Aaron began his journey in rural British Columbia intending to become a Broadway star, and really didn’t like opera. But when offered a chorus position for Eugene Onegin in Victoria, British Columbia, everything changed.
An alumnus of UBC, Aaron holds a Master’s degree in Opera Performance, working under the tutelage of famed Canadian baritone Peter Barcza, the considerable directorial prowess of Nancy Hermiston, and the interpretive mastery of Rena Sharon. As part of the UBC Opera Ensemble, Aaron had the privilege of performing roles across the entire operatic spectrum, including Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Danilo (The Merry Widow), John A. MacDonald (Louis Riel), Thomas Putnam (The Crucible), the Gamekeeper (Rusalka), and Pandolfe (Cendrillon). As part of the Ensemble’s summer program, he also traveled to the Czech Republic three summers in a row, performing Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Count (Le nozze di Figaro) and Schaunard (La Bohème) in theatres across the country. Finally, as part of the Ensemble's cultural exchange trip, Aaron performed operatic excerpts across Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai.
Aaron graduated in 2012 and was granted a spot in Vancouver Opera’s newly minted Yulanda M. Faris program. From 2012-2014, Aaron performed numerous roles with VO, including Schaunard (La Bohème), Samuel (The Pirates of Penzance), Speaker (The Magic Flute), Sid (Albert Herring), and Masetto (Don Giovanni).
Simultaneously, he was committed to building a reputation as an independent artist, performing music both classic and contemporary across the Lower Mainland, with highlights including Silvio (I Pagliacci) with Burnaby Lyric Opera, and workshopping exciting new music by local composer David MacIntyre. He is also deeply grateful to have performed the role Javan in When the Sun Comes Out, Leslie Uyeda’s deeply important work, for the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival.
Now living in Toronto, Aaron has started a new chapter of life by participating in the thriving indie opera community, beginning in 2014 by playing the “guileless and loveable” (Opera Going Toronto) Masetto in Against the Grain Theatre’s #UncleJohn, a visionary re-imagining of Don Giovanni. Steadfast in his belief in the power of contemporary opera, he continues to explore pieces such as Heggie's Dead Man Walking with Opera on the Avalon, and has also received a Dora award as part of the ensemble in Tapestry Opera's smash hit, The Rocking Horse Winner.
Almaviva, Nozze di Figaro
Cascada, The Merry Widow
Danilo, The Merry Widow
Death (Yama), Savitri
Fiorello/Sargeant, Il barbiere di Siviglia
Guglielmo, Così fan tutte
The House, Rocking Horse Winner
Innkeeper, Manon Lescaut (Puccini)
Jacob Grimm, The Brothers Grimm
Javan, When the Sun Comes Out
John A. MacDonald, Louis Riel
Kaplan, Street Scene
Marcello, La Bohème
Marco, Gianni Schicchi
Masetto, Don Giovanni
Owen Hart, Dead Man Walking
Papageno, Die Zauberflöte
Person #3, Stickboy
Pirate King, Pirates of Penzance
Samuel, Pirates of Penzance
Shepherd #4, Daphne
Schaunard, La Bohème
Seikyo, Tea: A Mirror of Soul
Sid, Albert Herring
Sossiya/Policeman, The Overcoat
Speaker, Die Zauberflöte
Thomas Putnam, The Crucible
Father, Hansel and Gretel
In Terra Pax, Finzi
Five Mystical Songs, Vaughan Williams
Le bal masqué, Poulenc
Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen, Mahler
Symphony #9, Beethoven
A Shropshire Lad, Butterworth
Bredon Hill and Other Songs, Butterworth
Let us Garlands Bring, Finzi
Three Songs of War, Ives
Liederkreis Op. 24, Schumann
Der Arme Peter, Schumann
Songs of Travel, Vaughan Williams
Musical theatre, etc.
Nathan Detroit, Guys and Dolls
George Bailey, It's a Wonderful Life
Against the Grain Theatre
Amici Chamber Ensemble
Banff Centre for the Arts
Burnaby Lyric Opera
FAWN Chamber Creative
Milan and Faye
Opera on the Avalon
Vancouver Academy of Music
Vancouver Bach Choir
Vancouver Island Symphony
Vancouver Queer Arts Festival
Yulanda M. Faris Program, 2012-14
University of British Columbia
University of British Columbia
AVCM Diploma, 2007
Victoria Conservatory of Music
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THE Thank you wall
Gonna be adding to this one for a long time! I've not seen this on many websites in the field, but while working on this one I felt compelled to add a sort of "gratitude wall". There are a multitude of people who have guided, supported, and inspired me, and oftentimes my natural introversion makes expressing my gratitude out loud weirdly scary (I'm working on it I swear!). For whatever this is worth, here's a long-term place to express my thanks in writing.
In no particular order...
Les D - You were at the podium for my very first role, my first YAP role, and my first principal role. Every step of the way, you've been there with
humour, passion, and consummate skill.
Leslie U and Rachel R - After our opening night, a man came up to me, shook my hand, and thanked me for embodying his own experience. The story he told and the way he told it remind me why I do this. Thank you for making the music and words that gave this stranger (and myself) catharsis.
Nancy H - You have done so much for opera. You have done so much for your students. For the cultural landscape of Canada. I'm most certainly not alone in saying this, but I could not have done any of this without you. And you put up with me for five years! :O
Rena S - You taught me there was a bottomless well of truth in song, and opened my eyes to an unending horizon. I'll never forget the "concert of your wildest dreams".
Adrianne W - To this day, you're an anchor for me (and for many others). You've helped me slog through so much difficulty with your perfect mix of compassion and practicality.
Connor B - Those who walk alongside you are to be cherished as dry earth cherishes rain. You, dear friend, are a godsend.
Paul J - From a basement in Prince George to the top of Stawamus Chief, we've had quite the journey. Thank you for having my back at every twist on this journey.
Yulanda F - I miss you. You were supporting me even before I knew who you were. Your hand in creating VO's young artist program will be felt across the opera world for a very, very long time through the voices and work of so many artists. I am so grateful to have met you.
Tom W - You work so hard, and it's nothing short of inspiring. Thank you for allowing me to return to the West Coast time and again.