Vera Causa Opera is proud to announce this year's cast for Canadian Opera Fest 2019.
Alysse Sailor- Maybelle, A Girl, Agnes Murphy, Valentine
Soprano, harpist, and violinist, Alysse Sailor began her musical studies at the age of three. Originally from a small town in rural Saskatchewan, her performances and studies have taken her throughout Canada, Bolivia, South Africa, Austria, and the Czech Republic. In addition to performing with ensembles such as Vera Causa Opera and St. Mary’s Chamber Choir, she enjoys teaching violin as well as freelancing at weddings and events in Ontario. Currently, she is studying voice under Leslie Fagan at Wilfrid Laurier University and harp with Sharlene Wallace. Throughout adolescence, she studied violin rigorously under Dr. Robert Klose at the University of Saskatchewan, piano with Adrianne Bank, and was also a chorister and leadership assistant in the Saskatoon Children’s Choir directed by Phoebe Voigts. Alysse holds certificates in solfège, eurhythmics, and improvisation from the Dalcroze School of the Rockies, as well as multiple RCM diplomas. She is currently earning a Bachelor of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University as well as pursuing certification in Body Mapping for Musicians and hopes to continue earning her diploma in Dalcroze pedagogy.
Stephanie O'Leary- Momma Murphy, Auntie Margaret, Axel
Stephanie O’Leary is an active performer across Southwestern Ontario. Most recently, Stephanie was engaged with Opera for All as a soloist in their Fall Concert. In September she sang the role of Anita with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, as they presented a concert version of West Side Story. Her first engagement with Vera Causa Opera was during last year's Canadian Opera Fest, singing the role of Lilith in the premiere of the Canadian opera, The Covenant.
Ms. O’Leary had the privilege of singing the title role in Dido and Aeneas, as a part of Little London Community Opera’s inaugural season in 2017. Stephanie has also had the pleasure of working with Abridged Opera in Windsor Ontario, singing the roles of Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen, and Madame Flora in Menotti’s The Medium. Other credits include the Gingerbread Witch (Hansel and Gretel), La tasse chinoise, La libellule, and L’Ecureuil (L’Enfant et les Sortilèges), and Mrs. Demers (City Workers in Love) with UWOpera. She has had the privilege of participating in the Halifax Summer Opera Festival where she sang the role of Madame de la Haltière in their production of Cendrillon.
Jorge Trabanco- Papa, The Mean Marketer, Reagan
Brazilian lyric baritone, winner of the 12th Maria Callas (2014) and the 7th Carlos Gomes (2015) International Singing competitions, Jorge Trabanco stands out for his scenic and vocal performances, having already performed main roles in many operas, oratorios and masses in Canada, United States, Italy and Brazil, including Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni), Count (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) by Mozart, Gianni Schicchi (Gianni Schicchi) and Sharpless (Madama Butterfly) by Puccini, Danilo (The Merry Widow) by Lehar, Dandini (Cenerentola) by Rossini, Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, The Messiah by G. F. Handel, The Creation by Haydn, Elijah by Mendelssohn, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Mass in C Major, and Schubert’s Mass in B-flat Major.
Currently studying with the Canadian baritone Theodore Baerg as a Doctoral candidate at Western University of Ontario, Jorge earned his Master's degree from Georgia State University (Atlanta, US) and worked as a Voice and Vocal Pedagogy Teacher while conducting and directing the University’s Choir at the Nazarene University of Brazil for the past 6 years.
Michaela Chiste- Adelaide, Louise, Reflection, The Cow, Lucie
Michaela Chiste is a young soprano hailing from Okotoks, Alberta. She originally trained as a stage actor before crossing over to the world of classical singing in 2013, and received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance under the tutelage of John Tessier at the University of Alberta in 2017. She has performed as a recitalist both internationally and across Canada, and has served as soloist in choral works such as Benjamin Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb and A Ceremony of Carols, and Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. In 2016, she premiered The Dream, a cantata for soprano and pianoforte by Anders Muskins at the Alberta Mozart Festival. Michaela recently received praise for her debut portrayal of Mimì in Puccini's La Bohème with Mercury Opera. Opera Canada described her performance as "a fine balance of fragility and hopefulness". She was also described as "effective... a great actress" (I Don't Get It), and that she "[rose] to the occasion" (Daze Magazine) and "more than [held] her own among the seasoned cast" (Edmonton Journal). Other recent roles include Giannetta (L'elisir d'amore), Frasquita (Carmen), Emmie (Albert Herring), Mimi (City Workers in Love), The Dormouse (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), Jennie Hildebrand (Street Scene), Gustave (Pomme d’Api), and The Boy (Der Jasager). Michaela is currently a member of Arcady's Emerging Artist Program and a roster singer for Cowtown Opera.
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