Creator & Librettist
Born in Port Morien, Nova Scotia, soprano Lorna MacDonald enjoys a career of distinction as Professor of Voice, Head of Voice Pedagogy and the Lois Marshall Chair in Voice Studies at the University of Toronto.
Her early years in the Cape Breton mining and fishing village of Port Morien provided Lorna with an insatiable love for singing and performance, and a deep respect for teaching. She is the recipient of numerous singing awards and two teaching awards. With a performance career that spanned many genres over 40 years, highlights include New York’s Metropolitan Opera, and the Graz’ Stephaniensaal, special concerts in Los Angeles’ Disney Hall, Vimy Ridge, France and across Canada and the US.
Studying African singing and drumming in Ghana figures among her musical highlights. Solo and operatic performances and giving master classes have taken her to Austria, Germany, France, Taiwan, the Republic of China, Russia, Africa, Wales, Ireland, England, Bermuda, and across North America.
“MacDonald’s agile, bright, sensitive voice beautifully illuminated the depth of Giovanni Bottesini’s songs for soprano and double bass and Richard Strauss’ song cycle with piano.” (Indianapolis NUVO 2014)
“MacDonald’s freshness of tone, her clarity of style and diction, and her beautifully expressive musicianship are served by a perfection of technical mastery” (Halifax Herald 2006)”
“…an absolute jewel” (Edmonton Journal 1994)
Among the multi-media works she has developed and performed are Marrying Mozart, Lois Marshall in Russia, and the Group of Seven. Lorna has enthusiastically “come home” to sing many concerts with Début Atlantic, Musique Royale, the St. Cecelia Series, with Coro Cantabile and the Cape Breton Chordsmen, for Opera Nova Scotia, Celtic Colours, Symphony Nova Scotia and to record for CBC Radio.
A recipient of Ontario’s OCUFA Award for “teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to university teaching”, she created a multi-faceted program in Voice Pedagogy at the University of Toronto in which doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students learn methods of artful voice teaching throughout the human life span. In building a program for talented singers and emerging teachers, hearing-impaired patients, and creating new performance models, the sharing of song and voice is at the heart of her life’s work.
Composer and librettist Dean Burry was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland but grew up in the town of Gander. In 1998, while working as an educator with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, he was commissioned to write The Brothers Grimm. The opera has been seen by over 150,000 children across Canada since 2001 and has been produced across North America and Europe. At well over 500 performances, The Brothers Grimm is believed to be the most performed Canadian opera ever.
Other major works include The Hobbit for the Canadian Children’s Opera Company and Sarasota Opera, The Scorpions’ Sting for the Canadian Opera Company, The Vinland Traveler and Le nez de la sorcière for Memorial University of Newfoundland, Pandora’s Locker for The Glenn Gould School, the CBC serial radio opera Baby Kintyre (released on the Centredisc and Naxos labels in September, 2014) and Beacon of Light for Rising Tide Theatre. He is currently a professor at the Glenn Gould Professional School of the Royal Conservatory of Music and pursuing a DMA at the University of Toronto.
Burry was the 2011 recipient of the Louis Applebaum Composers Award for excellence in the field of music for young people. His most recent composition, Tempest in a Teacup recently premiered in Guiyang, China and upcoming performances include The Hockey Cantata, commissioned by Orchestra Toronto and an opera about the lives of Alexander Graham and Mabel Bell.
Born in Glace Bay, N.S., Stuart has lived, and worked, in the United Kingdom for the past 41 years. As an accompanist, he has played for artists as diverse as Betty Buckley, Petula Clark, Chevy Chase, Albert Finney, Tom Jones, Nathan Lane, Dame Gillian Lynne, Moira Shearer, Andy Williams, and Miss Piggy. In the field of musical-theatre, amongst the shows he has conducted are Brigadoon, Cats, Chess, Chicago, Martin Guerre, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, The Producers, Riverdance, Showboat, Shrek, South Pacific, Sunset Boulevard, Witches of Eastwick, in London’s West End, on tour in the UK, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Portugal, Sweden, and in the USA.
As an arranger/orchestrator, he has written for The Bach Choir (London), Cape Breton Chorale, Cape Breton Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, Elmer Iseler Singers, Gothenburg Opera Orchestra, The Hallé Orchestra (Manchester, UK), The Menuhin School, The Nash Ensemble, The Showbiz Pops Orchestra, Stockholm Sinfonietta, Toronto Children’s Chorus, Wermland Opera, and he has composed music for BBC-TV.
Anna Theodosakis is a stage director and choreographer based in Toronto. She has been a sessional lecturer for the University of British Columbia and a guest lecturer with McGill University, University of Toronto, Dalhousie University, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Lethbridge, the Glenn Gould School, and the University of Manitoba. Anna is a dramatic coach for the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio and directed the Ensemble in their 2019 mainstage performance of La bohème as well as their 2018 Ensemble Showcase featuring Dido and Aeneas.
She also directed the COC’s Opera for Young Audiences WOW Factor: A Cinderella Story. For the 2021/2022 season Anna will direct Love Songs (University of Ottawa/Musique 3 Femmes), Vocalis: A Night at the Opera (University of Toronto), L’elisir d’amore (Western University), a workshop of Limit of the Sun (Opera McGill), and a to be announced production for Saskatoon Opera. She will also assistant direct the COC’s Gianni Schicchi & The Magic Flute and choreograph UofT Opera’s The Tender Land.
Projection and Video Design
Corwin has worked across Canada and abroad as a video and projection designer. In 2019-2020 he worked as Head of Projection Technology at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. For his designs, he has earned a Robert Merritt Award, the CITT/ICTS Technical Merit Award, and multiple other award nominations. Corwin’s professional theatrical experience also includes performance, direction, graphic design, set, props, and sound design. Corwin is a Studio 58 acting graduate, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts from Capilano University, and is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada.
Select company credits include: Arts Club Theatre Company, Alberta Theatre Projects, Atlantic Ballet, Bard On The Beach, Calgary Opera, Charlottetown Festival, Pacific Opera Victoria, Persephone Theatre, Saint John Theatre Company, Shaw Festival, Vancouver Opera. For all things Corwin please visit: www.corwinferguson.com