OperaBox Present Noteworthy Favorites

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     Vocalists from OperaBox in Vancouver BC perform some of their favorite pieces from Massiah with musicians from the Portland Baroque Orchastra through the magic of the editing!

About the Singers


Performer Isaiah Bell

     Tenor Isaiah Bell’s recent engagements include Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian (Canadian Opera Company world premiere); The Barber of Seville (Vancouver Opera); Messiah and Written on Skin (Toronto Symphony); and the new oratorio A Nation of Others (Carnegie Hall world premiere). He is currently touring his original solo show The Book of My Shames. 

Performer Aaron Durand

     Baritone Aaron Durand has performed opera for fifteen years, in seven languages,on three continents. You could say he’s pretty into it. His favourite part, though, ismaking good music with good friends. Akin to the famed Dug from Pixar’s Up,Aaron is easily distracted (and not just by squirrels). But! he’s leveraged that andbecome a sort of creative “jack of all trades”, regularly contracted for copywriting,editing, voice acting, podcast production, and even spiritual advice. From AaronCopland to Zen Buddhism, he’s got your back, especially if you pay him in ramen.Find him and his work at halfwaymonk dot ca

Performer Chloe Hurst

     Vancouver soprano, Chloé Hurst, is an active singer, pianist, teacher and founding member of OperaBox. Hailed by Opera Canada as having “enviable clarity and precision,” her talent has taken her around the world performing across North America, Europe and China in operas, concerts and competitions, recently winning first prize in the Canadian Division of the 28th World Music Competition. Chloé is also on faculty at the Vancouver Academy of Music in the Voice, Piano and Theory departments, and is the head of the Early Music Education department.

Performer Emma Parkinson

     Canadian Asian mezzo-soprano Emma Parkinson has been hailed as having “an outstanding voice” (La Scena Musicale). Emma debuted with Vancouver Opera in a new production of Dead Man Walking, and with Pacific Opera Victoria in the staged Canadian premiere of Rattenbury. Equally at home on the concert stage, Emma has been a soloist for the Vancouver Bach Choir, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain, Alberta Baroque Ensemble, and the Slovak State Philharmonic.

Performer Bahareh Poureslami

     Described as having a “warm-toned and confident instrument, radiant demeanor, sure footedness and a light touch” by The Boston Musical Intelligencer, Iranian Canadian Soprano Bahareh Poureslami enjoys a colourful array of musical experiences across the world. A graduate from Northwestern University and UBC’s School of Music, Bahareh discovered her passion and love for concert and chamber repertoire early in her studies. She recently relocated back to Vancouver and is very excited to become part of the artistic community here once again, helping create stronger bonds within our diverse population.

Performer Valery Saul

     Valery Saul is a conductor and opera singer from Portland, Oregon. She is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Orchestral Conducting at Peabody Conservatory under the mentorship of Marin Alsop. Valery recently conducted the National Symphony Orchestra in a masterclass with Gianandrea Noseda at the Kennedy Center. Presently, she serves as the assistant conductor for the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra and is excited to be part of this OperaBox collaboration


About the Performance

     We are proud to present Messiah Favourites, a virtual performance of selections from Händel’s Messiah featuring singers that are all based in the west coast of Canada. In collaboration with leading orchestral members from the Portland Baroque Orchestra, we have created a cross-border production that was recorded, edited, and produced all from our respective homes!

     Messiah Favourites include solos, ensembles, and orchestral highlights from the well-loved and seasonal work. Featured soloists are Chloé Hurst (soprano), Bahareh Poureslami (soprano), Emma Parkinson (alto), Isaiah Bell (tenor), and Aaron Durand (bass), accompanied by members of the Portland Baroque Orchestra led by conductor Valery Saul.

     In the Winter of 2020 when live performances were still on pause around the world, OperaBox Company yearned to create a special production that could still bring warmth and hope during the holiday season. As one of the most performed works during this time, Händel’s Messiah seemed like the perfect tradition to bring to people’s homes. With professional recording and post-production technology, we were able to film all the singers and orchestra individually, and then master it into the beautiful venue in Portland, OR to create a singular, unified setting. This production of Messiah Favourites was unlike any we had performed or produced before, and we hope you enjoy the beautiful music and stunning quality as much as we do!


  1. Overture
  2. Comfort Ye My People — Ev’ry Valley Shall Be Exalted
  3. Behold, a Virgin Shall Conceive — O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion
  4. Then Shall the Eyes of the Blind — He Shall Feed His Flock
  5. How Beautiful Are the Feet
  6. Hallelujah!
  7. Behold, I Tell You a Mystery — The Trumpet Shall Sound

KnoxVan Events Presents OperaBox

A Free Virtual Performance

Tuesday, November 30, 2021
7:30PM – Video Release
8:00PM – Performer’s Talk

Please join us via Zoom for Talk-back at 8PM
by clicking here
on November 30, 2021

With our Virtual Community

Please consider donating to the Instrumental Measures Series to help support hard working, local professional musicians during these complicated times by clicking the yellow button below.

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COVID 19 has made life very difficult for many in our community. Knox supports and encourages others to support MUSICIANS as they find new ways to share their skills and bring harmony to us all.

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