2017 Festival Adjudicators

Caron Allen – Strings and Instrumental

Caron graduated from Queens University School of Music as a double performance major in cello and flute. After receiving her Bachelor of Music she travelled to Vienna and performed in the Kursalon orchestra as a flautist. After travelling throughout Europe she relocated to Kingston, earned her Bachelor of Education and founded two string programs. As a cellist she studied with Julian Trzycynski, Daniel Domb, and played in the Kingston Symphony, while continuing to teach strings and vocal music in the school system.

Upon moving to Mississauga, she founded two more string programs in the Peel District School Board, in addition to teaching choral and band music. Caron has performed as a professional freelance cellist in orchestras across Ontario and in 2011 she embarked on a Yangtze Triangle tour of China as a cellist with Ontario Festival Symphony Orchestra. 

At present Caron lives in Mississauga, Ontario and continues to conduct the “Philharmonia”, a division of the Halton Mississauga Youth Orchestra. In 2012 the HMYO travelled to California to perform in the West Coast Youth Orchestra Festival held at Disney Hall and many of her members participated in the Festival Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Markand Thaker. Her orchestras, concert bands and jazz bands have earned gold standings at both the provincial and national levels over the span of her teaching career, most recently at the Nationals at Musicfest in Toronto. Caron is also sought after as a clinician and adjudicator throughout Ontario, and continues to teach cello and flute in her studio.

Monique de Margerie – Piano

Monique de Margerie began her career as a chamber musician, soloist and teacher in Europe before returning to Canada in 2003. For almost 20 years, Mme de Margerie was based in Freiburg, Germany, and in Paris where she was a frequent collaborator with violinists Linus Roth and Nicholas Chumachenco. She toured as part of a four-hands duo with pianist Prof. Gitti Pirner and  the Gächinger Kantorei choir under the direction of Helmuth Rilling, and taught for many years at the Koenig Conservatory in Paris. From 2003 to 2011, she was on the faculty of Laval University in Quebec City, as both teacher and collaborator, and she performed as a soloist with l’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec in 2011. Combining her love for travel and music, she has performed and toured several times in Japan, India, and South Asia. She regularly collaborates with students at the University of Toronto and the Royal Conservatory of Music, and performs with many of Toronto’s top professional players including pianist Jamie Parker, tenor Colin Ainsworth, and such members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as Fraser Jackson (bassoon), Yao Guang Zhai (clarinet) and Etsuko Kimura (violin). Just recently she performed Fraser Jackson's chamber ensemble arrangement of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G with members of the TSO in a concert at Trinity-St.Paul’s United Church.

For several years she accompanied choirs at Young Voices Toronto under the direction of Zamfira Poloz, and she recently toured Alberta with choir conductor Robert Filion and his De La Salle Choir from Ottawa.

For twelve years, she has been on the faculty of the Cammac Music Festival in Quebec. She has made many broadcasts with the national radio networks of Germany, Switzerland and Canada, and she released a solo disc on the Koch International label. Much respected as a teacher, she has travelled across Canada as an adjudicator for the Canadian Music Competition and her private studio is one of the happiest and most successful in Toronto. 

Monique de Margerie holds a Meisterklassendiplom from Munich’s Staatliche Hochschule für Musik where she graduated with high distinction as a student of Gitti Pirner; she is also a graduate of the Montreal Conservatory where she was a student of Anisia Campos. Her post-graduate studies include two years with Monique Deschaussées in Paris and two years with Eke Mendez in Switzerland.  

Christiane Riel – Vocal

Appreciated for more than the sheer beauty of her voice, Christiane Riel is recognized for the generosity and intensity of her interpretations as well of her dramatic prowess as a singing actress. The most demanding roles of the soprano repertoire including the heroines of Puccini, Verdi, and those of the French romantic repertoire encompass the very heart of her career. After a triumphant debut as Antonia in Les Contes d’Offmann with the Canadian Opera Company, and, particularly, when she stepped in at short notice to perform the role of Elisabeth in Verdi’s Don Carlos at the COC, she began drawing the attention of the Canadian press. Since then, Ms Riel has enjoyed an international career with performances throughout Canada, United-States and Australia in such roles as The Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Micaëla in Carmen, Marguerite in Faust, The Governess in The Turn of the Screw, Desdemona in Otello, Hanna Glawary in The Merry Widow, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Mimì in La Bohème, Liù in Turandot, and Nedda in I Pagliacci to name but a few. She recently added to her repertoire the title roles in Puccini’s Tosca and Manon Lescaut garnering warm applause and kudos for her poignant portrayals.

It is especially for her interpretation of Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly that Christiane has earned the widest acclaim performing this role in eighteen different productions for such companies as San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, Canadian Opera Company, West Australia Opera and for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Each performance launched enthusiastic ovations from the audience and rave reviews from the critics.

Since 1997, despite her professional engagements, she has devoted significant time to vocal instruction regularly giving master classes at universities, conservatories and young artists programs throughout Canada. Summer programs like Opera Nuova and the Highlands Opera Studio, Opera Lyra Studio are often requesting her expertise. On numerous occasions, she is, also, acting as a jury member evaluating examinations, competitions, grants and bursaries and, as an advisor, participated in various forums discussing the future and viability of opera throughout Canada. Since September, 2009, Christiane has become a member of the university teaching fraternity; firstly, at Wilfrid-Laurier University; then, at Western University and most recently, with her appointment as the Head of Vocal Sector for the University of Ottawa. 

Christiane has successfully completed with excellence her Graduate Diploma in Management of Cultural Organizations from HEC University, Montreal. This additional perspective coupled with her extensive performing and teaching experience has given her a substantive comprehension and appreciation of the lyric art.

© Porcupine Music Festival de Musique 2017                                                                      Web Design: Randy Pickering