A conductor with expansive musical interests, Julian Pellicano is a formidable interpreter of the symphonic repertoire as well as a versatile conductor in a diverse blend of genres. The Winnipeg Free Press says of Pellicano, “His versatility is truly astonishing…” Julian Pellicano is currently the Resident Conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra where he conducts on all of the orchestra’s various concert series.
In addition to his position with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Julian keeps a busy schedule of international concerts and projects. He has recently led concerts with the Orquestra de Valencia (Spain), the Louisiana Philharmonic, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, New Britain Symphony, Orquestra Sinfonica de Porto Alegre (Brazil), the Eastern Connecticut Symphony, Tuscaloosa Symphony, Milwaukee’s Present Music, The Dinosaur Annex Ensemble, Groundswell Contemporary Music, The Brandon Chamber Players, and appeared at the first edition of the Ciclo de Música Contemporánea de Oviedo (Spain).
Equally at home in ballet, opera and theater, Pellicano recently made his debut with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in two productions and has also led performances with the Huntsville Ballet and Eastern Connecticut Ballet. Fully staged opera productions include The Marriage of Figaro, Rinaldo, The Medium, La Cenerentola, The Pirates of Penzance, a staged version of Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel, Nancy Van de Vate’s Where the Cross is Made and In the Shadow of the Glen, as well as collaborations in musical theater productions of South Pacific and A Chorus Line with Winnipeg’s Rainbow Stage.
Pellicano has built his career by following an unconventional path. The creation, with Dr. Paul Lehrman, of a new performance edition of George Antheil's Ballet Mecanique first brought Pellicano to the public’s attention. He studied conducting as a fellow at the Yale School of Music and he has conducted in masterclasses with Kurt Masur, Peter Eötvös, Zsolt Nagy, Martyn Brabbins, Carl St. Clair, L’Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. An autodidact, he was accepted to the Peabody Conservatory as a percussionist without typical classical training, and continued his percussion studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden and at the Yale School of Music where he was a member of the critically acclaimed Yale Percussion Group. Pellicano also holds a degree in philosophy from The Johns Hopkins University.
Caroline Lavigne has collaborated with maestro Alain Trudel on two occasions: in 2013 for Laval Symphony’s Pierre, Babar et le loup concert, which won a Young Audience Opus Award for Production of the Year, and in 2016 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra for The Composer is Dead.
Active on stage and on screen for more than 20 years, Lavigne toured in twenty-some countries with theatre company Les Deux Mondes’ Leitmotiv musical. In 2018, she starred in Denise Boucher’s Les fées ont soif. She is best known for her role as Musette in Toc toc toc and as Végane in Salmigondis, both children’s television programs that aired on Radio-Canada and Télé-Québec. Caroline Lavigne now lends her voice to Perline in the new version of the cult TV show Passe-Partout.
Leigh Cameron is an alumni of The Second City Toronto’s MainStage cast where she wrote and performed in three hit revues. In 2017, she co-wrote and performed in 32 Short Sketches About Bees at the Toronto Fringe Festival, which won Patron’s Pick, The Second City award for Best New Comedy, the My Theatre Award for Outstanding Sketch/Improv Production and was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award. Along with Kirsten Rasmussen, Leigh is one half of The Bloody Marys, a popular improv and sketch duo that has travelled to festivals across Canada and the United States. In 2018 The Bloody Marys won Toronto's World's Best Improv Tournament and in 2017 they took home Bad Dog Theatre's coveted Globe Head Trophy. Leigh also directs sketch and improv and recently directed the award winning sketch revue Generally Hospital for the 2018 Toronto Fringe. You can hear Leigh’s voice in the Canadian Screen Award nominated Shuyan Saga, and as Harriet in the upcoming series The Remarkable Mr. King.
Daphney Joseph is a bilingual actor and producer born and raised in Montreal. After College, she moved to Toronto to pursue her passion. Daphney performed in The Second City Training Centre’s Conservatory Graduation show Person of Pinterest (director Rob Baker) and Longorm Graduation show Save the laugh Dance (director Paloma Nunez). She is part of the Feature Players at Bad Dog Theatre. Her improv duo Coko & Daphney has performed at the Harbourfront Center, SheDot Festival, BCIF, Montreal Improv Festival, Ottawa Improv Festival, Boston Comedy Art Festival, Del Close Marathon NYC, Philly Improv Festival, and many more. Daphney also performs with the French improv troupe Les Improbables and Le Club des Marteaux. She was part of a prank show for TFO’s new network, TFO FLIP. Daphney is currently producing her own web series, “Chez Daphney”.
Connor Thompson is an actor, writer, and improvisor originally from Grey County, Ontario. At Second City Toronto he wrote and starred in three mainstage revues. He has taught and performed improv around the world, at festivals in far off places like Copenhagen, Athens, Barcelona, London, and Cape Town. He has appeared in some commercials and some plays but you might recognize him as the butler with big hair from a couple episodes of Odd Squad.
Talisa Blackman has performed with some of the top orchestras from North America and Russia. She most recently appeared as soloist with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Ronald Royer performing Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in October 2017, and has performed as soloist with the Georgian Bay Symphony Orchestra and John Barnum, the National Repertory Orchestra and Carl Topilow, and the National Academy Orchestra and Geneviève Leclair. She will appear as soloist playing Ravel Piano Concerto in G with the Symphony on the Bay and Claudio Vena in their 2018-2019 season.
As an orchestral pianist, she performs extensively with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev.
Talisa is also an active chamber musician, with performances across Canada and the USA. She has collaborated with noted vocalists and instrumentalists, most recently with acclaimed Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, as well as celebrated Canadian baritone Russell Braun in a recital for Jeunesses Musicales du Canada. Talisa has also performed with musicians from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in their concert series Five Small Concerts. A versatile musician, Talisa has also performed with the Moody Blues and Evanescence.
Talisa is co-artistic director of the chamber music series 3-in-the-6ix in Toronto's Bloor West Village and, together with her sister, runs ClassyAF, a series that presents classical music shows in bars across Toronto.
Tobi Hunt McCoy is enjoying another year as Season Stage Manager with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. In past seasons, McCoy stage managed the Lord of the Rings Symphony, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Christopher Plummer in 2001 and Colm Feore in 2014, and much of the Orchestra’s educational and Pops programming. In 2014, she co-produced the Pops show On the Air with Jack Everly for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, a show they produced in 2007 for the NAC Orchestra.
Additional professional duties have included cheering on Luke and Princess Leia with Charlie Ross, Émilie Fournier, and Erik Ochsner during the Star Wars Pops concert; dressing up in 1980’s finery for All Night Long – Music of the 80s; bracing the backstage doors against the almighty power of Richard Strauss, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the air conditioning system at Montreal’s La Maison Symphonique; providing air-guitar support during the Led Zeppelin tribute concert; and duck wrangling for the Mysterioso Pops concert.