2017 NUOVA Faculty

CAROL CASTEL ● Acting Teacher & Coach

An accomplished stage director and voice teacher, Carol Castel began her stage career as an actress in legitimate theatre and musical comedy. Her development as a singer took her to the operatic stage where she began a love affair with opera that is still going strong. In 1990, she began her directing career with a touring production of The Magic Flute in Bayreuth, Germany. Since that time, she has directed over 60 fully-staged productions and worked with such prestigious companies as the Aspen Music Festival, Finish National Opera, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Festival of the Aegean and the Israel Institute of Vocal Arts in Tel Aviv. In 2004, she founded the New York Opera Studio in New York City and the NYOS Summer Program for Singers, and Pianists. She is currently the General Manager of the Delaware Valley Opera Co., in Narrowsburg, NY. Along with her husband, Nico Castel, Carol partnered with Kim Mattice Wanat in founding Opera NUOVA in 1998 and has been involved with the company regularly ever since. In addition to her stage direction at Opera NUOVA, she teaches the class “Artistry and the Creative Process for Singers”.

CANDACE COX ● Alexander Technique Teacher

Candace’s journey began by training as an actor, which led to her exposure to the Alexander Technique. The principles of this work prompted her to move to London, England where she trained as an Alexander Technique teacher with David Gorman. She has continued to explore and teach the Alexander Technique for the past 15 years, first in England, then across Western Canada.  Candace maintains a large private studio and has taught and learned from people in all walks of life, particularly those in chronic pain. Her passion remains the performing arts, and she has been on the Faculty of Opera NUOVA for 12 years, as well as teaching on the BFA Conservatory Acting program at the University of Alberta for the past decade. Other institutions she has spent time with include: the University of Toronto, the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina, the Regina Globe Theatre, the Stratford Festival of Canada, and Concordia University, as well as the Parkinson’s and Scleroderma Societies of Alberta.

BRIAN DEEDRICK ● Director of The Cunning Little Vixen

Brian Deedrick returns to Opera NUOVA to direct The Cunning Little Vixen.  Gilbert & Sullivan’s Gondoliers, Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, Bernstein’s Candide, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, Handel’s Alcina, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Kurt Weill’s Street Scene were such pleasures in previous NUOVA seasons that it is great to be working once again with the singers of tomorrow!  Recent productions include Maria Stuarda, Pirates of Penzance, and Mefistofele in Tennessee, Tosca, for The Rheinsberg Festival just outside of Berlin, Lucia di Lammermoor for Edmonton Opera, Threepenny Opera for Studio Theatre, HMS Pinafore in Tennessee, La Bohème in Winnipeg, Aïda in Toledo and Charlotte, Manon in Montreal, The Pearl Fishers for Opera Hamilton, Don Giovanni for Toledo Opera, Die Fledermaus for Knoxville Opera, Fidelio for Edmonton Opera, Eugene Onegin for Opera Carolina, Don Pasquale in Honolulu and the Opera NUOVA school tour of Mr. Moreover’s Magic.  Featured engagements include Turandot for Fort Worth Opera, Tosca for Opera Carolina, Don Giovanni, Manon and Turandot for Calgary Opera, The Elixir of Love and The Pearl Fishers for Arizona Opera, Nicholas Nickleby for University of Alberta’s Studio Theatre, The Merry Widow in Honolulu, Aïda for L’Opera de Montréal, and Don Giovanni for Austin Lyric Opera. As an educator, Brian has taught at the University of Regina, University of Alberta, the Banff Centre and Opera NUOVA.  Upcoming projects: Candide in Salt Lake City and La Fille du Régiment in Honolulu. Before all of that, Brian heads back for a summer of tour guiding in Berlin.

