Guest Bios Gala Concert
The Alberta Baroque Ensemble
The Alberta Baroque Ensemble is a professional chamber orchestra whose repertoire is primarily the music of the 17th and 18th centuries and whose performance practices reflect the spirit and style of the period in which the music was composed. Formed in 1980 by its Founder and Artistic Director Paul Schieman, the Alberta Baroque Ensemble performs an annual concert series in Edmonton. Concerts include music by well-known composers such as Bach and Handel and not so well-known composers such as Leclair and Dittersdorf. The ensemble features many local artists as soloists in the Edmonton concert series and has commissioned three works by Edmonton composer Allan Gilliland.
Chronos Vocal Ensemble
A “rapidly rising star in the Canadian choral scene” (Anacrusis), Chronos Vocal Ensemble was founded in 2013 by Jordan Van Biert. Under his leadership, and through a process of collaborative learning with careful preparation and dedication to the choral tradition, the choir aims to deliver compelling performances to audiences in Edmonton and beyond. The singers are united in an appreciation for inspired music-making and significant repertoire. Coming from diverse backgrounds, professions, and ages, they each possess a high level of musicianship and strong vocal technique. Now in its fourth year of operation, the ensemble has delighted audiences in Edmonton and the surrounding area, and performed by invitation at distinguished events including the University of Alberta Alumni Centennial, Alberta Music Conference, and the Podium 2016 Festival and Conference. In 2015 the choir was awarded the Healey Willan Grand Prize in the National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs, and in Spring 2016 toured the Canadian prairies. The choir has released two successful recordings, most recently The Simplest Way: The music of Trent Worthington, recently reviewed glowingly in Anacrusis magazine: “I would highly recommend this CD to lovers of choral music… very fine singing.” In November 2016, the choir was given a Performance Award by the City of Edmonton’s Salute to Excellence for bringing recognition to Edmonton.
Catherine Abele Landry, soprano
Soprano Catherine Abele Landry received a BMus degree in Voice Performance from the University of Manitoba under the tutelage of Canadian soprano, Tracy Dahl. She went on to earn MM and DMA degrees in Voice from the internationally-renowned institution for the performing arts, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), under the guidance of prominent American voice teacher, Barbara Honn. Dr. Abele Landry was a district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and took the top vocal prize at the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition. Performance highlights include collaborating as soloist with Orchestra Borealis and The King’s University Choirs in Kikta’s Holy Dnipro, Richard Eaton Singers in Handel’s Israel in Egypt, and the Alberta Baroque Ensemble in Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus RV 595.
Dr. Abele Landry is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association, and she regularly serves as a vocal adjudicator and clinician in Western Canada. She instructed Applied Voice, Lyric Diction and Vocal Pedagogy at the University of Alberta’s Department of Music from 2009 until 2014 and currently enjoys managing an active private voice studio in Edmonton.
Kristina Alexander, mezzo-soprano
Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, mezzo-soprano Kristina Alexander holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance (University of Lethbridge, 2010), a Masters in Voice Performance (University of Ottawa, 2012), an Advanced Certificate in Performance (University of Toronto, 2013) and is currently completing her Doctor of Musical Arts the University of Toronto in Performance and Pedagogy studying with renowned countertenor Daniel Taylor. She was also on the board for the Student Chapter of NATS at the University of Toronto, was a guest speaker at their annual Symposium (2015), and has adjudicated at the NATS student competition at York University (2015).
