Christina Baltais is an artist who resides in Toronto, Canada. She has lived with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME, also known as ME/CFS) for the past 16 years and draws on her personal experience of chronic illness to create collage, photography, sculpture, and makeup art. ME is a deeply stigmatized and contested illness, and she hopes her work is one ripple in the wave of change the ME community desperately needs for greater awareness, compassion, research funding, and treatments.
Ophira Calof is a multi-award-winning Disabled writer, performer, and producer based in Tkaronto (Toronto). Her work weaves together music, comedy, and storytelling, centring disability and chronic illness experience. They co-created the sketch comedy revue Generally Hospital (Canadian Comedy Award Nominee, Patron’s Pick), and her musical solo show, Literally Titanium, was developed through the Buddies in Bad Times Emerging Creator’s Unit before premiering at the prestigious 2020 Next Stage Theatre Festival. Ophira also works as a curator, workshop facilitator, consultant, and keynote speaker with projects including COVID-19 through a Disability Lens: Storytelling and Filmmaking Project and Laugh With RAFF: A night of disability comedy. Ophira graduated from Second City’s Writing and Sketch Conservatory programs, was featured in the Second City 2018 Toronto Diversity Fellowship Showcase, and is the 2018 recipient of the Tim Sims Encouragement Award. She also trained through UBC’s opera performance program and Berklee Music Online’s songwriting specialist program.
Robin Hahn, soprano
Robin Hahn is a Metropolitan Opera Award-winning lyric soprano, stage director, voice teacher and multi-disciplinary artist with a wide variety of operatic performance credits, including productions of Così fan tutte in the Netherlands; concerts broadcast on national television from the south of Spain; Canada-wide tours with the Chinese Radio Broadcasting Orchestra; and many appearances onstage with theatres, orchestras and choruses across Germany. Her stage direction has been hailed as “well-honed” and “delightful” (Opera Canada), and her productions often focus on reinterpreting and updating heteronormative stories. Robin is also a longtime advocate for those with chronic illnesses through her work with Opera Mariposa, of which she is a co-founder. She has recently launched her YouTube channel ‘Robin Hahn, sopran’, which explores opera, disability and LGBTQ+ issues.
Maria Hwa Yeong Jung, piano
Maria Hwa Yeong Jung is a music director and collaborative pianist from Toronto who worked at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music as a vocal coach and staff accompanist, and who has music directed for companies such as Summer Opera Lyric Theatre in Toronto and Opera Mariposa in Vancouver. As a collaborative pianist and repetiteur, Maria has accompanied the renowned Oriana Women’s Chorus and Acquired Taste Choir; performed in venues across North America; and worked with such renowned conductors as Evan Mitchell, Jordan de Souza, and Judith Yan. She has also participated in the Toronto Summer Music Festival Academy of Songs, Aspen Music Festival, Opera Nuova, Opera on the Avalon and Vancouver International Song Institute. Maria currently teaches at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music, and is a staff pianist at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. She is a graduate of both the New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto, where she earned her Master’s in Piano Performance and Pedagogy and a Bachelor’s in Music Education.
Jacqueline Ko, soprano
Jacqueline Ko is a multi-award-winning soprano who “knows exactly what to do with an absolutely gorgeous voice” (Review Vancouver). A versatile performance and recording artist whose work spans opera, theatre and film, a few of her notable role highlights include Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Angelica in Suor Angelica, Sharon in Master Class, Lauretta and La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi and the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute. She has been praised for her “definite aptitude” (Opera Canada) as the founding artistic director of Opera Mariposa, and is also an internationally-recognized disability and chronic illness advocate who has raised over $125,000 to date for chronic neuroimmune diseases such as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), with which she has lived since age six. Thanks to her work advancing disability visibility in the arts, in 2019 she was selected to become the first Canadian Ambassador for the Open Medicine Foundation, a global organization whose other representatives include international bestselling authors and Nobel laureates.
