Julie Ekker [soprano] as Lucy England
Soprano Julie Ekker completed her Master's degree in voice performance at the University of Toronto. Recently, she performed the title role in the South Ottawa Performing Arts Collaborative’s production of Cendrillon by Massenet, the role of Servilia in La Compagnie Baroque Mont-Royal’s production of La clemenza di Tito by Mozart as well as the role of Carolina in their production of Il matrimonio segreto by Cimarosa. In 2017, Julie performed at the Opera on the Avalon Summer Festival the role of Dortchen Wild from Dean Burry’s The Brothers Grimm as well as the role of Sister Catherine from Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. She also played the role of Zenobia in the Accademia Europea dell’Opera’s production of Radamisto by Handel and the role of Naiad in the Summer Opera Lyric Theatre’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos by Strauss. During her undergraduate years at the University of Ottawa, Julie played the role of Belinda in Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas as well as the role of Mrs. Gobineau in The Medium by Menotti. As an ardent chorister, Julie was also in Opera Atelier’s production of Lucio Silla in 2016 and their recent production of The Marriage of Figaro in 2017 as well as the Opera Lyra Ottawa production of Madama Butterfly and Tosca by Puccini in the year 2014.
Soprano, Julie Ekker a complété sa maîtrise en chant à l’Université de Toronto. Dernièrement, elle a chanté le rôle-titre de Cendrillon (Massenet) au « South Ottawa Performing Arts Collaborative », le rôle de Servilia dans La clemenza di Tito (Mozart) ainsi que le rôle de Carolina dans Il matrimonio segreto (Cimarosa) avec « La Compagnie Baroque Mont-Royal ». Julie a chanté dans le festival « Opera on the Avalon » le rôle de Dortchen Wild dans l’opéra The Brothers Grimm (Dean Burry) ainsi que le rôle de Sœur Catherine dans l’opéra Dead Man Walking (Jake Heggie). Elle a joué le rôle de Zenobia à « l’Accademia Europea dell’Opera » pour l’opéra Radamisto (Handel) et elle a joué le rôle de Naïade au « Summer Opera Lyric Theatre » pour leur production de Ariadne auf Naxos (Strauss). Lors de son baccalauréat à l’Université d’Ottawa, Julie a joué le rôle de Belinda dans Dido and Aeneas (Purcell) ainsi que le rôle de Mrs. Gobineau dans leur production de The Medium (Menotti). Elle a aussi chanté dans le chœur de « l’Opera Atelier» pour leur production de Lucio Silla (Mozart) en 2016 ainsi que Le Mariage de Figaro (Mozart) en 2017.
Originally from Prince Edward Island, baritone Parker Clements is a recent graduate of the Master’s of Literature and Performance program at the University of Western Ontario. While there, he had the opportunity to perform with the Opera Workshop as Escamillo (Carmen, 2017), and Marco (Gianni Schicchi, 2016), as well Don Giovanni at l’Accademia Europea dell’Opera (2017). Since graduating, Parker has performed Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with the Bathurst Chamber Music Festival, appeared as soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Confederation Centre Chorus and members of the PEI Symphony, as well as Brahms’ Requiem with Luminous Ensemble (Charlottetown), and has premiered works as part of the Soundstreams composer workshop. Parker is also a two-time alumnus of the National Youth Choir of Canada (2014, 2016) having worked under the direction of Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt and Michael Zaugg. He will appear this spring as The Lecturer in Dominick Argento’s solo baritone opera, A Water Bird Talk, in a joint project with Opera by Request and Abridged Opera; he will also perform in SOPAC’s (Ottawa) production of Menotti’s The Telephone. Parker will join the University of Toronto Opera Diploma program in September 2019.
Parker Clements [baritone] as Ben Upgrave
Gallantry: A Soap Opera
Canadian Soprano Morgan Strickland is recognized for her “jewel-like tone” (The Boston Globe) and “consistency of vocal beauty throughout her different emotional states” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer). A native of Ottawa, Ontario, Morgan began studying voice at the age of 8 and competed for many years in the Ottawa chapter of the Kiwanis Music Festival and NATS Competitions, winning first prize many times.
Ms. Strickland holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Ottawa and a double Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy from New England Conservatory (Boston, MA) studying under the tutelage of Juilliard’s esteemed Lorraine Nubar. In addition, Morgan spent three summers at the Académie Internationale d'Eté de Nice, France, working closely with Lorraine Nubar and Dalton Baldwin.
Ms. Strickland has performed the roles of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Noémie in Cendrillon, Gertrude in Humperdink’s Hänsel und Gretel, Bastienne in a new adaptation of Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne, and Nedda in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci . Morgan was the soprano soloist in Larry’s Nickel’s “Requiem for Peace” presented by Carleton University in March 2018.
