Vera Causa Opera is excited to announce the cast members for the Canadian Opera Fest's June Premiere of Padajuća Zvijezda by Julijana Hajdinjak.
Melina Garcia Zambrano as Aurelia
Colombian-born soprano Melina García Zambrano (M.Mus 18’) is passionate about celebrating multiculturalism through Canadian art song and opera. Raised in Toronto, she now makes London, Ontario her home. Melina’s love for live opera inspired her to co-found the Little London Community Opera in 2017. She is also an active performer and has been seen as Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Elvira (Don Giovanni), and has covered Elvira (L’italiana in Algieri) with MYOpera, and Micaela (Carmen) with BrottOpera. She is thrilled to be part of Vera Causa Opera’s Canadian OperaFest 2018.
Philip Klaassen as Stelo
Philip Klaassen has performed as a chorus member with Saskatoon Opera and Manitoba Opera for productions such as La Boheme, Carmen, Rigoletto and Madama Butterfly. He has also performed roles with the Saskatoon Opera in Schools Tour in productions of The Magic Flute, The Brothers Grimm and The Barber of Seville and made his mainstage debut in 2014 as First Armoured Man in The Magic Flute. In 2017, Philip performed the role of Don Jose as a guest artist in the uOttawa production of Carmen and took part in the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy as Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi. Recently, Philip performed as tenor soloist with the University of Ottawa Chorus for Mozart's Requiem and Orff's Carmina Burana as well as Dvorak's Mass in D with the Nepean Choir. He studies privately in Ottawa with Laurence Ewashko.
Allison Walmsley as Luna
Allison Walmsley is a Toronto-based soprano acclaimed for her “extensive upper register and resonate bottom” and is known to be a “natural and alluring actress” -Ludwig van Toronto. Hailing from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Allison is thrilled to be joining VCO in their production Padajuća Zvijezda in the role of Luna. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in voice performance at the U of S with Dr. Garry Gable and Kathleen Lohrenz Gable. Allison received her Master’s Degree in Voice Performance at Western University, under soprano Jackalyn Short, with whom she continues to study. Allison is a frequent participator in competitions and festivals including Gordon Wallis Opera competition (First Place), the CFMTA Young Artist competition (First Place), Saskatoon Music Festival (Kinsmen Award) and the Toronto Mozart Competition (Finalist). Allison is now a Toronto-based singer and she takes great joy in pursuing opportunities in opera, oratorio, choral, recital and contemporary music. Recent operatic roles include Mozart’s Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), Morgana in (Alcina), Nanetta (Falstaff), Cat in Saskatoon Opera’s (The Bremen Town Musicians) and Emily in (Our Town).
Domenico Sanfilippo as Solaris
Baritone Domenico Sanfilippo has received many positive reviews from esteemed critics such as his voice teacher, his wife and his mom. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Queen's University and an ARCT diploma in voice performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music. Domenico has appeared on stage with Chorus Hamilton, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Voicebox: Opera in Concert, the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, Southern Ontario Lyric Opera, Accademia Europea dell'Opera and the Brott Music Festival. He continues his vocal studies at the studio of Maria Vetere. Domenico would like to thank Vera Causa Opera for letting him be a part of this wonderful production.
Katerina Utochkina as Astra
An emerging mezzo-soprano, Katerina Utochkina has just appeared in the title role of Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri with Vera Causa Opera in Cambridge and Waterloo in April 2018, the role she has just recently understudied at MYOpera in Toronto. Ms Utochkina has made her York Symphony debut as a soloist at The Night at theOpera this February, a Heliconian Club appearance in October 2017and performed a solo recital as a part of The Young Artists’ Showcase at the Newmarket Theatre earlier that year. Ms Utochkina has also appeared in the roles of La Marquise de Berkenfield in La Fille du Regiment and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Vera Causa Opera (Kitchener and Cambridge, ON), and covered the role of Mercédès in Carmen with the Brott Opera Festival in Hamilton, ON. She has made her professional debut in 2015 in the role of Gretchen (The Student Prince) with the Toronto Operetta Theatre. Other credits include Zita in Gianni Schicchi and Sour Osmina in Suor Angelica with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Erika in Vanessa with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre. Ms Utochkina is a graduate of the Performance Diploma Program at The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music, where she has also performed in a number of opera productions, appearing as La Mere Michele in Le Laureat, Third Model in The Silent Serenade and The Innkeeper’s Wife in The Cunning Little Vixen. Apart from operas Ms Utochkina has also performed solo recitals in Mazzoleni Hall and was a recipient of The Karen Dart Vocal Scholarship and The Deanna Prezio Scholarship at The Glenn Gould School for the 2014/2015 academic year.