Joanne Hounsell is an accomplished artist and inspirational teacher. She has received critical acclaim for her professional work with major symphony orchestra, theater and opera companies across Canada. A native of Newfoundland, Ms. Hounsell graduated from Mount Allison University with a Bachelor Music and Certificate of Excellence in Performance; an Artist Diploma from the University of Toronto and a Master’s Degree in Voice Performance from the University of British Columbia. She continued her training at the Banff School of Fine Arts and as a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio.
Her vocal and dramatic talents have secured her prominent engagements on both the operatic and concert stages. She has sung lead roles with L'Opéra de Montréal (Governess in The Turn of the Screw); Pacific Opera ( Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Governess in The Turn of the Screw and as a featured artist in the Ben Heppner CBC Gala Concert); Calgary Opera ( Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring); Manitoba Opera (Les Contes d”Hoffman, The Telephone and The Old Maid and the Thief), Toronto’s Opera in Concert ( Marie in Zar und Zimmerman) Edmonton Opera (The Mikado), Newfoundland Symphony (Micaela in Carmen), Toronto Operetta Theater (Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Pepi in Wiener Blut) and Regina Symphony (The Merry Widow). Canadian Opera Company audiences in Toronto have heard her as Drusilla in The Coronation of Poppea, Stephano in Romeo et Juliette, Alice in Le Comte Ory and as Susanna/ Barbarina in the Canadian Opera Ensemble National tour of The Marriage of Figaro. Ms. Hounsell enjoyed a stellar season with the Stratford Festival as Josephine in Brian Macdonald's acclaimed production of H.M.S. Pinafore. She has received numerous scholarships and awards including the Canada Council's prestigious Sylva Gelber Award for outstanding musician and the Stratford Festival Maureen Forrester prize.
An accomplished concert artist, Ms. Hounsell performed in solo recital at the National Arts Centre as part of C.B.C. Radio's Debut Series. For her solo work on the concert stage The Ottawa Citizen reported:
"The music went from one pleasure to another. There were four early songs by Richard Strauss, that Hounsell...did especially well. Sopranos who have the capacity to sing them tend to be quite fond of Strauss' songs. Hounsell has the capacity, not only to sing them but to make an audience understand why they are so special."
Ms. Hounsell has sung as Soprano soloist in Brahms' Ein Deutches Requiem with Georg Tintner, and Carmina Burana with Bramwell Tovey; broadcast by C.B.C. Radio. She has also brought the operettas of Lehár, Srauss and the great Broadway melodists to audiences across Canada with major symphony orchestras, including Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Regina, Nova Scotia, Winnipeg and Newfoundland. Performances have included Showboat in Concert with the Edmonton and Winnipeg Symphony, An Evening in Vienna with the Nova Scotia Symphony and Lehár in Concert with the Vancouver Symphony.
Recent performances include Soprano Soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Gounod’s Faust and The Messiah with the Victoria Symphony, Bach Arias and Cantata 51 Jauchzet Gott with the Victoria Bach Ensemble, Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben in a VCM lecture recital and 20th century song recital broadcast for Radio Canada from the National Art Gallery.
As the VCM Head of Voice, she was instrumental in bringing new life to its young professional program and giving new direction and energy to its existing programs. Ms. Hounsell is the Artistic Director of the St. Michael’s University School Vocal Academy and has been on faculty at the University of Victoria and the University of Lethbridge. The key influences in her life are the love of music, a belief in the importance of the arts, the training of young artists and a passion for nurturing the arts at all levels.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
University Recital Hall (W570)