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DEVELOPING ARTISTS GRANTS
2010 Adjudicator

Classical voice
Timothy Vernon

As founding Artistic Director of Pacific Opera Victoria, Timothy Vernon has led most of its more than eighty productions since the company's inception in 1980.

These include the first staged Canadian presentations of Weber's  Der Freischütz (1994), Montemezzi's  L'Amore dei tre re  (1996), Giannini's  The Taming of the Shrew (2001), and Lee Hoiby's  The Tempest  (2004). In 2000, Mr. Vernon led his company in the world premiere of  Erewhon  by Louis Applebaum and Mavor Moore.

In 2007 Mr. Vernon conducted the Canadian premiere of Richard Strauss' early twentieth century gem  Daphne , using his own reduction of Strauss' orchestration. This historic production was recorded for broadcast by CBC, as was POV's 2008 Canadian premiere of Marc Blitzstein's   Regina , the 2009 company premiere of Handel's  Semele , and the 2010 Canadian stage premiere of Strauss's  Capriccio .

Other broadcasts have included the 1988 production of  Fidelio  for TV by PBS and CBC, as well as a Knowledge Network documentary of POV's 1992 production of  The Abduction from the Seraglio . CBC Radio has broadcast POV productions of Britten's  A Midsummer Night's Dream  (1993) and Lee Hoiby's  The Tempest .

As a result of Timothy Vernon's vision and his commitment to emerging Canadian artists, Pacific Opera Victoria has presented debut performances by such exceptional singers as Richard Margison, Paul Frey, Michael Schade, John Fanning, Barbara Livingston, Nathalie Paulin, and Julie Nesrallah, and showcased many more of Canada's finest opera singers.

A welcome figure on the podiums of Canada's most important orchestras and opera companies, Timothy Vernon is also Music Director and Principal Conductor of Orchestra London.

As artistic head of both Orchestra London and Pacific Opera Victoria, he fostered a partnership that resulted in a successful co-production of Puccini's  Tosca  in 2005 – London's first fully-staged professional opera. The two organizations have subsequently joined forces again with co-productions of  Rigoletto  (2006),  Don Giovanni  (2007), Madama Butterfly  (2008), and, in 2009,  The Magic Flute.

As a guest conductor, Maestro Vernon has led productions of  Die Zauberflöte  and Faust  for Ottawa's Opera Lyra, as well as  The Turn of the Screw  for l'Opéra de Montréal. In March 2006 he performed Britten's  A Midsummer Night's Dream for the Glenn Gould School. He recently conducted Don Giovanni for Edmonton Opera and as Artistic Advisor to the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, he led several of their performances. In 2007 he conducted Rigoletto for Calgary Opera and Madam Butterfly for Vermont's Green Mountain Festival.

He has conducted for opera companies and orchestras in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Windsor, London, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, and Halifax. Of special note was his 2000 performance with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, conducting Ben Heppner and Pinchas Zukerman in a gala concert seen on CBC and filmed for worldwide television distribution. Maestro Vernon has been associated with the Edmonton Symphony as conductor for the late summer 'Symphony Under the Sky' concerts and 'A Lighter Classical Christmas'.

Timothy Vernon grew up in Victoria. He studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller at the Victoria School (now Conservatory) of Music, then pursued further studies in Europe, graduating from the Vienna Academy of Music (now University for Music). Mr. Vernon returned to Canada in 1975, subsequently accepting posts as conductor and music director of the Regina Symphony Orchestra, music director of the COC's touring company, professor at McGill University, music director of the McGill Symphony Orchestra, and associate director of Opera McGill.

While at McGill, he led the McGill Symphony in a critically acclaimed performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 5, released in 1997 as a CD on the Fonovox label. Rick Phillips of Classical Music Magazine praised both orchestra and conducting, noting, "It's a real triumph. It has every right to share shelf space with the celebrated readings of Bernstein, Karajan, Tennstedt and other giants of Mahler interpretations".

Maestro Vernon also conducted the McGill Orchestra in acclaimed performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Roy Thomson Hall, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Le Grand Théâtre de Québec, and Montréal's Place des Arts. Broadcasts of Britten's War Requiem and Mahler's Symphony No. 9 were part of an ongoing association between the McGill Orchestra and CBC/Radio Canada brokered by Maestro Vernon during his professorship. The McGill Orchestra's recording of Korngold's Symphony in F# , recorded live in Carnegie Hall in 1990, was nominated for a Juno Award. The 1997 film  McGill, Mahler, Montreal  was broadcast nationally on Bravo and on CBC.

In February 2008, Mr. Vernon was presented with the Order of Canada, in recognition of his work in expanding professional opera in Canada and his commitment to young musicians. Timothy Vernon is also a recipient of Opera Canada's 2005 Ruby Award as Opera Builder -- a fitting recognition of his contribution to opera over more than a quarter century. He continues to bring to Pacific Opera Victoria a unique vision that has engaged the community and made POV a nationally recognized symbol of artistic excellence.

 

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