James Rolfe - Composer
Toronto composer James Rolfe (b. Ottawa, 1961) has been commissioned and performed by ensembles, orchestras, choirs, and opera companies in Canada, the USA, Europe, and New Zealand.  He has been awarded funding through The Canada Council, The Ontario Arts Council, The Toronto Arts Council, The Laidlaw Foundation, Opera.Ca, and CBC Radio.  Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000, the 2003 K. M. Hunter Music Award, the 2005 Louis Applebaum Composers Award, the 2006 Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music, and SOCAN’s 2009 Jan V. Matejcek Concert Music Award.  Mr. Rolfe’s first opera, Beatrice Chancy, received an extraordinary reception from audiences and critics alike during productions between 1998 and 2001 in Toronto, Dartmouth, and Edmonton by The Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Company.  In 2009, the same company produced Inês, which was nominated for a Dora Award. His masques Orpheus and Eurydice and Aeneas and Dido were premiered by The Toronto Masque Theatre in 2004 and 2007. Elijah’s Kite, an opera for children, was premiered in New York in April 2006 by Tapestry New Opera Works with the Manhattan School of Music, and given its Canadian premiere before the Governor-General at Rideau Hall in October 2006.  Swoon was premiered in December 2006 by the Canadian Opera Company, which has since commissioned a new opera.  His current projects include a music theatre work with writer André Alexis for Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre, and pieces for the Tafelmusik Choir and New Music Concerts.  From 2007 to the present he teaches private composition lessons and an opera scene composition class at the University of Toronto.  Before 2007 he taught at Princeton University, Memorial University (Nfld), Elizabeth University (Hiroshima­), Tokyo Fine Arts University, and has given master classes at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.

Lucy Hayes Davis - Voice Teacher
Lucy Hayes Davis is pleased to once again call Halifax home. While a student at Dalhousie University, she studied both vocal performance and composition. Upon leaving the city, she began an intense study of voice pedagogy with well-known voice pedagogues, Dr. Scott McCoy and Marvin Keenze at Westminster Choir College. After completing a Masters degree in both voice performance and voice pedagogy, Ms Hayes Davis went on to further operatic studies at the Hartt School. She joined the voice faculty there in 2001. In addition to maintaining a large voice studio, she taught all of the diction courses and a voice class for students majoring in Music Education. A member of the voice faculty at Dalhousie University since 2007, here she maintains a voice studio, teaches lyric diction, voice pedagogy and voice clinic for theatre majors. This year, she also travels to Wolfville, Nova Scotia to teach voice at Acadia University.  Her operatic roles include Dorabella from Mozart’s "Cosi fan tutte," the Witch from Humperdinck’s "Hänsel und Gretal," Zita from Puccini’s "Gianni Schicchi," Marcellina from Mozart’s "Le nozze di Figaro," the Old Lady from Bernstein’s "Candide," and the Mother from Menotti’s "Amahl and the Night Visitors." She has also appeared frequently on both the concert and recital stages.  Upcoming highlights include acting as vocal coach for the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop 2012 and in Opera From Scratch.



Simon Docking - Pianist / Répétiteur
Australian pianist Simon Docking has performed both as a soloist and collaborative pianist in Australia, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Europe.  In 1998 he completed a doctorate in piano performance at SUNY Stony Brook working with Gilbert Kalish, and upon graduation was awarded the prestigious Thayer Fellowship for the Arts.  Simon’s performances have been broadcast in Australia by the ABC and in Canada by the CBC, including solo recitals on Two New Hours.  Simon has premiered many new Australian and North American compositions, working with composers such as Matthew Hindson, Elliott Gyger, Ian Shanahan, Eric Morin and Daniel Koontz. He has been a founding member of several chamber groups, including the Australian new music ensemble, Coruscations, and the New York new music ensemble, Furious Band. Simon’s passion for collaborative performance has resulted in work with a variety of artists and organizations including Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, The Contemporary Singers, The Song Company, Sydney Metropolitan Opera, Ensemble Offspring, and Toronto’s Encounters Quartet. He has also been an assistant coach at the Banff Centre’s Contemporary Opera and Song Training program, and an instructor in the Voice Studies department at the University of Toronto.

Janice Jackson - Vocal Masterclass / Lecturer / Coach

Janice Jackson has sung over 180 world premieres, many works written specifically for her, and performed with contemporary music ensembles, in modern music festivals and concert halls around the world – Beijing, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Torino, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Berlin, Johannesburg and more.  She is the Artistic Director of the Halifax based contemporary vocal music society Vocalypse Productions.  In 2007 her solo project Wolf Moon (a Vocalypse Production) featuring 4 dramatic solos was premiered to sold out audiences in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In March 2007 she toured North America with Victoria’s Aventa Ensemble. In September 2007 she performed in Live Art Productions’ world premiere performance of Ear I Am, choreographed by Belgium’s Barbara Mavro Thalassitis. In October 2008 she returned to The Netherlands where she sang 4 world premieres in a production entitled “The Wahlwiller Passion”.  Her 2009 Vocalypse concert Monologue of a Lunatic was recorded by CBC Radio 2 for the Signal.  In 2009 – 2010 she produced 4 shows through Vocalypse Productions including “Vonda de Ville in Temporal Follies” by Lukas Pearse (a one hour / one woman melodrama in which she sang and acted the role of Vonda de Ville) and a jazz opera with libretto by Nova Scotia’s George Elliott Clarke and music by New York’s D.D. Jackson entitled “Trudeau: Long March / Shining Path” in which she sang the role of Margaret Trudeau.  Highlights of the 2010 – 2011 Season are 2 world premieres: a melodrama about the life of Marie Curie with Victoria’s Aventa Ensemble and 7 songs based on texts by the Tragically Hip’s Gordon Downie with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.  Both pieces were written for her by Montreal’s Tim Brady.








