Artistic Director & Resident Stage Director
Up-and-coming stage director Amanda Smith, is currently studying as the Student Stage Director in the University of Toronto’s Opera Division. Amanda began her formal musical training at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she studied voice with Kimberly Barber and graduated in 2011. During her time there, Amanda worked as a stage technician in the WLU performance facilities, giving her the opportunity to hone her skills and acquire a love for theatre production. In her last year at Laurier, Amanda created a customized stage directing stream in the WLU opera program. In that time, she had the opportunity to work as the Resident Assistant Director and Stage Manager for all Opera Laurier productions in the 2010-11 season, as well as innovate and direct the creation of a new, improv-based opera, with text from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Amanda further developed her theatre experience by cross-registering at the University of Waterloo Drama Department, where she directed a black-box production of Büchner’s chilling play, Woyzeck. In the summer of 2011, Amanda worked as the Assistant Stage Manager for Queen of Puddings on the new opera, Svadba. Presently, Amanda is working in England as an Assistant Director to Tim Albery on a new production of Benjamin Britten’s leading opera, Peter Grimes.
Amanda’s primary focus is in new-creation projects. To that end, she has founded the Toronto-based collective, FAWN Opera & New Music, which allows her to work with a variety of talented emerging artists and be a part of the development of innovative new work. Amanda is very passionate about the expansion of young opera and New Music audiences, and aspires to be a leading contributor to its growth in Canada.
General Manager and Music Director
Conductor/Composer Patrick Murray is the Music Director of FAWN Opera & New Music, Conductor’s Intern with the Toronto Children’s Chorus, and composer-in-residence with Univox Choir. A choral and new music specialist, Patrick has recently collaborated from the podium with the Princeton Festival Chorus, Toy Piano Composers Ensemble, gamUT ensemble, and Hart House Choir. He has served as a rehearsal conductor with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Grand Philharmonic Choir, and has participated in masterclasses with noted conductors Jan Harrington, Vance George, James Jordan, Benjamin Shwartz, and Kenneth Kiesler. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto.
More information at www.patrickmurraymusic.net.
Toronto soprano Adanya Dunn, is “superb at scaling the full range of human emotion through voice and gesture” (St. Albert Gazette). In April 2012, she graduated from the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto (U of T) with a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance with Honours. Ms. Dunn just completed her first year of the Master of Music in Operatic Performance program at U of T and continues her studies under the tutelage of Professor Lorna MacDonald.
Adanya previously studied with Cindy Townsend for ten years, and is a graduate the Etobicoke School of the Arts (Musical Theatre Major), as well as a proud alumnus of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company (CCOC). Select opera/musical theatre roles and excerpts include: Zerlina (Don Giovanni); Margaret Johnson (The Light in the Piazza); Marilla Cuthbert (Anne of Green Gables); Maria (West Side Story); Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro); Despina (Cosi fan tutte); Semele (Semele); First Lady, Papagena (The Magic Flute).
Ms. Dunn has been a Britten-Pears Young Artist, having worked with Dawn Upshaw and Kayo Iwama in Aldeburgh, England. She has also participated in programs such as the Toronto Summer Music Festival and Academy, Orford Arts Centre, Vancouver International Song Institute, and Opera NUOVA. At the U of T Opera School, she performed in the World Premiere of the Student Composer Collective mainstage opera, Antigone, in the role of ‘Ismene’ and just this past March 2013, she appeared as ‘The Governess’ in U of T’s production of The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten, directed by Michael Cavanagh and conducted by Stephen Hargreaves. In May, Adanya performed the role of ‘The Cow��� in Laura’s Cow: The Legend of Laura Secord by Errol Gay and Michael Albano, a production with the CCOC. Adanya is a full member of ACTRA and CAEA.
Adanya’s community involvement extends beyond the stage. She has been on numerous councils and committees with the Faculty of Music (U of T), Victoria College and the University of Toronto, and is the Producer for the newest interdisciplinary New Music and opera company in Toronto, FAWN.