Prof. Darryl Edwards is an internationally lauded singing teacher, celebrated for his effectiveness and innovation. At the University of Toronto, Canada, with individuals in the voice studio and groups in the classroom, he continually creates significant pathways for ideal learning experiences and performance outcomes. During 2016-2017 he was the voice adjudicator for the Canadian National Music Festival Finals in Edmonton, Alberta, and is returning to Brazil and China for teaching residencies and master classes in Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Hong Kong.
Dr. Edwards is the Artistic Director of the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy and COSA Canada (Centre for Opera Studies & Appreciation), which are dedicated to the development of emerging opera artists through “Extraordinary Opera Training!” At universities across Canada he is in regular demand for master class and lecture appearances. His voice teaching invitations include the Czech Republic (Charles University, Prague), New Zealand (University of Auckland), England (Royal College of Music, London), Brazil (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) and China (Central Conservatory, Beijing and the Xi’an Conservatory). He is a distinguished alumnist and “Wall of Fame” inductee of the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University: London, Canada.
As a tenor, Darryl Edwards has appeared to critical acclaim in oratorio, recital, and opera in England, Germany, France,Italy, Corsica, the United States, and across Canada. Critics praise him as a “rich-voiced, cultured tenor who mastered the high notes effortlessly” (Coburg Tageblatt, Germany), and an “effective communicator who expressed the text with sensitivity and fervour” (Hamilton Spectator).
Canadian-American soprano Othalie Graham continues to receive critical acclaim throughout North America and is widely known for her interpretations of the title roles in Turandot and Aida and her commitment to Wagnerian repertoire. The Boston Globe noted that, in her interpretation of Turandot, Graham’s “timbre and power were thrilling – steely ring from top to bottom – and her path from imperiousness to passion was convincing,” while Opera News described her as “a vocally secure Turandot, her gleaming tones well suited to the ice princess’s misanthropic resolve.”
Recent performances have included the title role in Turandot with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra led by Jader Bignamini, part of Maestro Leonard Slatkin’s farewell concert; the title role in Aida with Opera Carolina, Toledo Opera, and at the Teatro Greco di Siracusa in Sicily with Marcello Giordani; the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos with Festival Opera; covering Elektra at The Teatro San Carlo Napoli; the role of Minnie in La Fanciulla del West with Nashville Opera and Indianapolis Opera.
Graham is featured on the Brampton Arts Walk of Fame in her hometown of Brampton, Ontario, honoring those who have achieved excellence in the arts and entertainment industry. She previously was the first-place winner of the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition in the Wagner Division, the first-place winner of the Joyce Dutka Competition, a recipient of a Sullivan Foundation Grant, a first-place winner in the Wagner Division of the Liederkranz Competition, winner of the Jean Chalmers prize in the Canadian Music Competition, winner of the Edward Johnson Competition, and first place recipient of the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques Competition.
J. Patrick Raftery
J. Patrick Raftery’s professional debut was in 1979 when he sang Schaunard in La Boheme sharing the stage with Luciano Pavarotti. After his years at The Boston Conservatory and The Juilliard School of Music Mr. Raftery was taken up by The Richard Tucker Music Foundation and C.A.M.I. artists when his career soared and took him to all the major opera houses of the world in less than a decade until his debut at the Metropolitan Opera with Mirella Freni in Manon Lescaut, Mr. Raftery was one of America’s most prominent Baritones.
In August 1992, Mr. Raftery gave his first performances as a tenor, at New York’s Avery Fischer Hall in concert performances of Lucio Silla. The 1992/93 season included Erik in Der Fliegende Hollander, Florestan in Fidelio and Max in Jonny Spielt auf, all with the Opera of Leipzig. Immediately, the same company invited him to participate in their 300 year anniversary celebration by singing Grigori/Demitri in the acclaimed production of Boris Godunov by Oscar winning director Istvan Szabo.
Mr. Raftery’s debut at La Scala came in the 1993/94 season’s opening production of Spontini’s La Vestale conducted by Riccardo Muti and recorded live for Sony Classical. That same season Mr. Raftery debuted in quick succession the roles of Parsifal, Samson and Siegmund. The latter in the Frankfurt Opera’s critically acclaimed Ring of Herbert Werneke conducted by Sylvain Cambreling.
Born in Washington, DC and a citizen of both the United States and Canada Professor Raftery makes his home in Vancouver, British Columbia and is a member of the voice faculty at The University of British Columbia.