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Mezzo soprano Julie Nesrallah and pianist Robert Kortgaard to be featured in UPEI recital

Mezzo soprano Julie Nesrallah.
Mezzo soprano Julie Nesrallah. - Contributed

The next concert in the UPEI Department of Music Recital Series will feature mezzo soprano Julie Nesrallah, accompanied by Robert Kortgaard on piano.
The performance is Thursday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Dr. Steel Recital Hall of UPEI’s Steel Building. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for students and are available at, by calling 902-566-0507 or emailing
Nesrallah is a singer, actress and broadcaster, captivating audiences with her engaging personality and her rich, expressive voice. She is regularly engaged by leading opera companies, symphonies, festivals and chamber music ensembles across North America and around the world.
Nesrallah is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her cultural contribution to Canada as a singer and as the host of CBC Radio Two’s national classical music program “Tempo’’.
She sang “God Save the Queen’’ in the presence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during Canada Day festivities in Ottawa on Parliament Hill in a performance that was viewed by millions of people around the world, and has graced the stage of Kurt Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall with classical harpist and Juno nominee Caroline Léonardelli.
Nesrallah is the executive producer and star of “Carmen on Tap’’, a company she created that performs Georges Bizet’s opera “Carmen’’ as dinner theatre. “Carmen on Tap’’ has played to audiences at the Stratford Music Festival, the Prince Edward County Music Festival, the Hamilton Arts Crawl, the Ottawa International Music Festival, Lula Lounge in Toronto and the Velvet Room in Ottawa.
She has made several recordings, including “Elements Eternal’’ with Canada’s illustrious Gryphon Trio, Noël Nouvelet and Sospiro with Caroline Léonardelli.
Kortgaard was born in Regina, Sask., and grew up in Calgary, Alta. He completed his bachelor and master’s degrees at the Juilliard School in New York City. As a recipient of arts awards from the Canada Council, he furthered his musical studies in Italy and England. Kortgaard has performed as a soloist with major Canadian orchestras and has given recitals throughout Canada and the United States, as well as in England, Finland, Portugal, Italy, Indonesia, the Czech Republic, China and Japan.
He is a favourite collaborator of many of Canada’s instrumental soloists, vocalists and chamber groups. His performances are frequently heard on CBC Radio, and he has recorded for the Centrediscs, Marquis Classics/EMI, CBC Records, Teldec and ATMA Classique labels.
Kortgaard is artistic director of the Indian River Festival on P.E.I. (nominated “Event of the Year” by the East Coast Music Awards), and the Leith Summer Music Festival in Ontario. He was musician-in-residence at UNB from 1993–98, and has given piano master classes at universities and festivals in Canada, Indonesia and China, also serving as an adjudicator at many national music competitions. He has performed with sopranos Isabel Bayrakdarian, Sumi Jo, Jane Archibald, Adrianne Pieczonka and Erin Wall, mezzo soprano Susan Platts, violinist Joshua Bell, and with prima ballerina Veronica Tennant on a production entitled “Invitation to the Dance’’. He has recorded French and German Cabaret programs with mezzo-soprano Jean Stilwell for CBC Records.
His CD with soprano Wendy Nielsen was nominated for both Juno and East Coast Music Awards. Kortgaard tours with flutist Susan Hoeppner, cabaret artist Patricia O’Callaghan, baritone Brett Polegato, mezzo soprano Julie Nesrallah, renowned music theatre actress/singer Rebecca Caine and with piano duo partner Peter Tiefenbach. A CD of the music of Olivier Messiaen, recorded with soprano Suzie LeBlanc, was released on the ATMA Classiques label and has received an Opus Award for best recording of 20th century music.

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