Dianne Baird - Voice
Dianne Baird (Soprano) is a graduate of McGill University, University of Ottawa and Memorial University, where, as a member of the music faculty, she taught voice and music history. Dianne joined Queen’s School of Drama and Music in 2003 and in addition to applied study she teaches Lyric Diction.
As a member of the Association of Canadian Radio and Television Artists, Dianne has been both interviewed and heard in recital on CBC radio and television. Performing as a soloist, she has been featured with the Cantata Singers of Ottawa, Seventeen Voyces, the Savoy Society, the University of Ottawa Orchestra and the National Arts Center Orchestra. Her performances in oratorio have included Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Gaul’s The Holy City, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and she has performed solo cantatas by both Bach and Rameau. Her operatic roles include “Dido” in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, “Hilda” in Henze’s Elegie für Junge Liebende, “Mademoiselle Warblewell” in Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor, the “Abbess” in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and “Euridice” in Gluck’s Orpheus and Euridice.
Dianne has performed as a member of The Avalon Trio and has commissioned original works for voice and piano and string quartet. She was featured as a soloist with the Cantata Singers on the CBC recording of Alexina Louie’s Love Songs for a Small Planetwith the National Arts Center Orchestra, Mario Bernardi conducting. She has worked with such notable musicians, conductors and directors as Robert Cooper, Richard Monette, Berthold Carrière, Trevor Pinnock, Alan Fast, Rosemarie Landry, John Beckwith, Lawrence Ewashko and Stuart Hamilton. While studying at Memorial University, Dianne won the medal for academic excellence in music education. In addition to teaching at Queen’s, Dianne runs a thriving private voice studio in Ottawa and examines as a member of the College of Examiners of the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Darrell Bryan - Voice
With over 15 year’s experience as a performer, educator and conductor, Darrell’s proclivity and dedication to music is clear. Hailing from the UK, Darrell studied at Keele University (UK), and York University (Canada), specializing in vocal performance, conducting and music education.
As a voice teacher, Darrell focuses on vocal health and efficient use of the voice across all vocal genres. Having studied extensively with vocal clinicians in the U.S.A., Canada, and Europe, Darrell uses an understanding of current vocal science to ensure students are making healthy, informed and positive steps in their vocal development. Teaching students of all ages, Darrell believes that all styles of music and performance benefit from a healthy vocal production and solid vocal technique.
As a performer, Darrell is noted as a lyrical tenor and has performed in professional productions in Australia, the UK, Germany, the USA, and Canada. As both a classical and music theatre performer, Darrell has an acute understanding of how vocal style is manipulated to genre and helps students create the vocal tone that they desire through healthy, and sustainable vocal technique.
Darrell is currently an adjunct instruct of music at Queen’s University where he directs the Choral Ensemble program.
Nadia Izbitskaya - Voice
Dr. Nadia Izbitskaya has extensive experience in both vocal performance and teaching. She studied with the eminent opera conductor and choirmaster, Leo Venedictov. For five years she was a singer, conductor and vocal coach for the Kiev Chamber Choir, one of the foremost choirs in the Ukraine. She traveled widely with the choir to perform throughout Europe and the former USSR and made many recordings. After completing her PhD, she was appointed professor in the Kiev Institute of Culture.
Dr. Izbitskaya moved to Canada in 1992 and established a successful voice and piano studio in Kingston. In 1998 she founded and directed the women’s choir Aurora, which over a few years developed a very sophisticated repertoire, including solo performances of art songs and operatic ensembles. In 2001 Aurora was chosen to represent Canada in the international Festival 500 in Newfoundland.
Having worked intensively in the Ukraine with professional singers, she now found a real interest in teaching those who wished to develop their voices. Every year her students have been selected to participate in provincial-level competitions in both classical singing and musical theatre, and some have placed among the highest ranked performers.
Dr. Izbitskaya finds her strongest asset as a vocal teacher is diagnostic and voice production technique. Perhaps her greatest satisfaction as a teacher is to be found in helping less experienced singers to "unlock" their voices and discover the potential of their individual sound.
Grazyna Barbara Szarek - Voice
Grazyna Barbara Szarek graduated from Warsaw’s Chopin Academy of Music with a B.Mus. in piano and voice (distinction) and M.Mus. in voice and drama. As a soprano, Ms. Szarek began her singing career as a young girl in Warsaw's Grand Theatre, where she performed the leading role in many famous operas, including "Gretel" in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, "Dorabella" in Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte, and "Eurydice" in Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice. Barbara's onstage performances in Europe (Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain) during the late 1980s and early 1990s were met with great acclaim, and included interpretations of such classics as "Mimi" in Puccini's La Boheme, "Bronia" in F.Mollecker’s The Beggar Student, and "Tatiana" in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin for Opera and Operetta, Cracow, Poland.
In 1990 Ms. Szarek began a new phase in her singing career when she came to Montreal to compete in an international singing competition. Always active, interested and engaged with music, she decided to remain in Canada, to pursue both sides of her musical personae – performance and teaching. Ms. Szarek's first role was "Drusilla" in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea performed at the Northern Opera Theatre in Montreal, followed by "Jenny" in the Three Penny Opera by Kurt Weill. In 1992, as a soloist in Ensemble Internationale de Montreal, Barbara represented Quebec and Canada at the International Festival of Modern Vocal Music in Warsaw. She has performed at the International Festival of Vocal Polyphony in Chateauguay, QC, and at a variety of locations in the USA, including Arizona, Florida, Washington, Vermont, New Hampshire and Virginia. The Newport Daily Express music critic noted in his review “From the first note, Szarek's glorious voice filled the opera house like velvet”.
Barbara’s first Kingston performance was at Chalmers United Church in Mozart’s Mass in C-minor. Since settling in South Frontenac, she has established herself as a competent and engaging vocal teacher as voice coach for the Digital Arts Program for Musicians at St. Lawrence College (Kingston campus) and private studio through Queen’s Community Music. Her previous Canadian teaching credits include appointments as Principal Voice Coach for International Ensemble de Montreal (1991-95), Voice Instructor for the National Academy of Music, Voice instructor at McGill Conservatory of music, and Children's Choir conductor at St. George Catholic Church, Montreal, QC. Barbara continues to develop her onstage career in a variety of settings, and balances performance with her passion as a vocal teacher.