DONNA FLETCHER • Voice Mentor & Director Carousel

Proud of her prairie roots, Donna Fletcher received her early training in Winnipeg and earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of Manitoba, a diploma in Music Theatre from The Banff Centre for the Arts, and a Master of Music from The University of Toronto.  As an actor, Donna has been acclaimed in principle roles with the Charlottetown Festival, Drayton Festival, Rainbow Stage, Theatre Calgary, Stage West Calgary, the National Arts Centre, Manitoba Opera, MTC, PTE, MTYP, the Belfry Theatre, Dry Cold Productions and Persephone Theatre.  Recent credits include playing the Mother Superior in Sister Act (Rainbow Stage), Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music (Dry Cold Productions), directing the WSO Rainbow Stage co-production of South Pacific, The Sound of Music for Opera on the Avalon and The Bridges of Madison County for Dry Cold Productions. Donna is co-creator of Dry Cold Productions and in July of 2012 was inducted into the Rainbow Stage Wall of Fame.  Donna is a Voice and Musical Theatre Instructor at the University Of Manitoba Desautels Faculty of Music and the University of Winnipeg Theatre Department.

JUDITH FORST ● Mezzo-Soprano & Voice Mentor

Canadian mezzo-soprano, Judith Forst has sung with most major opera companies throughout North America and Europe, including over 250 performances with the New York Metropolitan Opera, where she returned in 2013 for her 20th season. She has also performed frequently with the San Francisco Opera Company, the Chicago Lyric Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, Dallas Opera, Houston Lyric Opera, New York City Opera, the Vancouver Opera Association, and has sung for over 10 seasons with the Santa Fe Opera. Recent European engagements have included performances in Italy, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. She made her debut at Italy’s legendary La Scala in 2006 singing KABANICHKA in Janacek’s Kata Kabanova. Ms Forst’s most recent North American successes have included highly-acclaimed performances as KABANICHA at the Met, KOSTELNICKA in Janacek’s Jenufa with the Dallas Opera, and Dead Man Walking with the Pittsburgh Opera. She has sung for over 10 seasons with the Santa Fe Opera.  Her 2013 performances of the OLD PRIORESS in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites with the Canadian Opera Company were hailed as “emotionally shattering” and “magnificent.” Ms Forst scored a personal and critical triumph in 2010 with her world premiere performance in Lillian Alling (Vancouver Opera).  She performed another world premiere with the Calgary Opera in January 2011, singing in Bramwell Tovey’s The Inventor. In 1991 Ms Forst received an honourary Doctorate of Letters from the University of British Columbia, the first performing artist alumna to be so honoured, and in 1995, the University of Victoria conferred upon Ms Forst an Honourary Doctorate of Music. In 1992, Ms. Forst was inducted into the Order of Canada and in 2001 she was inducted into the Order of British Columbia.  In 2004, she received Canada’s prestigious RUBY AWARD marking her distinguished worldwide career in opera. Ms. Forst’s 2017 schedule includes a return to the Vancouver Opera Association for performances of Dead Man Walking.

JOSEPHY FRIDMAN● Coach & Collaborative Pianist Instructor

Mr. Fridman has earned two masters’ degrees, as a pianist and opera director – from the world-renowned St. Petersburg State Conservatory in Russia. He is a concert pianist, teacher, vocal coach and accompanist. He taught at the Schools for Musically Gifted Children of St. Petersburg and Kiev, and at the Pskov Music College. He has performed with the St. Petersburg and Pskov Philharmonics.  Mr. Fridman served on the faculty of the Alberta College Conservatory of Music in Edmonton from 1991 till 2002 and taught in the Conservatory’s International Music Academy and the University of Alberta.  Currently, Joseph is a director and teacher of the Alberta Music Academy Inc.  He lectures and gives masterclasses and workshops in Canada, Ukraine, Russia and the USA and has taught in various summer schools: Strings and Keys (Bergen), Alberta College Summer School (Edmonton), and has been a clinician in the CASSA (Calgary) summer camp.  Joseph has adjudicated a number of festivals and competitions, including the prestigious Canadian Music Competition (2004). His piano students have received first class honors and medals in RCM Exams, first and second prizes in the Kiwanis Festival, Northern Alberta Concerto Competition and Fall Festival.  Joseph Fridman performs in solo and chamber recitals and has been broadcast frequently on CBC Radio.

