Little Opera Company
Little Opera Company Made with Xara Production & Cast
Tenor,   Martin   Renner   Wallace   (Don   José)      is   from   Victoria   where   he   studied voice   at   the   Conservatory   of   Music   as   well   as   completing   a   bachelors   of   music   in performance   at   UVic.   He   moved   to   Vancouver   to   tour   with   “Vancouver   Opera   in Schools”   programme   before   completing   a   masters   of   music   in   opera   at   UBC.   Martin has   been   a   member   of   the   Young   Artist   programmes   with   the   Victoria,   Calgary   and Vancouver   opera   companies   as   well   as   a   participant   in   the   Banff   Summer   opera Programme.   Praised   for   his   “exquisite   high   notes   and   lush   warmth   in   his   lower register”   (Kelowna   Daily   Courier)   He   has   recently      appeared   in   roles   such   as   Canio   in Pagliacci,   Pollione   in   Norma,   and   Bacchus   in Ariadne   auf   Naxos;   as   well   as   concerts like   Handel’s   Messiah,   Beethoven’s   Symphony   number   nine   and   Mahler’s   Symphony number    eight.    In    2010    Martin    was    a    district    winner    of    the    Metropolitan    opera competition   proceeding   the   regionals   in   Seattle.   Martin   has   sung   with   companies such   as,   Calgary   opera,   Pacific   opera   Victoria,   the   Vancouver   Symphony,   and   the Vancouver   Bach   Choir.   He   remains   an   active   performer   in   Canada   and   most   recently on tour in China.
Creative Team
Mezzo   Soprano,   Catherine   Daniel   (Carmen)   of   Edmonton   studied   voice   with Coluratura   soprano   Tracy   Dahl   at   the   University   of   Manitoba.         She   was   a   member   of the   Atelier   Lyqrique   de   l’Opéra   de   Montréal,   and   later   became   a   member   of   the Opera Studio Nederlands.       Career   highlights   include   debuting   Klytemnestra   in   Edmonton   Opera’s   production of   Elektra,   singing   Elisabetta   in   Knoxville   Opera’s   production   of   Donizetti’s   Maria Stuarda ,   and   debuting   at   Carnegie   Hall   as   a   soloist   in   Haydyn’s   Mass   in   Time   of   War . Last   season   included   a   European   tour   of   Porgy   and   Bess    and   singing   as   the   Alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah and a recital of Haitian music. Catherine    opened    this    season    singing    the    role    of    Overseer    Bicycle    Opera project’s   production   of   Sweat    and   returning   to   Knoxville   for   their   40 th    anniversary Opera    Gala.    Ms.    Daniel    sang    as    the    alto    soloist    with    Edmonton’s    Symphony Orchestra in December 2017. Upcoming    performances    include    the    alto    soloist    in    Messiah    with    the    WSO, singing   Imelda   in   Opéra   de   Montréal’s   production   of   Champion   and   returning   to Knoxville to sing Santuzza in their production of Cavalleria Rusticana.
Tadeusz    Biernacki    (Music    Director)    Mr.    Biernacki    just    concluded    his    26th season    with    Manitoba    Opera    as    Assistant    Music    Director,    Chorus    Master    and Rehearsal   Pianist.   He   works   also   with   the   RWB   (Associate   Music   Director,   Principal Pianist), WSO, and MCO. Winner   of   the   K.   Szmanowski   Piano   Competition   in   Warsaw,   Mr.   Biernacki   has performed    internationally    as    a    piano    soloist.    Mr.    Biernacki    has    conducted    major orchestras    across    Canada,    as    well    as    the   Tessaloniki    State    Orchestra,    St.    Paul Chamber    Orchestra,    Kaohsiung    City    Symphony    Orchestra    and    the    Hong    Kong Sinfonietta.   He   has   written   orchestral   arrangements   for   the   TSO,   NAC   Orchestra,   and others. He   is   Music   Director   of   Saskatoon   Opera   where   he   has   conducted   Rigoletto,   Don Giovanni,    The    Magic    Flute,    Don    Pasquale,    Carmen,    The    Barber    of    Seville,    Die Fledermaus and The Elixir of Love and will conduct La Bohème this summer. His   most   recent   work   as   a   conductor   with   Manitoba   Opera   includes   Candide,   The Elixir   of   Love,   Don   Giovanni,   Così   fan   tutte,   The   Magic   Flute,   The   Barber   of   Seville,   Hansel   and   Gretel,   and   Don   Pasquale.      Guest conducting with Opera Lyra Ottawa includes the concert versions of Hamlet and Mignon.
