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Staff Bios

Leadership Team

Ken Hall – Managing Director

Ken has been the backbone of production and administration within the CCOC since 2003, and is now responsible for guiding the business and strategic direction of the organization.  In addition to strategy decisions and general administration, Ken leads the company’s activities in human resources, hiring, marketing, graphics design, corporate sponsorship, grants, communications, customer service, production, and touring.  He is also an active and accomplished musician, having formerly performed as a flute soloist and chamber musician in Canada, the USA, and Europe, and frequently appears with the CCOC on recordings, broadcasts, and in performance whenever his diverse talents are called upon.

 

Teri Dunn – Music Director,
Conductor – Principal & Youth Chorus

A celebrated singer, conductor, and educator, Teri Dunn has been the Music Director of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company since 2015.  She was previously an instructor with the CCOC from 1992-2002, before accepting a position with the Toronto Children’s Chorus from 2002-2012, where she served as Assistant Artistic Director.  Teri is the Chair of the Choral Department at the prestigious St. Michael’s Choir School, where she conducts three of their choirs.  She has held also conducting positions with the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Hart House Chorus (University of Toronto). Her choirs have appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Toronto International Choral Festival, the Vatican, and at the ACDA.  An acclaimed soloist, Ms. Dunn has performed widely with ensembles such as Tafelmusik, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She has recordings on Centrediscs and Naxos, and was a prize-winner in the Eckhardt-Grammatté Competition. In May 2002, Ms. Dunn received the Leslie Bell Prize in Choral Conducting, awarded by Choirs Ontario. 

 

Artistic Staff

Nicole Bellamy
Accompanist – Youth Chorus

Nicole is currently a repetiteur with Opera Atelier, and has worked variously as pianist, music director and sound designer for Shoestring Opera, the Shaw Festival, and the Canadian Stage Company.  She holds a Masters in collaborative piano from the University of Western Ontario.

Myna Denov
Accompanist – Ruby & Butterfly Chorus

Myna is a teacher at Willowdale Middle School. She is passionate about teaching children, and has specialized in working with children with special needs.

Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor
OPERAtion KIDS Coordinator-Artist

Ottawa-born soprano Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor holds an M. Mus. Opera (University of Toronto) and a B. Mus. Voice Performance (Western University). Recent performance highlights include Emily’s Mother in Chamber Werx (Banff Centre), as well as a giving “hilarious and memorable performance” (Mooney on Theatre) in Tapestry Opera’s Songbook VII. Other selected past credits include soprano soloist in Beethoven Symphony no. 9 (London Symphonia), Berta in The Barber of Seville (Indian River Festival, Stratford Summer Music), Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder (North York Concert Orchestra), Lady with a Cake Box in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco, Lady Billows, Donna Anna, and the title role in The Merry Widow. An accomplished educator, Gwenna is a three-time recipient of Government of Nunavut Culture & Heritage Grants in support of self-run music and drama programs in Nunavut communities. Learn more at gwennafairchildtaylor.com

Tina Faye
Accompanist – Principal & Apprentice Chorus

Tina frequently performs in Toronto and across the province. Recent appearances include recitals with the Group of 27, a tour across Ontario with soprano Kyra Millan with their show on opera, and several concerts and recordings focusing on new Canadian music with soprano Adria McCulloch.  She holds a Masters in collaborative piano from the Eastman School of Music.  Tina has worked as repetiteur and orchestral pianist at Opera York, Tapestry New Opera, and has worked as accompanist and assistant conductor for many choirs, including Nathaniel Dett Chorale, Toronto Children's Chorus, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Pax Christi Chorale.

Lynn Janes
Conductor – Intermediate Chorus, Junior Division Head

Lynn Janes was the Head of Music at Havergal College from 2007 to 2017.  She previously taught at Greenwood College School, and was Choral Director/Music Teacher at Earl Haig Secondary School and Claude Watson School for the Arts.  She is a singer and soloist with the Elora Festival Singers, and an adjudicator with International Music Festivals and the TDSB.  She has led many other choirs, including the Pax Christie Chorale Youth Choir and the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir, and previously led the CCOC’s Apprentice Chorus (1989-2002).

