The Artists

DRSO
Kathleen Radke

Kathleen Radke

Hailed for her “smooth and lovely voice”, soprano Kathleen Radke is quickly establishing herself as a young artist of note. “…she’s got what it takes and will doubtless be a well-known and important soprano before too many years have gone by.” (Richard Todd, music critic, Ottawa Citizen)

A busy concert artist, her oratorio credits include Handel’s Messiah, Solomon, and Dixit Dominus, Bach’s Cantatas Nr. 4, 106, & 150, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Mozart’s Requiem. Operatic roles include Pamina & Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Najade (Ariadne auf Naxos) and most recently Princess (Princess of the Stars) with Patria Productions in the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve.

Kathleen is also featured on the CD “A Christmas Story” with harpist Caroline Léonardelli. With the Ottawa Bach Choir, she is a soloist on the CDs “Festival Baroque”, “Cantate Domino”, and “Jesu, meine Freude”, and has been a featured soloist in many of the choir’s appearances on CBC Radio.

She can be heard as the voice of Tosca in the computer animated short “Vissi d’arte”. Sponsored by Bravofact/NFB and created by Black Cherry Digital Media, the animated short has been shown on Bravo TV and at festivals in Ottawa, Italy, and Japan. She is also featured in the audio children’s book “Ellie & Sammie Churchmouse & The Sissy Seasons of Song” with pianist Michael Connell. The companion recording with this book includes lullabies sung by Kathleen and some of Michael and Kathleen’s favourite classical songs to match the four seasons. To find out more, please visit www.weewidevoice.ca.

Kathleen holds an Opera Diploma from Wilfrid Laurier University, where she studied with bass-baritone Daniel Lichti. She received a Bachelor of Music and a Performance Diploma from McMaster University. She was a member of the Festival Choir of the European Music Festival under the direction of Helmuth Rilling, performing throughout Europe. She continues her studies with soprano Donna Brown.

Danielle Vaillancourt

Danielle Vaillancourt

Recognized for her rich velvety tone, Danielle Vaillancourt is quickly becoming a sought after artist in Canada and abroad. Born in Renfrew into a musical family, she began piano lessons at the early age of six and singing lessons at age twelve. Danielle excelled at both by completing her studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, followed by vocal studies in Montreal at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal. Since the age of 15, she has studied voice under the tutelage of Adrienne Savoie. From a dramatic standpoint, Danielle has also received extensive instruction with Québec actors such as Suzanne Lantagne, Gilbert Turp and Benoit Dagenais of the Conservatoire d’Art Dramatique. Upon her graduation from the Conservatoire in April 2012, she was awarded the Prix avec Distinction for her outstanding Master’s recital.

Passed engagements include performing the role of Marcellina in the Brott Opera Production of the Marriage of Figaro in July 2016 under the baton of Boris Brott; singing in the semi-final of the Prix d’Europe competition in Montreal in 2015; participating in the Maria Callas Grand Prix Opera competition in Athens, Greece in October 2014; and singing the role of l’Enfant in the Greek Opera Studio production of L’Enfant et les Sortilèges by Ravel in Syros, Greece in July 2014.

Danielle’s upcoming engagements include: National Arts Centre Orchestra’s Young Artist Program for senior voice in chamber music headed by Pinchas Zukerman, violinist and artistic director, and baritone Russell Braun. In the coming year, Danielle will be joining the prestigious Ottawa Bach Choir directed by Lisette Canton.

Kevin Myers

Kevin Myers

Kevin Myers, tenor, was born and raised in Deep River, where he studied with Peter Morris. He completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Montreal at McGill University under Stefano Algieri and Sanford Sylvan. Highlights of his time at school include Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He then went to the Calgary Opera Emerging Artist program for two seasons where he took part in the Canadian premiere of Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt. This past year has found him in Winnipeg, Victoria, Calgary, Kelowna and Rimouski performing in, among others, Falstaff, Turandot, and a concert of traditional French Christmas carols. His last full Messiah performance was in Deep River in 2008 - he hopes to have improved.

