Meet our BrottOpera Cast
BrottOpera 2022 Cast
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Cesar Bello is a Mexican-Canadian baritone who started his vocal training in Mexico and in 2009 continued his studies in Italy. He has performed in the most prestigious theatres and concert halls in Mexico, Italy and Canada. His operatic roles include Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore, Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana, Tonio and Silvio in Pagliacci, FigaroinIl Barbiere di Siviglia, MoralesinCarmen, Masetto inDon Giovanni, Count Ceprano inRigoletto, and La Passione secondo Marcoby Perosi. Mr. Bello has also performed as the baritone soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasyand Symphony No. 9, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and the Requiems of Fauré and Mozart. Appearances in Canada include La Serva Padronaby Pergolesi, La Bohèmeby Puccini as Schaunard, and Roméo et Julietteby Gounod as Mercutio. Cesar also studied as an electronic engineer and as a hobby he loves to play hockey.
Ellita Gagner is a London based mezzo-soprano and arts administrator. She was noted in Opera Canada Magazine for her performance in Brott Opera’sCosi fan tutte, “the more impulsive Dorabella sang with style”. Ellita holds a Bachelor of Music from Western University where she studied with acclaimed mezzo-soprano, Patricia Green. Ellita is a prize winner in the London Community Orchestra’s Young Soloists Competition, NATS, and OMFA. She has been seen in the roles of Dorabella (Cosi fan Tutte, Brott Festival), Peep Bo (The Mikado, UWOpera), Julia Child (Bon Appétit!, COSC), and Dido and Aeneas(Little London Opera). In spring 2022, Ellita will be stage directing The Medium(Menotti) and performing the title role in Pandora’s Locker(Dean Burry) with Can of Soup Collective.
Praised for his “clarion tone” (Ludwig van Toronto) and “impressive vocal colour” (Opera Canada), Canadian-American baritone Geoffrey Schellenberg is recognized for the roles of Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni), Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Marcello (La bohème), and Papageno (Die Zauberflöte). He has become a frequent performer in Western Canada, recently appearing in productions with Vancouver Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Kelowna,andtheVancouver Symphony Orchestra. He has participated in several artistic development programs including l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal(2020-2022),Portland Opera Resident Artist Program (2018–2020), Calgary Opera Emerging Artist Program (2017–2018), and Highlands Opera Studio (2019-2021).Geoffrey is the2021Rising Stars AwardWinner oftheConcours Orchestre Symphonique de Montréalas well asa2020, 2019, and 2015Western Canada DistrictWinneroftheMetropolitan Opera National CouncilAuditions.
The Juno Award-winning Tenor, John Tessier, has worked with many of the most notable conductors, singers and stage directors around the world. Appearances of the recent past and near future include performances at the Teatro alla Scala Milano, Rohm Theatre Kyoto Japan, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, Carnegie Hall, Teatro Colon, Oper Frankfurt, Grand Théâtre de Genève, English National Opera, Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, New Zealand Opera, the New York Philharmonic, L.A. Philharmonic, Wiener Musikverein, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, the Sydney Symphony and the Toronto Symphony. Equally comfortable in the genres of opera, oratorio and recital, Mr. Tessier is also an associate professor at the University of Alberta. His discography includes recordings on the Decca, Naxos, Telarc, BIS, Challenge Records and Dorian labels.
Few vocalists authentically cross genres at the highest levels and maintain professional careers in both areas, but Lizzy Hoyt is one of them. Praised by Opera Canada for her dramatic depth and keen comedic gifts, she makes her debut this season with Manitoba Opera in the title role of Rossini’s La Cenerentola,and with Manitoba Chamber Orchestra singing baroque arias by Vivaldi and Handel. Recent performances include The Solo Sessions (Manitoba Opera), Julia Child in Hoiby’s Bon Appétit (Little Opera Company), Béatrice in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict,and Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Manitoba Underground Opera). An internationally recognized Celtic songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist (fiddle, guitar, harp), she has given countless concert tours throughout the country, and has been recognized with numerous awards/nominations including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Canadian Folk Music Awards, Western Canadian Music Awards, International Acoustic Music Awards, and Independent Music Awards.
Saskatchewan-born, Sudbury-based baritone Peter McGillivray is a “gifted comic performer” who first burst on to the scene as winner of the CBC Young Performers Competition in 2003. A former member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio and alumnus of the University of Toronto, he has also spent a season on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera (La Bohème & Capriccio). Recent credits include a Dora-Award nomination for Best Actor for the Canadian Stage’s The Overcoat, and work with Calgary Opera (La Bohème, Pagliacci, Moby Dick & Silent Night), Manitoba Opera (La Bohème), Edmonton Opera (Die Fledermaus, La Cenerentola, Hansel & Gretel), Vancouver Opera (Albert Herring, The Overcoat, La Cenerentola), Pacific Opera Victoria (Barber of Seville, Fidelio), Dallas Opera (Moby Dick), Opéra de Québec (Madama Butterfly, Le barbier de Séville), Opera Lyra Ottawa (La Bohème, Barber of Seville) & the Canadian Opera Company (La Bohème, War & Peace, Gianni Schicchi).
Heralded for her “clear vibrant tone” (Opera Canada), Tamar Simon is an Armenian-Canadian soprano based in Montréal, Québec. She has been featured in many leading roles including Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Musetta (La bohème), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) which she performed in Highlands Opera Studio’s 2021 production. Tamar has sung as a soloist with Vancouver Opera, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, OkanaganSymphony Orchestra, White Rock Concerts, and Burnaby Lyric Opera. Tamar has also been seen on international stages, including appearances as Zerlina (Don Giovanni) in Kona, Hawaii and as Calisto (La Calisto) in Sulmona, Italy. Tamar is a District Winner and an Encouragement Award Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and she is a graduate of University of British Columbia’s Master of Music program. Tamar continued her vocal and art song studies in Austria after receiving the Johann Strauss Foundation Scholarship, which sponsored study at the Internationale Sommerakademie Mozarteum.