Danika Lorèn, Soprano

Multifaceted artist Danika Lorèn has not only made a name as a vocalist, but also as a composer. Having obtained a masters degree in opera at the University of Toronto, Danika continued training as a vocalist with the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Program from 2016-18. Some of Danika’s signature roles include: Gilda (Rigoletto), Musetta (La Bohème), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Ginevra/Dalinda (Ariodante), Despina (Così fan Tutte) and Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro).

From 2014-2019, Danika produced and directed five original shows with an ensemble that she founded called Collectìf. In addition to their self-produced work, Collectìf has been featured across Canada with performances with the Toronto Summer Music Festival, Festival Pontiac Enchanté, Canadian Opera Company and Saskatoon Opera Company. Earlier this year, Danika created and directed “Mozart ReReimagined”: a digital concert pastiche in collaboration with Saskatoon Opera, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and Free Flow Dance Theatre.

As a composer, Danika’s work has been presented across Canada by the CBC, the Canadian Art Song Project, Canadian Opera Company, Pacific Opera Victoria and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. Internationally, Danika’s work has been performed at the National Sawdust Theatre, at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, at the Leeds Lieder Festival and at Wigmore Hall. Danika has recently joined Barbara Hannigan’s Equilibrium Young Artists, and continues to build a unique career as a composer and vocalist.

Nicolas Ellis, conductor

Nicolas Ellis is the Artistic Director, Conductor and Founder of the Orchestre de l’Agora and currently serves as Artistic Partner to the Orchestre Métropolitain and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He was recently named Principal Guest Conductor for Les Violons du Roy, starting in the 2023-2024 season. 

Mr. Ellis appeared as guest conductor with numerous Canadian orchestras including Les Violons du Roy, the Vancouver Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Orchestre de chambre I Musici de Montréal, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Orchestre Métropolitain, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. He also regularly collaborates with the Opéra de Montréal’s Atelier lyrique.

During the 2022-2023 season, he is invited to conduct performances of Britten’s War Requiem at the Oper Graz in Austria and returns as a guest conductor to the Orchestre National de Bretagne. He has also collaborated as Assistant conductor to conductor Raphaël Pichon and his Ensemble Pygmalion on productions of Fidelio (Opéra comique de Paris) and Idomeneo (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence).

Mr. Ellis founded the Orchestre de l’Agora in 2013. The orchestra uses music as a tool for sustainable social change and has established itself on the Montreal scene for its creative programming and bold projects. Its repertoire ranges from Bach’s 6 Brandenburg concertos, to Britten’s Turn of the Screw, to new works by Canadian composers, and more recently the ensemble presented Mahler’s 3rd symphony for its Gala de la Terre, a fundraising concert for environmental organizations. The orchestra has developed projects involving youth with mental health challenges, educational music workshops for children and a monthly concert series at the Prison de Bordeaux in Montreal.

Nicolas Ellis is the recipient of the 2017 Bourse de carrière Fernand-Lindsay and was named Revelation of the Year 2018-2019 by Radio-Canada. More recently, he won the Prix Goyer Mécénat Musica 2021.