Mezzo-soprano Michelle Siemens caught the performing bug early. When she was just four years old, she took part in a youth musical theatre program and “no one has been able to drag me off [the stage] since!” Born in Calgary, her family moved around quite a bit; first to Oakville, Ont., then Saskatoon, Sask., before settling in Victoria, B.C., where Michelle spent her teen years. It was in Victoria that Michelle met her first operatic mentor, baritone and teacher Bernard Turgeon. That’s when she realized that opera was definitely in her future. Michelle completed her bachelor of music at the University of Toronto (UofT) and is currently completing her master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music, studying with the legendary Mignon Dunn. Her recent roles include Third Lady (Die Zauberflöte - Manhattan School of Music), Third Witch and Third Apparition (Macbeth - MSM), Hermia (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and La Suora Infermiera (Suor Angelica - Opera on the Avalon); Dido (Dido and Aeneas - Yorkshire Opera Workshop); Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Ocypete (The Harpies) and A Woman (Riders to the Sea - Halifax Summer Opera Workshop). She has also trained at the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute, the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI) and NUOVA Opera Intensive. As a chorus member, Michelle has appeared in productions with UofT and COSI.
During the 2014⁄15 school year, Michelle sang at Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre as a finalist in the Canadian Opera Company’s Gala Competition. She was also a finalist in the Alan M. & Joan Taub Ades Vocal Competiton and a guest soloist with the Greenwich Symphony for their Young People’s Concert Series.