Persée Bios

APRIL 26 – MAY 3, 2014

Artists’ Biographies



Mireille Asselin

For Opera Atelier: Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito, Galatea in Acis and Galatea and Second Witch in tour of Dido and Aeneas to Seoul, South Korea. Mireille also took on the roles of Phénice & Lucinde in Lully’s Armide for OA’s performances at The Glimmerglass Festival in 2012.

Elsewhere: A member of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio from 2011-13, Mireille performed the roles of Adele in Die Fledermaus, Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito, Semele Semele; studio, Contessa Ceprano in Rigoletto and 2ème prêtresse in Iphigénie en Tauride. Other roles include: Nannetta in Falstaff (Wolf Trap Opera); La Musica & Euridica in Orfeo (Boston Early Music Festival).

Upcoming: Mireille joins The Metropolitan Opera’s roster in 2013/14, covering Adele in Fledermaus; sings roles of Flore & Proserpine in North American tour of Boston Early Music’s production of Charpentier’s Orphée.

Et cetera: Mireille had her Carnegie Hall debut in 2011 singing Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem. She also returned in 2012 as a guest recitalist. She is a graduate of Yale University’s School of Music, and of the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music. She is the grateful recipient of a Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation Grant.


Christopher-Enns_HeadshotBWChristopher Enns

For Opera Atelier: Persée in Persée, role and company debut

Elsewhere: Christopher is an Alumnus of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble. On the mainstage, he was featured as First Commissioner (Dialogues des Carmelite)s, Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Jupiter (Semele), Scaramuccio (Ariadne auf Naxos), and Nathaniel (Les contes d’Hoffmann). He has been heard with Chorus Niagara in a Broadway-themed programme in St. Catharines, in Messiah for the Menno Singers, and played the role of Alexander in The Enslavement and Liberation of Oksanna G. for Tapestry.

Upcoming: Tamino in The Magic Flute for Saskatoon Opera, Bach’s Mass in B minor for the Winnipeg Symphony and Frederic in Pirates of Penzance for Opera Lyra Ottawa

Et cetera: The Manitoba native holds a degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Manitoba and an Opera Diploma from the University of Toronto where he was heard in the title role of Bernstein’s Candide and as Ecclitico in Haydn’s Il mondo della luna.


bio_fergusonAaron Ferguson

For Opera Atelier: Monostatos in The Magic Flute (Toronto, Penn State, Opera Columbus), Le Chevalier Danois in Armide (Toronto, Opéra de Versailles, Glimmerglass Festival)

Elsewhere: Constable Locke in The Music Man (Royal Opera of Muscat/The Glimmerglass Festival); Blind in Die Fledermaus, Basilio/Curzio in The Marriage of Figaro, Nika Magadoff in The Consul, Borsa in Rigoletto, Monostatos in The Magic Flute, Spoletta Tosca and Le Doyen in Cendrillon (l`Opéra de Montréal); Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Banff Centre); Apollo in Semele (Pacific Opera Victoria); Messiah (Orchestra London); The Bear (Toronto Symphony Orchestra); Mass in c minor (Victoria Symphony); Magnificat (l’Orchestre Métropolitain); Carmina Burana (Vancouver Chamber Singers).

Et cetera: Renowned for his intricate physical characterization and flawless comic timing, Aaron Ferguson is quickly establishing himself as one of the top international comic tenors. An alumnus of the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra Montréal, his recent engagements include: The Gala – Opéra de Québec.


VG_161BWVasil Garvanliev

For Opera Atelier: Vasil’s 2012-2013 season began with a return to Opera Atelier in Der Freischütz as the villain Kaspar. Highlights from recent seasons include Leporello in Don Giovanni with both Opera Atelier and Opera Columbus; Aronte in Armide with Opera Atelier.

Elsewhere: A debut and world premiere of The Inventor at Calgary Opera. As an Emerging Artist with Calgary Opera Vasil sang Don Alfonso in Cosi fan Tutte, moving on to the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera on the Avalon.

