"And how excellent was tenor Lenard Whiting? His various contributions exceeded perfection. All on his own, he descended from an incredibly difficult high note, to make a gorgeous phrase of See, now he sleepeth." - Kitchener-Waterloo Record review of Elijah with the Menno Singers
Lenard Whiting, tenor
Kenora, Ontario born, Lenard Witing has sung professionally for the past two decades. Over the course of his distinguished career he has worked with the Canadian Opera Company, Opera in Concert, Vancouver Opera Company, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, Opera Anonymous, Opera York, Maritime Concert Opera in Nova Scotia and Opera Mississauga.
His many oratorio performances include Bach’s St. Matthew and St. John Passion, Weihnachts Oratorium and Magnificat, Britten’s St. Nicholas, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Handel’s Messiah and Ode on the Death of Queen Elizabeth, Haydn’s Creation and various Masses, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang and Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, Masses and Vespers, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and Vaughan Williams' Hodie and Serenade to Music.
Among his memorable appearances were an evening celebrating English composers, most notably Benjamin Britten, at an Opera Anonymous/Tryptych Concert and Opera's performance in Toronto, and at a highly successful presentation of Sir Edward Elgar's Dream of Gerontius, one of the greatest choral works to come from a British composer since Purcell, brought to Toronto audiences by the Pax Christi Chorale with Lenard singing the part of Gerontius.
Equally at ease with lieder recitals, particularly with his interpretation of Franz Schubert's Die Winterreise and Schumann's Dichterliebe, Lenard represented Canada at a four-continent-wide Chamber Music Festival, Lebensstürme, which had a most successful inauguration in May 2001 in Austria and which immediately resulted in an invitation for Lenard to participate again in 2002 in Austria, Australia, Canada, and Japan.
Lenard's repertoire includes Bruckner's Mass in F minor, recitals in Eastbourne, Chichester and Portsmouth, England, the Festival in Austria, and a concert series with Princess Caroline Murat of Monaco, performances at Place des Artes, Montreal. In July 2002 Lenard was a featured soloist in a gala concert presented to Pope John Paul II during his visit to Toronto. He has performed in the Toronto International Chamber Music Festival, where, among other things, he sang the Canadian premiere of Andrew Ager's Campfire in the Sun song cycle. He has also performed with Consort Carititis' European tours performing in Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Austria.
Lenard has been a regular performer with Maritime Concert Opera since its inception singing the lead tenor roles in Cavelleria Rusticana, Madama Butterfly, Carmen and others. He has also been seen with Opera Nova Scotia in Mozart's Zaide and The Abduction from the Seraglio. As well, as the popular show Opera Valenitine. He also regularly performs with Opera by Request in Toronto singing the lead roles in Tosca, Manon, La Forza del Destino, and Siegfried. He has regularly performed with TrypTych Concert and Opera. His many roles included the world premiere of Andrew Ager's Frankenstein in the role of Victor Frankenstein; Pete in Doolittle's Boiler Room Suite; Attila in Verdi's Attila, Der Corrigedor in the Canadian premiere of Wolf's Der Corrigedor; and many others.Lenard has also been on staff as a vocal coach with Halifax Summer Opera Workshop for two seasons.
Lenard was born in Kenora, Ontario, and educated at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. He is an alumnus of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble and the Univeristy of Toronto Opera Division. As well, he had the honour of working with famed Canadian tenor Leopold Simoneau in the summer program Opera Piccola in Victoria, BC. Mr Whiting also spent two summers studying in the opera program at the Banff School of Arts.
He lives in Toronto where he is also active as a conductor and music educator He has been on staff as an instructor at University of Toronto, Scarborough College for a number years where he leads a number of choral ensembles and teaches music theory and appreciation. He has also been a choral and vocal instructor at Redeemer College in Ancaster, Ontario. For a number of years, he acted as assistant conductor for The Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir.
As co-founder/producer of TrypTych Concert and Opera, he directs Ensemble Tryptych Chamber Choir, where he has conducted numerous programs including Messiah, Puccini's Messa di Gloria, Gounod's Messe Solenelle, Saint-Saens Mass for 4 voices, Widor's Mass and many others. He regularly performs with Edward Franko and Brett Kingsbury in an entertaining series of programs which include A Tale of Two Tenors, A Tale of Two Tenors 2, To Lucia with Love, Lotza Lanza and Za'more and A Two Tenor Tribute to Tattie.
He is also church organist and choir director at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Toronto where leads the weekly worship and an enthusiastic and dedicated choir. As well, Mr. Whiting enjoys the occassional opportunity to perform organ concerts in Toronto, Barrie, Kenora and Stratford. Lenard enthusiastically shares his passion of music with all with whom he comes in contact.