Creator & Librettist: Lorna MacDonald
Composer: Dean Burry
Song Arrangements: Lydia Adams
Born in Port Morien, Nova Scotia, soprano Lorna MacDonald enjoys a career of distinction as an international performer, Professor of Voice, and she is the Lois Marshall Chair in Voice Studies at the University of Toronto. Her early years in the Cape Breton mining and fishing village provided her with an insatiable love for singing and performance, and a deep respect for teaching. Awards for her singing took her to New York’s Metropolitan Opera, and Graz’ Stephaniensaal, while concerts in Los Angeles’ Disney Hall and studying African singing and drumming in Ghana figure among her musical highlights. She continues to perform, and her solo and operatic performances have taken her to Austria, Germany, France, Taiwan, the Republic of China, Russia, Africa, Wales, Ireland, England, Bermuda, and across North America.
MacDonald’s agile, bright, sensitive voice beautifully illuminated the depth of Giovanni Bottesini’s songs for soprano and double bass and Richard Strauss’ song cycle with piano. (Indianapolis NUVO 2014)
MacDonald’s freshness of tone, her clarity of style and diction, and her beautifully expressive musicianship are served by a perfection of technical mastery (Halifax Herald 2006)
…an absolute jewel (Edmonton Journal 1994)
Among the multi-media works she has developed and performed are Marrying Mozart, Lois Marshall in Russia, and the Group of Seven. “The Bells of Baddeck – the Alexander Graham and Mabel Bell Story” is her first libretto and large-scale music-drama. Lorna has enthusiastically “come home” to sing many concerts with Début Atlantic, Musique Royale, the St. Cecelia Series, with Coro Cantabile and the Cape Breton Chordsmen, for Opera Nova Scotia, Celtic Colours, Symphony Nova Scotia at the Rebecca Cohn, and to record for CBC Radio.
A recipient of Ontario’s prestigious OCUFA Award for “teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to university teaching”, she created a multi-faceted program in Voice Pedagogy at the University of Toronto in which doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students learn methods of artful voice teaching throughout the human life span. With collaborators at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, she designed a Cochlear-Implanted Singing Study (2010) that uses singing to increase vocal effectiveness for hearing impaired children and adolescents. In building a program for talented singers and emerging teachers, hearing-impaired patients, and creating new performance models, the sharing of song and voice is at the heart of her life’s work.
Dean Burry, Composer
Composer and librettist Dean Burry was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland but grew up in the town of Gander. In 1998, while working as an educator with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, he was commissioned to write The Brothers Grimm. The opera has been seen by over 150,000 children across Canada since 2001 and has been produced across North America and Europe. At well over 500 performances, The Brothers Grimm is believed to be the most performed Canadian opera ever.
Other major works include The Hobbit for the Canadian Children’s Opera Company and Sarasota Opera, The Scorpions’ Sting for the Canadian Opera Company, The Vinland Traveler and Le nez de la sorcière for Memorial University of Newfoundland, Pandora’s Locker for The Glenn Gould School, the CBC serial radio opera Baby Kintyre (released on the Centredisc and Naxos labels in September, 2014) and Beacon of Light for Rising Tide Theatre. He is currently a professor at the Glenn Gould Professional School of the Royal Conservatory of Music and pursuing a DMA at the University of Toronto.
Burry was the 2011 recipient of the Louis Applebaum Composers Award for excellence in the field of music for young people. His most recent composition, Tempest in a Teacup recently premiered in Guiyang, China and upcoming performances include The Hockey Cantata, commissioned by Orchestra Toronto and an opera about the lives of Alexander Graham and Mabel Bell. www.deanburry.com