Recent/Upcoming: He continued the 2012-2013 season singing Pistola in Michael Cavangh’s production of Falstaff at Calgary Opera. Concert appearances include Brahm’s German Requiem with Regina Symphony.

Et cetera: Macedonian baritone, Vasil Garvanliev began singing professionally at the age of seven in his native country, achieving celebrated status. He moved to Toronto in 2004 completing his studies at the Glenn Gould School and the University of Toronto. He then spent the 2010/11 Season as a member of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Young Artist Program.

Protenor & Divinite Infernale

Stephen-HEGEDUS_HeadshotStephen Hegedus

For Opera Atelier: Divinite Infernal in Persée, role and company debut

Elsewhere: With the Vancouver Opera, Stephen has been featured as Leporello in Don Giovanni, Colline in La Bohème, Angelotti in Tosca and the Marquis in La Traviata. He sang the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro for (Opera Hamilton) and was the Captain in Eugene Onegin (Edmonton Opera). The L’Atelier Lyrique alumnus sang Albert in Werther (L’Opera de Montreal) and was Figaro in Figaro’s Wedding (Against the Grain Theatre).  He has been heard with Les Violons du Roy, I Musici de Montreal, the Grant Park (Chicago) and Lanaudiere festivals and with the symphonies of Houston, Seattle, Toronto, Montreal, San Antonio, Edmonton, Québec and Winnipeg.

Upcoming: Performances of Bach’s Magnificat and Bruckner’s Te Deum with l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec and appearances with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Edmonton Opera and Opera Lyra.

Et cetera: An Alumnus of St. Michael’s Choir School, Stephen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Master’s Degree in Opera Performance  from the University of Toronto.  He speaks Hungarian, French and English.



bio_huhtanenCarla Huhtanen

For Opera Atelier: First Lady, Papagena, Ännchen, Susanna, Blonde, Zerlina, Papagena, Minerva, Drusilla, Actéon.

Elsewhere: Carla began her career in Italy and France singing Teatro La Fenice (Venice) in Gershwin’s Lady, Be Good! and Cherubini’s Anacreon. She sang Angelica in Handel’s Orlando and  the title role in Purcell’s Fairy Queen in Marseille, also performing in Aix, Tarascon, Toulon, Avignon and Chartres. Carla sang with the UK’s Garsington Opera – Lisetta in La Gazzetta and Serpetta in La Finta Giardiniera and with London’s Mostly Mozart series at the Barbican. Other European highlights include Bernstein’s Candide with the BBC Concert Orchestra, The Valletta festival in Malta, and a concert tour of the UK and Germany with the Royal Philharmonic.

Upcoming: Carmina Burana with Kingston Symphony, Messiah with the Grand Philharmonic, and Persée with Opera Atelier.

Et cetera: A friend of new music, Carla performs with Tapestry Opera, Soundstreams and New Music Concerts in Canada.




Peggy Kriha Dye

For Opera Atelier: Praised for her performance in the title role of Lully’s Armide with Opera Atelier , Ms. Kriha Dye was described by Opera News as “a forceful presence with an intriguingly complex lyric soprano”. Peggy performed this role both at the Royal Opera House in Versailles and the Glimmerglass Festival with Opera Atelier in 2012.

Elsewhere: Peggy created the role of Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire written and conducted by Andre Previn at the San Francisco Opera, repeating the role with the Pittsburg Symphony and again with The Washington National Opera. Other roles and companies include Musetta in La Bohème in San Francisco, Shanghai and Festival Opera, Nannetta in Falstaff with Utah Opera, Drusilla in The Coronation of Poppea with The Housten Grand Opera, Nedda in I Pagliacci with Tulsa Opera, and many more.

Et cetera: She has been reviewed as “heart-rending”, “sympathetic”, “sexy”, “hilarious” and “complex”. Currently, Peggy is the General Manager of Opera Columbus and was chosen to attend the prestigious Leadership Intensive with OPERA America this past July.


