A former member of the St. Louis, Toronto and Boston Symphony Orchestras and founding concertmaster of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, violinist Nancy DiNovo is comfortable in styles ranging from period to contemporary. Her playing has been described as “stunning – a superlative mix of virtuosity and earthy vigour” (Victoria Times Colonist), and “simply astonishing……her sheer joy of revelling in the music left me dazzled.” (Hamilton Spectator- Brott Festival, June, 2015)
In a career spanning decades, Nancy has performed in the world’s major concert halls on three continents, working with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Karel Ancerl, James Levine, Sir Neville Marriner, and Christopher Hogwood.
Her many concerto credits include the Banff and Victoria premières of the Kurt Weill Violin Concerto, and she has premièred a number of Canadian works written especially for her, including the Barnes Violin Concerto with Sir Neville Marriner conducting, Walter Buczynski’s Sonata (1975) for CBC Arts National, and Frykberg’s “Astonishing Sense….” (1998) for solo violin and tape. In 2015, she made her debut at the Brott Festival to critical acclaim.
As guest concertmaster, she has appeared with the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Kitchener-Waterloo, Edmonton and Victoria Symphonies, CBC Radio Orchestra, “Music of the Night” cross-Canada tour, and Pacific Opera Victoria where she has led operas in styles ranging from period instrument Handel to Berg’s “Wozzeck”. As a Baroque violinist, she is a popular leader with several of BC’s finest choral conductors, including Lars Kaario (Laudate Singers and Capilano University) and Leroy Wiens of the Okanagan Festival Singers.
In demand as a pedagogue, Nancy has taught at Tanglewood, the Marrowstone Festival, Western Washington University, UBC, U Vic, Capilano University, and as a mentor for Boris Brott’s National Academy Orchestra. Her many recording credits include work for CBC Radio, Earsay Records, the Elektra Women’s Choir, Disney Films, and the 2010 Olympics.
The San Francisco born violinist began her studies with Raphael Spiro in Portland, Oregon. Four summers as a fellowship student at the Aspen Music Festival were followed by studies with Joseph Silverstein, Steven Staryk, and Lorand Fenyves. She holds a Master of Music Performance Degree from the University of Toronto and is grateful to the many marvelous musicians with whom she has been privileged to work.
Tabitha Brasso-Ernst, Soprano
Tabitha Brasso-Ernst is a graduate of Bishop's University (Sherbrooke, Quebec), where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Music, and Drama. She received formal classical voice training while attending Bishop's, and was part of the opera program at Université de Sherbrooke. In June 2015, she was awarded the silver medal in the national final of the Canadian Music Competition, and received silver medals in the Festival-Concours de Musique de Sherbrooke. She was recently featured as a performer in the 14th Vocal Arts Festival of Montreal (hosted by the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute), where she had the opportunity to train under highly respected coaches from the Metropolitan Opera. Tabitha now works as a section leader and frequent soloist with the Vivaldi Chamber Choir and the St. Mary's Kerrisdale church choir in Vancouver.
Peter Monaghan, Bass-Baritone
Bass-baritone Peter Monaghan holds both a Master of Music and a Bachelor of Music in Opera Performance from the University of British Columbia. He is also an alumnus of the St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea Professional Development Intensive, and the European Music Academy. Mr. Monaghan has performed the roles of Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Don Pedro in Béatrice et Bénédict, Colline in La bohème, Kecal in The Bartered Bride, and Coppelius and Crespel in Les contes d’Hoffmann. He recently performed the role Don Magnifico in Cowtown Opera’s adaptation of La Cenerentola, and played Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with Theatre Under the Stars. Mr. Monaghan will perform the role of Peter in Vancouver Opera’s upcoming production of Hansel and Gretel.
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