Both soprano Margie Bernal and tenor Ryan Paul Downey are in Windsor this week preparing for a performance with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra's "Ode to Canada" concert this weekend featuring Beethoven's Symphony no. 9!
Margie Bernal, Soprano
Colombian Soprano Margie Bernal is a candidate for the Doctorate of Musical Arts (D.M.A) program at Western University. Margie holds a Master in Music from this same institution and a Bachelor degree in Voice Performance from National University of Colombia. A versatile performer, Margie enjoys to perform in both operatic and recital stages. Her interest in contemporary music has led her to collaborate with various composers, premiering different works.
Margie has been a soloist for the National Symphonic Orchestra, National University Orchestra, and Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra in Colombia; Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London Canada, Western University Orchestra and Windsor Symphony Orchestra in Canada; and The Boise Philharmonic in the USA. She has collaborated with Caldas University Opera Workshop (Colombia), the Canadian Operatic arts Academy, Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, Queen of Pudding’s Music Theatre, Toronto Operetta Theatre (Canada) and the Accademia Europea Dell’ Opera (Italy).
Some of Margie’s operatic credits include Ännchen (Weber’s Der Freischütz), Salud (Falla’s La Vida Breve), Mimì and Musetta (Puccini’s La Bohéme), Micaëla (Bizet’s Carmen), Donna Anna (Mozart’s Don Giovanni), Magda Sorel (Menotti’s The Consul) and the title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica.
Margie’s passion for Spanish music and commitment to her Hispanic heritage has led her to delve into the world of Spanish opera, being this the inspiration to concentrate her undergoing doctoral research in the creation of an Anthology of Operatic Arias for Soprano written by Spanish composers.
Ryan Paul Downey, tenor
Newfoundland tenor Ryan Downey has sung with opera companies and symphonies across Canada and in Europe and has been critically acclaimed for his “nimbleness of voice” (Bachtrack) and “clear intention and character” (Schmopera). Ryan is a graduate of University of Toronto under the tutelage of Dr. Darryl Edwards and is currently a member of the prestigious Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program at Vancouver Opera.
Ryan has recently made a number of notable debuts; the most recent being with Vancouver Opera in Hansel and Gretel as the Gingerbread Witch, where critics praised him for his “excellent comic timing as the Witch” as well as for “[stealing] just about the entire third act” (Review Vancouver). Ryan also recently debuted for his hometown company, Opera on the Avalon, as John King in Ours; the 2016 commission by John Estacio and Robert Chafe about the massacre of the Newfoundland Regiment at the Battle of Beaumont Hamel in World War 1.
Upcoming engagements for Ryan include returning to Opera on the Avalon in Jake Heggie’s modern classic Dead Man Walking as Howard Boucher, as well as singing the roles of Basilio and Curzio in both Vancouver Opera and Windsor Symphony’s productions of Le Nozze di Figaro.
Other credits include Prince Charming (Cendrillon) with Vancouver Opera, Corcoran (HMS Pinafore) with Toronto Operetta Theatre, the Lyric Tenor (Postcard from Morocco), with U of T Opera as well as Arbace (Idomeneo) and Basilio/Curzio (Le Nozze di Figaro).
Ryan is also an eager concert soloist; recent and upcoming engagements include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, Orff’s Carmina Burana, as well as excerpts from Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Bach’s Magnificat, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Ryan is a proud alumnus of the Opera on the Avalon, Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Highlands Opera Studio and Halifax Summer Opera Workshop summer programs.
Ryan has been quite active on the competition scene in Ontario. In the Ontario NATS 2013 Competition, he took home honours as the Most Promising Singer as well as the Best Graduate Level/Young Professional Singer. He also won the 2013 Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition, debuting with the ensemble as prize-winner in May 2014. Ryan has been honoured and humbled to be supported by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council as a recipient of a 2013 Project Grant, as well as by generous donors through University of Toronto’s Opera Division and Memorial University.
Am See Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Der Freund Hugo Wolf (1860-1903)
Wesendonck-Lieder Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
Ideale Francesco P. Tosti (1846-1916)
L'alba separa della luce l'ombra
Un di, felice, eterea
Alfredo and Violetta duet from La Traviata
Tres Arias Joaquín Turina (1882-1949)
I. Romance (Duque de Rivas)
II. El Pescador (José de Espronceda)
III. Rima (Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer)
Four Newfoundland Sea Songs Donald F. Cook (1937-)
1. Lukey's Boat
2. The Banks of Newfoundland
4. The Green Bushes
5. Jack Was Every Inch A Sailor
Sì, mi chiamano Mimì Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
O soave fanciulla from La Bohème
Tickets: Adults/Seniors $20; Students (with ID) $5
Purchase by credit card
: Tickets may be purchased online at our secure website: Buy Tickets
At the door: The ticket table will be open at the venue up to one hour prior to the start of concerts for cash purchases.
For information about SoCA concerts, please call (519) 253-3000 ext. 4213.