FAWN Team

Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith is a Toronto-based opera stage director and Founding Artistic Director of FAWN Chamber Creative. With FAWN, she commissions and produces new operas, and presents interdisciplinary concerts that correlate new classical music with other contemporary art forms. Recently with FAWN, Amanda directed two new operas by Canadian composers: a fully produced world-premiere of l’homme et le ciel by Adam Scime and a semi-staged presentation of The Harvester by Aaron Gervais. In February 2017, Amanda led FAWN’s devised opera workshop with three Canadian composers, librettist David Brock, dancer Jennifer Nichols and singer Jonathan MacArthur.

Described as a “visionary” by Musical Toronto, Amanda finds excitement in exploring the potential of audience experience through alternative and immersive musical events, be it staged concerts or opera. Amanda’s repertoire interests span from Early Music to the very new, and everything in between. Regardless of the era, her work is created to impact a young, eclectic audience. Amanda has shown this in her work with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra’s new concert series, Haus Musik, Opera Lyra Ottawa’s Nuit Blanche performance of Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot by Peter-Maxwell Davies, Opera Laurier’s 2015 and 2016 scene productions, as well as the UofT New Music Festival performances of Ghost of Gunby Hallby Gabreil Prokofiev and The Killing Flower by Salvatore Sciarrino.

Amanda has an Opera Diploma in directing from the University of Toronto and previously graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University, where she studied voice and directing.
amandasmithopera.com

Adam Scime

As a young composer and performer living in Toronto, Adam Scime has been praised as “a fantastic success” (CBC) and “Astounding, the musical result was remarkable” (icareifyoulisten.com). Adam is interested in how he can augment our perception of sound through motion in music. The musical goal and expressive effect serves to elucidate how music can produce artfully ordered conceptual spaces in the minds of the listeners. His work has received many awards including the 2015 CMC Toronto Emerging Composer Award, The Socan Young Composer Competition, The Karen Keiser Prize in Canadian Music, and The Esprit Orchestra Young Composer Competition. Recently his piece Liminal Pathways was toured across nine Canadian cities with Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal as part of their 2016 Generation Project.

His music has been commissioned and performed by many renowned ensembles and soloists including Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne, The National Arts Centre Orchestra, The Esprit Orchestra, The Gryphon Trio, New Music Concerts, Soundstreams, and l’Orchestre de la Francophonie among others. Adam has been selected for numerous composer workshops including Domaine Forget, The Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop, The National Arts Centre composer training program, The Canadian Contemporary Music Workshop and the Chrysalis Workshop with the Continuum Contemporary Ensemble. Recently, Adam’s piece Broken Images was toured across China to various celebrated new music festivals. Future projects include commissions from Array Music and the The Esprit Orchestra among others. Adam is currently based in Toronto where he is finishing his Doctorate in composition at UofT and is performing regularly as a double bassist.
adamscime.com 

Darren Creech

An innovative artist, queer classical pianist Darren Creech “shows his belief in a new potential for the classical concert stage” (CBC Music), and his playing has been heralded as “full of ease, very convincing” (Yannick Nézet-Séguin). Engaging his audience through an immersive combination of queer theatre, captivating costumes, and glittery hair, he was the Keynote Performer at McGill University’s Music Graduate Symposium and was awarded the Best Artist Prize at Toronto’s queer art festival Nuit Rose. His unique solo performances have been described as “both unexpected and unforgettable” (Throbbing Rose Collective) and “tour-de-forces, propelled by a powerful narrative” (Musical Toronto). 

An advocate of contemporary music, Darren frequently collaborates with innovative composers, having premièred works by Sarah Kirkland Snider, Wally Gunn and Norbert Palej, and was a guest artist at the Toronto Creative Music Lab. He gave the world-première performance and recording of James O’Callaghan’s JUNO-nominated “Isomorphia,” and toured it across the country with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

In addition to his work as a performer, Darren is in demand as a panelist and workshop presenter to all ages, regularly sharing his experience and perspectives of carving his own path in the classical music world and centring identity in the creation of an artistic practice. Having grown up in Senegal, West Africa, Darren draws on his cross-cultural background to inform his unconventional approach to the stage. He holds piano performance degrees from Université de Montréal and Wilfrid Laurier University, and currently lives in Toronto.