KATHLEEN LOHRENZ GABLE • Conductor of Patience

Kathleen has been a part of NUOVA’s faculty since 2004 where she has conducted Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites, Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Copland’s The TenderLand, Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Oklahoma and The Gondoliers. Kathleen’s career includes experiences as a recitalist, voice coach,  piano  instructor, accompanist, and as a musical director and rehearsal pianist for opera productions in Canada and the USA. Kathleen received her Bachelor of Music from Wilfrid Laurier University; a Diploma in Lieder from the Franz Schubert Institute in Austria; her Fellowship from Trinity College in London; and her Master of Music in Accompanying and Chamber Music from the University of Michigan. Kathleen taught piano and piano pedagogy at the University of Michigan and was a piano instructor at the Interlochen National Music Camp in Michigan. She has also taught at Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Windsor, and currently teaches at the University of Saskatchewan. Other conducting engagements include: the Saskatoon Symphony and Menotti’s  Amahl and the Night Visitors (The Opera Troupe of Saskatoon). After joining Calgary Opera’sproduction of Little Women as repetiteur, she has enjoyed return engagements as a guest coach for their Emerging Artists program. Kathleen was a performer, leader of workshops & master classes and a judge for the National Piano Competition at the CFMTA convention. She was the music director and piano collaborator for VanCoCo’s award-winning production of Trouble in Tahiti. Kathleen and her husband, Garry, have been invited to China three times where they were performing and giving master classes for singers and pianists at the Wuhan Conservatory of Music, the University of Wuhan and the Tianjin Conservatory of music.

GORDON GERRARD • Conductor of Eugene Onegin

A passionate and gifted educator, Gordon has been engaged as a conductor and lecturer by many institutions, including McGill University, the University of Manitoba and Iowa State University. He has served as conductor for Opera NUOVA since 2001 and has been part of the music staffs of the Opera as Theatre Programme at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute (Montreal), Halifax Summer Opera Workshop and the Undergraduate Opera Studio at the Manhattan School of Music. He has been a regular vocal coach for Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Program and l’Opéra de Montréal’s Atelier Lyrique. Gordon has most recently been appointed as the 15th Music Director of the Regina Symphony Orchestra.  He also currently holds the position of Associate Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, a position which was created for him after two highly successful seasons there as Assistant Conductor. For four seasons Gordon held the positions of Resident Conductor and Repetiteur for Calgary Opera. During his tenure at Calgary Opera, Gordon was honoured with the Mayor’s Award for Emerging Artists for his contribution to the musical life of the city of Calgary. Gordon has also conducted productions for Opera Hamilton to critical acclaim and was Assistant Conductor for several productions at Opera Lyra Ottawa.

REBECCA HASS ● Mezzo-Soprano & Voice Mentor

Rebecca Hass is a woman of many creative pursuits. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University with an Honours Bachelor in Music performance and the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble, she has devoted much of her professional life to singing. From her early career, appearing with major opera companies and symphonies across Canada she also appeared with The Phantom of the Opera in Toronto as a swing. Recenly, she has moved into acting, writing and producing a broad range of creative projects (The Belfry, Theatre Skam, Victoria Fringe Festival) and several intimate cabarets. Rebecca is on staff with The Canadian College of Performing Arts teaching Music Theatre styles and has acted as a vocal clinician for The Victoria Conservatory of Music, University of Victoria, University of British Columbia and Opera Nuova. A Certified Life coach and meditation instructor, she is on staff with the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble and has given artist-centered workshops for Opera Nuova, Calgary Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria and St. Andrews Arts Council Opera Workshop. A writer and broadcaster, you can hear her regularly as guest host and documentary maker on CBC Radio One and Two.  Rebecca’s latest project is writing a guide for artist’s on meeting the challenge of creative living.

KELLY HANDEREK ● Acting Teacher

Kelly Handerek is a Professor of Theatre in the Faculty of Media, Art and Performance at the University of Regina where he has directed and taught acting to graduates and undergraduates for over twenty-five years.  He recently returned from Prague and The International S-Word Symposium on Acting called Merging Methodologies being invited to speak of his work: The Many Rhythms of Engagement both of the play and the production.  In 2014, his one man play ‘small boy DREAMS’ enjoyed an international tour.  He directed Jokasta/Antigone at Rose Bruford College in the UK as part on an international acting school teaching exchange. In 2016, he was appointed to The Editorial Advisory Board for the international Stanislavski Studies e-Journal published by Rutledge in both Russian and English.  He was one of Uta Hagen’s last students at the HB Studio in New York.  This Actor, Singer, Director, Adjudicator and Educator enjoys an international career.  He is at home directing Albert Herring for Opera NUOVA as well as The Changeling for the Stratford Festival. A past Artistic Director of the Grand Theatre London Ontario.  He recently was seen as the Narrator in Candide with Judith Forst, Tracy Dahl and the R.S.O under the baton of Gordon Gerrard.  He is preparing to direct Sophocles’ Antigone in November 2017.

