Meet our BrottOpera Cast
BrottOpera 2021 Cast
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Soprano Catherine Thornsley was born and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona, where she began studying voice at the age of 16 with Dr. Judith Cloud. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal performance from Northern Arizona University in 2015, and shortly thereafter relocated to Seattle where she began to build a career as a working professional. In 2018, Catherine was accepted into the University of British Columbia’s opera program and began studying for her Master of Music degree in Opera performance. At UBC, she has had the enormous privilege of portraying Marta in the Canadian premiere of Weinberg’s Pasazerka in January 2020. Catherine has sung internationally, recently travelling to the Czech Republic and Germany with the UBC Opera Ensemble. She also participated in the 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was a recipient of the Encouragement Award for the Utah District. She has continued to stay active throughout the pandemic by participating in UBC Opera’s productions of socially distanced excerpt concerts, and two fully staged productions; Giachino Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims as Madame Cortese and W.A. Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro as Contessa Almaviva. Catherine is currently based out of Vancouver. where she is studying under the direction of Nancy Hermiston.
Ekaterina Shelehova began studying music at 3 years old, and performed in many operas as a child, including Carmen and Tosca. Ekaterina studied at the Conservatory of Music in Toronto where she received three Gold Medals in Vocal and diploma for Grade 10 Vocal. She finished her studies in Piano, and received her diploma for ARCT in Piano Pedagogy. In Autumn 2012 she recorded her solo CD “Moonlight”. In 2019 she has completed her Bachelors and Masters in Opera performance with highest honors from the Conservatory Giuseppe Verdi, Milan, Italy and in the same year performed the roles of Olympia from ‘Les Contes D’Hoffmann’ and Zerlina from ‘Don Giovanni’ at Teatro Carcano, Milano. During the summer of 2019, Ekaterina participated in the Young Artist Program ‘iSing Festival’ in China, performing in cities such as Suzhou, Guanzhou, and Shanghai. Since then she has performed the roles Cunegonde from ‘Candide’, Adina from ‘L’Elisir D’Amore’ and even made on an appearance on Italy’s Got Talent. Besides music, she enjoys fitness, latin dance, WoW, and playing the ukulele.
Mezzo Soprano Ellita Gagner was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, though her music education began at age 13 in Chatham, Ontario with teachers Christine and Jim Prosser. Ellita recently finished her Bachelor of Music with an Honours in Voice Performance at the University of Western Ontario where she continues to study with acclaimed mezzo soprano, Patricia Green. Awards include first place in both the 2017 Ontario Music Festivals Association and the 2020 National Association of Teachers of Singing competition. In 2018, she won the London Community Orchestra’s Young Soloists Concert Audition and performed La Captive and Villanelle by H. Berlioz, and Faites-lui mes aveux from Faust by C. Gounod with the orchestra in their winter season. Ellita’s recent performances include Little London Opera’s Dido and Aeneas, Peep Bo in UWOpera’s production of The Mikado, and Dorabella in UWOpera’s production of Così fan tutte. Prior to studying opera, Ellita performed the Narrator in Studio Black’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat and Kurt in The Sound of Music. Ellita has a passion for the music of contemporary Canadian and female composers, as well as bringing classical music to communities with reduced access and is forming a collective which hopes to put on multiple small productions in London, Ontario in the coming season. She is very excited to learn from the artists at Brott Opera!
Matthew Kim recently graduated from the University of British Columbia, earning his master’s degree in opera performance. In his time at UBC, Matthew studied with Dale Throness and Peter Barcza. His favourite roles have included Dr. Miracle/Lindorf (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos), and Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro). Matthew enjoys singing contemporary works and telling new stories to current audiences. He had the unique opportunity to sing the roles of Edmund Bertram and William Dale in Mansfield Park and Silent Night – both composed in the last decade. He also has a strong fondness for classical and romantic opera and German lieder. In addition to his performance pursuits, Matthew enjoys exploring culinary experiences both in the kitchen and out, playing video games, watching the UFC, working out, and discovering new movies. As the head counselor at UBC’s summer music institute for four years, Matthew has enjoyed working with youths to broaden their musical horizons. Matthew began his professional singing career in the summer of 2020, singing outdoor concerts with local companies in Vancouver and Calgary. He looks forward to continuing his opera career by applying to young artist programs, participating in concerts, and collaborating with other musicians.
Praised as “an engaging visual and vocal actor” (Opera Canada) with a “warm, sonorous baritone” (Stage Door Toronto), Nicholas Borg was a member of the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program at Vancouver Opera for the 2019/2020 season. Last summer Nicholas was involved with Brott Opera and the Manitoba Opera Digital Emerging Artists Program. This past season with Vancouver Opera Nicholas performed the role of Barone Douphol in La traviata, and Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Previously, he performed the role of Action in West Side Story in Concert for the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and performed with the Canadian Opera Company Chorus in their productions of Elektra, Cosi fan tutte, and Otello. Nicholas has performed Marcello in La bohème and Eugene Onegin for Opera Muskoka, Pangloss in Candide and Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance for Toronto Operetta Theatre, Figaro in Mercadante’s lost opera I due Figaro for Voicebox: Opera in Concert, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore for the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia for MYOpera, and El Dancairo in Carmen for the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra. Nicholas has appeared as a guest soloist for the Grand Philharmonic Choir in Kitchener/Waterloo, and the Amabile Choirs and St. Mary’s Choirs in London Ontario. Nicholas graduated with a Masters in Music degree from the University of Toronto Opera, under the tutelage of renowned soprano Wendy Nielsen, and he holds a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University.
Tenor Scott Rumble was a member of the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program for Vancouver Opera’s 2018/19 season. Heholds a Master of Music in Opera Performance from the University of British Columbia, and an Artist Diploma and Bachelor of Music (Honours) in Voice Performance from the University of Western Ontario. Rumble joins the Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Development Program for his second year this 2020/2021 season. During his first year with Calgary Opera, Mr. Rumble sang the role of Flavio in Norma, Rooster in Bremen Town Musicians, and was scheduled to perform Bénédict in Béatrice et Bénédict and Tanzmeister in Ariadne auf Naxos before the Covid-19 pandemic. During his time with Vancouver Opera, Mr. Rumble sang the role of St. Brioche in The Merry Widow and covered both the title role in Gounod’s Faust and Rodolfo in La Bohème. Other recent credits include Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos (Highlands Opera Studio), Bob Boles in Peter Grimes (Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), Luigi in Il Tabarro, Bacchus, Lensky in Eugene Onegin (University of British Columbia) and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy). Mr. Rumble has also performed as the tenor soloist for Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and Handel’s Messiah.