Concert Organizer and Concert Host


J. Patrick Raftery, tenor

J. Patrick Raftery’s debut was for The San Diego Opera’s production of La bohème singing Schaunard and sharing the stage with Luciano Pavarotti. This debut and The Richard Tucker Music Foundation Award Winner’s concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall helped catapult Mr. Raftery to performances with most of the major opera houses and orchestras of the world. After a career spanning more than three decades, seventy operatic roles, numerous recitals and concerts worldwide Professor Raftery joined the faculty at UBC, School of Music in summer 2014.

Some notable debuts:
The Royal Opera House at Covent Garden (Conte-Nozze di Figaro)
Das Deutsche Oper Berlin (Marcello)
The Glyndebourne Festival (Guglielmo)
The Metropolitan Opera of New York (Lescaut- Manon Lescaut)
L’Opéra de Paris (Figaro-Barbiere)
The Canadian Opera Company (Marcello)
Vancouver Opera (Figaro-Barbiere)
Bayerische Staatsoper (Sharpless-Madama Butterfly)
Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro (Poeta-Turco in Italia)
The San Fransisco Opera (Marcello)
The Washington Opera (Figaro-Barbiere)
Teatro alla Scala (Cinna-La Vestale)
Théâtre du Châtelet-Paris (Zurga -Les pêcheurs de perles)


Performers & Speakers

Ian Burns, baritone

Simran Claire, soprano

Leslie Dala, piano

Conductor Leslie Dala enjoys a multifaceted career spanning the genres of opera, symphonic music, choral and contemporary works. On the podium, he is known for his passionate, dynamic, and charismatic approach to music making. Named one of the top ten artistic leaders by the Vancouver Sun, Dala's national profile has grown steadily with guest conducting appearances with Pacific Opera Victoria, Edmonton Opera, Saskatoon Opera, Thirteen Strings of Ottawa, the COSI Festival in Sulmona, Italy, the Goh Ballet, and University of Toronto Opera Department. Upcoming engagements in the 2015-2016 season include Soundstreams, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.

Nancy Hermiston, soprano

Nancy Hermiston’s operatic career has taken her throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. Her New York debut took place in Carnegie Hall with Marilyn Horne and Mario Bernardi. Her European début led to a permanent engagement with the prestigious Nürnberg Opera. She has held numerous appointments as voice teacher, and as stage director at the Meistersinger Konservatorium, Nürnberg, and the University of Toronto Opera and Performance Divisions. She was appointed to the UBC faculty in 1995 as Coordinator of the Voice and Opera Division.

Peder MacLellan, tuba

Santa Ono, UBC president and vice-chancellor, cello

Santa J. Ono was installed as the 15th president and vice-chancellor of the University of British Columbia on November 22, 2016. His installation was, in many ways, a heartfelt homecoming – he was born in St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver in 1962, when his father was a professor at UBC. Dr. Ono serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Universities Canada (effective October 2018), a member of the Executive Committee of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities and Chairman of the Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia (RUCBC). An avid music lover, whose tastes range from Rihanna to Rachmaninoff, Ono studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore and remarkably still finds time to sing and play his cello – even taking to the concert stage to perform on occasion. His family also helps him stay grounded. An avid supporter of Mysterious Barricades Santa has performed with us for all of our Vancouver Concerts!

Valerie Whitney, horn



Coming soon.


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Thank you to University of British Columbia for their continued support and encouragement.

We respectfully acknowledge that the land on which we gather for this concert is the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (TsleilWaututh) Nations.