Monika Gurak graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree with honours from the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, specializing in composition, as well as with a Master of Arts degree from the Department of Music, York University, also specializing in composition. York University additionally gave her a merit-based entrance scholarship. She also took courses in writing songs and music production at Berklee Online, where she received a certificate. In addition, Monika is an alumna of the Institute of Iberian and Ibero-American Studies, University of Warsaw. Monika prefers writing music with words, be they pop songs, art songs or opera. She writes in three languages: Polish, English and Spanish, and she also loves writing prose. She published a few articles about music in Hispano-American literature and Heitor Villa-Lobos. photo: Wojciech Gurak

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Recognized for her commanding stage and vocal presence, mezzo-soprano Chelsea Melamed is quickly making a name for herself as an artist to watch. In the 2019 season, Chelsea debuted the role of Jiyan in the world premiere of the opera Friday After Friday by Leanna Kirchoff in New York City. She also performed with SongFest as a recipient of the 2019 Eva & Marc Stern Fellowship, and the Toronto Summer Music Academy Art of Song program as a vocal fellow. For the 2017-2018 season, Chelsea joined the Studio Artist program at Opera Santa Barbara, where performances included Dinah in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and Javotte in Massenet’s Manon. Recent role highlights include Dorothée (Cendrillon), Page of Herodias (Salome), and Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro). Chelsea holds a doctoral degree in voice from CCM (University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music) and a master’s degree in voice from San Francisco Conservatory of Music. photo: Jessica Osber osberphotos.com

Jo Greenaway is a collaborative pianist and vocal coach in Toronto ON.  She holds a M.Mus in Collaborative Piano, a B.Mus (Hons) in Theory and Composition with a specialization in French Literature from the University of Western Ontario, as well as her ARCT in performance from the Royal Conservatory. She has attended programs such as the Opera Nuova program in Edmonton AB, and the Centre for Opera Studies in Sulmona, Italy, and spent several years working as a coach for UWOpera in London ON.  She has toured China with Opera Jeunesse as pianist/musical director, and was music director for the inaugural season of Ottawa’s Capitol City Opera.  From 2010 to 2018 she spent her summers on faculty at Oberlin Conservatory’s summer program in Arezzo, Italy, and in 2019 began working as a music director for Summer Opera Lyric Theatre in Toronto. photo: Helen Tansey

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