ROB HERRIOT • Stage Director of Patience

Canadian stage director Rob Herriot returns to Opera NUOVA after his portrayal of Little Buttercup in Essgee’s HMS Pinafore this past February. Other NUOVA festival productions include La Bohème, Oklahoma!  Don Giovanni and Beatrice and Benedict. A regular visitor to Edmonton he directed this season’s Turandot and Cinderella for Edmonton Opera as well as, The Magic Flute, The Mikado, Tosca, Pirates of Penzance, Daughter of the Regiment and HMS Pinafore. Elsewhere Rob has directed across North America; Lucia di Lammermoor , La Bohème, Carmen, Rigoletto  (Manitoba Opera), La Traviata (Opera Hamilton), Carmen(Arizona Opera), Don Pasquale (Opera Hamilton, Connecticut Opera, Manitoba Opera, Utah Opera). Other productions include Albert Herring, Marriage of Figaro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicci. Rob also works extensively with Calgary Opera as a returning director for their main stage and Emerging Artist shows. Recent productions include, The Magic Flute, Christmas at the OperaPirates of Penzance and Candide. Rob is thrilled to be back directing Patience (One of his favorite G and S shows) here at Opera NUOVA, and is proud to be a part of one of North America’s finest training programs.

SHANNON HIEBERT ● Coach & Collaborative Pianist Instructor

Shannon Hiebert has established herself as one of Canada’s most respected artists. Known for her versatility as a pianist, she has worked professionally in concert and opera, symphonic and chamber music, ballet, modern dance and on Broadway. A native of Winnipeg, Shannon began her studies at the University of Manitoba. She went on to study at the Banff Centre for Fine Arts with Martin Isepp and pursued graduate studies in accompanying and chamber music at the University of Michigan in the studio of renowned pianist and teacher, Martin Katz. In addition to her two principal teachers, Shannon has also studied with John Wusstman and Rudolf Janzen. Much in demand as a collaborative artist, she has been heard in recital and broadcast across Canada and the United States as well as Taiwan and Japan. Shannon has performed as a soloist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Her Broadway credits include, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia and Spamalot. Shannon has worked as a pianist vocal coach with opera companies across Canada as well as the University of Toronto, University of Manitoba and the University of Alberta. She is currently on faculty at the Alberta College Conservatory of Music. Her discography includes “Rhymes and Reveries”, with soprano, Tracy Dahl, “Prairie Voices” with the Winnipeg Singers and “Starry Night”, in benefit of Winnipeg Harvest.

DOMINIQUE LABELLE ● Soprano & Voice Mentor

Dominique Labelle has fearlessly plumbed the technical and emotional depths of music, turning in performances possessed of “conviction without exhibitionism” (De Telegraf), that have “the audience hanging on every note” (Boston Globe). Recent and upcoming engagements include Bach’s B-minor Mass with New York City’s Voices of Ascension and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Carmel Bach Festival; performances of Handel’s Teseo with Nicholas McGegan and  hilharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Another favorite collaborator is Hungarian conductor Iván Fischer, under whose baton she will be performing Bach’s Magnificat with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Contemporary music credits include Shostakovich’s Seven Romances on Poetry of Alexander Blok; Britten’s Les Illuminations, and John Harbison’s The Rewaking (recorded for Musica Omnia). Her most recent recording is Monsigny’s Le Déserteur (Naxos). In 2014, Dominique became Professor of Voice at the Schulich School of Music at her alma mater, McGill University.