Aaron Paul Durand

Baritone Aaron Paul Durand hails from 100 Mile House, British Columbia, and developed his skills while pursuing a Masters degree in Music at the University of British Columbia. Having presented opera, art song, and musical theatre across Canada, China, and the Czech Republic, he has become widely known for his easygoing nature, “beautiful, fluid baritone” (Globe & Mail), and “sense of the comical and the ludicrous” (Calgary Herald).

As a member of Vancouver Opera’s Yulanda M. Faris program from 2012-2014, Aaron performed numerous roles with VO, including Schaunard (La Bohème), Samuel (The Pirates of Penzance), Speaker (The Magic Flute), Sid (Albert Herring), and Masetto (Don Giovanni). Simultaneously, he was committed to building a reputation as an independent artist, performing music both classic and contemporary across the Lower Mainland, with highlights including Silvio (I Pagliacci) with Burnaby Lyric Opera, and workshopping exciting new music by local composer David MacIntyre. He is also grateful to have performed the role of Javan in When the Sun Comes Out, Leslie Uyeda’s deeply important work, for the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival.

Now living in Toronto, Aaron participates in the thriving indie opera community while continuing to build his career abroad. From the “guileless and loveable” (Opera Going Toronto) Masetto in Against the Grain Theatre’s #UncleJohn, a visionary re-imagining of Don Giovanni, to ensemble singing in Tapestry Opera’s Dora award sweeping hit, The Rocking Horse Winner, Aaron firmly believes in the power of contemporary opera.

Jonathan Russell MacArthur

RESIDENT PERFORMER

Based in Toronto, vocalist Jonathan MacArthur is a Master’s graduate of the University of Toronto Opera program and has studied internationally at the Saint-Petersburg State University as well as the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. He furthered his studies at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, the Accademia Europea dell’Opera, the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute and the Vancouver Early Music: Compleat Singer. He toured China with iSING, was a fellow at Marilyn Horne’s Music Academy of the West and was a member of the DORA Award winning ensemble of Against the Grain’s Messiah.

Jonathan made his NYC début at the Sparks & Wiry Cries Song Slam with fellow collective member Darren Creech premiering a piece by composer Wally Gunn. He was an artist at the inaugural Toronto Creative Music Lab, premiering works by Elizabeth Bayer and Diana Rosenblum. He has premiered in three operas by Andrew Ager: Führerbunker, Wings of the Dove, and Casanova; and premiered works for voice and percussion with CAUTION SOUND TAPE COLLECTIVE featuring the works of Bekah Simms, August Murphy-King, Janet Sit and Tyler Versluis. With FAWN, he premiered the role of Mario in Kryptomnesia by David Foley, and performed in Synesthesia pt. 1.

Jonathan is currently the General Manager at Against the Grain Theatre and participating in a two-year mentorship as the inaugural company-in-residence with the Canadian Opera Company.
www.jonathanrussellmacarthur.com

Adanya Dunn

Appearing on CBC’s 2017 list of “30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30”, Adanya Dunn is quickly gaining recognition as an avid interpreter of contemporary works and as an operatic soprano. Earlier this season, she was noted by Opera Going Toronto for “her sultry soprano red hot and alluring” performing Musetta in Against the Grain Theatre’s production of La bohème. She then played the title role in the world-premiere musical Charlotte: A Tri-Coloured Play with Music (based on the life and works of the painter Charlotte Salomon) at the Luminato Festival in Toronto and the World Stage Design Scenofest in Taipei. She holds degrees from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music; is an alumna of Dawn Upshaw’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard College; and received further training as a Voice Fellow at Marilyn Horne’s Music Academy of the West for two summers and as a Rebanks Family Fellow at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould School for the 2016/17 season.

Adanya is a two-time long-term grant recipient from the Canada Council for the Arts; winner of an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, Buffalo-Toronto district; and most recently a finalist in the Eckhardt-Gramatté contemporary music competition.

