distillery

Staff

MICHAEL MORI

Artistic Director

Michael Hidetoshi Mori was appointed Artistic Director of Tapestry Opera in 2014. A stage director, singer, arts administrator and recording artist, Michael made his performance debut in New York City at the age of 11 with the Dicapo Opera, and as a child performer toured the U.S. and Europe. After completing a Master’s degree in opera performance at the University of British Columbia, he obtained diplomas from Die Wiener Meisterkurse, Vienna, and Die Universität Mozarteum Sommerakademie, Salzburg. In 2015, Michael was named one of ten Torontonians to watch by the Toronto Star for his ambitious new direction at Tapestry Opera, and his community leadership with Indie Opera T.O.  Michael has been nominated for a Juno Award and was awarded the West Coast Music Award for Classical Music with the Vancouver based ensemble musica intima. He is a versatile stage director, working in both urban site specific settings as well as conventional opera houses. Most recently he conceived and directed a new production of The Marriage of Figaro for Opera Columbus (2015).  A highlight among Michael’s most innovative projects is the Tapestry Explorations (Tap:Ex) series, an annual concert experience that collides opera with other artistic forms. The series has experimented with fully choreographed art-music (Revolutions), synthesizing cut-film, track, turn-table, live soprano and percussion (Tables-Turned), and a new collaboration with punk band Fu*ked Up (Metallurgy). Michael’s upcoming directing projects include the world premiere of Brian Finley and Agnes Herzberg’s The Pencil Salesman for the Westben Festival, and the world premiere of Gareth Williams’ and Anna Chatterton’s Rocking Horse Winner for Tapestry Opera. Past credits as a stage director or assistant director have seen Michael stage directing in Toronto, Vancouver, St. John’s, Columbus and Dallas. As an artist-activist with a passion for grassroots collaborations, Michael founded Indie Opera T.O, an association of twelve small-to-medium Toronto opera companies that are bringing a new energy and life to the opera scene in Canada.

To contact Michael, email mmori@tapestryopera.com or call at (416) 537-6066 xt 224.


Jaime Martino

General Manager

Jaime Martino is a lifelong contributor to the arts through dance and musical theatre, and she is thrilled to be entering the world of opera.

A Kitchener native, Jaime grew up dancing. After obtaining a BA from the University of Ottawa, she pursued a career as a dancer that took her across the world, and she hasn’t stopped dancing since. Following the completion of her Master’s degree in Dunedin, New Zealand, she co-founded the Aha Dance Collective, a contemporary dance company dedicated to exploring gender and movement through a feminist lens and incorporating collaborations with musicians and visual artists. Now back in Canada, she is proud to perform with Momentum Dance Toronto.

Since 2013, Jaime served as Director of Operations for Pride Toronto, steering one of the largest LGBTQ celebrations in the world, with over 1.5 million attendees every year. In 2014, she was officially recognized by the City of Toronto for her contribution to WorldPride, called a “historic and overwhelming success”, and received a Rainbow Warrior award “for outstanding support for international LGBT solidarity and LGBT culture” as awarded by the International Lesbian and Gay Cultural Network. As part of the Leadership Team for PrideHouse TO during the 2015 Pan Am Games, she helped create a safe space for queer athletes and spectators, successfully fulfilling the organization’s goal of creating the most inclusive multi-sport games in history.

Jaime believes deeply in the power of art to transform lives and the world that surrounds them. She is committed to furthering Tapestry’s mandate to challenge structures, invest in new art in a way that reaches emerging artists, and carve out space at the edges of the mainstream, where creative disruption lives.

To contact Jaime, email  jmartino@tapestryopera.com or call at (416) 537-6066 xt 222.


DEEANN SAGAR

Manager of Patron Engagement and Individual Giving

DeeAnn attended the Dallas Opera at the age of four and that was all it took to spark a lifetime passion for the art form. A native Texan, she came to Canada to do graduate work at the University of Toronto and never left. She has both an M.A. and a B.Ed from University of Toronto, and completed her doctoral residency there as well. Music has been a constant thread in her life—she started studying classical guitar at seven and counts Robert Guthrie, John Knowles and Eli Kassner among her teachers. She is a coloratura and studied voice for many years. She also plays bass, and has been in bands in Texas, Tennessee and Toronto over the years and has had several of her songs recorded. DeeAnn comes to Tapestry after a very successful stint in Marketing and Development at the Canadian Opera Company, and is honoured to have a part in bringing new opera to stages both near and far. She loves music of all genres, and is the proud mosh pit mom of an opera-loving teenaged daughter. In her spare time, she attends every opera event that she possibly can, and is a self-described seeker of lightning in a bottle, certified teacher, writer, hack photographer, art gallery haunter and film lover.

To contact DeeAnn, email dsagar@tapestryopera.com or call at (416) 537-6066 xt 243.