Making her directing debut, Canada’s premier coloratura soprano, Tracy Dahl C.M. has appeared throughout her career with such opera houses as the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera Theatre of St Louis, Santa Fe Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, Manitoba Opera, Calgary Opera, Teatro alla Scala (Milan) and the Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris). In 2017 she was awarded the Order of Canada for her career as a singer and for her teaching. In 2009 she was awarded a Ruby from Opera Canada. In 2014 she was named one of the Women’s Executive Network Top 100 Most Powerful women in Canada.  From her roots in musical theatre, to concert halls and opera houses, Ms. Dahl has enjoyed success and is lauded for her silvery tones, her vocal agility, and her acting prowess. Frequent and favourite roles are Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Marie in the Daughter of the Regiment, Cunegonde in Candide, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Norina in Don Pasquale and Madame Mao in Nixon in China, the last of these roles having been recorded on the Naxos label.  Other recordings, for CBC records: Glitter and Be Gay; A Gilbert and Sullivan Gala; and a children’s album, Rhymes and Reverie. And with Red Phone Box Company: Love Walked In, a Gershwin tribute with Bramwell Tovey and most recently John Greer’s new art song album Sing me at Midnight, the Canadian Art song project. Ms. Dahl has been a voice teacher at the University of Manitoba Desautels Faculty of Music for twenty years.
Soprano,   Jessica   Kos-Wicher   (Micaëla)   has   been   hailed   as   “the   next   great one”    (Doug    Speirs,    Winnipeg    Free    Press)    Winnipeg    born    soprano    Jessica    Kos- Whicher   is   currently   a   student   of   Tracy   Dahl   and   Monica   Huisman.   Most   recently, Jessica   appeared   as   Lauretta   in   Gianni   Schicchi    with   Manitoba   Underground   Opera. Past   highlights   include   Tatiana   in   Eugene   Onegin    (Opera   NUOVA),   Pamina   in   The Magic   Flute...Retold    (Manitoba   Underground   Opera),   Elle   in   La   Voix   Humaine ,   Sister Rose   in   Jake   Heggie’s   Dead   Man   Walking    with   Opera   NUOVA.   Jessica   is   a   two   time encouragement   award   winner   and   a   two   time   regional   finalist   for   the   Met   National Council   Auditions.   When   she   is   not   performing,   Jessica   runs   a   successful   voice studio in Winnipeg, MB. Jessica   is   thrilled   to   be   reprising   the   role   of   Micäela   with   Little   Opera   Company   in her   home   town   and   equally   as   tickled   pink   to   be   working   with   such   a   stellar   cast   of mentors and colleagues.
