Atelier lyrique of the
l’Opéra de Montréal
About flowers and spring
This year, the young singers from the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal draw inspiration from flowers and spring to charm you. Your turn to yield to their charms!
Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal
As the Opéra de Montréal’s artist-in-residence program for emerging Canadian opera singers, pianists-vocal coaches, and stage directors, the Atelier lyrique serves as a true springboard to a professional career. The term “atelier” (workshop) is an eloquent description of the program’s privileged laboratory environment that combines rigorous training and practical experience in every aspect of the profession on a daily basis. Artists are recruited at annual cross-Canada auditions, where they are selected for their exceptional talent, as well as for their personality, energy, resilience, and determination. All of the program’s activities serve to support and guide the participants along their career paths. This year, 11 young artists will benefit from high calibre training and take part in a multitude of activities (productions, concerts, workshops, master classes, etc.). Among the values the program emphasizes are autonomous career management and achieving a balance on a human level—with the ultimate goal being that Atelier members leave the program as complete artists who can contribute to the advancement of the discipline, both at home and abroad. Since 1984, two hundred artists have received training at the Atelier, with a good number going on to successful careers on the national and international scenes.
Spencer Britten, tenor
Spencer Britten, tenor – British Columbia (Vancouver)
Spencer Britten owns a Master’s degree in opera from the University of British Columbia. In 2018-2019, his activities include the roles of Doughboy, Basket the dog and the Model Vivant in Twenty-Seven (Atelier lyrique); Gee-tar and the Featured Dancer in West Side Story (The Atlanta Opera); Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw (Orchestre de l’Agora), and Dorvil in La scala di seta (Orchestre symphonique de la Vallée-du-Haut-Saint-Laurent), in addition to a soloist part in Dvořák’s Mass in D Major and Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb (Chœur Métropolitain). Among the roles on his 2019-2020 slate are Léon in The Ghosts of Versailles (Royal Opera of Versailles and The Glimmerglass Festival), Triquet in Eugene Onegin (Opéra de Montréal), the First Prisoner in Fidelio (Opéra de Montréal & Orchestre Métropolitain), and Peppe in Rita (Sinfonia de Lanaudière).
Follow him @spencerbritten and spencerbritten.com
Spencer Britten is generously sponsored by Sigrid Chatel.
Matthew Dalen, tenor
Matthew Dalen, tenor – Alberta (Grande Prairie)
Matthew Dalen is a graduate of Vancouver Opera’s Yalunda M. Faris young artist program and has been selected as a Jeune Ambassadeur Lyrique. Dalen has performed numerous roles as a young artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and UofT Opera. His performance in the title role in the North American premiere of Schubert’s Fierabras (Toronto Operetta Theatre) garnered critical acclaim. In 2019-2020, Matthew’s slate includes the part of Borsa in Verdi’s Rigoletto (Edmonton Opera), as well as understudying the roles of Lensky in Eugene Onegin, Eduardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Tamino in The Enchanted Flute (all three with l’Opéra de Montréal). He also makes his Opera de Montreal debut as First Soldier in The Enchanted Flute.
Brenden Friesen, bass
Brenden Friesen, bass – Saskatchewan (Langham)
Brenden Friesen holds an Master’s degree of music in Opera from the University of Toronto. Opera Canada said of Brenden that he “has captured audiences with his powerful resonance, exceptional diction, enormous comedic presence, and incredible interpretation of text.” Brenden’s most recent performances include his l’Opéra de Montréal debut as Count Ceprano in Verdi’s Rigoletto, and as Ernest Hemingway in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Canadian debut of Twenty-Seven (Atelier lyrique). His roles for the 2019-2020 year include Truffaldin in Ariadne auf Naxos (Highlands Opera Studio), and Zaretski in Eugene Onegin (Opéra de Montréal).
Brenden Friesen is generously sponsored by Colleen and Mirko Wicha.
Holly Kroeker, pianist
Holly Kroeker, pianist – Alberta (Grande Prairie)
Holly Kroeker holds a Master’s degree in Collaborative Piano from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor’s in Piano from the University of Alberta. In 2017-2018 she was a member of the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program at Vancouver Opera. In 2018-2019, she was the assistant rehearsal pianist for a Broadway Evening (Aramusique) and for Twenty-Seven (Atelier lyrique). She was also the pianist in the chamber orchestra for The Turn of the Screw (Orchestre de l’Agora) and played continuo for La scala di seta (Orchestre symphonique de la Vallée-du-Haut-Saint-Laurent). In 2019-2020, her activities include work as rehearsal pianist for Opera de Montreal’s production of The Magic Flute, as well as the assistant rehearsal pianist for Eugene Onegin and Lucia di Lammermoor (Opera de Montréal).
