Ottawa-born soprano Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor holds an M. Mus. Opera (University of Toronto) and a B. Mus. Voice Performance (Western University) and is a 2019-2021 fellow at Opera Omaha. Recent performance highlights include creating the role of Nature in Cries of the Earth (Artsong Collaborative Project), Berta in The Barber of Seville (Indian River Festival, Stratford Summer Music), Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte (Toronto Lyric Opera Centre / Toronto Mozart Players), Soprano Soloist in Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (London Symphonia), a concert performance at the New Classical 96 FM in Toronto and singing in the Ensemble of Verdi’s Otello at the Canadian Opera Company. Gwenna has spent time as a Musician In Residence at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. She also created the role of Emily’s Mother in Chamberwerx as part of “Opera in the 21st Century” at Banff Centre in 2017. She gave a “hilarious and memorable performance” (Mooney on Theatre) in Tapestry Opera’s Songbook VII. Other credits include excerpts of the Wesendonck Lieder (North York Concert Orchestra), Lady Billows in Albert Herring (UofTOpera), creating the Box Office Attendant in Bekah Simms’ The Box Office, the title role in The Merry Widow (UWOpera), and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Opera NUOVA).
An accomplished educator, Fairchild-Taylor is a four-time recipient of Government of Nunavut Culture & Heritage Grants in support of her music and drama programs in communities in the Arctic. Over the last eight years, her programs have reached hundreds of children in four fly in communities in Nunavut. Gwenna also wrote the curriculum for “Learn English Through Song”, a program run by The Corporation of Roy Thompson Hall and Massey Hall in Toronto that facilitates language learning and community building for newcomer women through singing. She has held the position of lead teacher since its inception. Gwenna has conducted choirs for Regent Park School of Music and Sistema Toronto. She has also worked as a teaching artist and consulted on curriculum development for education programming at the Canadian Opera Company.
Click here for Gwenna’s CV
“…Fairchild-Taylor found herself more at home in the role of Arabella showing off the ample size of her full lyric voice with this piece’s opportunity for extreme range and dynamics.” Ludwig Van Toronto
Tapestry Songbook VII:
“Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor, who gave a hilarious and memorable performance as the queen of a bee colony in Tapestry Songbook VI returned to the New Opera 101 program this year and was equally engaging and funny.” Mooney on theatre
“This was followed by In This World George is Heartbroken…By turns hilarious and violent…it featured three of the stars of the evening; Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor, Janaka Welihinda and, new to me, the very impressive Markéta Ornova on piano. ” Opera Ramblings
Postcard from Morocco:
“There were fine performances too from…Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor as the deeply weird Lady with a Cake Box. Her scene with Charles Sy and her “husband” was perhaps the most weirdly disturbing moment in the whole piece.” Opera Ramblings
“Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor as the Lady with the Cake Box was pushed in a somewhat comical direction by the production but she sang with great conviction & pathos.” Barczablog
Footsteps in Campbell House:
“Fairchild-Taylor brings brings heartfelt sadness to a lyrical aria of mourning.” Now Magazine
Tapestry Songbook VI:
“I am not sure if whoever decided to match Mr. MacArthur with soprano Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor knew they were giving birth to comedic gold, but their scene from “The Colony” was one of the most hilarious opera excerpts I have ever seen.” Mooney on theatre