LAURA LOEWEN ● coach & collaborative pianist instructor

Praised for expressivity, virtuosity, and committed playing, Canadian collaborative pianist Laura Loewen has appeared in concerts throughout North America and in Europe, Asia and South America.  Dedicated to sharing her passion for ensemble playing and coaching, she is a professor of Collaborative Piano and the Vocal Coach at the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music. She is a founding faculty artist of VISI (Vancouver International Song Institute), and is also on the faculties of the NUOVA opera training program in Edmonton, Alberta, the Contemporary Opera Lab in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and RICE (Rio International Cello Encounter) in Brazil. An extremely versatile pianist, Dr. Loewen has performed extensively with singers, instrumentalists and chamber ensembles, and is equally comfortable in traditional and contemporary idioms.  She has appeared in concert with artists such as Charles Castleman, Tracy Dahl, Wendy Nielsen, Kimberly Barber, Jasper Wood, Eugene Rousseau, and William Bennett. A member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientist, Dr. Loewen holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Accompanying/Coaching from the University of Minnesota, where she was a fellowship student of Margo Garrett and Karl Paulnack.

KIM MATTICE WANAT • Stage Director of Eugene Onegin

Kim Mattice Wanat founded Opera NUOVA in 1998 and has acted as the Artistic & Managing Director since its inception.  She has produced and directed several of Opera NUOVA’s productions including Brown’s Parade, Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, Massenet’s Cendrillon, Verdi’s Falstaff, the Canadian Première of Mark Adamo’s Little Women; and all of NUOVA’s school touring productions, most recently, Naomi’s Road.  As the Artistic Director she also produces and directs most of the Arts Season productions; this year producing the annual sing-along on New Year’s Eve and Essgee’s HMS Pinafore. She is presently an instructor at the University of Alberta in the drama department, teaching voice to the professional acting students.  Kim has recently returned to the University of Alberta as a student herself to complete a Master’s degree in Theatre Directing.

BRIAN MCINTOSH ● Bass-Baritone & Voice Mentor

Canadian bass-baritone Brian McIntosh has earned international acclaim for his “powerful, voluminous voice and imposing presence” (New York Newsday). As a regular performer with opera companies and festivals in North America and Europe, Mr. McIntosh enjoyed success in roles such as Kaspar in Der Freischütz and Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor in Zwingenberg, Germany, Doctor Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Vancouver Opera, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro with New Orleans Opera, Banquo in Macbeth with Opéra de Montréal, Nourabad in Les Pêcheurs des Perles with New York City Opera, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola with Opera Lyra Ottawa, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte with the Canadian Opera Company. Plutone in Orfeo with Helsinki Festival, Antinoo in Il Ritorno d’Ulisse with Bad Hersfeld Festival, and Krushina in Bartered Bride with Kiel Opera and Essen Stadt Theater in Germany.  Brian McIntosh was Head of Voice and Opera at the University of Alberta. Prior to that, he taught voice and opera at Rutgers University, as well as at the University of Western Ontario (from 1991-99). He was a visiting Professor at the Hochschule für Musik in Köln, Germany and also a voice instructor at Opera NUOVA and at COSI in Sulmona, Italy. He is currently teaching at Western University.

MICHAEL MCMAHON ● Coach & Collaborative Pianist Instructor

Pianist Michael McMahon has performed regularly throughout Canada, in Europe, Japan and the USA with singers such as Catherine Robbin, Karina Gauvin, Measha Brueggergosman, Gordon Bintner, Marianne Fiset, Lyne Fortin, Dominique Labelle, Wendy Nielsen, Maureen Forrester, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Annamaria Popescu, Joseph Kaiser, Nathan Berg, Brett Polegato, Benjamin Butterfield, Philippe Sly, Daniel Taylor, Kimy McLaren, Michael Schade, Russell Braun and Richard Margison. Following his studies at McGill University in Montreal, he completed his musical education in Vienna at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst and the Franz Schubert Institute, and in Salzburg at the Mozarteum. During this time, he studied with such legendary artists as Erik Werba, Hans Hotter, Elly Ameling, Jörg Demus, and Kim Borg. In addition to his active performing schedule, Michael McMahon is a Professor at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montreal. He has had long associations with l’Atelier lyrique de L’Opéra de Montréal, Opera NUOVA the Orford Arts Centre and the Banff Centre for the Arts, where he has worked regularly as a vocal coach. He is also often asked to give Masterclasses for singers and pianists, and is a resident artist at the Franz Schubert Institute in Austria and the C.O.S.I. Summer Opera program in Italy. He has made numerous broadcast recordings for the English and French networks of the CBC, as well as for the BBC, RBTF, Radio Suisse Romande, and Radio France. His recordings on the Marquis, CBC , Atma, and Analekta labels have met with critical acclaim, including Juno nominations and the Prix Opus. He was also a judge and vocal coach for the award winning television series “Bathroom Divas”. In 2012, Michael McMahon was honoured with a Ruby Award by Opera Canada for his contribution to music in Canada.

