Voice Type: Baritone
City: North Battleford
Role(s) in this year's festival:
Baker: Into the Woods
Papageno Understudy: The Arctic Flute
How are you preparing for NUOVA’s program?
- In preparation for NUOVA this year, I have been rigorously baking as much bread as possible to get a real feel for my character's emotional depth, while also keeping my roommates happy. I have been on the look out for wolves or giants to further my hands-on research but sadly I don't live close enough to any woods, and though my neighbours are cranky, they are not witches.
What attracts you to NUOVA’s programs? Why this year?
- Above all else I am incredibly excited to be working with the faculty of NUOVA this year. Having the opportunity to receive positive feedback and constructive criticism from such a talented group of people will be a real joy. What excites me nearly as much is the chance to meet and perform with musicians from all across Canada and beyond. Friendships that are built through collaboration and music are some of the deepest and most meaningful relationships a person could ask for!
Jean van der Merwe was born in Capetown, South Africa and raised in the prairies of North-Battleford, Saskatchewan. He has received both a Music Degree in Vocal Performance, as well as a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in the same field, from the University of Manitoba under the tutelage of Mel Braun. While there, Jean received training in art song, opera and musical theatre. His most recent performances include the role of Jack Point in the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Winnipeg’s production of The Yeomen of the Guard (2018), Robin Oakapple with the same company’s production of Ruddigore (2017), as well as the role of David in Saskatoon Opera in School’s production of The Scorpion’s Sting.