Holly Kroeker is generously sponsored by F. Ann Birks.
Jean-Philippe Mc Clish, bass-baritone
Jean-Philippe Mc Clish, bass-baritone – Quebec (Quebec City)
Jean-Philippe McClish holds a Master’s degree in music from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music. Previous roles include Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte (Opéra de l’Université de Montréal) and, at the Schulich School of Music, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Il Re in Ariodante and Készakállú in Bluebeard’s Castle. As a soloist, he has performed Handel’s Messiah (Ensemble Sinfonia), Rossini’s Little Solemn Mass (Choeur polyphonique de Rimouski), Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana (Kingston Symphony) along with the Requiems of Brahms (Orchestre symphonique de Lévis) and Mozart (Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières). With l’Opéra de Montréal, his 2019-2020 slate includes the part of the Captain in Eugene Onegin, the second prisoner in Fidelio, and the Armed Guard in The Magic Flute.
Follow him on Instagram: instagram.com/mcclish.jp
Andrea Núñez, soprano
Andrea Núñez holds a Master’s degree of Music in Opera Performance from the University of Toronto. She was also part of the Young Artist Programs at the Santa Fe Opera and the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. In 2018-2019, she made her Opéra de Montréal debut in the roles of The Page in Rigoletto, Woglinde in Das Rheingold, and Alice B. Toklas in Twenty-Seven (Atelier lyrique). She also portrayed the Governess in The Turn of the Screw (Orchestre de l’Agora) and Giulia in La scala di seta (Orchestre symphonique de la Vallée-du-Haut-Saint-Laurent). In 2019-2020, she covers the role of Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor and plays the role of Erste Dame in The Magic Flute (both with l’Opéra de Montréal).
Follow her at ancnunez.wixsite.com/andrea-nunez-soprano or @andienunez
Andrea Núñez is generously sponsored by Emmelle and Alvin Segal.
Elizabeth Polese, soprano
Elizabeth Polese, soprano – Ontario (Toronto)
A soprano fellow at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Festival in 2018, Elizabeth Polese holds a Master’s degree in Voice Performance from the University of Toronto. During the 2018-2019 season, she played Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto (Opéra de Montréal) and Alice B. Toklas in Twenty-Seven (Atelier lyrique) as well as Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw (Orchestre de l’Agora). Her work as a soloist included Broadway Evening (Aramusique), Dvořák’s Mass in D Major, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb (both wth the Chœur Métropolitain), Soirée à l’opérette (Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil) and Opéras! (Orchestre symphonique de la Vallée-du-Haut-Saint-Laurent). In 2019-2020, Elizabeth’s slate at l’Opéra de Montréal includes the part of Papagena in The Magic Flute along with understudying the roles of Marzelline in Fidelio, Agnès in Written on Skin and Pamina in The Magic Flute. She also assumes the title role in Rita (Sinfonia de Lanaudière).
Follow her @bethsingsongs or elizabethpolese.ca
Elizabeth Polese is generously sponsored by Sue Wehner.
Frances Thielmann, pianist
Frances Thielmann recently completed her Master’s Degree in Collaborative Piano at the University of Toronto and holds a Bachelor’s Degree with Distinction in Piano Performance from the University of Victoria. In 2018, Frances was selected to be an Art of Song fellow at Toronto Summer Music, where she trained with Julius Drake and Christoph Prégardien. Frances has studied a broad range of repertoire at other prestigious programs, including the Vancouver International Song Institute, Orford Summer Academy, Franz Schubert Institute, Stratford Vocal Academy, Opera NUOVA, Toronto Summer Music, and St. Andrews Opera Workshop. She is a coach and pianist at St. Andrews in the summer of 2019 and joins the Atelier lyrique as a coach and pianist for the 2019-2020 season.
Salle Claude-Léveillée | Place des Arts
175 Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, QC H2X 1Y9
Thursday, March 19, 2020, 12:10pm
* Prices, artists, repertoire, and concert dates and times may be modified without notice.