Highlights from Messiah: Meet the Choir & Soloists
November 29, 2019
Mississauga Festival Chamber Choir
The Mississauga Festival Chamber Choir, formed in 2008, is MFC's auditioned branch. This 26-voice choir, made up almost entirely of members from the main choir, delights audiences with intimate and challenging works of music.
The MFCC performs an annual concert and serves as an ambassador for the larger group, reaching out to the community in a variety ofvenues, from the Port Credit Library to Hammerson Hall.
Angela Yoo - Soprano
Soprano Angela Yoo studied abroad in Italy and Switzerland. In Rome, she received her diplomas from Conservatorio Statale di Musica di Benevento, Accademia Musicale Pescarese, and Accademia di Arena. She participated in various competitions in Italy and won 4th place in the Ravenna Singing Competition. In 2008, Angela moved to Switzerlandto be coached by classic contemporary Italian soprano, Luisa Castellani, at the Conservatoriodella Svizzera Italiana. In 2010, she attained her master’s degree in performing arts with honour. Angela made her international debut in Italy, singing Adina from L’elisir d’amore. Not only did she sing Italian operas, she also sang lead in many baroque and contemporary pieces. In Switzerland, Angela performed as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation and Mozart’s Mass in C minor with Orchestra Svizzera Italiana and Orchestra Svizzera da Camera. Angela performed the role of Olympia in The Tales of Hoffmann with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre and First Lady in The Magic Flute with Toronto City Opera. Angela currently participates in various concerts and operas in Canada, Italy and Switzerland.
Lillian Brooks – Mezzo Soprano
Canadian mezzo-soprano Lillian Brooks has been praised for her legato, lyric sound, and “easy handling of coloratura” (Schmopera), and is known for “delivering a powerful performance” in a wide range of repertoire (The Globe & Mail). Hailed as “Canada’s emerging opera star” (FYI Music), Ms. Brooks has appeared in many operatic roles and as an oratorio soloist both in Canada and abroad.
Her roles on the operatic stage include Cornelia in Giulio Cesare (Accademia Europea dell'Opera), Bradamante in Alcina (Glenn Gould School), Filipyevna in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (Opera Muskoka), Armelinde in Pauline Viardot's Cendrillon (Glenn Gould School), Paoluccia in La Cecchina by Niccolò Piccinni (Glenn Gould School), Mrs.Nolan in Menotti’s The Medium (White Mills Theatre Co.), Maddalena in Rigoletto (Opera by Request),and Third Lady/Spirit in Toronto City Opera’s 2018 production of The Magic Flute. On the concert stage, Ms. Brooks most recently performed in a staged production of Bach's moving and dramatic St Matthew Passion with Chorus Niagara, and was a featuredsoloist in both the Chorus Niagaraand Orpheus Choir of Toronto performances of Alan Bevan’s Last LightAbove the World, as part of its world premiere. Ms. Brooks sang many exciting seasons with the Orpheus Choir as a Sidgwick Scholar from 2015-2018, and was often featured as a soloist in a wide variety of unique choral repertoire. She made her debut at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in December 2017 as a soloist in the Toronto performance of Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy, composed by renowned Japanese composer Nobuo Uematsu.
A recent graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ms. Brooks continued her education with the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme in Aldeburgh, UK during the summer of 2018. She was joined by fellow young artists and faculty members Anne Sofie von Otter, John Fisher, Matthew Rose, and Julia Faulkner (among others) as part of the Aldeburgh Festival. Next season, she will be reprising her role of Mrs. Nolan with White Mills Theatre Co., in an immersive staged production of Menotti’s The Medium at Spadina House Museum in Toronto.
Zachary Rioux - Tenor
Praised by Matthew Timmermans of Ludwig van Toronto as “A Show-Stopping Tenor” 21-year-old Zachary Rioux has appeared in operas and on concert stages across Eastern Canada over the past few years. Recently, in a review of the IRCPA’s Singing Stars concert, where he received the Louis Quilico Scholarship, Joseph So of Ludwig van Toronto wrote: “Tenor Zachary Rioux must have been fearless, choosing the daunting Faust aria “Salut! Demeure chaste et pure.” He impressed with his lovely timbre and long breath-line, not to mention a very fff high C.”
Mr. Rioux is entering his final year of undergraduate studies at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music on full scholarship, studying with Joel Katz and Jennifer Tung. He spent June of 2017 at SongFest on scholarship, where he worked with Graham Johnson, Bill McGraw, Sanford Sylvan, and many other renowned teachers and coaches from across North America.
His operatic experience includes productions of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, as Tamino with BrottOpera and Toronto City Opera, Bizet’s Carmen with the Mississauga and York Symphony Orchestras, Handel’s Alcina and Strauss’ Die Fledermaus with the Glenn Gould School, Mozart’s Lucio Silla and The Marriage of Figaro with Opera Atelier.
His concert experience as a soloist includes works with the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, York Symphony Orchestra, Arcady, Stratford Sumer Music and the Indian River Festival. He also performed as a finalist for the Opéra de Montréal’s Atelier Lyrique program in their Gala Talent at the Place des Arts in Montreal.
This season an emerging artist with Arcady while completing his Bachelor degree at GGS, Mr. Rioux looks forward to performing as Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte again with the Glenn Gould School, as a soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Talisker Players and the Toronto Classical Singers, as well as Bach’s Magnificat and Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël in New Brunswick.
Christopher Dunham - Baritone
Christopher Dunham is a native of Niagra Falls, Ontario and has captivated audiences with his "Vocally powerful and dramatic" (OperaMagazine Canada) baritone voice across Canada and as far away as the Adriatic coast of Italy. Hailed by Opera Canada Magazine as “Possessed of an enormous baritone voice that he used with great musicality and intelligence, he proved he could not only sing like a god but act brilliantly, dance, and play the guitar...”.
A recent graduate from L’Atelier Lyriquede L’Opera de Monreal and AtlantaOpera’s Young Artist Residency, Christopher is equally comfortable in concert, recital and on the main stage. Some of his roles include: Figaro in The Barber of Seville (Brott Opera), Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette (Jeunesse Musical Canada), Escamillo in Carmen (Windsor Symphony), Don Giovanni, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus (Western University), Dandini in La Cenerentola (La Musica Lyrica) Germont in La Traviata (Jeunesse Musicals Canada), Schaunard in Puccini’s LaBohème (L'Opera de Montreal).
A recipient and winner of the Desmarais Development Bursary two years in a row and the Jeunesse Musicals Canada’s Young Mentorship Position, Christopher has been seen this season with Pacific Opera Victoria, singing Argante in Handel’s Rinaldo, with the Atlanta Opera singing corporal in Donizetti’s LaFille du Regiment and next season as Marceloi n La Bohème with the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, In the titular role of Don Giovanni with Southern Ontario Lyric Opera, also as Escamillo in Carmen with L'Opera de Montreal. With these and many more things to come,Christopher is a young Canadian baritone who has already begun to make a name for himself and promises to have a flourishing career.