Biography

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Mezzo-Soprano, Erin Armstrong

is native to Windsor/Essex County and is well known for her ability to captivate an audience with her commanding stage presence and warm, rich voice as well for her constant community driven performances and creative initiatives. She is the recipient of the 2018 Windsor Endowment of the Arts Elizabeth Havelock Grant, a 2017 nominee for the Ontario Premiere’s Award and the winner of the  2016 Windsor Mayor’s Award for Individual Artist.


This season begins for Erin reprising her role as the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors in a special production she conceived and will direct featuring local teachers and their students as Mother/Amahl teams.  Erin then debuts in Ottawa singing Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Adalgisa in Norma. In March Erin will take the stage with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra for their Intimate Classics series singing Baroque arias, followed by the  Mozart Requiem as the Alto soloist. March concludes with a return to the Historical Willistead Manor in Windsor, for a second theatre-in-the round production, Stage Directing Massenet's Cendrillon. Erin will take on the feisty Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte in April followed by a cover as Teresa in La Sonnambula with Opera Niagara. In May she is co-producing with Abridged Opera and the Windsor Symphony Youth Orchestra a young artist production of Don Giovanni.  This June will also see Erin in concert with local pianist/composer Eric Swiatoschik featuring the music of Korngold and with her trio, debuting a new Canadian work by Canadian composer Geof Holbrook. The trio have been selected to perform at Clarinetfest this summer performing an original composition by Canadian composer Brent Lee. Erin's season concludes with a Champagne Gala with Abridged Opera at Wagner Orchards and Estate Winery in August.


Next season  sees many debuts but begins with a reprisal of  Amneris in Aida with Opera by Request. She will then make her debut as Madame Flora (Baba) in The Medium with Abridged Opera in October, her Opera Idaho debut stage directing Acis and Galatea in November, followed by a return to the Windsor Symphony Orchestra stage directing Puccini's Madama Butterfly in January. Erin will debut as Fricka in both Die Walküre and Das Rheingold by Wagner in Opera by Request's Ring Cycle next February followed by Maman in Poulenc's L'enfant et la sortilege in March. She will reprise her role as Fricka in The Ring Cycle in May followed by a collaboration with the Abridged Opera, Kordazone Theatre and the Windsor Classic Chorale presenting Purcell's King Arthur. Erin will conclude next season covering the role of Romeo in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi.


Last season saw Erin bring Benjamin Britten's ghost story, The Turn of the Screw, to life as stage director and jumping in to sing the role of Mrs. Grose. She then directed Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with the WSO followed by a new Canadian work at Western University, The Donnolly Opera. In March she performed Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier with Abridged Opera followed by a school tour she wrote and directed for Hansel and Gretel. After choral adjudicating Music Fest in Windsor and Sarnia she performed 3rd Lady in The Magic Flute,  covered Frugola in Il Tabarro and performed her first La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica with Opera Niagara. Erin was  thrilled to be able to travel to Italy last summer to study with Dr. Maria Vetere, Aprile Millo and Richard Bonynge for Operavision Academy. Finally, Erin debuted the role of Beppe in L’Amico Fritz for Opera at the Orchards series in Windsor/Essex. 


She is the founder and director of Music Moves Kids summer program and children’s choir, rapidly gaining recognition and recent recipients of the Performing Arts Infrastructure Grant through the Windsor Endowment for the Arts. Her choir has performed on Cogeco TV, PBS and with The Tenors. They have sung in seven operas including the Canadian premier of Czech national opera, Jakobin, by Dvorak. Other credits include the chorus of Cherubim in Mefistofele, the shepherds in Amahl and the Night Visitors and the children in Act 2 of La Boheme both with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Opera Niagara. In 2016 they performed the children’s opera Brundibar, both at the Windsor and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals. They have been the chorus of Kuchenkinder for three productions of Hansel and Gretel and appeared as the orphans in DerRosenkavalier.  They are frequent guests of the WSO for the Holiday Pops concerts, and this May performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, singing John Rutter’s Mass of the Children, conducted by John Rutter. 

Erin is also founder and director of Abridged Opera, a new initiative in Windsor designed to bridge the gap for audiences and the world of opera, making the art form more accessible. In 2017 Abridged Opera produced six operas, three concerts and a fringe festival entry.  In addition to her transition from performer to behind the scenes, Erin is entering her fifth season as conductor of the award-winning Windsor Community Choir. She has also guest-conducted the Walkerville Centre for the Creative Artsvocal students at Musicfest where they placed Silver and were invited to Nationals. 

Past credits include Mother and Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte,Old Woman in Candide, Amneris in Aida, Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw, Margherite in Boito’s Mefistofeles, Heidi Schiller in Follieswith Windsor’s first Confidential Musical Theatre Project, director for La Bohemewith the WSO, soloist for WSO community concerts, Mrs. Andrews in Winsor Light Opera’s production of Mary Poppins, soprano soloist in Voices of Light by Richard Einhorn with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Mimi in La Boheme, Violetta in La Traviata, Angelica in Suor Angelica, High Priestess in Aida, La Contessa inLa nozze di Figaro, Ortlinde in Die Walkure, Giulietta in I Capuletti ed I Montecchi, Beth in Little Women, Juliette in Romeo et Juliette, Alice Ford in Falstaff, Rosalinda in Die Fledermausand Donna Anna in DonGiovanni. Erin is an alumna of Calgary Opera’s Emerging ArtistProgram and a graduate of the Universities of Windsor and British Columbia. She holds her Bachelor and Masters of Music as well as a Bachelor of Education.