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The Marg & Jim Norquay Celebration Concert 

Chelsea Van Pelt, soprano
Nicholas Higgs, baritone

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 About the Performers

Praised as “…appealing and delicate…” (Opera Canada), soprano Chelsea Van Pelt’s 2019/2020 season includes performances of Bach’s Mass in B minor, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, Haydn’s Kleine Orgelmesse, Bach’s St. John Passion and Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate. This past season, she returned from auditions at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Atelier Lyrique National Finals at L’Opera de Montréal. Within the 2018/2019 season, Chelsea also had the pleasure of performing Gorecki’s Symphony for Sorrowful songs, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, John Laing’s Revival (a piece she premiered in 2016 for the Hamilton “What’s Next” Festival) and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem.

Chelsea Van Pelt is a recent graduate of the Calgary Opera Emerging Artists program. Throughout her time there, she had the pleasure of performing the role of Juliette for the Canadian premiere of Die tote Stadt, Pamina in Die Zauberflote (*cover), Rose in Lakme and la Princesse in l’enfant et les sortileges.

While completing her graduate degree, Chelsea performed Cendrillon in Cendrillon for the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, Dido in Dido and Aeneas and Mme Lidoine in Dialogues of the Carmelites. Past concert engagements include Vivaldi’s Gloria, Vivaldi’s Magnificat, Schubert’s Mass in G, Mozart’s Vespers, Haydn’s Creation, Karl Jenkins Mass for Peace, Mozart’s Requiem, Mozart’s Missa Brevis and Handel’s Messiah. A choral highlight includes singing Bach’s Mass in B minor at Roy Thompson Hall under the baton of Helmuth Rilling.

Chelsea completed her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Toronto, studying with Wendy Nielsen. Prior to graduate work, she studied with Darryl Edwards and Leslie Fagan.

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Nova Scotian Baritone Nicholas Higgs has been studying Voice Performance at the University of Toronto with Professor Lorna MacDonald since 2015 and has continued his studies at the Master’s Level with the University of Toronto Opera school. This past July, Nicholas performed the role of Count Almaviva with Long Reach Opera Workshop and will reprise the role this coming November with U of T Opera.

In 2018, Nicholas performed the role of Abraham Kaplan in U of T Opera’s production of Street Scene, and had the opportunity to be a chorus member in other U of T Opera productions such as Of Thee I Sing (2018), Don Giovanni (2017), and Paul Bunyan (2015). He has performed various operatic roles with the Victoria Youth Opera Lab and the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, including Figaro in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Curio in Handel’s Giulio Cesare. These opportunities were possible thanks, in part, to the generosity of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust.

Nicholas is currently the baritone section leader at Metropolitan United Church. Nicholas is the former recipient of the Mary Morrison Award in Voice as well as a former winner of the Luciano Pavarotti scholarship (U of T). He is thrilled to be singing this recital alongside Chelsea Van Pelt!