Trudy Chalmers began vocal studies with Nona Mari before graduating from Capilano University’s music program. She continued private studies with voice teachers in Montreal and England, participating in lieder recitals, master classes, and intensive voice, dance, and acting workshops in the U.K. Since 2011, Trudy has performed in almost 100 productions with local companies, landing roles in Macbeth, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Nabucco, and Suor Angelica. Lead roles include Amelia from Un Ballo in Maschera, Adalgisa from Norma, Giulietta from I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Lucia from Lucia di Lammermoor and Santuzza from Cavalleria Rusticana. Trudy founded Opera Opulenza to provide an educational space for singers to gain stage experience and to build repertoire.
Roger Parton studied composition under Dr. Theo Goldberg and has much experience accompanying and directing operas from the piano. In his spare time he is either reading scores or composing. To date he has participated or directed over eighty productions, and is currently preparing Offenbach’s ‘Tales of Hoffmann’ for production next year.
Anita Boomer, mezzo
A native of San Francisco, Anita studied classical guitar in her early twenties before giving up music to complete an M.A. in English Literature. She did not return to music until the ample age of 44 when, on a lark, she signed up for group voice lessons at a local community centre. She has pursued formal training ever since, and has sung the roles of Flora (La Traviata), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Ulrica (Un Ballo in Maschera) and Lucia (Cavalleria Rusticana). She is also a regular performer of sacred music. She has appeared as the alto soloist in Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio as well as in selections by Handel, Pergolesi, Rossini and others.
Madame Bresett has enjoyed performing with opera companies across the lower mainland, such as Opera Opulenza, Opera Mariposa, Burnaby Lyric Opera, Opera Pro Cantanti, Opera Appassionata, North Shore light Opera, and Magi. Among her favourite roles have been Romeo in I Capuleti ei Montecchi, and Adalgisa in Norma.
Macarius Chan, tenor
Ming-Xuan Chung, tenor
Jim DeLaHunt, tenor
Jim is a long-time singer in symphonic and opera choruses. He has recently been seen in lead, minor, and chorus roles in I Capuleti e I Montecchi, Norma, Nabucco, Macbeth, and Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Pro Cantanti. He has also sung with the Vancouver Bach Choir, ever since they had him at “Mahler’s 8th Symphony” in 2009. Earlier he sang with UBC Opera in B.C., and with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Opera San José, West Bay Opera, and South Valley Opera in California.
Frantz de Rycke, bass
Julia Fox, soprano
Julia Fox has been singing with opera companies for 9 years now and with choirs ever since she can remember. She began her operatic path with the Young People’s Opera Society of British Columbia where she started as a chorus member but worked her way all the way up to the titles roles in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and also Pandora’s Box. Within the last couple of years, she joined Burnaby Lyric Opera where she was part of the chorus in Flowtow’s Martha, Paggliacci by Leoncavallo and most recently Puccini’s La Bohème. During her time in the Burnaby Central Chamber Choir they were awarded the Jean Beaty Memorial award in the Kiwanis Music Festival. When she isn’t singing, she works as a piano teacher, French tutor and rock climbing coach as well as an actor in plays, commercials and movies.
Andrew Greenwood, baritone
“Another discovery was the Amonasro of Andrew Greenwood. The young baritone from Vancouver’s voice has a seductive texture. His focused but nevertheless round sound had sufficient power and at the same time creamy elegance. He was able to manipulate Aida with an extremely refined and beautiful vocal sound.” Das Opernglas, February 2011.
