Richard Cunningham graduated from the University of Toronto where he studied with Lillian Weichel and Edgar Hanson. He is the recipient of three scholarship grants from the Canada Council for the Arts. He has studied in England with Timothy Penrose and James Bowman. Richard also sang at Winchester Cathedral and St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle appearing on many occasions before the Royal family. As a soloist, Richard has travelled through France, Holland, Germany, Britain, the United States and Canada, and has often been heard in concert on the CBC. He has performed with the symphony orchestras of Toronto & Kitchener/Waterloo, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Hamilton’s Bach-Elgar Choir and the Philharmonic Choir of Kitchener/ Waterloo. He has performed with the Tactus Vocal Ensemble, La Chappelle de Quebec and Les Violons du Roy in Quebec & Montréal, the Elora Festival Singers, and with Tafelmusik. Richard has also been a frequent performer with the John Laing Singers in Hamilton and is one of three founding directors for the Nota Bene Period Orchestra in Kitchener/Waterloo. He teaches voice and conducting at McMaster University and the University of Waterloo. As a choral conductor, he is the music director of the Grand River Chorus and the Brantford Children’s Chorus. Richard has sung countertenor for numerous Arcady performances over the past decade.
Diana Di Mauro is known for her fine musicianship and charismatic stage presence. Recently, she began working on her PhD in Musicology at York University. She debuted in the role of Cherubino in Mozart’s, Le Nozze di Figaro, at Teatro Mancinelli in Orvieto, and has since performed the roles of Mrs. Nolan in Menotti’s The Medium, Lola in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, Clarina in Rossini’s La Cambiale di Matrimonio, Zerlina, in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Serpina in Pergolesi’s, La Serva Padrona, Susanna in Mozart’s, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Mary Magdalene in Frisina’s, Emmanuel God with Us, in Toronto and New York. Ms. Di Mauro has performed in numerous concerts internationally including at the Howard Assembly Room of Opera North in Leeds, UK, at Limonaia Villa Strozzi in Florence, Santa Margherita Ligure and Diano Marina, Imperia. Besides performing, Ms. Di Mauro is an Arts Advocate, giving lectures and talks about opera and the preservation of the art form. She was the Arts and Culture producer for Insieme TV, appearing as host and interviewer, and has Directed and Produced the full-length documentary Jackie and the Ladies: 65 Years of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the C.I.B.P.A. Diana was an Emerging Artist for Arcady in 2017-18 and has since remained as a mentor.
Heather Fleming sings in the prestigious Parish Choir of St. John’s Anglican Church in Elora and also in the renowned Elora Festival Singers, both directed by Noel Edison. She is one of Arcady’s most prominent performers and has been a part of a dozen recordings. Heather has worked with some of the world’s finest conductors in cities across Canada and the USA as well as in Germany, Greece, and England. Heather was also featured on TVOntario’s On Stage at Studio 2 playing music of Ronald Beckett and also appeared on Breakfast Television with the Elora Festival Singers. Heather has been a vocal coach, guest clinician and soloist for various ensembles. Heather earned her B.Mus at Wilfrid Laurier University, studying recorder with Shannon Purves-Smith, performing in the Chapel Choir directed by Jan Overduin and in the Baroque Ensemble under Michael Purves-Smith. She currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for Arcady.
Ottawa native Lauren Halász is a mezzo soprano and multi-disciplinary artist based in Toronto. She enjoys performing both the traditional and the contemporary, with a particular interest in Canadian repertoire. She was featured as an emerging artist with both Tapestry Opera in Songbook IX, and Against the Grain Theatre in This is Prophetic!. She was also seen as Cherubino in Long Reach Opera Workshop’s Le Nozze di Figaro and as herself in Profile, an original work featured at Nuit Blanche Toronto 2018 through Expect Theatre. Lauren holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Voice Performance from Western University.
Bree Horton is a graduate of the New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Jane Eaglen. She has performed in operas across Canada from Victoria to Halifax. She was a Featured Artist for Vera Causa Opera’s 2019/2020 Season, where she has had the pleasure of singing the roles of Renfield in Dylan Langan’s Dracula, The Child in Ravel’s The Child and the Spells, and Iguanodonna/The Mother in Dylan Langan’s double bill The Dino Opera and Rapunzel. Bree was part of the Emerging Artist cast for Arcady’s Ruth International and will remain with the ensemble as a mentor. She loves the unique opportunities Arcady offers and the feeling of reuniting with friends at each Arcady performance!
