The OLO Studio welcomed the following artists into the program for the 2012-13 season production of Cinderella :
Heralded for her “Rich and Radiant Tone”, Mezzo-Soprano Arminè Kassabian is quickly establishing herself as one of Canada’s most sought after young artists. Arminè has taken the opera scene by storm with a recent First place win at the Brian Law Opera Competition, Awarded "Le Prix Haricléa Darclée 2012"- Michel Buruiana Bursary, Second place in the New Jersey Verismo Opera Association Competition and a finalist at the Riccardo Zandonai International Competition in Italy 2012. Chosen as a Laureate of the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyrique 2012, she will be performing concert tours and Carmen's Bizet opera in 20 different cities in China 2012-2013.
Upcoming operatic engagements for the 2012-2013 seasons include: Carmen & Mercedes (Carmen highlights, concert tour) with Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, Dorabella (Cosi fan Tutte) with Jeunesses Musicales du Canada; and Cinderella with (Opera Lyra's educational adaptation). In the 2011-2012 season, Armine joined the Opera Lyra Studio Young Artist Development program, and appeared with: Opera Brasov, Green Mountain Opera Festival, Festival Opéra Saint Eustache and Opera McGill. Role highlights include: Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel; Carmen in La Tragédie de Carmen; Mère-Marie in Poulenc's les Dialogues des Carmélites; Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina and First Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, *Mercedes in Carmen, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Sister of Mercy (Evangeline) and Rosie in The Barber of Bytown (Opera Lyra’s educational adaptation).
On the concert stage Arminè is quite active in both Oratorio and Recital. Highlights include Bach’s St. Mathew Passion, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Bach Magnificat with the Cantabile Chorale, Handel’s Messiah with the CAMMAC Gatineau-Ottawa Choir under the baton of Maestro Louis Lavigueur. As a recitalist, she has performed at Music and Beyond Festival & Ottawa Chorale Society in Ottawa and at the Expression Artistique d’ici d’Ailleur and the Cultural Society of Armenians of Istanbul in Montreal. Arminè had the priviledge performing in Master-Classes at the Centre d’art Orford, Green Mountain Opera Festival and Opera Lyra with Edith Bers, Michael McMahon, Chantal Lambert Sanford Sylvan, John Fanning, Kathryn Labouff, Tyronne Paterson, Peter Strummer and many more. Arminè holds an Artist Diploma, M.M and B.Mus from the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.She is presently studying with Mariateresa Magisano and coaching with Judith Ginsburg.
David Lafleur - tenor
David Lafleur completed a Bachelor and Master degree at The Schulich School of Music of McGill University. David’s operatic experience consists of Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance, Kasper in Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Mr. Upfold in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring and Ruggero in Puccini’s La Rondine. Upcoming operatic engagements include Le Portrait de Manon with ICAV. He has also appeared in scenes from La Traviata, Martha, Puccini’s La Rondine and Werther. David has also sung on the concert stage where he sang Mozart’s C Minor Mass, Handel’s Messiah with Cantabile Choir and Orchestra and Judas Maccabaeus with Pembroke Choir and Orchestra. He has also sung Ernest Chausson’s Poème d’amour et de la mer and Schumaan’s Dichterliebe and recently sang Benjamin Britten’s Seranade for Tenor and Horn and Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été at McGill University.
Bass Brian Wehrle began singing professionally at a young age, performing as treble soloist with numerous ensembles in his hometown of Winnipeg, including the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. Brian studied at McGill University under the tutelage of Sanford Sylvan, where he performed the roles of Superintendent Budd in Britten’s Albert Herring and Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte. Other roles include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte at Brevard Music Center, Masetto in Don Giovanni at Saskatoon Opera, and Uberto in Pergolesi’s La serva padrona with the McGill Chamber Orchestra. In 2009 he sang Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore at the Green Mountain Opera Festival in Vermont, Trulove in The Rake’s Progress and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv. Brian was a member of both Opera Lyra Ottawa’s Opera Studio and Virginia Opera’s Spectrum Resident Artist Program for the 2009-2010 season. Also in 2010 he was an Apprentice Artist at Chautauqua Opera, where he covered the role of Oroveso in Norma. More recently Brian covered the role of Don Alfonso at Virgina Opera. This summer he will sing Zuniga in Carmen, and cover Simone in Gianni Schicchi as a Resident Artist at Central City Opera in Colorado. Brian is a laureate of the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques Programme.
Ellen holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Manitoba, School of Music, and a Masters of Music degree and Artist Diploma from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. A strong advocate for contemporary opera and song literature, her Artist Diploma was dedicated to the research and performance of contemporary Canadian song literature. Ellen maintains working relationships with a number of gifted Canadian and American composers. Recent premieres have included the operas No Masque for Good Measure by Matthew Ricketts (Soprano 1: Messenger/Drag Queen), Meriwether by Jim Lahti (Julia Hancock) and Nessie by Danielle Post (Nessie/Alice), as well as Isaiah Cecarelli’s Defora fai sinhes lo finestra, and Da caelo servare, Danny Clay’s Children’s Songs, and Jim Lahti’s Three Songs on Poems of Hart Crane. Highlights of Ellen’s 2012/13 season include Barber’s Hermit Songs with pianist Stéphane Lemelin at the Prince Edward County Music Festival, appearances with the Music and Beyond Festival Orchestra, as well as harpist Caroline Leonardelli and pianist Judith Ginsburg, at the Music and Beyond Festival in Ottawa, Hugo Wolf’s complete Italienisches Liederbuch with baritone Alex Dobson and pianist Marc Wieser at Montréal’s Chapelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur, the role of Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Montreal’s Opera da Camera, multiple guest appearances with the Mont-Royal Baroque Collective, as well as Ensemble Caprice on their Vivaldi Angels tour, and Ceccarelli’s Da caelo servare with Productions SuperMusique in Montreal.