Opus 8

Eight voices. Centuries of music.

Opus 8 comprises eight of Toronto’s finest ensemble singers, dedicated to musical excellence in the pursuit of sharing the best choral music with the widest audience possible. Their repertoire covers the breadth of history, from unpublished 14th century chansons and 17th century partsongs to 21st century jazz arrangements. From the wild soundworlds of Stockhausen, Schoenberg and Machaut to the elegant compositions of Elgar, Brahms and Bach, this versatile and invigorating group of choral soloists draws diverse audiences of all ages, both experts and newcomers, with a motivation to inspire all through their formidable artistry. Silly and serious, sublime and audacious, Opus 8’s vision is an ambitious and compelling venture into spreading their love of music-making at an internationally high standard.

Singers

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Soprano Katy Clark is a participant in the 2017-2018 Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency. She recently won second place in the prestigious Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition in Jackson, Michigan. As well as singing with Shoestring Opera in Toronto, Katy sings with the Canadian Opera Company Chorus, and has sung with Michigan Opera Theatre. Favourite opera credits include The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Cunegonde in Candide, and Madame Herz in The Impresario. She also has a deep passion for oratorio repertoire, and has sung as a soloist with the Elora Singers, the London Fanshawe Symphonic Chorus, the Detroit Medical Orchestra, and more. As a choral singer, Katy sings with the Elora Singers, and has sung with the Grammy winning University of Michigan Chamber Choir. Katy earned her Masters Degree in Voice Performance from the University of Michigan. In addition to her work as a soloist and performer, Katy teaches private voice and piano lessons in Toronto. 

 

Clara MacCallum Fraser, Soprano has sung as section lead in choirs at St Clement’s Anglican Church and Massey College, as well as for various other choirs including Tallis Choir, Larkin Singers, and is a regular sub (and official Evensong cheerleader) at St James Cathedral. When not using Opus 8 as an excuse to procrastinate, Clara is really supposed to be working on her doctorate in Environmental Studies at York University, imagining the possibility of a planning process that honours Indigenous peoples' rights in Ontario. An inordinate amount of her time is actually spent just trying to keep her plants alive during the long winter months...   

 

Simon Honeyman, Alto began his musical education at the age of nine as a boy treble in Ottawa. Since then, he has been working steadily as a counter-tenor, performing with ensembles such as Tafelmusik, Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, Theatre of Early Music, Toronto Masque Theatre, Elora Festival Singers and others. Currently completing a certificate in publishing at Ryerson, Simon is also a singer-songwriter and guitarist in a number of folk and heavy metal outfits.

 

Rebecca Claborn, Alto has recently sung with Pro Coro Canada, the Choir of St. James Cathedral, Cappella Nova Mundi, Tallis Scholars, Gabrieli Consort and the Theatre of Early Music, with whom she has recorded two discs. She holds music degrees from the Universities of New Hampshire and Alberta where she was the 2009 winner of the Alberta Baroque Ensemble Concerto Competition. She performs as a soloist all across Canada, with a repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the present day.  Away from singing, she succumbs to her indelible passion to master the clawhammer banjo.

 

Robert Busiakiewicz, Tenor studied at the Royal Academy of Music and King’s College London before being invited to the Yeomanry of the Worshipful Company of Musicians in 2013. Since then he completed a Masters in Music with a choral scholarship at King's College, Cambridge. He was awarded the Lord Mayor's Prize for Composition and his works have featured on BBC Radio, London Festival of Contemporary Music and are recorded by Priory Records. He has performed across the globe in venues such as the Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican, the Hermitage Theatre, St. Thomas Fifth Avenue and Bleinheim Palace. As well as being Director of Music at St. James Cathedral, he can frequently be found helping people move house (against his will), and shouting at traffic.

 

Peter Mowat, Tenor, is a member of the Choir of St. James Cathedral in Toronto. Previously, he was a member of the Christ Church Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys in Ottawa, with whom he toured extensively throughout the US and the UK. He began singing as a treble at age 7 and has sung under the leadership of Mark Sirett, Robert Hunter Bell, Derek Holman, and Matthew Larkin.  Peter is also a clarinettist, having played in the Queen’s University Symphony and the Kingston Symphony. Known to frantically conduct entire symphonies from the safety of his living room, Peter is keen to remind his penniless musician friends that he also enjoys a real job as a cripplingly expensive lawyer.

 

David Roth, Baritone is a graduate of the performance programme at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Patricia Kern. He has appeared recently in concert with notable organisations such as Tafelmusik, The Toronto Consort, La Chapelle de Québec, I Furiosi, and The Aldeburgh Connection. He has sung in the choruses of the COC and Opera Atalier, and recently appeared as Figaro and Don Alfonso in Weimar, Germany, with Lyric Opera Studio Weimar and Theater Rudolstadt respectively. In his spare time David enjoys whiskey and cycling, though seldom together, along with an awkwardly heated discussion about homeopathic remedies.

 

Sean Nix has over 15 years of professional choral experience in Southern Ontario, as well as in New York State and Northern England.  He occasionally sings with the Choir of St. James Cathedral and The Oratory of St. Philip Neri.  Aside from music, Sean is a Professor and Program Coordinator in Civil Engineering Technology – Transportation at Mohawk College, and serves as Sessional Faculty in the Bachelor of Technology degree completion program at McMaster University, both in Hamilton.  He is a Registered Professional Planner in Ontario.  Those closest to him refer to him as 'The Traffic Whisperer' due to his unsettling knowledge of traffic signals and disturbing familiarity with slip-roads and underpasses. His chief joys are tormenting his students for their poor email etiquette, and renaissance polyphony in lower keys.