British Columbia baritone Justin Welsh’s career highlights include appearances as Crown in Porgy and Bess with Kent Nagano conducting l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Queegueg in the Canadian premiere of Moby Dick for Calgary Opera, in which he garnered praise from the Calgary Herald’s Kenneth Delong, who noted “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.” Justin has also sung Marcello in La bohème for l’Opéra de Montréal and Papageno in The Magic Flute and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro for Pacific Opera Victoria. In the realm of newer opera, he has made notable appearances in Vivier’s Musik für das Ende produced by Soundstreams, Flight for Pacific Opera Victoria, and Against the Grain Theatre’s on-going project, Bound.
Justin’s 2022-23 season began with Tim Brady’s Backstage at Carnegie Hall in Montreal and continues with Schaunard in Orchestre Philharmonique et Choeur des Mélomanes’ La bohème, followed by a return to Pacific Opera Victoria for Weidhoff in Braunfels’ Die Vögel and to Tapestry Opera as Izunna in Of the Sea. His 2021-22 season included performances with Tapestry Opera, Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, White Snake Projects, and joining the Canadian Opera Company for their digital production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. He also joined Pacific Opera Victoria for both digital and in person productions, appearing in Raum’s The Garden of Alice and as Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Earlier career highlights include Baron Douphol in La traviata for Edmonton Opera, Verdi’s Requiem for the Okanagan Symphony, Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors for Calgary Opera, Schubert’s Fierabras for VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert, an Opera Gala for Niagara Symphony and the World Premiere of Barbara Croall’s miziwie (everywhere) for Pax Christi Chorale at Koerner Hall.
A former member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Justin was featured in Ensemble productions of Swoon (World Premiere), Così fan tutte as Guglielmo and Die Zauberflöte as Papageno. On the COC’s mainstage, he has appeared as Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Dancaïre in Carmen and the Herald in Otello. Welsh is a past Fellow at the Tanglewood Summer Institute and has appeared in the COC’s Nightingale production in Brooklyn, toured with Jeunesses Musicales as Belcore in L’elisir d’amore and sang Slender in VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert’s presentation of Salieri’s rarely heard Falstaff. Further credits include Messiah for the Winnipeg, Victoria and Regina symphonies, Fauré’s Requiem with Choeur St. Laurent, Matthäus Passion with the Guelph Chamber Choir and Grand Philharmonic Choir, Beethoven’s Mass in C and Bach’s Magnificat with the Regina Philharmonic Chorus and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Niagara Symphony.
Awards include First Place in the Kurt Weill Competition and an encouragement award from the Louis and Cristina Quilico competition. He holds a Master of Music Degree from the University of British Columbia and participated in young artist programmes in the Czech Republic and in Sulmona, Italy.