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2011 Adjudicator

Classical voice
Laura Whalen

Soprano Laura Whalen is often noted for her command, precision, and elegance in operatic, orchestral and recital appearances throughout North America. Over the past two seasons, engagements included Marguerite in Faust and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Calgary Opera, Violetta in La Traviatawith Edmonton Opera, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus at Opera Hamilton, The Merry Widow with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and The National Arts Centre Orchestra, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Grand Philharmonic Choir, Carmina Burana with the Vancouver Symphony, Soprano soloist in The Mummers Masque with Toronto Masque Theatre, and Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with the Edmonton Symphony. In the 2010-2011 season, she performs Mimi in La Bohème at the Edmonton Opera, Bach's B minor Mass with the Vancouver Symphony, and Cecelia in the world premiere of Bramwell Tovey's The Inventor at the Calgary Opera, with subsequent concert performances with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Whalen appeared in two world premieres by composer John Estacio and librettist John Murrell's at the Calgary Opera: the title role in Filumena and Anna in Frobisher. Both operas were broadcast on CBC Radio's "Saturday Afternoon at the Opera." Ms. Whalen was honored to inaugurate the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in the fall of 2006, appearing in The Ring as Rhinemaiden (Das Rheingold and Gotterdammerung) and Der Waldvogel (Siegfried), conducted by the late Richard Bradshaw. Other acclaimed leading roles in the repertoire include the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor (Arizona Opera and Pacific Opera), Violetta in La Traviata (Opera Lyra Ottawa), Juliette in Romeo et Juliette (Opera Lyra and Opera Ontario), Mimi in La Bohème (Pacific Opera), Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro (Opera Ontario), Pamina in Die Zauberflote (Calgary Opera), Norina in Don Pasquale (Opera Ontario), and Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus (Toronto Operetta Theatre).

Ms. Whalen's vast symphony appearances include Carmina Burana (Washington Choral Society, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), Messiah (with the symphonies of Nashville, Toronto, Winnipeg Symphony, and Thunder Bay); Elijah (Quebec Symphony) Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 (National Arts Centre Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir), Die Schöpfung (Gautemala City, Calgary Philharmonic, and the Elora Festival in Ontario), Mozart Requiem (Rochester Philharmonic, Florida Orchestra, Vail Valley Festival, Colorado), Fauré Requiem (Toronto Mendelssohn Choir) and the world premiere of Bramwell Tovey's Magnificat with the Hannaford Street Silver Band, conducted by Richard Bradshaw.

Ms. Whalen's collection of recordings include Handel's Rinaldo (Naxos) as Almirena with the Aradia Ensemble conducted by Kevin Mallon; Brahms Requiem with the State Symphony Orchestra of St. Petersburg, recorded in Russia and conducted by Howard Dyck on Consort Caritatis' independent label; and a children's album entitled "The World's Very Best Opera," which features top Canadian stars of the opera stage performing famous opera arias in English: Natalie Choquette, Tracy Dahl, Gregory Dahl, Suzy Leblanc, Daniel Lichti, Aline Kutan, Allan Monk, Lambroula Maria Pappas, Michael Schade, Jean Stilwell, Daniel Taylor, Erin Thrall, all singing with the Budapest Concert Orchestra under the direction of Tamás Gál.

Laura Whalen holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music from the University of Victoria and an Opera Diploma from the University of Toronto. She studied at the Britten-Pears School in England and has received important awards from the Vancouver Opera Guild, Canadian National Music Festival and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

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