I grew up in a family full of musicians and artists, and have been a singer ever since I can remember. My father, William (Bill) Richard Braun went to Opera School and subsequently sang many comprimario roles with the Canadian Opera Company, and his brother Victor was a world-renowned Baritone. My mother, Eleanor (Smith) Braun, was with the Hamilton Philharmonic, and subsequently the Niagara Symphony, as Principal Flute. How very fortunate, to have such musical roots. I would be remiss not to mention how much I admire my talented cousins, Russell and Adi Braun...I have big footsteps to follow.... and this feeds my desire to learn as much as I can and to improve more and more each year.
The CCOC was where it all started; I will never forget being part of the 1975 production of "I Pagliacci" with the Canadian Opera Company. It ignited a passion in me!
My Choral background is steeped in Church Music, from Trinity United Church Choir (Lloyd Bradshaw, Toronto) to The Ridley Singers (Michael Tansley, St. Catharines), St Thomas Anglican Church Choir (David Marsden, St Catharines), Knox Presbyterian Church Choir (Ken Hutton, St Catharines), and most recently, 5 years in The Orpheus Choir of Toronto under the brilliant baton of Robert Cooper.
A high school vocal music class with the wonderful Theresa (Monaghan) Pothier was a terrific learning ground, with two great opportunities to lead our Musicals as Yum-Yum in the Mikado and Nellie in South Pacific.
From there I also participated with Garden City Productions, in "Ragtime to Riches" and "Gershwin First Person" with Tom Inglis and Ross Inglis on duelling pianos. These two shows were choreographed by the fantastic Diane Nyland-Proctor.
I have sung various Church Solos and weddings and would love to do more of this. In particular, I aspire to sing Oratorio works, and to become more involved in the Opera community, something that is already happening!
2013 found me preparing for my first operatic lead role, as Frasquita in Toronto City Opera's February 2014 production of Carmen ~ it was a dream come true!
A lucky event re-introduced me to Peter Krochak, a fantastic pianist who also studied voice with Mrs. Pothier. We were destined to work together and since 2014 have released 4 CD's! We hope you will listen to our 'Beautiful Memories', a rendition of Maurice Ravel's "5 Greek Folksongs", sung in Greek, and 'Exult, Rejoice!' featuring Mozart's "Exsultate, Jubilate" and 5 selections of Schubert Lieder, including the famous "Gretchen am Spinnrade", both done in 2014. In 2015, we were pleased to release (and perform) another CD entitled 'Of Love and Nature', a compilation of Art Songs by Faure, Rachmaninoff, and Schubert, this time featuring "The Shepherd on the Rock", along with Carlos Melendez on Clarinet.
It is such a pleasure to work with Peter, as his beautiful piano accompaniment is always sensitive to timing and so very musical in his interpretation. Thanks also to Brahm Goldhamer who spent many hours with me preparing ~ as our Artistic Advisor!
In November of 2014 I sang my debut as a soloist in two Cantatas, appearing with Choralis Camerata in St. Catharines. The works, fittingly chosen for St. Cecilia's Day, were Britten's 'A Ceremony of Carols' and Bach's 'Wachet Auf'.
In February of 2015 I performed my role debut as Oscar in Verdi's 'Un Ballo in Maschera' with Opera by Request, and have since also performed the role of Barbarina in 'Le Nozze di Figaro', with Toronto Summer Opera Workshop, as well as the role of La Suora Infermiera in 'Suor Angelica', with Oshawa Opera. 2016: I have just completed my first appearance with a full orchestra, with Tryptych Opera and Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra for their fully staged production of Gianni Schicchi, in which I sang the role of Nella.
After an exciting summer of 2016 in which I visited Busseto, Italy with Operavision Academy and had an opportunity to sing for Maestro Richard Bonynge, I am so very thrilled for what is coming next in 2016 and into 2017!