British Columbia baritone Justin Welsh participated in Pacific Opera Victoria's first Young Artist Program and made his POV debut in 2005 as Lapak the dog in The Cunning Little Vixen. He returned in April 2014 as Figaro in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. In 2017 he performs Papageno in The Magic Flute, a role he has previously portrayed in the Andrew Porter production for the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio.
Justin Welsh's burgeoning career was given new impetus by his great success as Queegueg in the Canadian première of Moby Dick in Calgary.
Recent highlights include Marcello in La bohème and Frazier in Porgy and Bess with Opéra de Montréal; the Second Soldier in Salome for Edmonton Opera; Bach's Matthäus Passion for the Grand Philharmonic Choir; Mr. Slender in Salieri’s Falstaff for Voicebox: Opera in Concert; Fauré's Requiem with the Regina Philharmonic and Orchestra London, Messiah with Orchestra London and the Ontario Philharmonic, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Winnipeg Symphony.
Previous seasons featured performances as Morales and le Dancaïre in Carmen for Brott Summer Music, the Banff workshop of Lion of Africa, Escamillo in Carmen on tour for Jeunesses Musicales and Rumours of Peace, a concert with the Talisker Players of Toronto
A former member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Justin was featured as Ari in the world première of the Ensemble production of Swoon and took the role of 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 Messiah with the Regina Symphony, in Brooklyn with the COC’s Nightingale production and on tour with Jeunesses Musicales du Canada as Belcore in L'elisir d'amore.
Further credits include le Dancaïre, the Herald in Otello, and Yakuside in Madama Butterfly for the Canadian Opera Company, Riccardo in I puritani for Opera in Concert, Messiah and Beethoven's Mass in C for the Winnipeg Symphony.
He has also been heard in Roberto Devereux for Opera in Concert, as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte for the COC Ensemble, and in Fauré's Requiem with Choeur St. Laurent, Matthäus-Passion with the Guelph Chamber Choir, and Beethoven's Mass in C and Bach's Magnificat with the Regina Philharmonic Chorus.
Awards include First Place in the Kurt Weill Competition and an encouragement award from the Louis and Cristina Quilico competition. He holds a Master's of Music from the University of British Columbia and has also participated in young artist programmes in the Czech Republic and Germany and with Pacific Opera Victoria; with Opera Nuova he sang the role of Sid in Albert Herring. At the C.O.S.I. programme in Sulmona, Italy, he was featured as the Count in Le nozze di Figaro. Other roles in his repertoire include Danilo in The Merry Widow, Lescaut in Massenet's Manon, and the title role in Gianni Schicchi.
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 Pacific Opera Victoria's The Marriage of Figaro, 2014
Justin Welsh’s Mr. Slender has me asking: "Justin where have you been"? I remember now how much I loved this voice in the Against the Grain boheme ... Once again, Welsh’s mellow voice and suave line created the prettiest sound in the whole production
Leslie Barcza, Barczablog, Review of Voicebox: Opera in Concert's production of Salieri's Falstaff, 2016
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 Calgary Opera's Moby Dick, 2012