Olivier-LaQuerre_headshotBWOlivier LaQuerre

For Opera Atelier: Médée, Iphigénie en Tauride, Don Giovanni, Persée, Armide, Orfeo, Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Idomeneo, L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Le Nozze di Figaro.

Elsewhere: Canadian Opera Company, Cleveland Opera, Boston Early Music Festival, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Symphony Nova Scotia, etc.

Recent/Upcoming: Monteverdi’s Orfeo with the Boston Early Music Festival (November 24-25 2012; Mozart’s The Magic Flute with Opera Atelier (April 2013).

Et cetera: Olivier Laquerre is a laureate of the Paris and the Verviers (Belgium) international voice competitions, and has been in great demand as a soloist since winning the Joseph-Rouleau Award (First Prize) at the Jeunesses musicales national voice competition. He performed with some of the best orchestras and vocal ensembles in North America. He is a regular guest soloist at the Boston Early Music Festival, with whom he has recorded 4 CD’s under the CPO label (Germany).

Nymphe Guerrière/ Venus

bio_lindsayMeghan Lindsay

For Opera Atelier: Meghan Lindsay begins the 2012/13 season with the role of Agathe in Opera Atelier’s Der Freischütz. Last year, she made her Opera Atelier debut in 2011 as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with what the Toronto Star described as a “stunningly attractive stage presence married to the kind of crisp, clear sound that gives the role its true place in the score.” She continued the 2012/13 season with the role of Sidonie/Nymphe des Eaux in Lully’s Armide in Toronto, The Royal Opera of the Palace of Versailles, and the Glimmerglass Festival.

Elsewhere: Meghan was a young artist with Opera Studio Nederland, where she made her international debut as Euredice in Pierre Audi’s production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo and her Concertgebouw debut performing excerpts from Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro. Other recent highlights include Fiordiligi in Opera Studio Nederland’s Cosi fan Tutte, Contessa in Opera on the Avalon’s Le Nozze di Figaro, the title role in Massenet’s Cendrillon at Koerner Hall, and Richard Danielpour’s Sonnets to Orpheus under the baton of Paul Nadler.

Grand Prêtre/ Cyclope/ Sténon/ Triton

bio_sullivanCurtis Sullivan

For Opera Atelier: During his long association with Opera Atelier, Curtis has played diverse roles for the company including Dr. Bartolo and Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, La in Haine Armide, Samiel in Der Freischutz, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, Neptune in Idomeneo, Masetto and Commendatore in Don Giovanni to audiences in Canada and the U.S., as well as in cities as far ranging as Versailles, Singapore, Seoul, Yokohama, and Tokyo.

Elsewhere: A performer of the stage, concert hall, film, and TV, some stage highlights include The Merry Widow (San Francisco Opera), La Bohème (Calgary Opera), Oliver ( Drayton Ent.), The Music Man (Port Hope Festival Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew (Pacific Opera Victoria), Guys & Dolls (Port Hope Festival Theatre), Carousel (Drayton Ent.), Passion (Canadian Stage), Carmen (Vancouver Opera), My Fair Lady (Toronto Operetta Theatre), The Gondoliers (Stratford Festival) and the title role in the North American tour of Tchaikovsky Discovers America.

Et cetera: His passion for new work has taken him to lead roles in numerous Canadian and world premieres with such companies as Tapestry, Vancouver New Music, and The National ArtsCentre.


Corite/ Mercure

Lawrence-Wiliford_Headshot2013Lawrence Wiliford

For Opera Atelier: Pedrillo in The Abduction from the Seraglio, Damon in Acis and Galatea, Eumete in Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni.