As a sought after choral singer, Kristina has sung with the National Youth Choir of Canada (2008, 2010), Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus (2012), Opera Chorus Canada (2015, 2016), and the JUNO nominated Canadian Chamber Choir (2014, 2016). A versatile performer, Tina has had the opportunity to perform operatic roles including Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte with the Opera Musica Orchestra (2011), The Neighbour in Stravinsky’s Mavra with Metro Youth Opera in Toronto (2013), and the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneaus with Theatre of Early Music and Taflemusik Summer Baroque Institute (2014), as well as Musical Theatre concerts with orchestra performing the roles of Fantine (Les Miserables 2014) and Carlotta (Phantom of the Opera 2015). Tina has been a chorus member with both Opera Lyra Ottawa and the Canadian Opera Company (Toronto, 2014) and is a member of Canadian Actors Equity Association. Currently the Director of the GPRC Concert Choir and Instructor of Voice at Grande Prairie Regional College, Kristina hopes to continue growing as a performer, conductor, and educator
Robert Clark, tenor
Known for his “fresh-voiced” and “technically refined” singing, tenor Robert Clark has been featured in Opera Canada as one of its Artists On Stage. In 2011, Robert made his main-stage debut as Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor with Calgary Opera. Other credits include Al in The Barber of Barrhead, Sam in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, the Teapot, the Old Man and the Frog in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges and Bénédict in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict.
Recent and upcoming engagements include Don José in Carmen (Nickel City Opera – Buffalo, NY),Young Servant in Elektra (Edmonton Opera), Don José (cover) in Carmen (Edmonton Opera), Kronprinz in the Canadian première of Silent Night (Calgary Opera), Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor (Edmonton Opera), First Priest/First Armed Guard in Die Zauberflöte (Edmonton Opera), Narraboth in Salome (Edmonton Opera), The Steersman in The Flying Dutchman (Calgary Opera), Beppe in I Pagliacci (Edmonton Opera), Flask and Ahab (cover) in the Canadian première of Moby Dick (Calgary Opera), Jaquino in Fidelio (Edmonton Opera), Tamino in Die Zauberflöte (Highlands Opera Studio), Macduff in Macbeth (Pacific Opera Victoria), Charlie (cover) in Mary’s Wedding (Pacific Opera Victoria) and Roderigo in Otello (Calgary Opera). He is also in his 4th season as the official anthem singer for the Edmonton Oilers.
Jihwan Cho, bass-baritone
Bass- baritone, Jihwan Cho, was born in Seoul, Korea, came to Canada in 2006. He completed a Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance at Hansei University in Korea, with renowned tenor, Jong-Ho Kim. He completed the Performer’s Certificate and Artist’s Diploma in voice performance at The King’s University with Merla Aikman, and the Master of Music degree in Voice Performance with Professor Brian McIntosh at the University of Alberta and second Master degree in Opera Performance with Peter Barcza at the University of British Columbia. Currently, he is pursuing Doctoral Degree in Music, Voice Performance at the University of Alberta with Professor John Tessier. He has been a recipient of numerous awards, including Gerry Segger Music Scholarship in Performance Excellence, Margo Fraser Memorial Scholarship in Music, Beryl Barns Memorial Graduate Award, Maureen Patricia Russell Marchak Scholarship in Music, Ben Heppner Scholarship, and William and Marilyn Jones Award. After arriving in Canada, he was a member of ProCoro Canada for two years. He has been a soloist with University of Alberta Madrigal Singers for J. Haydn’s Nelson Mass in 2008 and Creation in 2009. He performed the role of Peter in Humperdink’s opera Hänsel und Gretel in 2009 and of Ariodate in the University of Alberta’s production of Händel’s Serse in 2010, in which he received praise from the journal Opera Canada for his stage presence and impression as a “prospect with a career”. He played the role of Vodnik in Antonín Dvořák’s Rusalka, and performed the role of Marquis de la Force in Francis Poulenc’s opera Dialogues des Carmelités with internationally acclaimed artist, mezzo-soprano Judith Forst, and conductor David Agler in Feburary, 2013, produced by the University of British Columbia. He performed as soloist for Falstaff finale excerpt and quintet from Meistersingers at the Verdi and Wagner Bicentennial Concert with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under the baton of conductor Leslie Dala. Recently, he was the Bass Soloist of Canada’s professional Choir ‘Luminous Voices’ concert for Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle. Currently he is a vocal music instructor at The King’s University, Music Director at the Edmonton Korean Logos Presbyterian Church and Conductor at Edmonton Korean-Canadian Choir.