Stephanie Ko is a disabled arts administrator, graphic designer, costume designer, consultant and national award-winning writer based in Vancouver, BC. As well as being Opera Mariposa’s general manager, she has been involved in disability and chronic illness advocacy for well over a decade in partnership with charities, healthcare programs, funding bodies and arts service organizations worldwide. She currently sits on Actsafe’s Performing Arts Standing Committee; serves on the Community Council for the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance; acts as social media manager for Indie Opera West; and moderates I Lost My Gig Canada, supporting artists and freelance workers impacted by the pandemic. Alongside her sister Jacqueline she also works with Open Medicine Foundation, a global nonprofit effort driving research into complex chronic diseases and COVID-19.
Landon Krentz is a bilaterally profoundly Deaf artist who is completely bilingual in American Sign Language (ASL) and English. As a Deaf artist, Landon brings a unique perspective to the roles of Director of Artistic Sign Language and an ASL performer for theatre. Landon has presented the Award of Merit for Inclusion and Access from the Western Institute of Deaf and Hard of Hearing in 2018, and is currently a Director of Artistic Sign Language with Inside Out Theatre based in Calgary, Canada.
Landon is presently working as a playwright and performer on a Deaf-led ASL Opera that is being created in Vancouver, BC. The new work challenges social and artistic practices by exploring the intersectionality of Deaf theatre into the DNA of the opera.
Lyndon Ladeur, tenor
Lyndon Ladeur’s favourite recent operatic role credits include Tamino in The Magic Flute and Ferrando in Così fan tutte. His major concert repertoire as a soloist consists of Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Gounod’s Messe solennelle en l’honneur de Sainte-Cécile. He made his international debut as part of the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival to a sold-out crowd at the Royal Hall in Harrogate, UK, where he performed as Marco in The Gondoliers. For this portrayal he was named the winner of the Best Male Vocalist award, as well as being nominated for Best Male Actor. He was given a 2018 Vancouver Academy of Music Emerging Artist Grant to contribute to this experience. He is also a winner of both the Senior Classical Voice and Vocal Variety competitions at the BC Provincial Performing Arts Festival, as well as a winner of the BC Provincial Concerto Competition.
Award-winning pianist, producer and educator Karen Lee-Morlang has performed in Europe, Asia and across North America. She has been featured at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, MusicFest Vancouver, World Peace Forum, Women’s Worlds Conference and Vancouver Folk Festival and has been broadcast on CBC Radio. After earning two music degrees, she also taught at UBC and has co-produced several concert series for the general public. She completed a three-year project with the UBC Learning Exchange in the Downtown Eastside producing and teaching the Music Appreciation 101 course. As part of her work in the DTES, Karen had co-coordinated the “Night Before the Opera” events at the Carnegie Center with the Vancouver Opera. Karen is currently the Artistic Director of the Health Arts Society of BC, an organization that presents professional arts programmes in health care settings – and which, combined with its sister societies in every province, is currently the largest arts presenter in Canada to people in residential care.
This contributor acknowledges being of a stolen people living on the stolen, unceded, and ancestral land of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. They are of mixed racial ancestry, living with disability, LGBTQ2+ and they recognize and value the many intersectionalities that contribute to furthering decolonization practices. Their community and artistic work explore relational justice in many forms. They are a Justice/Equity/Diversity/Inclusion (JEDI) speaker and consultant on organizational change, and a facilitator with an emphasis on Disability Justice, Body Liberation, and Food Justice.
Christie A. Pollock
Christie A. Pollock is a disabled choral singer, opera production assistant and recovering classical flutist with dual passions for music and for healthcare. In addition to having been involved with performing arts companies like Heroic Opera, Opera Mariposa, East Van Opera and SFU Choir in a variety of roles, she also works with health organizations across BC on patient-centred initiatives. Drawing on over a decade of personal experience in outpatient and inpatient treatment for mental illness, she collaborates frequently with BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, where she currently sits on a policy and procedure review panel. She has also been a facilitator for a peer support group run by the BPD Society of BC. Christie has a degree in linguistics and archaeology with an emphasis on marginalized linguistic communities; a certificate in Quality and Safety from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement; and is currently a psychology major at Simon Fraser University in a second degree program.
The Repertory Concert Artist Program
Want to discover our roster of artists available for bookings? Learn about the performers of Opera Mariposa’s Repertory Concert Artist program – and find out how to book a Singing E-telegram from one of them today.