Association for Opera in Canada is proud to be a national partner of World Opera Day, which will take place Monday October 25, 2021.
AOC will be producing an all-day event on October 25th, featuring our members with two segments of video content, and a live forum.
World Opera Day is an initiative led by Opera America, Opera Europa and Ópera Latinoamérica and supported by numerous international partners from the performing arts sector and national opera networks. It asserts the power of art to make people better emotional beings, better citizens, and that a healthy mind is as important as a healthy body. Its ambition is to reach a wider audience with this positive message. On that day, opera houses and the opera world have the opportunity to showcase the ways Opera engages with its community and can be an example of positive change.
World Opera Day has 3 themes this year:
Re-evaluated production models, taking into account eco-responsible choices
Recognising the diversity of citizens can be better reflected in the sector, in the workforce, on stage as well as in the audience
JOBS FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF TALENT
Preparing young artists and dedicated professionals for a career in Opera
Join us October 25 at 12:00 Noon Eastern for a Lunch n Learn hosted by AOC.
Panelists will discuss how this year’s WOD themes are echoed in their individual work and will challenge the sector to think how it can incorporate the themes of WOD into its daily practice. The Lunch n Learn will end with an open discussion.
Lunch n Learn Panelists:
Hosted by Christina Loewen, Executive Director AOC
Jaclyn Grossman, LINK Program Associate: Jaclyn Grossman is defining what it means to be a portfolio artist. Comfortable in roles both onstage and off, as a soprano, she has been hailed for her “unique voice type” (Opera Canada) and “command over a powerful range of expressive emotion” (The Whole Note). This year, Jaclyn will be a member of the Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program with Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music. As a Co-Founder of Likht Ensemble, this season Jaclyn will curate and perform in the Shoah Songbook, a concert series with the Harold Green Jewish Theatre, sharing music by Jewish composers from the Holocaust. Likht Ensemble will also perform with the Schulich School of Music’s Alumni Concert Series in the spring of 2022.
Equally committed to her work with nonprofits, Jaclyn is the Programs Associate for the Association for Opera in Canada. Jaclyn believes in empowering artists to take control of their careers. This year she will continue developing and facilitating the Association’s “LINK Artist Programs”, a series focusing on professional skills development for artists across Canada. Jaclyn is also the Founder of The Phoenix Leadership Project, a Canadian charity that promotes youth leadership education.
Jaclyn is the 2020 winner of the Ben Steinberg Musical Legacy Award with Temple Sinai. She is a graduate from McGill University’s Diploma in Opera and Voice program. Recent performances include Vitellia (La clemenza di Tito), Lady Billows (Albert Herring), and Madame Lidoine (Dialogues des Carmélites) with Opera McGill and excerpts of Lady Macbeth (Macbeth) and the Four Last Songs (Strauss) with the OperaFest at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival.
Pierre Vachon, Director of Community Engagement and Education, Opera de Montréal: Pierre Vachon is a musicologist. He holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from the Université de Montréal and has published articles on romantic music, opera and music history. As a contributor to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, he has written biographical notes on Romain-Octave Pelletier, Rodolphe Plamondon as well as Emma Albani, about whom he published a biography. He has been a lecturer at the universities of Sherbrooke, Montreal and UQAM, and was a well-known host on Radio-Canada’s now defunct cultural channel (now Ici musique) for fifteen years. Since 2006, he has been Director of Social Action and Education at the Opéra de Montréal, during which time he has also produced a series of lectures on music. In 2009, he co-founded the Société pour les arts en milieux de santé. Most recently he has worked with the Voyages Inter-Pays travel agency, accompanying groups and providing information and education on concerts and shows during the voyages.
Gwenna Fairchild- Taylor, Teaching Artist: Ottawa-born soprano Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor holds an M. Mus. Opera (University of Toronto) and a B. Mus. Voice Performance (Western University) and is a 2019-2021 fellow at Opera Omaha. Recent performance highlights include creating the role of Nature in Cries of the Earth (Artsong Collaborative Project), Berta in The Barber of Seville (Indian River Festival, Stratford Summer Music), Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte (Toronto Lyric Opera Centre / Toronto Mozart Players), Soprano Soloist in Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (London Symphonia), a concert performance at the New Classical 96 FM in Toronto and singing in the Ensemble of Verdi’s Otello at the Canadian Opera Company. Gwenna has spent time as a Musician In Residence at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. She also created the role of Emily’s Mother in Chamberwerx as part of “Opera in the 21st Century” at Banff Centre in 2017. She gave a “hilarious and memorable performance” (Mooney on Theatre) in Tapestry Opera’s Songbook VII. Other credits include excerpts of the Wesendonck Lieder (North York Concert Orchestra), Lady Billows in Albert Herring (UofTOpera), creating the Box Office Attendant in Bekah Simms’ The Box Office, the title role in The Merry Widow (UWOpera), and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Opera NUOVA).
