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 returns in April 2014 to perform the title role in The Marriage of Figaro.
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 Frazier in Opéra de Montréal's Porgy and Bess; Faure's Requiem with the Regina Philharmonic, Messiah with Orchestra London and the Ontario Philharmonic, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Winnipeg Symphony. Mr. Welsh’s 2011-2012 season 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, he 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. Previously he was seen as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte in the Andrew Porter production for the COC Ensemble. 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.
AUDIO: Hear Justin Welsh perform "It is Enough" from Mendelssohn's Elijah and Almaviva's aria "Hai gia vinta la causa" from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.
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, 2012