Julia LoRusso – Soprano
Julia began singing on stage at the age of six, and her passion for music started with professional voice instruction at the age of seven. She attended St. Mary Choir Catholic Elementary School and the Catholic Central High School music program in London, Ontario. Throughout school, she was a participant and soloist for multiple choirs. She graduated from the Bachelor of Music Honours in Voice performance program on the Dean’s honour list at Western University and is currently enrolled in the Master of Performance and Literature degree under the guidance of Jacklyn Short. She was awarded several scholarships including the Lindsay Memorial Scholarship, the Music Entrance Scholarship of Merit and the Western Graduate Research Scholarship. She was a soloist for many of David Weavers, H.B Beal, and London Singers concerts, was the soloist performer for the London Community Orchestra’s Young Soloist Concert 2018, performed in Western University’s Opera Gala 2020, and was a featured soloist in Opera NUOVA’s Coast to Coast recital series in June 2020. Her opera role experience began as Lauretta in Western University’s production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi 2021 then Morgana in Western University’s Opera production of Händel’s Alcina. Her most recent role was Amor in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea at Opera NUOVA in Edmonton 2022, and her upcoming role is Nannetta in Western University’s production of Verdi’s Falstaff in March 2023.
Daryn Nowlin – Mezzo-soprano
Daryn Imani Nowlin is completing her Master of Music (MMus) at Western University. Originally from Lamoni, Iowa, she received her B.A. in Vocal Performance, English and Creative Writing from Graceland University. While at Graceland, she performed lead musical theatre roles such as Molly in Ghost, Velma Kelly in Chicago, and Captain John Powell in the play Men on Boats. Her love for opera manifested at the La Musica Lirica Summer Opera Program in 2021, which she attended again this past summer, performing roles such as Suor Osmina from Suor Angelica, La Ciesca and the Notaio from Gianni Schicchi, and Zulma in L’Italiana in Algeri. Daryn is also greatly looking forward to portraying the Witch in Western Opera’s production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel in November 2022. She is so appreciative to have this opportunity to meet more people from the London community and to be involved in this Mozart Mash amongst such talented musicians.
Matthew Bermudez – Tenor
Matthew Bermudez, tenor, is currently completing his Master of Music (MMus) in Literature and Performance degree at Western University in Music Performance, studying under Sophie Roland. Born in London, Ontario, he graduated from both St. Mary’s Choir & Orchestra Program and Catholic Central High School’s Music Program. He completed his Bachelor of Music degree (BMus) Music Performance, and more recently a One-Year Artist Diploma under the tutelage of Torin Chiles at Western. Matthew has been involved with the Grand Theatre, London, ON, in several stage productions, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2010), Hello, Dolly! (2015) and Les Misérables (2016), and he was a chorister in London’s Amabile Boy’s and Men’s Choir. Matthew was awarded the London Opera Guild Scholarship in 2020 and 2021, and was a finalist in the 2020-2021 Marista Brookes Concerto Competition. Recently, he was awarded the opportunity to participate in the Canadian Opera Company’s inaugural Summer Opera Intensive Program, working alongside other aspiring young artists throughout Canada. Matthew’s involvement with the UWOpera includes Don Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro (2019), Don Anchise in La finta giardiniera (2019) Ferrando in Così fan tutte (2020), Oronte in Alcina (2021), featured soloist in the UWOpera Gala (2019 & 2022), and Dr. Cajus in their upcoming production of Falstaff (March 2023).
Nathan Dyck – Baritone
Baritone Nathan Dyck comes from the singing province of Manitoba, Canada. Choral music, musical theatre and opera are all part of his past experiences. As a soloist, he’s worked under David Klassen at Canadian Mennonite University in productions of Amahl and the Night Visitors, City Workers in Love and Pirates of Penzance. More recently, he played the role of Belcore in Western University’s spring production of L’elisir D’amore and toured a children’s show with Manitoba Underground Opera as Papa Bear in Goldie B. Locks and the Three Singing Bears. Currently, he’s completing his Master of Music (MMus) degree at Western and is scheduled to perform as Ford in Western Opera’s upcoming production of Falstaff, in March 2023.
Rachel Snow – Soprano
Rachel Snow has been fortunate to have both Igor Saika-Voivod Sr. and his wife, Elizabeth as teachers training her to develop her unique lyric coloratura voice. In 2003, Rachel graduated from the University of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Music where she studied with Mary Lou Fallis.
Since 2001, Rachel has been a regular soloist with the London Singers and Orchestra under the direction of David Weaver. In her young professional career, she has already been a featured soloist with the Clarion Symphony in Sarnia, The St. Clair Community Singers in Michigan, Gerald Fagan and The London Fanshawe Symphonic Chorus, Opera York in Markham and a few years ago she appeared in “Toronto Opera Repertoire” under the direction of Giuseppe Macina. She was a member of the chorus from both “La Boheme” and “Un Ballo In Maschera” and she also did excerpt work singing roles in Lakme, Marriage of Figaro and Cosi Fan Tutte.
Rachel has recorded two CDs, one in late 2004, “The Road To Dutton” and the other in 2006 “Lyric Spring”. Rachel has performed in almost one hundred concerts throughout Ontario. Many of her concerts support Third World relief and she has been able to raise over $23,000 for those in need.
Rachel was honoured to receive The London Music Award for Classical Vocal Artist in 2006, 2009, 2010 and again in 2012.
Grace Yip, Piano
As an accompanist for several London choirs, Grace Yip strives to create beautiful music for every one of her ensembles.
Currently a staff pianist for St Mary Choir and Orchestra School, she also is the pianist for The London Singers, the H. B. Beal Singers, London Pro Musica, and The Karen Schuessler Singers. Grace has also worked with other regional organizations on occasion, including King’s University College Chamber Choir, St Paul’s Cathedral Choir, Pride Men’s Chorus, the Canadian Celtic Choir, UWO Opera Workshop, Amabile Girl’s choirs, Schola Sancti Pauli, Woodstock Strings, Scarborough Philharmonic, Laurie-Ann’s School of Dance, Forest City School of Dance, and for many years was a staff pianist for Catholic Central High School.
Ms. Yip earned a BMus in piano performance from the University of Saskatchewan and a MMus in collaborative piano from the University of Western Ontario. Her teachers include Carol McWilliams, Robin Harrison, Kathleen Solose, Ronald Turini, and Andre Laplante at the Orford Arts Centre, where she studied as a summer scholarship student.
In addition to her work as a pianist, Grace directs the choir at London’s Anglican Church of the Transfiguration. She has also been active for many years as a piano teacher and accompanist for instrumental and vocal soloists.
Ross McDonald, Pipe Organ
Ross McDonald is currently Director of Music at Trinity Lutheran Church in London & is an accomplished classical & theatre organ performer. For many years he operated his own Baldwin Piano & Organ store and has served as vice-chair of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO) in London. Mr. McDonald has played keyboards or been music director for many musicals, and has played for audiences all over North America. Notable recent performances include Casa Loma in Toronto and in Kingston on Canada’s largest theatre pipe organ. Mr. McDonald is also a Beal alumnus!