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Our Creative Team

Ellita Gagner
- Administrative Coordinator -

Ellita Gagner is a Toronto-based mezzo-soprano. Noted in Opera Canada Magazine for her performance in Brott Opera’s Cosi fan tutte, “the more impulsive Dorabella sang with style”. She has been seen in the roles of Hansel (Hansel and Gretel, GoodMess Opera), Dorabella (Cosi fan Tutte, Opera Nova Scotia/Brott Festival), Announcer (Gallantry, UoT Opera), Peep Bo (The Mikado, UWOpera), Tisbe (La Cenerentola, Brott Festival), and Iphigenia (Disobedience, UoT Opera). She recently workshopped the role of Gabby for the Royal Swedish Opera’s upcoming Melancholia by Mikael Karlsson and librettist Royce Vavrek. Ellita was a young artist with Manitoba Opera in the 2022 DEAP program where she created the short film, Love Songs to the Piano. Outside of operatic repertoire, Ellita sang as Alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Uxbridge Messiah Singers and orchestra in 2022. Ellita holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Western where she studied with acclaimed mezzo-soprano, Patricia Green and is currently attending the Opera School at the University of Toronto studying under renowned Canadian soprano, Lorna MacDonald. In 2024, Ellita will be seen as Cendrillon (Massenet) and Lysistrata (Title Role, New Composition - Various composers) at the University of Toronto.

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Brian Cho

Brian Cho
- Music Coordinator -

Brian Cho studied in London, Ontario, where he completed his Bachelor of Musical Arts and Masters in Collaborative Piano at Western University and has since participated in the Orford Summer Music Academy, the Accademia Europea Dell’Opera, and, most recently, Music Academy of the West. He won first place in the 2023 Marilyn Horne Song Competition and has been nominated numerous times in the Classical Musician of the Year category of the Forest City London Music Awards. In addition to being an accomplished concert pianist and music director, Cho is the co-founder and head coach of Can of Soup Collective, a non-profit organization dedicated to making opera accessible and relatable to wider audiences. . 

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Mabel Wonnacott
- Creative Director -

Mabel Wonnacott is a Toronto based opera director and arts educator. This season, she will make her mainstage directing debut with the University of Toronto’s Opera School where she will direct Lysistrata (January 2024). This production is part of the University of Toronto’s New Composer’s Project. In 2023, she was the associate director for the Banff Centre’s production of Don Giovanni (original direction by Joel Ivany) and was the assistant director for Ivany’s 2023 production of Don Giovanni with the NAC Orchestra. Mabel is the Creative Director of Can of Soup Collective where she directed operas such as Bon Appétit! and Aunt Helen. Other directing credits include Setting the Stage (2023) and scenes from the Richard Bradshawe Amphitheatre Concert Series with U of T opera (2022/23). Mabel was the assistant director for U of T Opera’s 2022/23 season where she worked with Kelly Robinson (A Tale of Two Cities) and Michael Albano (Hin und Zurück). She was also the assistant director for Western’s 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons where she worked with Anna Theodosakis, Allison Grant and Michael Cavanagh. Mabel’s artistic practice centres around contributing to the creation of creative spaces which are equitable, accessible and which prioritise the continued evolution of opera.

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