Hailing from Kennebecasis Valley, New Brunswick, Lauren Estey first encountered opera through the tutelage of Dr. Kevin Langford and Deantha Edmunds. As a chorister for Opera New Brunswick, the young soprano quickly fell in love with the art form. Lauren was invited to study at the St. Andrew’s Vocal Techniques seminar where she met Mabel Doak. It was Doak’s encouragement and training that lead Lauren to the Dalhousie Music program. During her time at Dalhousie, Lauren studied with Marcia Swanston and was featured in the roles of Lauretta in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
Most recently, Lauren has completed her Masters in Music Performance at the University of Western Ontario with the mentorship of Rachel Mallon. Last year, she was engaged in the Halifax Summer Opera Festival Program as Susannah in Carlisle Floyd's Susannah. Lauren returned for the 2016 season, playing the title role in Suor Angelica by Puccini. She currently resides in Toronto, Ontario where she continues to develop her craft under the direction Daniel Taylor and Stephanie Bogle.
Austin Larusson was most recently seen as The Sergeant of Police in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE with Toronto Operetta Theatre; Guglielmo in COSÍ FAN TUTTE and Frank Maurrant in STREET SCENE with Opera by Request; Lorenzo in I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI with Opera in Concert; Malyuta Skuratov in THE TSAR’s BRIDE with Three, Seven, Ace Opera; Jarvis Lorry in A TALE OF TWO CITIES and Achillas in JULIUS CAESAR with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre.
Other recent Toronto appearances include Aeneas in DIDO AND AENEAS with Opera by Request, Camilo in LOS GAVILANES, Lucas in THE STUDENT PRINCE and Botswain in H.M.S. PINAFORE, Franz in THE LAND OF SMILES and Patrice in LA VIE PARISIENNE, all with Toronto Operetta Theatre; Marcelo in BOHEMIOS with Essential Opera; George Jones in STREET SCENE with Opera in Concert; Davenaut and Berkeley in DER VAMPYR, Schaunard in LA BOHEME with SOLT; Fiorello in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA with Opera York.
New York appearances include Second Priest in THE MAGIC FLUTE, Yamadori in MADAMA BUTTERFLY, Hermann in LES CONTES D’HOFFMAN and Sciarrone and the Jailer in TOSCA with Regina Opera, and Malatesta in DON PASQUALE with the New York Opera Forum. Austin is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the Manhattan School of Music.
Fun Fact: I study German at the Goethe Institute.
John Luik is a 4th year music education major at WLU. His intends to continue his education by becoming a high school music teacher. Along with playing for Vera Causa, John also plays clarinet in a Toronto-based military band, and will be playing alongside the Ceremonial Guard this summer.
Fun Fact: With a shaved head, I look exactly like Forrest Gump