LINDA ROGERS

Manager of External Relations

Linda Rogers is a seasoned professional arts manager who has worn many hats during her two decades of arts leadership experience in roles such as Artistic Coordinator at the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Interim General Director and Director of Artistic Operations at Opera Ontario, General Manager at Soundstreams Canada, Executive Director of the Toronto Philharmonia, Company Manager at Puppetmongers Theatre, and most recently as Development and Financial Manager at VIBE Arts. With a BA in Applied Theatre and English from Brock University, Linda has also contributed to developing grassroots arts organizations in southern Ontario as an arts consultant through her independent arts consulting business ArtsCubed, primarily assisting companies with Fund Development and Communications strategy and implementation. She has served on the boards of several Canadian arts organizations including her current Board roles with Puppetmongers and Opera Canada. A passionate evangelist for the use of digital technology in arts education and outreach, Linda pioneered a virtual reality live music series founded in 2007 and, as a result, has published articles on the subject and been a frequent presenter at conferences such as: Technology in the Arts, SoundX Symposium, and Virtual Praxis. She was the 2012 award winner for best interactive exhibit at Virtual Worlds: Best practices in Education.

To contact Linda, email lrogers@tapestryopera.com or call at (416) 537-6066 xt 223.


MICHELLE T. BAYNTON

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Michelle T. Baynton joins Tapestry Opera as Marketing and Communications Coordinator after working in Communications at Playwrights Guild of Canada. A graduate of the University of British Columbia’s opera performance program and a new Torontonian, Michelle is thrilled to be at the epicentre of Canadian operatic evolution. She is an accomplished actor, singer, musician, and recording artist who frequently performs internationally, having toured England, Scotland, Italy, and the United States. Favourite eclectic credits include: Dogfight (Awkward Stage Productions), A…My Name is Alice (VACT/Skycorner Productions), Titanic the Musical (Theatre Under the Stars), Adding Machine (Pipedream Theatre Project), Lovestruck Blues (Jill Newman Blues), and Earth Songs (Ben Heppner, Steven Chatman, Alain Trudel, CBC Radio Orchestra, USingers).

To contact Michelle, email mbaynton@tapestryopera.com or call at (416) 537-6066 xt 227.


JORDAN DE SOUZA

Conductor-in-Residence

Jordan de Souza, “the fast-rising young Canadian maestro with a busy international career” (Ottawa Citizen), is currently a Guest Conductor, Assistant Conductor, and Cover Conductor at the Canadian Opera Company and National Ballet of Canada; he has served formerly as the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Ottawa Choral Society (2012-2015), Conductor of The Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul (Montreal, 2008-2015), and was on Faculty at McGill University (2011-2015). Upcoming mainstage conducting debuts include productions with the Canadian Opera Company (Le nozze di Figaro, 2016) and l’Opéra de Montréal (2016); recent highlights include Verdi’s Requiem with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, Messiah with Symphony Nova Scotia, Mozart’s Requiem and Great Mass in C-Minor, Fauré’s Requiem, and Bach’s Magnificat with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Players’ Association, a Verdi-Wagner Gala with the Lachine Philharmonic, Carmen with Saskatoon Opera, Béatrice et Bénédict with the Edmonton Vocal Arts Festival, and the world premiere of M’dea Undone with Tapestry Opera.

To contact Jordan, email jdesouza@tapestryopera.com or call at (416) 537-6066.


WAYNE STRONGMAN, C.M.

Founder and former Artistic Director

Wayne-New-Headshot-colourOne of Canada’s most distinguished music directors, Wayne Strongman is a champion of Canadian writers and composers. Mr. Strongman is in demand as a conductor, lecturer and musical dramaturge in Canada and beyond. He has had the privilege of working with creative and performing artists at the Banff Centre, the National Arts Centre, and the Universities of Toronto and Wilfred Laurier, and the Manhattan School of Music as well as directing projects with Vancouver New Music, Montréal’s Centaur Theatre, American Opera Projects in New York and Scottish Opera in Glasgow. Many of Mr. Strongman’s performances have been broadcast nationally on the CBC.

As Artistic Director of Tapestry, he has commissioned and premiered over 30 new Canadian operas including Shelter (Salverson/Palmer), premiered in Edmonton in November 2012, the Cantonese-English Iron Road (Brownell/Chan) for the 2001 Millennium, Facing South (Hannah/Smith), The Shadow (Poch-Goldin/Daniel), and Nigredo Hotel (MacDonald/Gotham) which is the most frequently produced Canadian opera in history.

As mentor to countless creative initiates into the world of opera, Mr. Strongman has created a truly collaborative environment for an international roster of composers and writers. His commitment to a contemporary practice within the operatic art form has made Strongman an interpretive collaborator for many Canadian singers.

For Tapestry’s 30th anniversary season in 2009-2010, Strongman conducted the world premiere of Dark Star Requiem (Battson/Staniland), his second premiere for Luminato, after Sanctuary Song (Chan/Richardson) in 2008; in 2009, he was named one of 50 Canadian Ambassadors for New Music by the Canadian Music Centre and on January 1, 2010 he was made a member of the Order of Canada for his innovative leadership of Tapestry and his volunteer work with the Regent Park School of Music