Artist Bios

Monica Whicher, soprano

Style and musical elegance combined with an intuitive theatrical sense are the hallmarks of soprano Monica Whicher's performances on the concert and opera stage. In the summer of 2012, Ms. Whicher returned to Festival International de Musique Baroque de Lamèque for Pergolesi’s STABAT MATER, a performance also broadcast by CBC. Other recent engagements include a concert for Vancouver’s Music in the Morning series, ELIJAH for the Colorado Symphony and Edmonton’s Richard Eaton Singers, MESSIAH for the Kingston Symphony, the Aldeburgh Connection’s Schubertiad and concerts with harpist Judy Loman.

In the previous seasons she was heard with Orchestra London, Thunder Bay Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia and Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings in repertoire ranging from opera to Villa Lobos to Faure and Bach. In 2010-2011, Ms Whicher debuted with Houston’s Mercury Baroque as Asprano in Vivaldi’s MONTEZUMA, the work’s premiere in North America. Her discography expanded with the release of “Lullabies and Carols for Christmas” with Judy Loman for Naxos as well as two CD boxed sets featuring the art songs of Mykola Lysenko and Yakiv Stepovyi, part of an ongoing series produced by the Ukrainian Art Song Project. In addition to her residency at the Colours of Music Festival, her many recitals include Lysenko at Toronto’s Koerner Hall, return engagements with the Talisker Players, the University of Toronto’s Faculty Artists Series, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, the Leith Festival and the Indian River Festival. The varied aspects of her artistry are reflected in performances of Strauss’ VIER LETZTE LIEDER with Peter Oundjian and the Toronto Symphony, ELIJAH with the Calgary Philharmonic, the title role in THAÏS for Pacific Opera Victoria, Bach’s JOHANNES PASSION for the Amadeus Choir, Bach’s WEIHNACHTSORATORIUM with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Mozart’s MASS IN C MINOR with the Kingston Symphony, and Grieg’s PEER GYNT with the Victoria Symphony.

Additional credits include the Strauss songs for Orchestra London, the Hamilton Philharmonic and the Ottawa Symphony; MESSIAH with the Elmer Iseler Singers, the title role in Purcell’s DIDO & AENEAS for Opera Atelier’s tour of Korea, repeating the role for Toronto Masque Theatre; ARMIDE and ORFEO for Opera Atelier and a return to Pacific Opera Victoria for Female Chorus in THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA, (having previously appeared there as Cleopatra in Handel’s GIULIO CESARE), ELIJAH with the Vancouver Symphony, DIE SCHÖPFUNG for Orchestra London, Bach’s MASS in B MINOR for the Vancouver Bach Choir and Mozart’s REQUIEM with the Victoria Symphony.

She has been featured in MESSIAH with the Toronto Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic and the Edmonton Symphony, as Drusilla in Monteverdi’s CORONATION OF POPPEA for the Cleveland Opera and she was lavishly praised for her Naxos recording of CASTOR ET POLLUX with Opera in Concert of Toronto. For Opera Atelier, she starred as the Countess in Mozart’s LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, and her many appearances with the Aldeburgh Connection have included Wolf’s ITALIENISCHES LIEDERBUCH with baritone Russell Braun and premieres of works by John Beckwith, John Greer and Gary Kulesha. She appeared at the Nürnberg Chamber Music Festival as the Governess in TURN OF THE SCREW and Female Chorus in THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA, the latter recorded for broadcast by Bayerischer Rundfunk. Other festivals have included Lanaudière, Westben, Festival of the Sound, Winnipeg New Music, Toronto Summer Music and the Michoacàn Festival of Music and Culture in Mexico.

Further performance credits include Mozart’s MASS IN C MINOR and EXULTATE, JUBILATE with Helmuth Rilling in Bilbao, Spain and appearances with the symphonies of Barcelona, Utah, Hartford and Minnesota. She has sung Pamina in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE for Opera Lyra in Ottawa, Elisa in IL RE PASTORE for the Canadian Opera Company, Zerlina in DON GIOVANNI for Vancouver Opera, Gorecki’s SYMPHONY OF SORROWFUL SONGS with the National Ballet of Canada, and, for CBC television, the inaugural Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, where she sang in honour of Leopold Simoneau.

Winner of the George London Award, Ms. Whicher has been nominated for a Juno Award for “Singing Somers Theatre (Centrediscs) as well as two Dora Mavor Moore awards (LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, DIDO AND AENEAS) and is featured on the Juno-award winning CD’s “Beethoven Lives Upstairs”, “Mozarts’ Magic Fantasy” and “Daydreams and Lullabies”. Her recordings of Bach, Schubert and Hatzis are available on Marquis Classics and other labels and her critically acclaimed portrayal of Mérope can be seen in the EuroArts DVD of Lully’s PERSÉE. Ms. Whicher is on the faculty of both the Glenn Gould School and the University of Toronto.

January 2014

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