The Scene


Miriam Khalil

Miriam Khalil
Shayne Gray Photography.

Two-time Juno nominated artist, Miriam Khalil has established herself as one of Canada’s most versatile and expressive performers. She has become increasingly known for her non-traditional performances of opera, art song, and concert repertoire.

Upcoming this season, Miriam appears with Beth Morrison Project for the premiere of Kouyoumdjian’s Adoration for the PROTOTYPE Festival, as the lead role of Margarita Xirgu in Golijov’s Ainadamar with Pacific Opera Victoria, and Symphony Nova Scotia for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

In 2022-2023, Miriam made debuts with Vancouver Opera, Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony, Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, and Vancouver’s Music in the Morning, for repertoire including Leila in Bizet’s Pearl Fishers, Handel’s Messiah, Gorecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Ravel’s Shéhérazade and more. Miriam also appeared in her hometown of Ottawa, Ontario for Mozart’s Don Giovanni, singing Donna Elvira with the National Arts Centre Orchestra under the baton of Alexander Shelley.

She has sung on numerous opera stages across North America and the U.K., including a stint at the renowned Glyndebourne Festival Opera (GFO) in the United Kingdom. Notable roles include Mimì in La Bohème (Canadian Opera Company, Minnesota Opera, Opera Hamilton, Calgary Opera, Edmonton Opera, and Against the Grain Theatre (AtG)); Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Opera Tampa and AtG/The Banff Centre/Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival); Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande (AtG); the Governess in The Turn of the Screw (AtG); Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare (GFO); Almirena in Rinaldo (GFO); Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro (Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Lyra Ottawa, and AtG), Alcina (Fargo Moorhead Opera), Marzelline in Fidelio (Pacific Opera Victoria) and Mamah Cheney in Hagen’s Shining Brow (Urban Arias) among others.

Miriam is a graduate of the prestigious Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, the Steans Institute for Young Artists (Ravinia) and the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme in England. While in her last year of the COC Ensemble Studio, she advanced to the semi-finals of the Metropolitan Opera Council auditions and represented the Great Lakes Region on the Met stage, during which she was featured in the documentary film The Audition. She is a recipient of multiple awards and grants from the George London Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition Scholarships.

In 2019, Miriam produced and was nominated for a Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral, for her debut album Ayre: Live, a song cycle by Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov. With this song cycle, she made her South American Debut, and premiered Ayre in Buenos Aires at the Kirchner Cultural Centre. She has sung Ayre to critical acclaim in Banff, Alberta, Ottawa and Toronto, Ontario, Victoria British Columbia and opened the prestigious Rockport Music Festival in the USA, making this Song Cycle her signature piece. She was elated to open the 21c Music Festival at Koerner Hall with this very piece in 2020.

Miriam made her much anticipated major role debut with the Canadian Opera Company as Mimì in La Bohème in 2019. A role she revisited with Edmonton Opera last season.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Miriam pivoted masterfully to the digital stage and was involved in numerous innovative virtual projects. With Pacific Opera Victoria, she participated in their ‘For All to Hear’ series, where she created, directed, produced and sang an online Arabic video recital, Songs My Parents Taught Me. She now mentors their Apprentice Civic Engagement quartet (four young artists per year) to create, produce and direct their own virtual projects. She sang Elle in Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine in a unique Poulenc/Cocteau digital project with VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert to critical acclaim and sang in recital with baritone Russel Braun and pianist Carolyn Maule, premiering a song cycle by Afarin Mansouri in the Mazzoleni Masters series at the Royal Conservatory, commissioned by Canadian Art Song Project. Miriam was also featured in Against the Grain Theatre’s digital production of Bound, and also picked up a directing credit on their film of Holst’s opera Sāvitri.

Her last season, was also highlighted by Messiah/Complex, an internationally acclaimed, ATG/Toronto Symphony realization of Handel’s Messiah filmed against iconic Canadian landscapes sung in six languages by twelve soloists and 4 choirs. She was nominated for her second Juno with the recent release of the Messiah/Complex Album.

She is a proud founding member of the Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning opera company Against the Grain Theatre (AtG). With vision and dedication, AtG explores different and innovative ways of presenting opera to new and familiar audiences. Miriam is delighted to help shape “one of the most important opera companies in Canada” (Calgary Herald). She also recently joined the Voice Faculty at the University of Alberta and is very excited to be working with the next generation of singing artists and creators.

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