Elsewhere: Mozart’s Requiem with Tafelmusik and National Arts Centre Orchestra; Handel’s Messiah with the Calgary and Nova Scotia Symphonies; title role in Albert Herring with Pacific Opera Victoria; Francis Flute in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Canadian Opera Company, Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Lyra Ottawa; Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw with Aldeburgh Music; Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance with Edmonton Opera.

Upcoming: Title role in Albert Herring (Vancouver Opera); Mozart’s Coronation Mass (Toronto Symphony); St. Matthew Passion (Orchestre Métropolitain); Rameau’s La Guirlande (Boston Baroque); Messiah (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra).

Et cetera: Recordings on the ATMA Classique and NAXOS labels, including St. John Passion and works by Benjamin Britten; Canadian Art Song Project recording of songs by Derek Holman to be released on the Centrediscs in Spring 2014.


bio_fallisDavid Fallis

For Opera Atelier: Conductor Lully: Armide; Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, La Clemenza di Tito; Monteverdi: Orfeo, L’incoronazione di Poppea; Il Ritorno d’Ulisse; Purcell: Dido and Aeneas; Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice; Rameau: Pygmalion; Handel: Acis and Galatea, Il pastor fido, La Resurrezione; Charpentier: Actéon.

Elsewhere: Glimmerglass Festival, Toronto Consort, Houston Grand Opera, Luminato Festival, Utah Opera, Elora Festival, Symphony Nova Scotia, Symphony New Brunswick, Festival Vancouver, and more.

Recent/Upcoming: Soundstreams: Murray Schafer The Love that Moves the Universe, Orchestra London: Handel Messiah, Toronto Consort: Cavalli Gli Amori d’Apollo e di Dafne, Opera Atelier: Mozart The Magic Flute.

Et cetera: Mr. Fallis was the historical music producer for the TV series “The Tudors” and is currently the historical music producer for “The Borgias”. He directs Choir 21, dedicated to contemporary choral music, and he teaches in the Graduate Department of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.

bio_gauciGerard Gauci
Set Designer

For Opera Atelier: Resident set designer Gerard Gauci has worked with the company since its inception in 1986.  Over the years he has designed sets for all of Opera Atelier’s repertoire including Orfeo, The Coronation of Poppea, Persée, Medée, Iphigénie en Tauride, Idomeneo, The Marriage of Figaro, La Clemenza di Tito, Don Giovanni , Armide and Der Freischütz.

Elsewhere: In 2010 he designed the exhibition “Drama and Desire” at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Upcoming: Preparing designs for the new production of Lully’s Persée, which will tour to the Royal Opera House at Versailles in 2014.

Et cetera: Gauci also pursues a career as a painter, exhibiting in Toronto at the Katzman Kamen Gallery and in Montréal at the Galerie de Bellefeuille. (Photo by Jim Allen.)


Bonnie-Beecher_HeadshotBWBonnie Beecher
Lighting Designer

For Opera Atelier: Der Freischutz is Bonnie’s 6th production with Opera Atelier.

Elsewhere: Bonnie has designed over 250 productions for theatre, opera and dance both in Canada and internationally. Canadian companies include Canadian Stage, The Canadian Opera, Stratford, The Shaw Festival, Tarragon Theatre, Soulpepper, Ballet British Columbia, and The National Ballet of Canada. International work includes productions for The Dutch National Ballett, Pacific Northwest Ballet, New Zealand Opera, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The American Ballet Theatre, The Stuttgart Ballett, and over 12 new productions for the Kevin O’Day Ballett – Mannheim in Germany.

Recent productions include Private Light (The American Ballet Theatre), Rilke (The Kevin O’Day Ballett,) The Missalliance and Come Back Little Sheba (Shaw Festival), The Small Room at the Top of the stairs ( Tarragon) and Death of a Salesman (Soulpepper).

Et cetera: Bonnie has received 12 Dora nominations and has won the award twice.

Top Banner: Persée Olivier LaQuerre, Christopher Enns, Mireille Asselin and Artists of Atelier Ballet.
Photo Credit: Bruce Zinger 2014.