Recent engagements include: the role of Amonasro in Aida for the Stadttheater Hildesheim; Zuniga in Carmen and The Doctor in Samuel Barber’s Vanessa for Pacific Opera Victoria; the title role in Rigoletto for the Stadttheater Hildesheim, and the Stadttheater Wolfsburg, Germany; the roles of Prince Yamadori and The Imperial Commissioner in Madama Butterfly for Vancouver Opera; the title roles in Macbeth, and Nabucco, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Germont in La Traviata for Vancouver’s Opera Pro Cantanti; the role of the Emperor in Der Kaiser von Atlantis for City Opera Vancouver; the role of Count Almaviva in the 2006 Okanagan Vocal Arts Festival’s production of Le nozze di Figaro; Marcello in La bohème for UBC Opera, the 2005 Okanagan Vocal Arts Festival, and for Vancouver Island Opera; Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia for Vancouver Island Opera; Danilo in The Merry Widow for Burnaby Lyric Opera; and guest appearances with UBC Opera in the title roles of Falstaff and Eugene Onegin.
Additional Canadian credits include appearances with: Pacific Opera Victoria as King Alonso in Hoiby’s The Tempest, as both Morales and El Dancaïro in Carmen, Angelotti in Tosca, Monterone in Rigoletto, and Baron Douphol in La Traviata; Burnaby Lyric Opera as Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Dandini in Rossini’s Cinderella, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, and Peter in Hansel and Gretel; and UBC Opera as John Proctor in The Crucible, Smirnov in William Walton’s The Bear, and Peter in Hansel and Gretel. Andrew has also appeared with other opera companies in the Lower Mainland, such as Opera Breve, Western Concert Opera, and Modern Baroque Opera.
Also in demand as a concert and oratorio singer, Mr. Greenwood frequents such works as Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Symphony No. Nine, Dvorák’s Stabat Mater, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, the Bach Passions, as well as the Requiems of Verdi, Mozart, Brahms, Fauré and Duruflé. Some of the organizations he has sung with include: Virginia’s Opera Roanoke Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony, the Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Cantata Singers, the Prince George Symphony, the Vancouver Bach Choir, Festival Vancouver, the West Coast Symphony, the Kamloops Symphony, Sinfonia of the North Shore, the Chilliwack Symphony, the Okanagan Festival Singers, the Fraser Valley Symphony, the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Vancouver Island Symphony.
In 2001 Andrew performed the role of John Proctor in the Czech Republic premiere of The Crucible, by Robert Ward. He then went on to debut the roles of Escamillo in Carmen and Germont in La Traviata at the Prague State Opera. Additional European credits include: the roles of Marcello in La bohème for Opera Studio de Genève, Switzerland, and The Ferryman in Benjamin Britten’s Curlew River in Lausanne, Switzerland and Cuenca, Spain.
Sarah Henderson, mezzo
Brenda Katzeff, mezzo
Serina Li, soprano
Peter Monaghan, bass-baritone
Peter Monaghan is a recent graduate from the Yulanda M. Faris young artist program with Vancouver Opera. Recently Peter played Antonio/Figaro understudy for Vancouver Opera’s production of Le nozze di Figaro. Some of his most recent credits consist of: The father, Hansel and Gretel; Beast, Beauty and the Beast; Peter, Company; Don Pedro, Béatrice et Bénédict; and Colline, La Bohème. Up next he will make his debut with Opera Kelowna as Colline in La Bohème. Peter is also excited to debut with Opera Opulenza, and thanks his wife and family for their never-ending love and support.
Soprano Elaina Moreau received her training at the University of Toronto, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Aspen Opera Theater Center. Recently Moreau sang the role of Young Ava/House in the acclaimed world premier of Rocking Horse Winner with Tapestry Opera in Toronto, the role of Second Soprano in City Opera Vancouver’s The Lost Operas of Mozart, and the title role in L’incoronazione di Poppea with the Trentino Music Festival in Mezzano, Italy. Other credits include: Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Dalinda in Ariodante, Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel (all with San Francisco Conservatory of Music), Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (Lyric Opera Studio Weimar and ViVace), and Secretary in a workshop performance of The Overcoat (Tapestry Opera). Moreau is a three time District Winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (2011, 2014, and 2016) and represented Canada in the VII Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition in 2014. Elaina was named a 2017 laureate of the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, and was selected by the JAL to represent Canada in the semi-final round of the Riccardo Zandonai Concorso Internazionale in Riva del Garda, Italy.