Upon her return to Ottawa, Morgan co-founded SOPAC Ottawa (South Ottawa Performing Arts Collaborative), where she resides as co-artistic director, and established a full-time teaching studio. She has recently been appointed as adjunct teaching staff in Carleton University’s music department. During the upcoming season, Morgan is singing the role of Lola Markham in Gallantry: A Soap Opera with SOPAC Ottawa. She maintains an active performance schedule while teaching in Ottawa and abroad.
Morgan Strickland [soprano] as Nurse Lola
Kathleen Radke [soprano] as Announcer
Kathleen Radke’s 2017/18 season includes concerts in Sault Ste. Marie celebrating Canada’s 150th, a recording project with the Ottawa Bach Choir, Handel’s ’Messiah’ with the Rideau Chorale and the Deep River Symphony, and Handel’s ‘Dixit Dominus’. Past seasons include Mozart's Requiem with the OVMF, the role of Giannetta in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, a Christmas concert for the Under the Pines festival, songs for chamber ensemble with the Ottawa Bach Choir and an evening of opera highlights with the Deep River Symphony Orchestra. She also went on tour of China with the Ottawa Bach Choir as part of the 16th Annual Meet in Beijing Festival.
A busy concert artist, her oratorio credits include Handel’s Messiah, Solomon, and Dixit Dominus, Bach’s Cantatas Nr. 4, 106 & 150, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Mozart’s Requiem. Operatic roles include Pamina & Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Najade (Ariadne auf Naxos) and the Princess (Princess of the Stars) with Patria Productions in the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve.
Kathleen is featured on the CD “A Christmas Story” with harpist Caroline Léonardelli. With the Ottawa Bach Choir she is a soloist on the CDs “Festival Baroque”, "Cantate Domino", "Jesu, meine Freude", and “Twas But Pure Love”. She has also been a featured soloist in many of the Ottawa Bach Choir's concert appearances on CBC Radio Two under the direction of conductor Lisette Canton.
Kathleen holds an Opera Diploma from Wilfrid Laurier University where she studied with bass-baritone Daniel Lichti. She received a Bachelor of Music and a Performance Diploma from McMaster University. She was a member of the Festival Choir of the European Music Festival under the direction of Helmuth Rilling, performing in Stuttgart, Bonn, Athens and Berlin. Ms. Radke continues her studies with soprano Donna Brown.
Dillon Parmer [tenor] - Donald Hopewell
Audiences always welcome Dillon Parmer (tenor) for a voice that “breathes warmth and lyricism.” Critics praise his performances as “particularly rewarding,” “finely honed,” and “outstanding.” Mr. Parmer has been heard on CBC radio and television and has appeared as a guest soloist with dozens of regional companies (Opera Lyra Ottawa, I Musici de Montreal, the Nathanial Dett Chorale, L’orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières, Timmins Symphony Orchestra, L’orchestra symphonique du nouveau monde). Mr. Parmer is a versatile singer with a repertoire spanning over seventy major operatic and concert roles. An enthusiastic supporter of the avant garde, Mr. Parmer has premiered many new works of which notable mentions are the Canadian première of Smith Moore’s Nobel Prize-nominated Scenes from the Life of a Martyr (Toronto Center for Performing Arts), the world première of Anthony Davis’s 9/11 commemorative Restful Mourning (Piccolo Spoleto), and the Ottawa première of Bruce Nicol’s Christmas Rose. Under the direction of noted voice teacher Bill Schuman, Mr. Parmer has moved into the fuller, lirico-spinto roles. Recent performances include appearances with Men of Note (Toronto), a premiere of a new version of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (Opera by Request), as well Pollione in Bellini’s Norma (Oshawa Opera). Recent appearances include the title role of Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust, tenor soloist in Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette (University of Ottawa Orchestra), a reprise Pollione in Bellini’s Norma, his debut with l’Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and an innovative production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. He is currently represented by MIC Artists Management.
Jean-Sebastien Kennedy [baritone] - Dr. Gregg
Baritone Jean-Sébastien Kennedy, is an alumnus of the Opera Lyra Ottawa Young Artists Program, whose singing has been reviewed as "stylish" by Steve Smith in the New York Times after he made his Carnegie Hall debut at the Weill Recital Hall in 2011. A late bloomer on the music scene, Jean-Sébastien was studying biopharmaceuticals at the University of Ottawa when he attended his first classical concerts and developed a keen interest in vocal music. He regularly performs with Canadian premier ensembles such as the Ottawa Bach Choir, the Opéra de Montréal, the NAC Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Pellegrini Opera and the Theatre of Early Music.On stage, he has performed the roles of Leporello in Don Giovanni, Marcello in La Bohème, Peter in Hansel and Gretel, Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte, Papageno in Magic Flute, Urbain in La Vie parisienne, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore,the Wolf in Barab's Little Red Riding Hood, among others. His main oratorio credits include Brahms's, Faure’s and Mozart's Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and Buxtehude’s Jesu Membra Nostri. He is a featured soloist on critically acclaimed CDs Cantate Domino and ‘Twas But Pure Love released by the Ottawa Bach Choir in 2012 and 2016 .