Victoria Marshall is a sought-after interpreter of opera, oratorio, and art-song. She recently made her two professional debuts as guest soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Case Scaglione and with the Regina Symphony Orchestra under Hart Godden. Ms. Marshall was also honoured to create the role of Vashti in the world premiere of the science-fiction opera, The Machine Stops, based on Forster’s short story. Recent highlights include singing Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (Muskoka Opera Festival), Bianca in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia (MYOpera), Moppet in Benjamin Britten’s Paul Bunyan (U of T Opera), Mrs. Nolan in Menotti’s The Medium (U of T Opera), and Madame de la Haltière in Massenet’s Cendrillon (Manitoba Underground Opera). While at the University of Manitoba, Victoria has sung Bianca/Princess Rosabella in Dean Burry’s Angela and Her Sisters and performed excerpts from Dido and Aeneas as The Sorceress. Ms. Marshall is equally at home performing the works of the Baroque masters. She has appeared as a soloist performing such works as Bach’s B Minor Mass and St. Matthew Passion, Zelenka’s Te Deum, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, and Vivaldi’s Gloria with such companies as Winnipeg’s Canzona, Camerata Nova, and the U of M Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Marshall also took home first prize at the 2014 Lawrence Genser Performance Competition at the U of M. Ms. Marshall studies with Wendy Nielsen in Toronto, and has formerly studied with Mel Braun at the U of M Desautels Faculty of Music. Victoria was an Arcady Emerging Artist in the 2016/17 season. She has remained as a soloist/mentor
Nicole Stellino is a mezzo soprano, living in Burlington Ontario. She is an active performer in the GTA, versed in opera, concert and musical theatre repertoire. Nicole has performed several operatic roles, including the role of Hermia in the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Recent performances include an appearance as a featured soloist in A Little Night Music, a farewell concert for pianist Eran Rozenszajn, and the Merriam Music faculty concert. Nicole is an experienced vocal teacher, with a full and thriving studio.
Sonja van de Hoef graduated with her Bachelor of Music in Honours Church Music from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario where she studied organ with Jan Overduin, voice with Patricia Pascoe and choral conducting with Noel Edison. Ms. van de Hoef served as the assistant director for the Laurier Chapel Choir and as Choir Master at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Waterloo. She is currently the Director of Worship and Children’s Ministries at Knox Presbyterian Church in Milton where she leads the adult and children’s choirs and is organist/pianist. Ms. van de Hoef is also the founder/director of the Adoramus Children’s Choir in Milton. She is currently studying voice with Glen Gardiner. While this energetic young musician claims that “choral conducting is my passion”, she has studied piano, voice and organ and has a private studio in Milton where she teaches voice, piano, theory and harmony.
Dr. Katie Walshaw holds an Honours Bachelor of Music from Wilfrid Laurier University specializing in music theory and voice, a Master’s Degree in Music Theory and a Ph. D. specializing in Theory, both from the University of Western Ontario. As a singer, Katie has been the soprano section lead at St. Andrew’s United Church in Brantford for sixteen years. Katie is the Arcady Youth Training Choir Director. Katie frequently appears as a soloist with the group and has also performed as a soloist for Maestro Boris Brott. She made her debut as “Naomi” in Ron Beckett’s opera Ruth in 2015. Dr. Walshaw received her start in music during an Arcady summer youth program for a production of Judas Maccabeus twenty years ago.
Annetta Whetham is completed her Masters of Voice Performance at Longy School of Music in Boston, MA. She received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Lethbridge in 2004. She graduated from Mohawk College in 2002, where she received a Diploma of Applied Music. She has studied with Dr. George Evelyn in Lethbridge, Alberta, Lita Klassen in Hamilton and Carol Ann Feldstein in Waterloo. She has participated in a master class with Richard Miller.
Meagan Zantingh completed her MMus at McGill University. Meagan’s opera production experience includes the role of Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, the role of Dorothée in Massenet’s Cendrillon, and the role of Sylvane in Lehar’s The Merry Widow. She has also participated in three summer opera programs, developing her skills through acting and movement classes and opera scenes workshops. Over the past few years, she has organized and performed in annual benefit concerts, repeatedly singing to a sold out audience. Also in the Early Music field, Meagan is gaining experience as a soloist and as a chorister. She has her A.R.C.T. Performance diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music and her Honours Bachelor of Music from the University of Western Ontario.