Messiah Artist – Danika Lorèn

Danika Lorèn

If you missed it the first time in 2016, here is your chance to see Danika’s exhilarating performance in Handel’s Messiah.

As a performer

Danika is known for her versatility and dramatic sensitivity. Recent graduate of the Canadian Opera Company‘s ensemble program, her roles include Musetta (La Bohéme), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Dalinda (Ariodante), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Lady with a Hand Mirror (Postcard from Morocco), Coloratura (Kopernikus), Monica (The Medium), Woglinde (Götterdämmerung) and Zdenka (Arabella).

Danika has had the opportunity to work with some of the finest orchestras in Canada, including the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, the Regina Symphony Orchestra, the Elora Festival Orchestra, Pax Christi Chorale, and the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Concert repertoire includes Faure’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Orff’s Carmina Burana and R. Strauss’ Op. 27, Vier Lieder. Danika’s finesse in competition has earned her first prize in the FCMF National Music Festival in 2011, first prize in the University of Toronto Concerto Competition in 2014/15, first prize in the 2016/17 Christina and Louis Quilico Awards, and a test recording with Deutsche Grammophon in the Stella Maris vocal competition in 2018.

As a composer

Danika’s work is inspired by her love of poetry and drama, and her unique perspective as a storyteller. Having started her musical education in piano at age 6, she earned a grade 9 level certificate through the Royal Conservatory of Music in 2005. She began composing seriously in 2014, and finds herself at home in art song and opera composition.

In 2016, she premiered her first song cycle, based on Lorna Crozier‘s infamous poetry cycle The Sex Lives of Vegetables with the Canadian Art Song Project, and she has since had her works performed in the Canadian Opera Company’s noon concert series, and at the National Sawdust with Bard University. She will make her compositional debut in Europe in November 2019, as part of a touring concert series featuring soprano Elisabeth Hetherington.

Her first opera is an interpretation of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, and Danika looks forward to collaborating with Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra on a workshop of the piece. Selections from the opera debuted in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre in 2018.

From 2018-19, Danika has been finishing her first collection of songs: 20 pieces based on poetry by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Tekahionwake (E. Pauline Johnson) and Lorna Crozier. The songbook, entitled First Fig Songbook after Millay’s poem “First Fig”, will be performed as part of the University of Toronto’s Vocalis concert series by master and doctorate students in February 2020. This songbook was generously funded by the Saskatchewan Arts Board, and would not exist without their support!

As a visual artistIMG_8498_edited.jpg

Danika has been greatly inspired by the musical works in her life.  First exploring this connection in Collectìf‘s Cauchemars, Danika added hand-drawn projections and an original horror narrative to Poulenc’s Fiançailles pour rire  (check out a preview here). In the summer of 2019, for the Toronto Summer Music Festival, Danika created an original depiction of the Greek legend of Daphne and Apollo that was projection during her own performance of George Crumb’s Apparition (check out a preview here).

While finishing #FirstFigSongbook, Danika was an artist-in-residence at The Drake Devonshire. There, inspired by the vibrancy of the space, and Edna St. Vincent’s poetic cycle “A Few Figs from Thistles”, her artistic inspiration resulted in a series of original, vibrantly colourful figs.  Each fig is an homage to the ever-valuable fruits of our labours, the mysteries that we create in what we keep hidden, the explosiveness that comes from opening up and exposing those secrets. Juicy, no? 😉

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