MARIE NYCHKA • Choreographer for Carousel 

Marie began her career as a dancer with such companies as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Ballet Brazil, and Ballet de Roma working across Canada and in Italy, Brazil, New York, Florida, and the Caribbean. For more than thirty years she has been a freelance actor, director, choreographer, adjudicator, and teacher. She is a regular faculty member and choreographer for Opera NUOVA. She teaches in both the BA Drama and BFA Acting Programs in the Department of Drama at the University of Alberta where she has received several teaching awards including the prestigious William Hardy Alexander Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2016). Marie has been nominated eight times and twice received the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding Choreography. When she is not on stage, in rehearsal, or in class, you will find her riding her horse, Indy, who also loves to dance.

LEANNE REGEHR ● coach & collaborative pianist instructor

Leanne Regehr is a versatile and sensitive pianist who has captivated increasingly diverse audiences across North America. She is the featured soloist in a live recording of Victor Davies’ Mennonite Piano Concerto with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and is currently based in Edmonton where she serves on the faculties of the University of Alberta and The King’s University. Leanne’s reputation in opera has grown through engagements as a répétiteur with Shreveport Opera, Mercury Opera, and Edmonton Opera. Her dedication to the development of young singers has been shown through her work as a faculty member with Opera NUOVA, a staff pianist for Sherrill Milnes’ VoicExperience Program in Florida, and as a Coaching Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival. She is widely recognized for her intuitive ability to collaborate with other musicians across an extensive range of repertoire.  Leanne completed her Doctor of Music in Piano Performance at Northwestern University and explored further studies at the Banff School of Fine Arts, the Universitat Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Aspen Music Festival. She is the accompanist for the Richard Eaton Singers and freelances as a soloist, vocal coach, recital partner, and adjudicator.

JACKALYN SHORT • Soprano & Voice Mentor

Canadian soprano Jackalyn Short has sung leading lyric coloratura roles with every major opera company and orchestra in Canada. Internationally, she has performed in many United States cities, and also in Korea, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, England and Israel. She has been a regular performer on CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, and Two New Hours, has been the recipient of several Canada Council grants and scholarships, and is a member of Canada’s Who’s Who. Jackalyn has been teaching voice to undergrads and post-graduate students at Western University since 2001. Her duties include teaching vocal technique and coaching repertoire, teaching Italian, French, English and German lyric diction, and instructing her students in the use of the IPA system. Several of her students have won prizes at Kiwanis, have advanced in the Met Competition and been accepted into opera ensemble programs. She is a member of NATS and is an active member of the music faculty, collaborating and performing with fellow professors at the school. Jackalyn has received the top teaching honour at Western every year since 2001.

ANDREW ST. HILARIRE • Conductor for Carousel

Andrew St. Hilaire enjoys a fulfilling career as a music director, accompanist, pianist/keyboardist, and music service provider.  He spent several years playing for auditions before finding opportunities to work as a rehearsal accompanist and orchestra musician and to eventually take up the baton as a music director. Now he focuses primarily on work in the world of musical theatre, enjoying the many challenges and rewards it provides. Credits include Music Director for Side Show (2017) with The Citadel Theatre’s Young Artists; Parade (2016) with Opera NUOVA; The Addams Family (2015) with Dry Cold Productions; A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline (2014), Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (2013), Annie (2012), Footloose (2012), Cats (2011), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (2010), RENT (2010) with Rainbow Stage; Bloodless (2013) with White Rabbit Productions; Into the Woods (2013) with District Theatre Collective; Spring Awakening (2011), Hersteria (2011) with Winnipeg Studio Theatre; The Last Five Years (2011) Act Natural Productions; Associate Music Director for Crazy for You (2017) with The Citadel Theatre; Mary Poppins (2016) with Theatre Persephone; Mary Poppins (2015), Les Misérables (2013) with Western Canada Theatre; Mary Poppins (2013) with Rainbow Stage; as well as orchestra keyboardist for other productions with Rainbow Stage, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Broadway Across Canada, and Mirvish Productions.

