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 returned in 2014 as Figaro in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and in 2017 as Papageno in The Magic Flute. He performed the role of the Immigration Officer in Pacific Opera’s 2020 Canadian première of the hit opera Flight by Jonathan Dove. His 21/22 season includes Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi for the Canadian Opera Company, Gould’s Wall with Tapestry Opera, Bound for Against the Grain, and performing as a soloist for Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir’s Lord Nelson Mass.
During 2019/20 Justin returns to Calgary for a remount of Amahl and the Night Visitors. Other recent performances include Baron Duphol 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, and the World Premiere of Barbara Croall’s miziwie (everywhere) for Pax Christi Chorale at Koerner Hall.
Justin’s career has been highlighted by his performances 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.
He has also been heard as Marcello in La bohème for l’Opéra de Montréal; in Vivier’s Music für das Ende produced by Soundstreams; and in Against the Grain’s on-going project, Bound.
A former member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Justin was Ari in the world première of Swoon and Fiorello in the mainstage production of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya. He is a past Fellow at Tanglewood’s Summer Institute and has appeared with Tapestry New Opera Works, in Brooklyn with the COC’s Nightingale production and on tour with Jeunesses Musicales du Canada as Belcore in L’elisir d’amore.
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.
Baritone Justin Welsh’s Figaro is a charming scamp, immensely likeable and vividly expressive, whether cavorting or scheming or cursing womankind.
Kevin Bazzana, Times Colonist, review of The Marriage of Figaro, Pacific Opera Victoria, 2014
Justin Welsh brings a finely drawn vocal technical to the part, his voice beautiful throughout the registers. Dramatically, too, Welsh’s role was exceptionally well realized, a major accomplishment as a singing actor.
Kenneth Delong, Calgary Herald, Review of Moby Dick, Calgary Opera, 2012