Jean-Sébastien Kennedy

Jean-Sébastien Kennedy

The Canadian baritone, Jean-Sébastien Kennedy, is an alumnus of the Opera Lyra Ottawa Studio, whose singing has been reviewed as “stylish” by Steve Smith in the New York Times, after he made his Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall with the Ottawa Bach Choir, in 2011. A late bloomer on the music scene, Jean- Sébastien was studying biopharmaceuticals at the University of Ottawa when he attended his first classical concerts and developed a keen interest in vocal music. In his mid-twenties, he enrolled in singing lessons and is now a sought-after artist for his distinctly rich tone, expressiveness and versatility, and participates in productions ranging from opera to recitals.

Jean-Sébastien regularly performs with Canadian premier ensembles such as the Ottawa Bach Choir, the Opéra de Montréal, the NAC Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Pellegrini Opera and the Theatre of Early Music, both as a guest chorister and soloist. He has also taken part in several national radio broadcasts on CBC/Radio Canada, CD recordings and international tours in North America, Europe and Asia. On stage, he has performed the roles of Marcello in La Bohème, Peter in Hansel and Gretel, Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte, Papageno in Magic Flute, Urbain in La Vie parisienne, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, and the Wolf in Barab’s Little Red Riding Hood, among others.

He has had the opportunity to work with several renowned conductors such as Helmuth Rilling, Trevor Pinnock, Pinchas Zukerman, Richard Bradshaw, Bernard Labadie, Daniel Taylor, and Kevin Mallon. His main oratorio credits include the Brahms, Faure, and Mozart Requiems, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Buxtehude’s Jesu Membra Nostri, Bach’s B Minor Mass, St. Matthew Passion, and St. John Passion. He is a featured soloist on critically acclaimed CDs Cantate Domino and ‘Twas But Pure Love’ released by the Ottawa Bach Choir in 2012 and 2016.

Megan Jones

Megan Jones

Megan Jones was born in Deep River, Ontario in 1977 and began violin at the age of 6 with Caryl Clark. Throughout her childhood, Megan had an important connection to music, whether it was playing in the Deep River Symphony Orchestra or singing in local school musicals. Upon graduating from high school, she moved to Montreal where she earned a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the University of McGill in the year 2000, graduating with high distinction. Her teachers there included Richard Roberts and Yehonatan Berick.

Megan currently plays as a substitute violinist with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and several other symphonies across Ontario. She is the concert master of the Jeans n’ Classics Rock Symphony as well as the newly established Sinfonia Ancaster and often works as Principal 2nd with the National Academy Orchestra. She has performed several solo concertos with the Timmins Symphony Orchestra and Deep River Symphony Orchestra, including a 2016 return visit to perform Kabalevsky’s Violin Concerto. In 2010, Megan teamed up with violinist Stephen Sitarski to perform several duo concertos with both the Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Orchestra and the Timmins Symphony Orchestra. In 2015, she performed as soloist with the Arcady Ensemble as well as the Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Orchestra.

Megan holds the position of Ochestra Manager with the Brott Music Pestival / National Academy Orchestra, an organization that mentors young musicians coming out of university music programs. Megan is thrilled to be back in her home town to play with the Deep River Symphony Orchestra again, as it was here that her love for orchestra playing began.

Hai-Ling Rao

Hai-Ling Rao

Hai-Ling Rao started piano lessons under Elena Semenets when he was six years old, and has been playing piano for almost 12 years. During this time, he has attended almost all of the annual Kiwanis competitions in Pembroke, and has competed provincially twice. He currently works as a pianist for St. Andrew’s United Church in Chalk River. Aside from playing the piano, he enjoys learning new instruments, playing sports, and participating in school activities. He will be graduating from Mackenzie High School this coming June, so he hopes to make some lasting memories with everyone here in Deep River!