JOHN TESSIER ● Tenor & Voice Mentor

The Juno Award winning Tenor, John Tessier, has garnered international attention and praise for the beauty and honesty of his voice, for a refined style and artistic versatility, and for his handsome, youthful presence in the lyric tenor repertoire. He has worked with many of the most notable musicians of our day including Plácido Domingo, Lorin Maazel, Emmanuel Haim, Valery Gergiev, Charles Dutoit, Leonard Slatkin, Bryn Terfel, Sir Thomas Allen, Thomas Hampson, Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman, Deborah Voigt, Samuel Ramey, Bobby McFerrin, John Nelson, Franz Welser-Möst, Donald Runnicles, Robert Spano, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Gwyneth Jones, Carlos Alvarez and Bernard Labadie.  Appearances of the recent past and near future include performances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, Carnegie Hall, Teatro Colon, Oper Frankfurt, Grand Théâtre de Genève, English National Opera, Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, the New York Philharmonic, Wiener Musikverein, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Equally comfortable in the genres of opera, oratorio and recital, Mr. Tessier is also in high demand for coaching, master classes, and private consultations. His discography includes recordings on the Naxos, Telarc, BIS, Challenge Records and Dorian labels.

ROSEMARY THOMSON ● Conductor for The Cunning Little Vixen

This is Rosemary’s twelth season with NUOVA having previously conducted La Bohème, Dead Man Walking, Cendrillon, L’Elisir d’Amore, Albert Herring, Rusalka, Susannah, The Bartered Bride, Die Zauberflote, Cenerentola and Romeo et Juliet. Rosemary is known for creating vibrant concert programs presented with innovation.  She is in her ninth season as Music Director of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra.  Since her tenure began the symphony has seen a marked increase in audience and community support and they are now enjoying an expanded season and many sold out performances. Previous posts include Resident Conductor and Chorus Master for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Conductor in Residence of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Canadian Opera Company.  With these ensembles she worked closely with Hans Graf, Bramwell Tovey and Richard Bradshaw. Her guest conducting engagements have taken her across the country appearing on many occasions with symphonies from Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, London, Niagara and Toronto.  She has conducted for Opera Garden in Scotland and Richard Margison’s Highland Opera Studio in Haliburton.  A passionate interpreter of new works and Canadian composers, Rosemary was the conductor for Continuum, a new music ensemble based in Toronto for fourteen seasons.  With Continuum, she has conducted across the country and on tour in Europe and released three CDs of Canadian repertoire.  She is the recipient of the Ernest MacMillan award for orchestral conducting and has been heard as a conductor and commentator on the CBC, the BBC and National Dutch Radio as well as Bravo Television.

ROBERT URSAN ● Coach & Musical Director for Letters Home

Robert Ursan was born and raised in Regina, SK. He holds degrees in voice, composition and opera studies from Oberlin College, Ohio, University of Toronto and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, Scotland. As a performer, Robert has sung with opera companies across Canada and Britain, performed in musicals and plays, and recorded concerts for the CBC and BBC. Since his return to Saskatchewan, he has directed and/or music directed well over 100 productions. As a teacher of voice and piano, he has taught students who have attended Canadian and International institutions for theatre, musical theatre and classical music. His students have performed in major theatres in Canada, the UK and the US – currently several are performing at the Stratford and Shaw Festivals and on Broadway. As a theatrical writer, he has written operas, musicals, incidental scores and plays – in addition to concert works for voice, piano and strings – receiving two major awards from the Saskatchewan Arts Board for the writing of his first two operas. His works have been heard on the CBC and from the Brooklyn Academy in New York, across Canada and as far away as the Canadian Embassy in Moscow. He is currently Artistic Director of Do It With Class – Young People’s Theatre with whom he has worked for more than two decades.