An accomplished educator, Fairchild-Taylor is a four-time recipient of Government of Nunavut Culture & Heritage Grants in support of her music and drama programs in communities in the Arctic. Over the last eight years, her programs have reached hundreds of children in four fly in communities in Nunavut. Gwenna also wrote the curriculum for “Learn English Through Song”, a program run by The Corporation of Roy Thompson Hall and Massey Hall in Toronto that facilitates language learning and community building for newcomer women through singing. She has held the position of lead teacher since its inception. Gwenna has conducted choirs for Regent Park School of Music and Sistema Toronto. She has also worked as a teaching artist and consulted on curriculum development for education programming at the Canadian Opera Company.
Rebecca Hass, Director of Community Engagement, Pacific Opera Victoria: Rebecca Hass is a woman of many creative passions. A certified Life Coach and meditation instructor, she has been a mentor and resource for performing artists seeking balance and career support since 2007. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University with an Honours Bachelor in Music performance and the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble, Rebecca, a mezzo-soprano, devoted much of the last thirty years to a professional singing career. Rebecca is well-known in Canada as a resource for artist-centered health and wellness workshops. She has been a regular staff member for the last 5 years at the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble and has been a guest clinician with Manitoba and Calgary Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria, as well as the Universities of British Columbia, Toronto, Manitoba, Ottawa, Victoria and Wilfrid Laurier. For over 10 years she has been on staff with the summer programs of Opera Nuova, St. Andrews By the Sea Opera Workshop and most recently, with Highlands Opera. A writer and broadcaster, she has been a regular guest host of Saturday Afternoon at the Opera and documentary maker on CBC Radio One and Two. Currently she is the Director of Community Engagement for Pacific Opera and was awarded the Creative Builder Award for 2021 for her work behind the scenes to support artists and art making. Her newest programming includes the Civic Engagement young artist training program and curating the Residency program for new work. A proud Métis, and carries two names, Manginoweh (Anishinaabe-Big Voice) and Huputh-Uksupe (Nu-chah-nulth, Grandmother Moon woman) Rebecca is currently producing a theatre piece that bridges her European and Indigenous ancestry musically with songs in English and Anishnaabemowen, titled Manaadjia, and is a member of the drum group ANSWER. Rebecca lives in Victoria with her family and rescue pooch, Rye Rye.
Rebecca Cuddy, Mezzo- Soprano: Métis/Canadian Mezzo-Soprano Rebecca Cuddy is a two-time Dora Award Nominated performer who is quickly gaining recognition on Canadian operatic stages. Acknowledged as ‘fresh and funny, with a large supple voice’ (MacLean, Gigcity.ca 2018) ‘moving’ (Gilks, Opera Canada 2019) and ‘the next generation who are going to do incredible things’ (Newman, The Whole Note 2019), she made the 2021 CBC 30 Under 30 List. She is one of the recipients of the Dora Award for Outstanding Ensemble Work in Soundstreams’ Two Odysseys; Pimootewin and Gállábártnit.
Career highlights include La Métisse, in the world premiere of Riel; Heart of the North with Regina Symphony Orchestra, Kwe in the world premiere of Shanawdithit with Tapestry Opera/Opera on the Avalon, Mercedes (Cover Carmen) in Carmen, and Dreitte Dame in Die Zauberflöte. Rebecca is the current Indigenous Artist in Residence at the National Theatre School of Canada, where she is studying directing, playwriting, acting and design.
Rebecca is a strong advocate for Indigenous voices in the performing arts. She is a current member of the Canadian Opera Company Circle of Artists, a Grand Council Member for the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance and a member of the National Theatre School of Canada Indigenous Advisory Circle. In 2020, she worked with the Association for Opera in Canada to create a Land Acknowledgement and Indigenous Engagement Resource for Canadian opera, and works as a facilitator and collaborator in the performing arts community.
Join us online!
On Monday October 25th, celebrate World Opera Day with a set of internationally shared social media features & live and livestream shows and concerts.
Follow our Instagram to participate @associationforoperaincanada
Tag us in your own World Opera Day posts so we can boost your signal!