Sasha Bult-Ito, pianist
Alaskan pianist Sasha Bult-Ito has appeared as soloist with orchestras in both the United States and Europe. She made her orchestral solo debut with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra at age seven after winning the Fairbanks Symphony Concerto Competition. Most recently, Sasha performed in Koerner Hall as a finalist of the Glenn Gould School Concerto Competition. Recent performances include Dohnányi and Vasks Piano Quartets and Chausson Piano Trio at the Scotia Festival of Music, Beethoven Sonata Op. 81a at the Southeastern Piano Festival, Schumann Sonata in F-sharp minor at the John Perry Academy Summer Piano Festival, and Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 2 with the Brunensis Virtuosi Orchestra under the baton of Danwen Wei at MusicFest Perugia in Italy. Apart from her love of the piano’s vast solo repertoire, Sasha has an immense interest in chamber music. The Ezra Duo, founded with violist Jacob Clewell, are first-prize winners of the Golden Classical Music Awards, Grand Prize Virtuoso, The Great Composers Competition: Art of Chamber MusicandThe Music of America, and IMKA Music Competitions, earning invitations to perform in New York, Vienna, and Sarajevo. The duo has performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York, Toronto’s Koerner and Mazzoleni Halls, the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, and Sir James Dunn Theatre in Halifax. Most recently, they participated in the Città di Pinerolo e Torino – Città Metropolitana International Chamber Music Competition in Italy in March of 2018. Sasha is currently studying under the direction of John Perry and David Louie at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where she is a full scholarship recipient.
Michaela Chiste, poet/soprano/dancer
Michaela Chiste is a young soprano hailing from Okotoks, Alberta. Originally trained as a stage actor, she spent most of her life studying and performing in the dramatic arts and musical theatre before crossing over to the world of classical singing in 2013. She studied vocal performance under the tutelage of John Tessier and completed her Bachelor of Music at the University of Alberta in 2017. She has performed as a concert soloist and recitalist both internationally and across Canada. As a choral soloist, she has served as a featured soprano soloist in works such as Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb and A Ceremony of Carols, and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Her most notable work as a chamber musician is her premiering of The Dream, a cantata for soprano and pianoforte by Anders Muskins at the Alberta Mozart Festival in 2016. Some of her career highlights so far include singing the roles of Frasquita (Carmen), Emmie (Albert Herring), Mimi (City Workers in Love), The Dormouse (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), Mimi (City Workers in Love), Jennie Hildebrand (Street Scene), Gustave (Pomme d’Api ), and The Boy (Der Jasager).
Zachary Rioux, tenor
“Praised by Ludwig van Toronto as “A Show-Stopping Tenor” and “…reminiscent of a young Alfredo Kraus.” 21-year-old lyric tenor Zachary Rioux participated in the Brott Music Festival in July of 2018 performing the role of Tamino in their production of The Magic Flute under the baton of Maestro Boris Brott. He had debuted this role with Toronto City Opera in March of 2018 under the direction of Erik Thor, Jennifer Tung, and Ivan Jovanovic. Mr. Rioux is entering his final year of undergraduate studies at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, studying with Joel Katz and Jennifer Tung. He spent June of 2017 at SongFest on scholarship, where he worked with Graham Johnson, Bill McGraw, Sanford Sylvan, and many other renowned teachers and coaches from across North America. In 2013, he participated in the Orford Arts Academy at the age of sixteen. His other operatic experience includes productions of Bizet’s Carmen with the Mississauga and York Symphony Orchestras, Handel’s Alcina and Strauss’ Die Fledermaus with the Glenn Gould School, and Mozart’s Lucio Silla and The Marriage of Figaro with Opera Atelier. Last season he performed as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, in their Last Night of the Proms concert, and again as a soloist for the York Symphony Orchestra’s A Night at the Opera concert – all under the baton of Maestro Denis Mastromonaco. In the summer of 2018, Zachary also performed a version of Bach’s Coffee Cantata – revised to the Cappuccino Cantata by Peter Tiefenbach at the Stratford Summer Music Festival and the Indian River Festival.”
Savanna Sokolnicki, soprano
Originally from Toronto, and now an adjunct professor at Belmont University in Nashville Tennessee, soprano Savanna Sokolnicki has many credits to her performing career, including most recently, the role of Mrs. Peachum in Threepenny Opera (Street Theatre Company) and her premier with the York Symphony Orchestra on their 2017 Holiday Concert Series. Other performances include the role of Carlotta in Phantom of the Opera (UK Opera Theatre), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni – Opera Orvieto), Juliette (Roméo et Juliette – UK Opera Theatre), Lily (The Secret Garden – Eastman Opera Theatre), Freulein Schneider (Cabaret – Eastman Opera Theatre), Olga (The Merry Widow – Eastman Opera Theatre). Savannah continues to perform across Canada and the United States, and is thrilled to be joining Arcady.