The burgeoning career of British Columbia baritone Justin Welsh was given new impetus by his great success as Queegueg in the Canadian premiere of MOBY DICK in Calgary. Praising his performance, the Calgary Herald’s Kenneth Delong noted that “Justin Welsh brings a finely drawn vocal technique to the part, his voice beautiful throughout the register. Dramatically, too, Welsh’s role was exceptionally well-realized, a major accomplishment as a singing actor.” Recent and upcoming highlights include Papageno in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE and the title role in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO for Pacific Opera Victoria, Marcello in LA BOHEME and Frazier in PORGY AND BESS for Opéra de Montréal, the Second Soldier in SALOME for Edmonton Opera, Bach’s MATTHÄUS PASSION for the Grand Philharmonic Choir and Mr. Slender in Salieri’s FALSTAFF for VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert.
He was heard in Fauré’s REQUIEM with the Regina Philharmonic and Orchestra Londoon, MESSIAH with the Winnipeg and Victoria symphonies and the Ontario Philharmonic, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Winnipeg and Niagara symphonies and as Morales and le Dancaire in CARMEN for Brott Summer Music, Escamillo in CARMEN for Jeunesses Musicales and ‘Rumours of Peace’ with the Talisker Players.
A former member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, he was featured as Ari in the world premiere of the Ensemble production of SWOON and took the role of Fiorello on the mainstage in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Previously he was seen as Papageno in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE in the Andrew Porter production for the COC Ensemble. He is a past Fellow at Tanglewood’s Summer Institute and has appeared with Tapestry New Opera Works, in MESSIAH with the Regina Symphony, in Brooklyn, NY, with the COC’s NIGHTINGALE production and toured with Jeunesses Musicales as Belcore in L’ELISIR D’AMORE. Further credits include CARMEN (le Dancaire) and OTELLO (Herald) for the COC, MESSIAH and Beethoven’s MASS IN C for the Winnipeg Symphony.
He has also been heard in ROBERTO DEVEREUX for Opera in Concert, as Guglielmo in COSI FAN TUTTE for the COC Ensemble, Fauré’s REQUIEM with Choeur St. Laurent, MATTHÄUS PASSION with the Guelph Chamber Choir, and Beethoven’s Mass in C and Bach’s MAGNIFICAT with the Regina Philharmonic Chorus.
Awards include First Place in the Kurt Weill Competition and an encouragement award from the Louis and Cristina Quilico competition. He holds a Master’s of Music from the University of British Columbia and participated in young artist programmes in the Czech Republic and Germany; with Pacific Opera Victoria and Opera Nuova singing Sid in ALBERT HERRING. At the C.O.S.I. programme in Sulmona, Italy, he was featured as the Count in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO.
Other roles in his repertoire include Lapak in Janacek’s CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN, Lescaut in Massenet’s MANON and the title role in GIANNI SCHICCHI.
|Duke of Nottingham||ROBERTO DEVEREUX|
|Gershwin||Frazier||PORGY AND BESS|
|Humperdinck||Father/Sandman||HANSEL UND GRETEL|
|CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN
THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD
|Lehár||Danilo||DIE LUSTIGE WITWE|
|Massenet||Lescaut/Count des Grieux||MANON|
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO
|Rossini||Fiorello/Figaro||IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA|
Magnificat in D major
|Beethoven||Mass in C|
|Symphony No. 9|
|Elgar||Dream of Gerontius|
|Mozart||Mass in C minor|
|Rival||Red Moon and Other Songs of War|
|Vaughan Williams||Songs of Travel|
“Baritone Justin Welsh’s Figaro is a charming scamp, immensely likeable and vividly expressive, whether cavorting or scheming or cursing womankind.”
Victoria Times Colonist, Kevin Bazzana
“Bass baritone, Justin Welsh’s exotic Queequeg had vocal heft, but also a vulnerability that gave his scenes with Ainsworth a sweet flavour of brotherly love.”
Globe and Mail – William Rankin [Moby Dick, Calgary Opera]
“Justin Welsh brings a finely drawn vocal technique to the part, his voice beautiful throughout the registers. Dramatically, too Welsh’s role was exceptionally well realized, a major accomplishment as a singing actor.”
Calgary Herald – Kenneth Delong [Moby Dick, Calgary Opera]
“Justin Welsh used the gentle timbre of his register and drew from within, an enormous sound which resonated beautifully through the expanses of St. Paul’s Cathedral. His performance of ‘The People that Walked in Darkness’ expressed the solemn nature of the piece without becoming weighed down by the gravity of its own content.”
No Rules – Brian Hay [Messiah, Orchestra London] http://www.norules-nolights.com/messiah2012.html
“Baritone Justin Welsh was also wonderful, combining broad and rich held notes with nimble traveling chops. He had a slightly textured edge, youthful energy, and a grand operatic feel that lent oomph and character to the overall effort.”
Kitchener-Waterloo Record – Stephen Preece [Bach Cantatas, Grand Philharmonic Choir]
“…the baritone of Justin Welsh as Ari stood out as impressively rich.”
Opera News – Christopher Hoile [World Premiere of Swoon by James Rolfe, Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio]
“Justin Welsh, in the role of Count Danilo, was extremely attractive, dramatically understated and confident.”
Opera Canada Magazine – Daphna Levit [The Merry Widow – Maritime Concert Opera]
“The rest of the program was given to the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, beginning with his Songs of Travel, sung by the wonderfully dark-voiced baritone Justin Welsh…”
Ottawa Citizen – Richard Todd [Songs of Travel, Ottawa Choral Society]
Libera Me from Faure’s Requiem
Cantores Celestes Women’s Choir of Toronto
Directed by Kelly Galbraith
“Libera me” from Fauré’s Requiem
“It is enough” from Elijah by Mendelssohn