Larissa Koniuk - soprano
Larissa Koniuk is a Toronto-based singer, actor, and avid cyclist. Equally experienced in opera, concert, and recital repertoire, Larissa’s artistic concentration is in the creation and collaboration of new opera works. Larissa is currently the co-founder and artistic director of the Bicycle Opera Project, producing and performing contemporary opera in venues across Ontario in July 2012 and 2013. As a performer with the Bicycle Opera Project, the soprano has recently been seen in productions at the Green Door Cabaret, Innovations en Concert in Montreal, Aeolian Hall in London, and a three-day residency with the Stratford Summer Music Festival.
Stephanie Tritchew - mezzo
Stephanie Tritchew is a mezzo soprano and a recent graduate of the Opera Diploma program at the University of Toronto, under the tutelage of Canadian soprano, Wendy Nielsen. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Honours Performance and a Masters of Music in Performance and Literature from The University of Western Ontario. Last season, Stephanie was seen as Sabrina in the University of Toronto Opera’s student composer collective, Say No to the Dress and as Nancy in UofT Opera’s spring production of Albert Herring, as well as the Orpheus Choir’s Sidgwick Scholar.
Christopher Enns - tenor
Christopher is an Alumnus of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble. On the mainstage, he was featured as First Commissioner (Dialogues des Carmelite)s, Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Jupiter (Semele), Scaramuccio (Ariadne auf Naxos), and Nathaniel (Les contes d’Hoffmann). He has been heard with Chorus Niagara in a Broadway-themed programme in St. Catharines, in Messiah for the Menno Singers, and played the role of Alexander in The Enslavement and Liberation of Oksanna G. for Tapestry. Upcoming performances include Tamino in The Magic Flute for Saskatoon Opera, Bach’s Mass in B minor for the Winnipeg Symphony and Frederic in Pirates of Penzance for Opera Lyra Ottawa.
Geoffrey Sirett - baritone
Baritone Geoffrey Sirett continues to impress musicians and audiences in debut performances in opera, concert and recital repertoire. He recently premiered James Rolfe’s OPEN ROAD for Soundstreams and later in the 2013-2014 season appears in the company’s production of Brian Current’s AIRLINE ICARUS. His season also included the Canadian Opera Company tour of Pergolesi’s LA SERVA PARDONA and THE BROTHERS GRIMM, Bach’s JOHANNES PASSION for Kitchener’s Grand Philharmonic Choir, Mozart’s KRÖNUNGSMESSE for the Ottawa Choral Society, Stankar in STIFELLIO for VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert and an appearance with the Talisker Players of Toronto. He was also heard in Bach’s WEIHNACHTSORATORIUM for Choeur St. Laurent and MESSIAH for the Winnipeg Symphony and Against the Grain in Toronto.
Wesley Shen - music director/piano
Wesley Shen is a dynamic and versatile pianist and harpsichordist working and residing in Toronto. He is a sought after solo artist as well as a collaborator in both chamber and orchestral settings. With a strong passion for contemporary music, he is seen performing as a regular member of the Toy Piano Composers Ensemble and the Blue Moss Ensemble. Recent appearances also include performances with the Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and New Music Concerts. His alter ego can be found continuing studies in Baroque period performance on harpsichord, working with Charlotte Nediger, Ivars Taurins, and other members of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. He is also seeking new ways of combining these two interests and helping to restore the harpsichord as an expressive medium within contemporary music.
Chelsea Shanoff - saxophone
Chelsea Shanoff is a diverse Toronto-based saxophonist, with a strong interest in contemporary music. Chelsea teaches at the University of Toronto, Havergal Collegiate Institute, Cardinal Carter School for the Arts, and Interprovincial Music Camp. Chelsea is the Post-Classical Curator at the Music Gallery. Chelsea holds a Masters of Music degree from Arizona State University and an Honours Bachelors of Music degree from the University of Toronto.
Chelsea takes her love of contemporary chamber music into her main collaborations, Thin Edge New Music Collective and CelloPhone. CelloPhone received a 2014 Ontario Arts Council Project Grant to present an upcoming concert of new works for saxophone and cello in Fall 2014. As a freelance performer, Chelsea has organized, promoted, and performed on various solo and chamber music shows throughout Toronto, at venues such as the Music Gallery, Four Seasons Centre for the Arts, Gallery 345, and the Tranzac.
Tristan Durie - flute
Tristan Durie is an accomplished flautist currently active as a performer and freelancer in Toronto. Recent performances include the world premiers of both Jonathan Harvey’s “Vajra”, Gabriel Prokofiev’s “Flute Trios” and the Toronto premiere of Brian Harman’s “Surface” for solo flute at the Canadian Music Centre. Other notable performances include solos with the Exultate Chamber Singers, the University of Toronto's production of Britten's "Albert Herring", as well as several chamber and orchestral concerts with Musica Reflecta. He holds a Bachelor of Music Performance with a minor in Composition from the University of Toronto where he studied flute with Prof. Douglas Stewart and composition with Prof. Norbert Palej. He is currently completing his Masters in Flute Performance at the University of Toronto under the guidance of Prof. Leslie Newman.
Liza Balkan - stage director
Liza Balkan has spent over three decades working in the theatre. She is a director, writer, librettist, educator, coach, former dancer and Dora Award - winning actor.
Liza ‘s work in Opera includes her recent staging of Louis Andriessen’s Anais Nin at Koerner Hall, directing The Brothers Grimm for the Canadian Opera Company/Ensemble, Le Nozze Di Figaro and L’Elisir d’Amore in Italy (COSI), the Canadian Premiere of composer Stephen Taylor and writer Marcia Johnson’s Paradises Lost ( Summerworks Musical Works in Concert), the site specific Toronto Fringe hit: Opera On the Rocks at Paupers Pub, and TapestryNewOpera’s Opera Brief’s 6 and 7. Her work as a librettist includes several short opera works and most recently, with composer Lembit Beecher, the song cycle Looking at Spring, which premiered in Vermont this past June. Her song Ride the Fear can be heard on Ivan Barbotin’s new album: Atom. www.lizabalkan.com.