Baritone,   David   Klassen   (Escamillo),    baritone   is   noted   for   his   “rich   baritone” (Minneapolis   Star   Tribune)   and   described   by   the   Winnipeg   Free   Press   as   “solid”, “resonant”   and   “very   satisfying   to   listen   to”,   David   Klassen   has   established   himself   as one   of   Manitoba’s   busiest   baritones,   teaching,   performing   and   directing.      His   operatic performance    highlights    include    an    award-winning    performance    of    the    title    role    in Mozart’s   Don   Giovanni ,   the   Minnesota   premier   performance   as   Valmont   in   Susa’s Dangerous   Liaisons ,   Demetrius   in   Britten’s   A   Midsummer   Night’s   Dream    and   Georg   in the world premier of Michael Matthews’ Prince Kaspar Past   solo   engagements   include   performances   with   the   Royal   Winnipeg   Ballet, Saskatoon   Opera,   Brandon   Chamber   Players,   The   Chamber   Players   of   Saint   Paul, Manitoba’s   Mennonite   Community   Orchestra   and   numerous   appearances   with   the Winnipeg   Symphony   Orchestra   including   a   sold   out   performance   of   Orff’s   Carmina Burana ,    and    a    performance    of    Rossini's    "Largo    al    Factotum"    for    a    Canada    Day audience   of   thirty   thousand.      Other   performance   highlights   include   a   2014   Fringe   Festival   production   of   StarBach’s   Coffee   Cantata    with Manitoban   soprano,   Naomi   Forman,   which   was   later   invited   to   perform   at   the   Ottawa   Chamber   Music   Festival,   and   a   project   with   Golden West Radio, touring Manitoba with a concert of favourite sacred music, partnering with local choirs along the way.  Currently   residing   in   Manitoba,   Mr.   Klassen   continues   to   work   at   creating   performance   opportunities   for   young   singers   and   fellow   artists alike.      In   2015,   he   was   nominated   for   CBC’s   “Manitoba   Future   40”   award   for   his   work   as   a   singer   and   university   educator   in   the   province, and in his home city of Steinbach where he has been acknowledged numerous times as one of the region’s greatest contributors to the Arts.   
Raymond   Solkalski   (Lillas   Pastia,   Garcia),   Raymond   Sokalski   has   performed with   the   Manitoba   Opera   Chorus   since   1990   and   with   the   Winnipeg   Singers   for   six seasons.   He   has   portrayed   Lillas   Pastia   and   Le   Guide      (Carmen,   Manitoba   Opera), Luis    (The    Gondoliers,    Gilbert    &    Sullivan    Society),    and    numerous    roles    with Winnipeg’s   Junction   Players,   including   Jesus   (Godspell),   Walter   Mitty   (The   Secret Life   of   Walter   Mitty),   and   Clarence   (It’s   a   Wonderful   Life).      He   has   sung      with   the Calgary   Opera   Chorus,   Rainbow   Stage,   and   the   Winnipeg   Philharmonic   Choir.      He first   appeared   with   the   Little   Opera   Company   in   their   production   of   Amahl   and   the Night   Visitors   (2011)   and   played   Omar   Khayyam   in   LOC’s   Kismet   (2016).   Raymond teaches   Histoire   canadienne   at   École   secondaire   Kelvin   and   is   excited   to   be   a   part   of Tracy Dahl’s first production as Stage Director .  
Don    Larsen    (Zuniga)    has    previously    appeared    with    Rainbow    Stage,    The Winnipeg   Gilbert   and   Sullivan   Society,   Little   Opera   Company,   Junction   Players,   and numerous   choruses   and   comprimario   roles   for   Manitoba   Opera.      Recent   credits include:    Commissionaire    in    Manitoba    Opera's    recent    production    of    La    Traviata , Scrooge    in    Junction    Players'    musical    production    of,    A    Christmas    Carol     (Alan Menken),   and   Mr.   Gower   in   It's   a   Wonderful   Life    (Rogers   /   Higgins)   also   with   Junction Players. For   Little   Opera   Company,   Don   has   performed   the   roles   of   Wolf   in   Little   Red Riding   Hood    (Barab),   Mr.   Scruples   in   The   Impresario    (Mozart),   Melchior   in   many productions   of   Amahl   and   the   Night   Visitors    (Menotti),   and   most   recently   as   Jawan   in Kismet  (Wright / Forrest). Having   performed   in   several   Carmen   choruses   for   Manitoba   Opera   over   the years,   Don   is   up   for   the   challenge   of   perfecting   (well,   at   least   improving)   his   French for   this   performance.   Hopefully   the   coaching   from   his   'French   immersed'   daughters has done the trick!
