British Columbia baritone Justin Welsh participated in Pacific Opera Victoria’s first Young Artist Program and made his company debut in 2005 as Lapak the Dog in The Cunning Little Vixen. He subsequently returned for Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (2014) and The Magic Flute (2017). Most recently, he performed the role of the Immigration Officer in Pacific Opera’s 2020 Canadian première of Dove’s Flight, White Rabbit in the digital production of Raum’s The Garden of Alice, and Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Justin’s 2022-23 season began with the premiere of Tim Brady’s Backstage at Carnegie Hall in Montreal and continues with Schaunard in Orchestre Philharmonique et Choeur des Mélomanes’ La bohème and a return to Tapestry Opera for the premiere of Of the Sea. In the realm of newer opera, he has made notable appearances in Vivier’s Musik für das Ende produced by Soundstreams, Gould’s Wall with Tapestry Opera, and Against the Grain Theatre’s on-going project, Bound.
His 2021-22 season included performances with Tapestry Opera, White Snake Projects, and joining the Canadian Opera Company for their digital production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. Other career highlights include appearances as Crown in Porgy and Bess with Kent Nagano conducting l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Queegueg in the Canadian premiere of Moby Dick for Calgary Opera. Justin has also sung Marcello in La bohème for l’Opéra de Montréal. Earlier career highlights include Baron Douphol in La traviata for Edmonton Opera, Verdi’s Requiem for the Okanagan Symphony, Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors for Calgary Opera, Schubert’s Fierabras for VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert, an Opera Gala for Niagara Symphony and the World Premiere of Barbara Croall’s miziwie (everywhere) for Pax Christi Chorale at Koerner Hall.
A former member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Justin was featured in Ensemble productions of Swoon (World Premiere), Così fan tutte as Guglielmo and Die Zauberflöte as Papageno. On the COC’s mainstage, he has appeared as Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Dancaïre in Carmen and the Herald in Otello. Welsh is a past Fellow at the Tanglewood Summer Institute and has appeared in the COC’s Nightingale production in Brooklyn, toured with Jeunesses Musicales as Belcore in L’elisir d’amore and sang Slender in VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert’s presentation of Salieri’s rarely heard Falstaff. Further credits include Messiah for the Winnipeg, Victoria and Regina symphonies, Fauré’s Requiem with Choeur St. Laurent, Matthäus Passion with the Guelph Chamber Choir and Grand Philharmonic Choir, Beethoven’s Mass in C and Bach’s Magnificat with the Regina Philharmonic Chorus and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Niagara Symphony.
Awards include First Place in the Kurt Weill Competition and an encouragement award from the Louis and Cristina Quilico competition. He holds a Master of Music Degree from the University of British Columbia and participated in young artist programmes in the Czech Republic and in Sulmona, Italy.