Touted as the "next great voice on the Canadian Opera scene, exuding dramatic flair with a resonant voice as rich as melted chocolate" (Winnipeg Free Press) lyric soprano Monica Huisman continues to make her mark in the musical world, from her debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam to Guatemala City, to Rio di Janeiro and here in Canada. Recent engagements include Mendelssohn's LOBEGESANG, Previn’s FOUR SONGS FOR PIANO AND CELLO, Beethoven’s 9TH SYMPHONY with the Vancouver Symphony, Haydn’s CREATION, the MESSIAH with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven’s 9TH SYMPHONY for the Regina Symphony Orchestra’s closing night of the 15/16 season. Upcoming engagements include the role of Alice in Verdi’s FALSTAFF with Manitoba Opera and Mendelssohn’s ELIJAH with the WSO.
Ms Huisman’s repertoire includes the standard opera repertoire along with music of recent times. New works include the world premiere of TRANSIT OF VENUS with Manitoba Opera, in which she received critical acclaim for not only her singing, but her acting tour-de-force, depicting a character who ages from a young girl to mature woman. Vancouver Opera saw Ms Huisman reprise what has become her signature role playing Musetta in LA BOHEME. After stepping in last minute for Opera Ontario's production of CARMEN to debut the role of Micaela, Ms Huisman has made this role her own several times over where now she ‘has proven herself to be pristinely accurate and crafting each note into a work of art’ (Opera Canada 2010).
Huisman has soared on the stages of Vancouver Opera, Calgary opera, Edmonton Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, The Netherlands Opera, Manitoba Opera, Opera Ontario and Saskatoon Opera in productions of CENERENTOLA, SUSANNAH, MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, COSI FAN TUTTE, CARMEN, HMS PINAFORE, DON GIOVANNI, CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN, LA BOHEME, MAGIC FLUTE, HANSEL AND GRETEL and LAKME alongside Canadian talents Jean Stilwell, Tracy Dahl, James Westman, Russell Braun, John Tessier, Judith Forst, and Richard Margison. Many of these performances have been broadcast by CBC Radio 2’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera.
Ms.Huisman developed a love for the Czech repertoire, and highlights include Pacific Opera's production of CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN by Janacek, as well as an invitation to return to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in 2011 to sing excerpts from Smetana's THE BARTERED BRIDE.
She has collaborated several times with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, enjoying huge successes with Mark Goddens’ premiere of the MAGIC FLUTE; other highlights include Handel’s MESSIAH, and Strauss’ ‘Four Last Songs’. Ms. Huisman is a popular choice for concert repertoire, such as Beethoven’s 9TH SYMPHONY, BEETHOVEN’S MASS IN C, Mahler’s 2nd and 4th ymphonies,Haydn’s CREATION, Mendelssohn’s ELIJAH, Mendelssohn’s LOBEGESANG, Schubert’s MIRJAMS SIEGESGESANG, Bruckner’s REQUIEM, Brahms’ REQUIEM, Mozart’s REQUIEM, Rutter’s MAGNIFICAT, Poulenc’s GLORIA, Vaughn Williams' SEA SYMPHONY, Villa-Lobos BACCHIANAS BRASILEIRAS NO. 5 (RICE Festival in Rio Di Janeiro, 2013 and 2014) with an octet of international concert masters from
around the globe.
She regularly tours Canada and abroad, with organizations such as National Arts Centre Orchestra with fellow Canadian Tyley Ross (founder of the New York’s East Village Opera Company), the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Guatemala Symphony Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Concertgebouw Symphony Orkest, Radio-Symphony Orkest, and Orchestra London.
Ms Huisman also enjoys an active teaching career. She is on faculty at the Desautels Faculty of Music in her home town of Winnipeg and is in demand both as an adjudicator and clinician. Monica is fluent in English, Dutch, Italian, and conversational in French. Offstage, she enjoys golfing with her husband and her fur baby Lola, the golden retriever, a poster dog for the St. Johns Ambulance DogTherapy team.