UMS Choral Union, chorus
Joni Henson, soprano Bio
Kelley O'Connor, mezzo soprano Bio
Soprano Joni Henson is one of Canada’s most thrilling young performers. Recent successes on the opera stage include Elisabetta in “Don Carlos,” Fiordiligi in Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte,” the Foreign Princess in “Rusalka,” and Gutrune in Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung,” all for the Canadian Opera Company. She has also appeared in special concerts with the Kingston and Sault Ste. Marie symphonies, and presented a debut recital for Music Toronto at the St. Lawrence Centre in Toronto with pianist Stephen Ralls. Ms. Henson’s appearances include Desdemona in “Otello” with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Santuzza in “Cavalleria rusticana” with the Windsor Symphony, Marie in “Die tote Stadt” for Opera in Concert and concerts with the Aldeburgh Connection of Toronto and the Elora Festival of Ontario among many others. Ms. Henson earned her Bachelor in Vocal Performance degree from the University of Toronto and received her Artist Diploma from the University of Toronto’s Opera Division.
Jason Grant, bass-baritone Bio
Possessing a voice of uncommon allure, musical sophistication, and intuitive and innate dramatic artistry, the Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor has emerged as one of the most compelling performers of her generation. Ms. O’Connor brings “her smoky sound and riveting stage presence” (The New York Times) to performances as Ursule in Berlioz’s “Béatrice et Bénédict” with Opera Boston, and to her signature role as Federico García Lorca in a Peter Sellars staging of Golijov’s “Ainadamar” at Teatro Real in Madrid. Ms. O’Connor’s performances include Ravel’s “Shéhérazade” with Michael Christie at the Colorado Music Festival, and Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Edinburgh Festival among others. Additional operatic engagements include her Canadian Opera Company debut in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and as Meg Page in “Falstaff” at the Santa Fe Opera.
Vale Rideout, tenor Bio
A native of Los Angeles, bass-baritone Jason Grant has won acclaim for his elegantly expressive, richly hued voice.
Vale Rideout, Tenor, a native of Colorado has sung with Los Angeles Opera, Minnesota Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Nashville Opera and companies across the US. Recently, he reprised his performance as the Male Chorus in Rape of Lucretia at Cal Performances in Berkeley with Maestro Lorin Maazel conducting, sang Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw at Central City Opera, sang Nadir in Les Pêcheurs de perles with Hawaii Opera Theater and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Tulsa Opera. He sang Peter Quint in 'The Turn of the Screw' with Boston Lyric Opera, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor and Sam in Susannah with Central City Opera, Alfred in Die Fledermaus with San Francisco Opera and Atis in The Fortunes of King Croesus with Minnesota Opera. His concert engagements have taken him from The New York Philharmonic performing with Maestro Lorin Maazel in Britten's War Requiem to the Dallas Symphony where he sang the World Premiere of August 4, 1964 by Steven Stucky under Maestro Jaap Van Zweden which was recently released in a live recording. Vale sang with the Seattle Symphony in Handel's Messiah and appeared with the Collegiate Chorale in an opera inspired program at Carnegie Hall. He appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestra of St Lukes, Academy of St Marin in the Fields, Pacific, Virginia, Nashville and Grand Rapids Symphonies. He recently sang the role of Tancredi in John Musto's The Inspector at Wolf Trap Opera which was recently released as a live recording. With Florentine Opera, he sang the role of Frank in Robert Aldridge's Grammy-winning (2012) Elmer Gantry and the role of Igneo in Don Davis' Rio de Sangre, both of which have recently been released as live recordings. Vale can also be heard on a live recording of Carmina Burana with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.