Emerging Artist Recital in the Gardens

Emerging Artist Recital in the Gardens

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  • The brain is wider than the sky Ronald Beckett Text by Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)
  • My letter to the world Ronald Beckett Text by Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)
  • Nobodies Sophia Korz
  • Pretty People Sophia Korz
  • i carry your heart with me Benjamin Gabbay Text E. E. Cummings (1894 – 1962)
  • The Lord’s Prayer Emma Verdonk Text: Paraphrase
  • The Accompanist Ronald Beckett Text by Miriam Richards
  • So set its sun in thee Ronald Beckett Text by Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)
  • Holy Thursday Ronald Beckett Text by William Blake (1757 – 1827)
  • Hope Ronald Beckett Text by Emily Brontë (1818 – 1848)
  • With rue my heart is laden Ronald Beckett Texts by A. E. Housman (1859 – 1936)
  • Tell me, tell me, smiling child Ronald Beckett Text by Emily Brontë (1818 – 1848)


Ronald Beckett

Artistic director & conductor

Ronald Beckett has had numerous compositions performed by ensembles throughout Ontario. He has written three operas that constitute a trilogy: Ruth, John, and I Am…. that have been given fully staged performances by Arcady and Queens Student Opera. Ruth, due largely to its length (72 minutes) and facility of staging, has received some twenty performances since its premiere in 1996. Ron’s catalogue of compositions includes a number of additional large-scale works for orchestra or orchestra and chorus and an abundance of chamber music and pieces for piano and organ. Since 2008, he has written a great number of songs and music for youth, specifically for the Arcady Youth Singers.

Ron is the founding director of Arcady, an organization established in order to encourage outstanding young musicians by providing them a bridge between their student and professional performing careers. Most of Arcady’s work is in two areas: period performances of early music repertoire and the works of Ronald Beckett. The ensemble offers 20 to 30 programs ranging from small ensemble to full choral-orchestral performances in Ontario each year. Arcady has released three CD recordings on the Crescendo label: A Baroque Messiah (1999), Welcome Yule! (2001), and Ruth (2007). Welcome Yule! is a collection of original Christmas compositions and Beckett arrangements. Ron also arranged and conducted Ruby Productions’ CD entitled Peace on Earth (2000). In 2002, Phoenix Records released the CD A Beckett Miscellany – a sampling of Ron’s instrumental music performed by The Essex Winds and Arcady.

A Summa Cum Laude graduate from McMaster University in History and Theory, Ronald Beckett is an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music (Piano Performance), and also holds a Master of Music degree in composition from the University of Western Ontario. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to music and community, he was inducted into the McMaster Alumni Gallery in 2004.

Ron is a member of SOCAN, the Canadian League of Composers and the Canadian Music Centre. His works are frequently heard on classical radio in North America and Europe.

Visit Ron’s website for more information: www.ronaldbeckettmusic.com

Roanna Kitchen


Roanna Kitchen is a Canadian soprano praised for her striking stage presence and musical versatility. She recently completed her master’s degree in Voice Performance from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music under the guidance of Frédérique Vézina and Danial Taylor. Roanna additionally holds an undergraduate degree in performance from the same institution. Roanna has performed various roles on stage including Frasquita in Carmen, Clarice in Il giuoco del quadriglio, Serpina in La serva padrona, Miss Robinson and Lady Appleby in The Shop Girl, Iris in Semele, Mabel in Pirates of Penzance and Donna Marie in Blood Brothers. She premiered the role of Mentuhotep in Conan and the Stone of Kelior and appeared in the original cast recording. Roanna has performed staged scenes such as “Restino imbalsamate… T’aspetto e tu non vieni” (La Calisto) as Calisto, “Pur ti miro” (L’incoronazione di Poppea) as Poppea, “Alfin siam liberati, Zerlinetta gentil…Là ci darem la mano” (Don Giovanni) as Zerlina and “Basilio, in traccia tosto di Figaro volate” (Le Nozze di Figaro) as Susanna. She has also participated as a young artist in programs such as the Vocal Academy of Opera in Bodrum, the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, St. Andrew’s Vocal Techniques Workshop, Opera Nuova’s 10 Day Development Program and the Summer Opera Lyric Theatre. Roanna has appeared and soloed in concert works including Songs of Comfort & Praise, Halloween Classics with the Quinte Symphony, An Evening of Turkish Song & Opera Favourites through the Vocal Academy of Opera in Bodrum at the Bodrum Castle, Art for Peace: A Fundraising Concert for Ukraine through Opera in Reach, Freedom Cabaret: The Spirit and Legacy of Black Music as part of a lecture and demonstration, Handel’s Messiah and Dixit Dominus, A Celebration, A Child’s Prayer and Fauré’s Requiem. Additionally, Roanna has soloed in concerts such as A Night at the Opera and What’s New With You as part of the University of Toronto Vocalis Series and in Songs of Hope and Comfort as part of the University of Toronto’s Festival of Song. In addition to solo work, Roanna also enjoys performing with ensembles. Previously she has performed as part of the University of Toronto’s Schola Cantorum, Chamber Choir and Soprano/Alto Chorus as well as the Prince Edward County Economical Choir. Roanna has participated in masterclasses conducted by Dame Emma Kirkby, William Sharp, Russell Braun, Steven Philcox, Nathalie Paulin, Wendy Neilson, Kimberly Barber and Dominique Labelle and has worked with conductors such as Raffaele Cipriano, Elaine Rinaldi, Tulio Gagliardo, David Fallis, Christopher Bagan, Hilary Apfelstadt and Uri Mayer. She has been the recipient of multiple scholarships including the University of Toronto Music Fellowship Award, Arthur Edward Redsell Scholarship, Lois Marshall Memorial Scholarship, Undergraduate Campaign Scholarship and the President’s Entrance Scholarship. In addition to her love for music Roanna also became involved in film. Since graduating from Mode Elle Model and Talent Agency and working with Catalyst TCM Inc. her credits have included the principal role of Elizabeth Ennen in the television show See No Evil, as well as commercials for Disney Cinderella Princess, Care Bears and Cabbage Patch Dolls. Roanna is currently working with The Lane School of Music and as an independent voice teacher, having previously worked for Upbeat Piano Studio. She is very excited to continue working with youth and to assist them in their vocal development and pursuit of excellence. She believes that by bridging the gap between the youth of today and the established classical music world it will not only help to expose new generations to incredible music, but also help to make classical music even more accessible.