Sean McMullen (Set / Lighting Design) is a Winnipeg based designer and instructor, with a variety of design interests and focuses. Born in Pine Falls, Manitoba, Sean studied acting and theatre design at the University of Winnipeg. Following this, Sean completed a masters degree in theatre design from the University of Alberta in 2014. Since then, Sean has worked as a sets, costume, and lighting designer in Winnipeg, while building upon his passion as an educator with the University of Winnipeg's theatre and film department. Sean's additional interests include sound, projection, and video design, as well as writing and directing. Recent credits include Concord Floral with the University of Winnipeg (LX), set elements for Mabel's Curtain Call with One Trunk Theatre, and direction and production design for the Eureka Players musical production of The Saga of JD McArthur and the Winnipeg River Princess in Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba. Sean's previous work with the Little Opera Company includes scenic work for Merry Christmas Stephen Leacock in 2016, and set, costumes, and lighting design for Hansel and Gretel in 2015.
Robert Butler (Costumes Design) has worked on costumes, wigs & hair for Shoestring Players (Winnipeg) for many years. Examples of his work have been seen on stage in The Rivals, The Great Katherine, Welcome to the Moon & Other Plays, to name a few. His costume life started with performances with The Village Green English Country Dancers and has become rather more than a hobby. Robert’s work with The Little Opera Company has included Kismet and, recently, Opera Shorts. Robert is looking forward to the costume challenge of La Tragédie de Carmen.
Matthew   Lagacé   (Stage   Manager)    has   been   working   in   Stage   Management   for the   past   8   years.   Over   those   years   he   has   worked   with   a   variety   of   companies   in Winnipeg, as well as companies across Canada. Previous   credits   include:   Cosi   Fan   Tutti,   (Calgary   Opera),    La   Traviata,   Madama Butterfly,   Falstaff,   The   Marriage   of   Figaro   (Manitoba   Opera);   The   Whipping   Man, (Winnipeg   Jewish   Theatre);   The   Flats/Les   Flats   (Prairie   Theatre   Exchange/Théâtre Cercle   Molière);   Vanya   and   Sonia   and   Masha   and   Spike,   The   Heart   of   Robin   Hood, (Royal   Manitoba   Theatre   Centre),   Holly,   Jolly,   Merry   and   Bright   (Quest   Theatre), Almighty Voice and His Wife  (Theatre Kingston), Ring of Fire  (Globe Theatre). Upcoming    productions    include:    Mrs.    Warren’s    Profession     (Classic    Theatre Festival),   La   Traviata    (Edmonton   Opera),   Don   Giovanni    (Manitoba   Opera),   Hansel   & Gretel (Edmonton Opera) Matthew   is   a   graduate   of   the   University   of   Manitoba Theatre   Program/Black   Hole Theatre   Company.   “A   big   thank   you   to   my   friends   and   family   for   all   your   love   and support. I wouldn’t be where I am without all of you.
William    Medwick    (Apprentice    Stage    Manager)     is    a    recent    graduate    from Humber   College.   This   is   his   first   production   since   graduating   the   Theatre   Production programme.   I   am   very   excited   to   be   working   with   the   Little   Opera   Company   (LOC)!   I have   worked   with   LOC   in   the   past   and   have   loved   it.   They   gave   me   the   desire   to   go to   schooling   to   gain   more   knowledge   in   theatre.   Will   previously   worked   with   the   LOC in   their   production   of   Hansel   and   Gretel .      At   school,   William   has   been   a   Stage Manager   for   the   scripted   piece   called   The   Sea   by   Edward   Bond .   As   well   was   an Assistant   Stage   Manager   for   a   devised   piece   named   Cautionary   Tales,   directed   by Tatiana   Jennings,   and   as   an Apprentice   Stage   Manager   for   To   Ithica ,   also   directed   by Tatianna   Jennings.   He   is   very   interested   in   Stage   Management   and   is   very   excited   to get the opportunity to work with all of the cast and crew!