Suzanne Rigden » Performer Bios

Jodie Alcorn-Miller (Mabel) Soprano Jodie Alcorn-Miller has recently returned from Toronto to her native Nova Scotia to continue singing and teaching privately.  She is a graduate of Acadia University (B.Mus, 2015) and the University of Toronto (Advanced Certificate in Performance, 2017).  She also attended Opera NUOVA and Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, both in 2015.  She currently has a studio of over twenty students in voice and piano in Bedford, Nova Scotia.  Jodie sang for two seasons with the Elmer Iseler Singers with performances at Koerner Hall, Roy Thompson Hall, and the Sony Centre.  She was section lead and soloist for Metropolitan United Church under Dr. Patricia Wright, and was in demand in the Toronto choral scene, working with the Toronto Voice Lab, Toronto Festival Singers, Trinity Chapel Choir, and as a soloist with Mendelssohn Choir’s Singsation.  Jodie has been heavily involved in choral music outside of Toronto as well, singing several years with the Nova Scotia’s Provincial Youth Choir, the National Youth Choir of Canada, and working with the Nova Scotia Choral Federation Choir Camps.  Currently, she is singing with the Halifax Camerata Singers and Eastern Horizon.
 
As a soloist, Jodie loves performing opera, music theatre, oratorio, art song, and contemporary music.  Highlights include Satirino in Cavalli’s La Calisto, Eileen in Bernstein’s Wonderful Town, and Sarah Brown in Loesser’s Guys & Dolls.  Recently, Jodie has begun performing with the Upstream Ensemble which is a mainly instrumental, creative music ensemble focusing on improvisation.  This summer, Jodie is thrilled to be performing in The Pirates of Penzance as Mabel with Maritime Concert Opera, as well as the title role in Alcina with Halifax Summer Opera Festival.
 
 
Jon-Paul Décosse (Pirate King and Sergeant of Police) Originally from London, Ontario, Jon-Paul Decosse has been described by Opera Canada as having a “powerful, full-throated bass-baritone”. An alumnus of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Jon-Paul’s favourite COC roles include Schaunard in La bohème, Sciarrone in Tosca, and Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte.  Other memorable appearances across Canada include Colline in La bohème (Edmonton Opera, Opera Hamilton, Calgary Opera), Buonafede in Haydn’s Il mondo della luna (Toronto Opera in Concert), and the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff (Opera NUOVA, Highlands Opera).  Now based in Nova Scotia, Jon-Paul primarily invests his talents locally, with performances including the bass solo in Verdi’s Requiem (Nova Sinfonia), Leporello in Don Giovanni (Opera Nova Scotia), bass soloist for Handel’s Messiah (Symphony Nova Scotia), and Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music (Broadway Atlantic).  Mr Décosse is also featured on Maureen Batt’s debut album, Lady of the Lake, which was recently nominated for a 2018 East Coast Music Award.
 
 
Patrick Simms (Frederic) is a tenor from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.  He is a graduate of Dalhousie University and has also studied at the Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School. Patrick’s operatic performances include Don Octavio in Vera Causa Opera’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, The Prince in The Glenn Gould School’s production of Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon.  With the Halifax Summer Opera Festival Patrick has performed the role of Sam in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, Orpheus in Orpheus in the Underworld, and has performed as Nanki-Poo in The Mikado and as Matteo Borsa in Rigoletto with Maritime Concert Opera. Patrick has studied with Marcia Swanston and Dr. Gregory Servant, and is currently studying with Jason Davis in Halifax.”
 
 
Nina Scott-Stoddart (Ruth and Artistic Director, MCO) has been praised by critics and audiences for the warmth and expressiveness of her voice, and for the passion she brings to everything she sings or directs, oratorio and sacred music as well as opera and recital works.  She has sung as a featured soloist in Canada and the United States with organizations including Opera in Concert, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Kingston Symphony Orchestra, Opera Nova Scotia, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Opera Maine, Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik, Opera Lenawee (Michigan), Aradia Baroque Ensemble,  Mississauga Choral Society, Arbor Oak Trio, Dance Oremus Danse and Opera York.  Nina is the founder of Maritime Concert Opera and the co-founder of the Halifax Summer Opera Festival.  Although she lived most of her life in Toronto, she and her husband David Mosey have lived in beautiful Lunenburg, NS since 2002 in a house full of cats and books.
 
 
Tara Scott (Musical Director) is one of Atlantic Canada’s most renowned collaborative pianists. Her love of teaching and performing has led her to pursue staff accompanist positions at Western, Dalhousie, Acadia, and Mount Allison Universities. She has performed extensively with singers and instrumentalists across Canada and appeared on national television and radio.
 
Tara is the principal Music Director and Pianist for Maritime Concert Opera, based in Lunenburg NS. With MCO, she has performed seventeen full-length operas and has conducted chamber orchestras for two productions. She co-founded, with Nina Scott-Stoddart, Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, an opera training program with fully staged productions, now in its fifteenth season. She has worked as Music Director for Eastern Front Theatre, Acadia’s Singing Theatre and has performed with Opera Nova Scotia and Opera New Brunswick.
 
Currently on leave from the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts, Tara maintains a busy private studio of children and adult students. She has adjudicated extensively for music festivals throughout the Maritimes and has worked as piano examiner for Mount Allison and the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts. She is also the accompanist for Dalhousie’s Collegium Cantorum, directed by Gary Ewer, and vocal coach/pianist for Halifax Theatre for Young People’s upcoming production of Brundibar.
 
Tara received a Bachelor of Music Degree in piano performance from Mount Allison University, under the tutelage of Dr Janet Hammock. She studied with Dr John Hess at Western University, receiving a Master’s degree of literature and performance in collaborative piano. Originally from Grand Bay-Westfield NB, Tara now resides in Dartmouth NS with her husband and three children
 
 
Ross Thompson (Major-General Stanley) Ross’s eclectic singing career has found him performing with numerous musical theatre and opera companies, symphony orchestras and choral groups across Canada. Calgary Opera, Edmonton Opera, Vancouver’s Theatre Under the Stars, Winnipeg’s Rainbow Stage, and Toronto’s Canadian Opera Company are a representative handful of the companies with which he has sung.  Some of the roles performed over the years include: Danilo in The Merry Widow, Giusepppi in The Gondoliers, Escamillo (Carmen), Gianni Schicchi, the Father (Hansel and Gretel), Figaro (The Barber of Seville), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Dandini (La Cenorentola), Papageno (The Magic Flute), and Bob (The Old Maid and the Thief).
 
His appearances with Symphony Nova Scotia have included Madama Butterfly, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Gondoliers, and Bach’s beautiful cantatas “Ich habe genung” and the “Coffee Cantata”.  He is a featured soloist with the “Rhapsody Quintet” on their first CD,  “The Melody Lingers On”.  Other appearances in Nova Scotia include: Tyve (Fiddler on the Roof), Harold Hill (The Music Man), Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio with the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra, a recital of Beethoven’s folk song arrangements for the Musique Royale concert series, Vocalypse productions of the operas Trudeau and Ghost Tango, Koko (The Mikado) with Maritime Concert Opera, Carmina Burana with the Dalhousie University Chorus under Gary Ewer and most recently, baritone soloist for the Seton Cantata Singers presentation of Vaughan William’s “Dona Nobis Pacem”.
 
Formerly the conductor of the  Annapolis  Valley Honour Choir and the Cantabile Singers of Truro, he is a frequent guest clinician, conductor and adjudicator and jurist for universities, choral camps, workshops, festivals and clinics throughout the Maritimes. He is also the composer of several musical theatre productions. In 2002 he was a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.