In addition to being a resident performer with the interdisciplinary arts collective FAWN Chamber Creative, this season she is performing in the chamber music recital series The Happenstance, as a guest soloist with Cantores Celestes Women’s Choir and the Emperor String Quartet, and in the world premiere staged performances of the music of Quebecois composer Claude Vivier (1948-1983) in an 80-minute theatrical realization with Soundstreams.
www.adanyadunn.com

FAWN Team

Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith is a Toronto-based opera stage director and Founding Artistic Director of FAWN Chamber Creative. With FAWN, she commissions and produces new operas, and presents interdisciplinary concerts that correlate new classical music with other contemporary art forms. Recently with FAWN, Amanda directed two new operas by Canadian composers: a fully produced world-premiere of l’homme et le ciel by Adam Scime and a semi-staged presentation of The Harvester by Aaron Gervais. In February 2017, Amanda led FAWN’s devised opera workshop with three Canadian composers, librettist David Brock, dancer Jennifer Nichols and singer Jonathan MacArthur.

Described as a “visionary” by Musical Toronto, Amanda finds excitement in exploring the potential of audience experience through alternative and immersive musical events, be it staged concerts or opera. Amanda’s repertoire interests span from Early Music to the very new, and everything in between. Regardless of the era, her work is created to impact a young, eclectic audience. Amanda has shown this in her work with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra’s new concert series, Haus Musik, Opera Lyra Ottawa’s Nuit Blanche performance of Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot by Peter-Maxwell Davies, Opera Laurier’s 2015 and 2016 scene productions, as well as the UofT New Music Festival performances of Ghost of Gunby Hallby Gabreil Prokofiev and The Killing Flower by Salvatore Sciarrino.

Amanda has an Opera Diploma in directing from the University of Toronto and previously graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University, where she studied voice and directing.
amandasmithopera.com

Adam Scime

As a young composer and performer living in Toronto, Adam Scime has been praised as “a fantastic success” (CBC) and “Astounding, the musical result was remarkable” (icareifyoulisten.com). Adam is interested in how he can augment our perception of sound through motion in music. The musical goal and expressive effect serves to elucidate how music can produce artfully ordered conceptual spaces in the minds of the listeners. His work has received many awards including the 2015 CMC Toronto Emerging Composer Award, The Socan Young Composer Competition, The Karen Keiser Prize in Canadian Music, and The Esprit Orchestra Young Composer Competition. Recently his piece Liminal Pathways was toured across nine Canadian cities with Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal as part of their 2016 Generation Project.

His music has been commissioned and performed by many renowned ensembles and soloists including Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne, The National Arts Centre Orchestra, The Esprit Orchestra, The Gryphon Trio, New Music Concerts, Soundstreams, and l’Orchestre de la Francophonie among others. Adam has been selected for numerous composer workshops including Domaine Forget, The Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop, The National Arts Centre composer training program, The Canadian Contemporary Music Workshop and the Chrysalis Workshop with the Continuum Contemporary Ensemble. Recently, Adam’s piece Broken Images was toured across China to various celebrated new music festivals. Future projects include commissions from Array Music and the The Esprit Orchestra among others. Adam is currently based in Toronto where he is finishing his Doctorate in composition at UofT and is performing regularly as a double bassist.
adamscime.com 

Darren Creech

An innovative artist, queer classical pianist Darren Creech “shows his belief in a new potential for the classical concert stage” (CBC Music), and his playing has been heralded as “full of ease, very convincing” (Yannick Nézet-Séguin). Engaging his audience through an immersive combination of queer theatre, captivating costumes, and glittery hair, he was the Keynote Performer at McGill University’s Music Graduate Symposium and was awarded the Best Artist Prize at Toronto’s queer art festival Nuit Rose. His unique solo performances have been described as “both unexpected and unforgettable” (Throbbing Rose Collective) and “tour-de-forces, propelled by a powerful narrative” (Musical Toronto). 

An advocate of contemporary music, Darren frequently collaborates with innovative composers, having premièred works by Sarah Kirkland Snider, Wally Gunn and Norbert Palej, and was a guest artist at the Toronto Creative Music Lab. He gave the world-première performance and recording of James O’Callaghan’s JUNO-nominated “Isomorphia,” and toured it across the country with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

In addition to his work as a performer, Darren is in demand as a panelist and workshop presenter to all ages, regularly sharing his experience and perspectives of carving his own path in the classical music world and centring identity in the creation of an artistic practice. Having grown up in Senegal, West Africa, Darren draws on his cross-cultural background to inform his unconventional approach to the stage. He holds piano performance degrees from Université de Montréal and Wilfrid Laurier University, and currently lives in Toronto.

