Praised for his “clear talent for comic acting” and “clear voice” (Opera Canada), Sri Lankan - Canadian baritone Janaka Welihinda is quickly establishing himself as an artist of note.
This past season, Mr. Welihinda rejoined the cast of Metro Youth Opera to present the role of Claudio in Béatrice et Benedict, and Shoestring Opera as both Papageno in La Flûte Enchantée and as Tory Adair in Schoolyard Carmen. He also debuted the roles of Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte with Opera by Request, and Harry Easter in the professional Canadian premier of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene with Opera in Concert under the baton of Robert Cooper.
His other roles have included Uberto in La Serva Padrona, Bartolo and Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro, Pooh-Bah in The Mikado, Frank in Die Fledermaus, Ben in The Telephone, and Don Alfonso in Cosi Fan Tutte. In 2007, Janaka developed the role of Meursault in the Canadian premier of Ian Cherry’s new opera based on the novel by Camus: L’Étranger.
Janaka holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance and Literature from Brandon University and a Masters of Music in Performance and Literature from the University of Western Ontario. He is also an alumnus of the Opera Nuova Vocal Arts Festival, Metro Youth Opera, the Centre for Operatic Studies in Italy, Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, Accademia Europa dell’Opera, Vancouver International Song Institute, and the St. Andrew’s Arts Council Workshop for Advanced Singers.