Ottawa native soprano Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor holds a Master of Music (Opera) from University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Music (Honours Voice Performance) from Western University. Highlights from this past season include Berta in The Barber of Seville at the Indian River Festival (PEI) and Stratford Summer Music, Soprano Soloist in Beethoven Symphony No. 9 under Bramwell Tovey, appearing in Tapestry Opera’s Songbook VI and Narrating Peter and the Wolf for the North York Concert Orchestra.
In 2015 she sang Lady with a Cake Box in Argento’s Postcard From Morocco with “great conviction and pathos” (Barczablog) and brought “heartfelt sadness to a lyrical aria of mourning” (NOWMagazine) in creating the role of Hanna Campbell in Footsteps in Campbell House, a new opera with libretto by Michael Patrick Albano. She is also a 2015 Laureate of Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques.
An accomplished and experienced educator, Gwenna is a 2015 and 2016 recipient of a Government of Nunavut Culture and Heritage Grant for her projects with young women and children in the arctic in partnership with the Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council. She visits communities in Nunavut and Nunavik to present free workshops in music and drama designed to foster positive self esteem in participants of all ages and from all walks of life. Gwenna has worked as an Artist-Educator at the Canadian Opera Company and for schools in the Toronto District School Board and is currently on faculty at Sistema Toronto and Bravo Academy.
Previous credits include excerpts from Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder (North York Concert Orchestra), Lady Billows in Albert Herring (UofTOpera), creating the Box Office Attendant in Bekah Simms’ The Box Office, the title role in The Merry Widow (UWOpera), and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Opera NUOVA). Past summer seasons have brought Gwenna to Summer Opera Lyric Theatre (Toronto), the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, and Contemporary Opera Lab (Winnipeg).