Sophia Korz

Soprano, songwriter

Canadian singer-songwriter/classical soprano Sophia Korz began songwriting at the age of twelve and has since found herself unable to stop. Under the tutelage of Dr. Joan Heels (voice) and Francine Regaudie-McIsaac (piano/theory/history), she pursues senior levels of RCM training and has won two Gold Medals (RCM Voice), First Place/Best of Class for Level 8 Voice Provincials (OMFA), and countless other scholarships from various festivals. Developing her skills at integrating both compositional and performance styles, she has studied choral works under Dr. Tracy Wong (McMaster University Choir, Cantemus Vocal Ensemble: 2019-2021), as well as masterclasses by Dr. Shannon Coates (Contemporary Singing), Elizabeth McDonald (Vocal Health/Physiology), Zimfira Poloz (Russian Choral Music), soprano Jennie Such, and tenor Elliot Madore. Influenced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Amy Lee, Tori Amos, and select choral composers (Laurisden, Bergersen, Hagenberg, Rutter), she is interested in the synthesis of classical and popular music. Since her debut single “Flinch” in 2019, she has produced and released three additional tracks as an indie solo artist, with “NOBODIES” (2022) being her most recent reflection on the COVID-19 aftermath. She can be found on streaming platforms everywhere and is excited to be working on her debut EP.

Olivia Maldonado


Olivia Maldonado is a soprano who has completed a Master’s of Vocal Literature and Performance with Western University.  She is currently studying with baritone, Dr. Todd Wieczorek.  Olivia had her first professional debut as a soloist in September 2019 with Toronto Operetta Theatre’s Viva la Zarzuela.  Other performance credits include Lauretta from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, Serpetta in La finta giardiniera, Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro with Western University, and Oronte in Handel’s Alcina with the Accademia Europea Dell’Opera in Lucca, Italy.  She has also performed in numerous concerts with Arcady and was featured in their music video, Snowflakes Fall Softly, and undertook Arcady’s Emerging Artist Training Program in 2015.  In addition to her performance endeavours, Olivia holds various scholarships such as the Don Wright Scholarship Fund in Vocal Music and the University of Toronto Vari Scholarship. Olivia has a passion for performing and teaching, and she hopes to instil the same thrill with her students and audience.

Maria Milenic


Canadian mezzo-soprano, Maria Milenic, is an up-and-coming artist with “a uniquely beautiful voice and a lovely dark rich sound” (McHardy, 2022). Originally from Newmarket Ontario, Maria has established a strong musical presence in Toronto, Canada. She is a Serbian-Croatian heritage speaker and is proficiently fluent in French, following her language studies at the University of Toronto, where she majored in both voice performance and French language arts. Maria made her stage debut as a chorus member in Huron Heights’ musical production of Honk in 2010, where her natural artistry and stage presence left a mark on stage, at the young age of twelve. Since then, she has honed her artistic talents as an opera singer and has been hailed as an exceptionally talented young artist.

Maria’s stage highlights include Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, where she made her international debut in Berlin Opera Academy, Minkswoman in Dove’s Flight, and Ljubica in Ana Sokolovic’s Svadba , both at The Royal Conservatory, Ada in COSA Canada’s The Shop Girl, Mrs. Hildebrand in Kurt Weil’s Street Scene at the University of Toronto, and Javotte in Massenet’s Manon at Summer Opera Lyric Theater, among others.Apart from opera, Maria is profoundly passionate about contemporary repertoire and seeks opportunities to collaborate with Canadian composers at all costs. In 2019, she competed in the SongSLAM song festival where she premiered one of Benjamin Gabbay’s original works written for voice and piano. Gabbay often composes music specifically written to suit Maria’s voice and the two thrive as musical collaborators. She has also recently begun working with Chinese-Canadian composer Kevin Zi-Xiao, who has set several of Maria’s original poems and created stunning new art songs using her texts. In June 2022, Maria premiered the first piece of their song cycle, titled Aisling. You can keep up with Maria’s upcoming projects on her Instagram: @maria_milee.