Rebecca Paulding, soprano
Soprano Rebecca Paulding holds a Bachelor of Music and Masters in Voice and Opera Performance from the University of British Columbia, as well as an ARCT in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She is a provincial winner in voice, a medalist with RCM, and a winner of several provincial voice awards for her performances of Canadian Music. As well as performing, Rebecca loves teaching and adjudicating. She has been an instructor for Manitoba Theatre for Young People, and the Manitoba Conservatory, and currently teaches in Vancouver. Rebecca has sung with the Little Opera Company, Opera Nuova, Manitoba Opera and UBC Opera; and most recently with AEDO in Lucca, Italy. Favourite roles include Musetta in La Boheme, Rusalka in Rusalka, Marguerite in Louis Riel, and Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte. She has been a soloist with the Vancouver Symphony, as part of their Traditional Christmas Concert Series, with the Fraser Valley Philharmonic Orchestra, and the CSO. She brings her love of music and ability to connect with the audience to opera, musical theatre, vocal ensembles and solo work.
Mark Pepe, tenor
Mark Pepe, tenor, has a Bachelor of Music in Opera and Music Education, and a Bachelor of Education in Secondary Music from the University of British Columbia. He has performed with the Vancouver Academy of Music, Burnaby Lyric Opera, Vancouver Island Opera, Dragon Diva Operatic Theatre, Opera Mariposa, Opera Nuova, Bard on the Beach, UBC Opera Ensemble, and the University of Victoria Symphony and Chorus. Previous operas include Madama Butterfly, Le Nozze di Figaro, Gianni Schicchi, Die Fledermaus, Don Pasquale, Susannah, The Magic Flute, Rusalka, Romeo et Juliette, and La Bohéme. Mark is also band and choir director at Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Delta, and at St Joseph the Worker School in Richmond.
Melissa Ratcliff, mezzo
Melissa is born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta where she studied music at the University of Alberta, and performed with ABBEDAM productions in Marat Sade, and the Edmonton Fringe Festival in Quilters. She moved to Vancouver and has performed with the Vancouver Bach Choir, and directs the SFU Choir. Recent appearances include the Chilliwack Opera production of the Magic Flute, and Burnaby Lyric Opera’s Madama Butterfly and La Spartana Generosa.
Talia Rayne, soprano
American soprano Talia Rayne is making her debut in the role of Santuzza with this production of Cavalleria Rusticana. Opera has always been her passion in life, and she is thrilled to be singing with Opera Opulenza. Her rich, shimmering soprano and sparkling personality have made her a favorite with numerous opera companies including Skagit Opera and Fresno Grand Opera. She competes regularly in vocal competitions including the Metropolitan Opera Northwest Competition, and is a frequent soloist in the community singing extensively for weddings, funerals, and other special occasions. Her favorite roles include Michaela from Carmen, Musetta from La Boheme, and Lauretta from Gianni Schicci. Upcoming performances include Giulietta in Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Opera Opulenza in the fall of 2016. She is currently planning an audition tour in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in 2018.
Kirenia Sanchez, soprano
Possessing a warm, rich and sizeable voice, Shadan Saul, has sung the roles of Mimi in La Boheme, Rusalka, and the title role in the Merry Widow. Ms. Saul’s stage presence has taken her to many stages and concerts around the world, including the VSO and the Czech Civic Orchestra. Praised for her sound, “reminiscent of the golden age of opera and the most famous sopranos” (Richard Gaddes, MONC 2014), has had the honour of studying under some of the best singers and teachers of our time amounts them are: Manuela Agueda, Mirella Freni, Ruth Falcon, Virginia Zeani, Heather Thomson, Montserrat Caballe and tenor Melvyn Poll. Shadan has also recently made her debut with Opera Kelowna and is looking forward to making her debut with Opera Opulenza.