Aaron Paul Durand

Baritone Aaron Paul Durand hails from 100 Mile House, British Columbia, and developed his skills while pursuing a Masters degree in Music at the University of British Columbia. Having presented opera, art song, and musical theatre across Canada, China, and the Czech Republic, he has become widely known for his easygoing nature, “beautiful, fluid baritone” (Globe & Mail), and “sense of the comical and the ludicrous” (Calgary Herald).

As a member of Vancouver Opera’s Yulanda M. Faris program from 2012-2014, Aaron performed numerous roles with VO, including Schaunard (La Bohème), Samuel (The Pirates of Penzance), Speaker (The Magic Flute), Sid (Albert Herring), and Masetto (Don Giovanni). Simultaneously, he was committed to building a reputation as an independent artist, performing music both classic and contemporary across the Lower Mainland, with highlights including Silvio (I Pagliacci) with Burnaby Lyric Opera, and workshopping exciting new music by local composer David MacIntyre. He is also grateful to have performed the role of Javan in When the Sun Comes Out, Leslie Uyeda’s deeply important work, for the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival.

Now living in Toronto, Aaron participates in the thriving indie opera community while continuing to build his career abroad. From the “guileless and loveable” (Opera Going Toronto) Masetto in Against the Grain Theatre’s #UncleJohn, a visionary re-imagining of Don Giovanni, to ensemble singing in Tapestry Opera’s Dora award sweeping hit, The Rocking Horse Winner, Aaron firmly believes in the power of contemporary opera.

Jonathan Russell MacArthur

Based in Toronto, vocalist Jonathan MacArthur is a Master’s graduate of the University of Toronto Opera program and has studied internationally at the Saint-Petersburg State University as well as the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. He furthered his studies at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, the Accademia Europea dell’Opera, the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute and the Vancouver Early Music: Compleat Singer. He toured China with iSING, was a fellow at Marilyn Horne’s Music Academy of the West and was a member of the DORA Award winning ensemble of Against the Grain’s Messiah.

Jonathan made his NYC début at the Sparks & Wiry Cries Song Slam with fellow collective member Darren Creech premiering a piece by composer Wally Gunn. He was an artist at the inaugural Toronto Creative Music Lab, premiering works by Elizabeth Bayer and Diana Rosenblum. He has premiered in three operas by Andrew Ager: Führerbunker, Wings of the Dove, and Casanova; and premiered works for voice and percussion with CAUTION SOUND TAPE COLLECTIVE featuring the works of Bekah Simms, August Murphy-King, Janet Sit and Tyler Versluis. With FAWN, he premiered the role of Mario in Kryptomnesia by David Foley, and performed in Synesthesia pt. 1.

Jonathan is currently the General Manager at Against the Grain Theatre and participating in a two-year mentorship as the inaugural company-in-residence with the Canadian Opera Company.
www.jonathanrussellmacarthur.com

Adanya Dunn

Appearing on CBC’s 2017 list of “30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30”, Adanya Dunn is quickly gaining recognition as an avid interpreter of contemporary works and as an operatic soprano. Earlier this season, she was noted by Opera Going Toronto for “her sultry soprano red hot and alluring” performing Musetta in Against the Grain Theatre’s production of La bohème. She then played the title role in the world-premiere musical Charlotte: A Tri-Coloured Play with Music (based on the life and works of the painter Charlotte Salomon) at the Luminato Festival in Toronto and the World Stage Design Scenofest in Taipei. She holds degrees from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music; is an alumna of Dawn Upshaw’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard College; and received further training as a Voice Fellow at Marilyn Horne’s Music Academy of the West for two summers and as a Rebanks Family Fellow at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould School for the 2016/17 season.

Adanya is a two-time long-term grant recipient from the Canada Council for the Arts; winner of an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, Buffalo-Toronto district; and most recently a finalist in the Eckhardt-Gramatté contemporary music competition.

In addition to being a resident performer with the interdisciplinary arts collective FAWN Chamber Creative, this season she is performing in the chamber music recital series The Happenstance, as a guest soloist with Cantores Celestes Women’s Choir and the Emperor String Quartet, and in the world premiere staged performances of the music of Quebecois composer Claude Vivier (1948-1983) in an 80-minute theatrical realization with Soundstreams.
www.adanyadunn.com