Opera From Scratch

Lower background

Roberta Barker - Dramaturge/Director
Roberta Barker is Associate Professor and Chair in the Dalhousie Theatre Department, where she has taught since 2001. She is a member of the joint faculty of the University of King’s College and Dalhousie, and teaches in the Early Modern Studies Programme at King’s as well as in the Dalhousie Theatre Department. She has also taught in the English Department at Mount Allison University. She received her doctorate in English Literature at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, having completed her BA at the University of King's College and her MA at Dalhousie University. Roberta’s teaching and research interests include: Early Modern and Modern Drama and Theatre; Theories of Acting and Performance, especially in the realist tradition; Gender Studies; and Literary Theory. She is the author of Early Modern Tragedy, Gender, and Performance, 1984-2000: The Destined Livery (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) and editor of a facsimile edition of the anonymous Elizabethan play Common Conditions (Oxford University Press, 2004). Her articles on early modern and modern drama in performance have appeared in Shakespeare Quarterly, Shakespeare Survey, Modern Drama, Early Theatre, English Studies in Canada, Early Modern Literary Studies, Canadian Theatre Review, and Literature Compass, as well as in a number of edited collections. Among Roberta’s credits as a stage director are productions of The Rake’s Progress and Orfeo ed Euridice (Opera Nova Scotia); The Witch of Edmonton, Fuente Ovejuna, and Troilus and Cressida (Dalhousie Theatre Productions); Henry IV, Part One (Windsor Theatre, Mount Allison University); and Love’s Labours Lost (Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon).

Dr. Jennifer Bain
Jennifer Bain, Associate Professor of Music Theory and Chair of the Department of Music at Dalhousie University, has published numerous articles on the music of Guillaume de Machaut, as well as on plainchant and on the reception of the music of Hildegard of Bingen in book collections, in The New Catholic Encyclopedia, and in various musicology journals. She recently edited a special early music issue of the Journal of Music Theory, and co-edited a collection of 18 essays on Guillaume de Machaut, which should be in print next month. She has just finished writing the first draft of a book, Hildegard in the 19th century: a Cultural History, and has begun a team project to develop a digital tool for the study of medieval chant notation.
Linda Moore - Director
Linda Moore (Halifax) Upcoming: The Valley by Joan McLeod for PlayRites 2013, Alberta Theatre Projects. In 2012 she directed Daniel MacIvor’s Communion for Neptune and the NAC. Other MacIvor works include 
Marion Bridge, Great Canadian Theatre Company, and the premiere production of His Greatness, Arts Club Theatre, Vancouver, (2007).  Recent productions include Driving Miss Daisy for Valley Summer Theatre (2011); Vimy For the National Arts Centre/GCTC (2010); That Elusive Spark for Alberta Theatre Projects (2008); Also Portia White – First You Dream for Eastern Front Theatre; Wolf Moon for Vocalypse Productions (2006); and for the Shaw Festival Waiting for the Parade. From 1990 to 2000 she was Artistic Director of Halifax’s Neptune Theatre, where she directed many productions, including Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof, The Gospel at Colonus Hamlet, Angels in AmericaThe Real Thing, and Romeo and Juliet.  She has taught and directed at the National Theatre School of Canada, the University of Victoria; and for McGill University’s Opera School where she directed Don Giovanni. For the 2011 Fall Term, she taught Master Classes in Theatre at Grenfell Campus of MUN in NFLD. From 2008-10 she was the Crake Fellow in Drama at Mount Allison University.  She has been awarded Theatre Nova Scotia Robert Merritt Legacy Award (2005) as well as Outstanding Direction (2012) (2002); The Mayor’s Award for Achievement in Theatre (2005); and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Saint Mary’s University.

Jason Davis - Voice Teacher (composers)
Canadian tenor Jason Davis has established himself as one of Canada’s brightest prospective tenor stars. He has been hailed by critics as “truly a fine tenor” and “one of the most exciting voices of his generation possessing a voice of tremendous beauty, color and power”. His recent concert performances have included Vaughn William’s On Wenlock Edge (The Scotia Festival Chamber Music Society) Haydn’s Mass in the Time of War (Paukenmesse) (Farmington Valley Orchestra), Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (Dalhousie Orchestra), Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (Coro Collegium), Vaughn William’s Four Hymns (Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra) and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (Kings Chapel Choir). Jason’s operatic performances have included roles with Opera New Hampshire, Opera Connecticut, The Opera Theater of Connecticut, Opera New Jersey and an upcoming performance of Rodolfo in Verdi’s Luisa Miller for Opera Nova Scotia. Some highlights from recent seasons have included the roles of Soliman in Zaide (Opera Nova Scotia) Tamino in Die Zauberflöte (Opera New Brunswick) and Idomeneo in Idomeneo (Opera Nova Scotia) in which Daphna Levit of Opera Canada Magazine wrote “A powerful tenor, Jason Robert Davis sang the role of Idomeneo beautifully, convincing in his despair”. Along with his busy performing schedule Jason continues to maintain an active teaching schedule both privately and at the Maritime Conservatory where a number of his students have recently gone on to pursue national and international studies in music and voice.

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