Acclaimed for his sensational interpretation as lead in the world premiere of Stickboy with Vancouver Opera, Sunny Shams is known for his beautiful, rich, velvety and expressive tenor voice, and his dramatic connection with the characters whom he portrays on stage. Starting piano lessons when he was eight, Sunny found his love for jazz, and embarked on a career in jazz piano. Pursuing a degree in music as a jazz pianist, but also wanting to learn to sing like Frank Sinatra, he took voice lessons while in college. His teacher quickly persuaded him to study classical technique, opening the door to the world of opera. After experiencing singing in the chorus for a season with Pacific Opera Victoria, Sunny was convinced that it is the ultimate art form. Switching his major to opera, Sunny set out on his operatic career which has seen him around the world, working with teachers such as Peter Barcza, Heather Thompson, Virginia Zeani, Montserrat Caballe, and now with his mentor, tenor Melvyn Poll. Sunny’s career has given him opportunity to perform in many concerts, as well as portray many lead roles in operas including Carmen, La Boheme, Don Giovanni, Falstaff, Die Fledermaus, The Merry Widow, and Rusalka, in Vancouver, Seattle, Montreal, Madrid and touring in the Czech Republic.
Jessica Turje, soprano
Canadian soprano Jessica Türje brings a beauty and depth to the music she sings, which is expressed through her rich and vibrant vocal quality. Her understanding of technique affords her the ability to communicate with musical honesty and ease. She seeks an intimate understanding of the worlds of text and sound behind the repertoire she sings, an understanding that she continually cultivates. Jessica is a strong collaborator who enjoys exploring the joys of music with other musicians, whether in the concerted effort required for operatic works, or in the intimate collaboration on art song. All of these pursuits enable Jessica to continue refining her understanding of the craft of singing, a craft that she is devoted to promoting and sharing.
Jessica began her musical journey in Vancouver. She started her post-secondary studies at the University of British Columbia and pursued further musical studies by completing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Toronto. Jessica made her professional debut as Madame Herz in W.A. Mozart’s ‘The Impresario’ in 2012, and has also performed with Toronto based opera company Opera5 and covered the role of the Countess Almaviva in the Vancouver Summer Opera Studio production of W.A. Mozart’s ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’. In Calgary, Jessica was featured by the Scandinavian Society of Calgary in a performance of works by Edward Grieg. Through the 2014 Kiwanis Music Festival, she went on to be heard in the Stars of the Calgary Kiwanis Music Festival. As a result of her success Jessica was recommended to represent Alberta in the National Music Competition that year. In the summer of 2015 Jessica was awarded a full scholarship to participate and perform in the Mountain View International Festival of Song and Chamber Music, where she worked extensively with world-renowned clinician and chamber musician Rudolf Jansen. In November 2015, Jessica performed with the Calgary Arts Orchestra, and premiered an arrangement of Alexia Louie’s aria Berceuse from The Scarlett Princess. Jessica also performed several fundraising concerts for local fundraising efforts in Calgary. In the early spring of 2016, Jessica participated and won her category in NATS Calgary Chapter and later won the NATSAA Intermountain Region Competition, performing in the University of Calgary’s Rosza Centre. Jessica spent her summer of 2016 training in Baden bei Wien, Austria at the Franz Schubert Institute working with world class master teachers and coaches on a variety of Lieder. Jessica is currently living in Vancouver, B.C preparing for a recital with pianist Mary Castello and a performance in December with the Mountain View Winter Festival.
Alexandre Vasilchenko, baritone
Essie Williams, soprano
Essie Williams – (Chorus) is delighted to be making her theatre debut with Opera Opulenza! Originally from Vancouver Island, Essie has enjoyed singing for many years and is very excited to be a part of Cavalleria Rusticana.
Jessica Wright, soprano
Soprano Jessica Wright has spent the last 10 years singing with various companies in the lower mainland including Opera Mariposa, Dragon Diva Operatic Theatre, North Shore Light Opera Society, Opera Appassionata, and Vancouver Concert Opera Society. More recently, Jessica was a chorus member in Burnaby Lyric Opera’s La Bohéme and is currently a first soprano in the Vivaldi Chamber choir.
When she’s not singing, Jessica spends her time working on her psychology degree at Langara College and being a mom to two amazing kids.