Adine Mintz
Conductor – Apprentice Chorus, OPERAtion KIDS Artist-Educator

Adine is a conductor, educator, teacher, and performer.  As part of the CCOC, she has delivered the OPERAtion Kids in-school programs for the past 4 years, inspiring students all over Toronto by creating original operas with the children. She also conducts choirs at Trinity Montessori School in Markham, as well as a Jewish women’s choir in Toronto. She was music director of the Shaare Zion choir in Montreal, of the St. Clement Community Orchestra and of the music school at Cosmo Music in Richmond Hill.  She was the choral conductor at Music at Port Milford, Chamber Music Summer Camp.  She was music director for a community theatre production of Fiddler on the Roof. As a guest conductor, she has performed with the National Academy Orchestra, Mississauga Youth Orchestra, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Hart House Summer Orchestra and York Youth Symphony Orchestra.  During her Masters in Conducting from the University of Toronto, she was musical director of a shortened version of Il barbiere di seviglia by Rossini and Tehillim by contemporary composer Steve Reich, one of the most difficult pieces in modern repertoire.

Alix Sideris
Drama Coach – Principal Chorus

Alix is a professional actor, director, writer, movement coach/facilitator and mask specialist. She has performed in many productions and also assisted in developing new works at The National Arts Centre, Opera Lyra, Theatre Calgary, The Great Canadian Theatre Company, The St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival and The Stratford Festival, to name only a few. Alix has been an acting/movement instructor for many institutions and has developed several labs and workshops for innovative and boundary-stretching work. Institutions include the Taylor Academy at the Royal Conservatory of Music, The National Arts Centre, The Stratford Festival, The Canadian Opera Company, The Randolph Academy, Young People's Theatre, Opera Lyra, The St. Lawrence Musical Theatre Conservatory. She was also the movement dramaturg for Corpus/Pan Am Games 2015, the Curator/Industry Associate for the Magnetic North Theatre Festival 2011, a founding member of Prix Rideau Awards, and a Canadian Actor’s Equity councillor for 2 terms. Her depth of performance experience and knowledge of the craft, combined with her comfortable classroom manner, has made her a favourite with the choristers.

Autumn Smith
Drama Coach – Youth Chorus

Autumn Smith is a theatre director, artist educator and innovator who has worked with youth across the globe.  Select credits include work for: Canadian Stage, Tarragon Theatre, Shaw Festival, Druid Theatre (Galway), Stagedoor Manor (NY) and the Stratford Festival/National Ballet Project.  Autumn holds an MFA in Theatre Direction with an Emphasis on Teaching from York University and is a graduate of the Oxford School of Drama Conservatory Program. 

Gergely Szokolay
Accompanist – Intermediate Chorus

Hungarian-born vocal coach and collaborative pianist, Gergely Szokolay is equally at home in choral, lieder, operatic, and string repertoire.  As collaborative pianist, Mr. Szokolay performed with distinguished artists, such as Paul Tortelier, János Starker, Joseph Gingold, Andrea Rost, and Kálmán Berkes. Mr. Szokolay was principal collaborative pianist at the Canadian Children's Opera Company for twelve seasons, 2005-2017.  As a volunteer, he made it possible for the CCOC to perform in Budapest in collaboration with Hungarian children's choirs and orchestra in 2007 and 2017. Balancing a busy teaching and performing  schedule, over the past 30 years Mr. Szokolay prepared 33 fully staged operas in Canada in the capacity of rehearsal pianist.

Jennifer Tung
Vocal & Diction Coach – Youth & Principal Chorus

Graduated with a MMus in piano and chamber music and a BMus in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music has allowed Jennifer to have a very unique and diverse career. The winner of the kneisel lieder competition in 1998, she has collaborated with singers across the world and has given recitals in Toronto, Ottawa, Malibu, Los Angeles, Waimea, Hong Kong.   She is an instructor at the Taylor Academy of the Royal Conservatory of Mus.

 

Management & Support Staff

Mala Perera
Financial Services

Mala is happy to be working at the CCOC, where she started in 2006.

Diana Roach
Office Administrator

Diana brings a love of music and children with her, having studied and sung music.  She even has her own professional opera singer, her daughter, currently living in Germany.

Victoria Forsey
Chorus Coordinator

Victoria grew up in the colourful city of St. John’s NL and it was there that her love of music was cultivated. She holds a BMus from Acadia University and a MA Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from Goldsmiths, University of London. Victoria is thrilled to join the CCOC team as Chorus Coordinator for the 17-18 season.

 

 

 

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