Gregory Dahl as Dr. Falke in Manitoba Opera's production of Die Fledermaus at the Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Photo: from

Thank heaven for seniority. As a 28-year-old teacher of choral music in Winnipeg, Gregory Dahl did not have any. Which meant he was among the first to be laid off when the high school at which he worked decided to downsize.

“I had this epiphany,” the baritone said before an open rehearsal of Puccini’s Tosca in Place-des-Arts. “I was in teaching, which I think is a stable job. And this stable job was unstable. For years I wanted to be on stage. I denied it to myself. Finally, I said, that’s it, I’m going to try it.” The baritone had already got a taste of what was possible with the voice teacher Mary Morrison at the Banff Centre in the summer of 1995. By the fall of 1996 he was studying in the opera division at the University of Toronto (where Morrison is still a sectional lecturer).

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Source: Opera stories from La Scena