and Spieltenor repertoire, which has afforded him the chance to portray many comedic and dramatic characters in both operatic and musical theatre genres. Recently, Kurt has appeared as ‘Francis Flute’ in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (UBC Opera), ‘Monostatos’ in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Krusnohorske Theater CZ), and the ‘Haushofmeister’ in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos (UBC Opera). He also acted as understudy for the roles of ‘Monsieur Triquet’ (Eugene Onegin) and the ‘Magician’ (The Consul). Concert experience has seen him embody the roles of multiple Mozart comprimarios, including ‘Pedrillo’ (Entführung aus dem Serail), ‘il Podestà’ (La Finta Giardineria), and ‘Don Curzio’ (Le Nozze di Figaro), as well as allowed him to reprise the part of ‘Monostatos’ for the Bard on the Beach Opera and Arias concert series. Musical Theatre credits include ‘Motel Kamzoil’ (Fiddler on the Roof), ‘Lefou’ (Beauty and the Beast), ‘Mr. Thénardier’ (Les Misérables), ‘Tony’ (West Side Story), and ‘Nicely-Nicely’ (Guys and Dolls). As a UBC student, Kurt is equally active in the academic sphere, having previously assisted the teaching of entry level German, as well as currently offering German language tutoring, diction, and coaching services to musicians and language students alike. He is currently acting Undergraduate Representative to the UBC CENES German Faculty.
Stan Ridley, Baritone
Stan was born in British Guiana, South America and started singing successfully in classical music festivals at the age of 9. In his early 20s, he was approached by Dr. Havelock Nelson, BBC music critic and by John Russell FRCM, Professor at the Royal College of Music, London, UK, who arranged for Stan to start classical singing studies under Richard Standen (Bass) at the Guildhall School of Music, London, UK. Following the Guildhall School of Music, Stan completed an undergraduate degree and then a
postgraduate degree in engineering at London University, UK. Stan has performed lead roles in a number of G&S Operettas, and solo concert performances in Vancouver and Stockholm. After singing for many years with the Vancouver Bach Choir, under first Simon Streatfeild and then Bruce Pullan, Stan’s professional engineering career involved engineering assignments in thirty countries on five continents, leaving little time
for singing. However, in the last three years, Stan has again had the time to resume classical singing and he is delighted to be involved with this production of Elektra.
Danielle Cyr, Soprano
Confidante, Fourth and Fifth Maid Cover
Possessing a powerful and emotive voice, Danielle Cyr, soprano, is quickly establishing herself
as a young performing artist. Her past roles include La Badessa (Puccini’s Suor Angelica), Madam (Barab’s The Ruined Maid), Erste Dame (Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte), Miss Jessel (Britten’s The Turn of the Screw), and Mrs. McLean (Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah). Danielle has been privileged to attend several summer opera programs including La Musica Lirica located in Novafeltria, Italy, AEDO: Accademia Europea Dell’Opera located in Lucca, Italy, COAA: Canadian Operatic Arts Academy at Western University in London, Ontario, COSI: Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Studio Program in Sulmona, Italy, the Opera NUOVA One Week Intensive in Edmonton, Alberta, and the VISI: Vancouver International Song Institute Theater of Art Song program. Danielle holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Alberta as well as an Artist Diploma in Vocal Performance from the Vancouver Academy of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Trinity Western University.
Holly Beckmeyer, Soprano
Holly Beckmyer is a soprano, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and music educator, raised on the Sunshine Coast, BC. Recent projects include a recital tour of the lower mainland with Mezzo-Soprano Janessa Shae O’Hearn, and a UK recital tour of early 20th century music with pianist Heather Cattanach. She was also seen recently as Adele in North Shore Light Opera’s Die Fledermaus. Favourite previous vocal roles include Pierrot in Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, Belinda in the West Coast Opera Studio’s production of Dido and Aeneas, and Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi at Vancouver Academy of Music. Specializing in contemporary classical music and modern opera, Holly studied at Vancouver Community College, the Canadian College of Performing Arts, and Vancouver Academy of Music. Holly has also recently released an album of original folk songs called Close Encounters With Anxiety. She is currently studying operatic voice with Robyn Driedger-Klassen in Vancouver, Canada.