Biography

Vanessa’s extensive musical experience – from the opera stage in lead roles across Europe, to the concert stage in performances on the viola da gamba, to her work behind the scenes composing for dance-theatre productions in Germany – has most recently led to work as a conductor; assistant conductors for Don Giovanni (Alltagsoper Berlin), Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Opera On Tap Berlin: G. Sachs, T. Ribchester), assistant  to Maestro Peter Leonard and diction coach with Berlin Opera Academy on the 2016 production of Carmen, and conducted and sang at MaerzMusik 2017 with Ensemble Phoenix16. More recently Vanessa was 2nd conductor with Lyric Opera Berlin’s L’elixir d’Amore.

Vanessa discovered her passion for classical music at an early age, taking up studies on the cello at the age of nine (A. Wagniere, S. Russell) followed by vocal studies in Montreal. She graduated with honours in voice performance at McGill University (Prof. Jan Simons, Dr. Julian Wachner) and pursued a master’s degree in viola da gamba at the University of Montreal (M. Little). Subsequently, Vanessa moved to Germany to take up further studies in opera performance with Prof. KS Jeanne Piland at the Robert Schumann Hochschule. She has participated in masterclasses and workshops with renowned musicians across numerous disciplines, including vocal coaches (Alexander Schmalcz, Wolf-Michael Storz, Michael McMahon), Early Music specialists (Skip Sempé, Jay Bernfeld, Jaap Ter Linden) and conductors (Hervé Niquet, Rainer Mühlbach, Helge Dorsch, Rudiger Bohm, Timo Kreuser).

Vanessa’s musical versatility has led to roles ranging from the baroque era to contemporary opera, including Medoro, Dorabella, Hänsel, Niklaus, Ciesca, Carmen, Lucienne and Hermia. She performed Cherubino with the Barcelona Opera Studio under Ricardo Estrada, the title role of Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Portugal and premiered jean-paul Noguès’s opera Metamorphose in Bordeaux. As a concert soloist she has sung Mendelssohn’s Sommernachtstraum at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Handel’s Messiah and Monteverdi’s Beatus Vir in Montreal, Mahler’s Das Himmlische Leben at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Saint-Seans’ Christmas Oratorio in Gießen and Mozart’s Requiem a at the Zezere Arts Festival in Portugal.

Currently active in Berlin, Vanessa appears regularly in recital and performs with the contemporary vocal ensemble Phønix16; she is also musical director of the baroque ensemble The Dansant, who recently released an album featuring works by Handel, Vivaldi and Graun. Upcoming projects include commissions for the viola da gamba, a collaboration with Bochum’s kainkollektiv (winner of the Georg Tabori development prize in 2015) and further conducting work in Canada and Germany.