Leslie Dala

Leslie Dala, Conductor

Pacific Opera Victoria
Albert Herring

February, 2013

In February 2013 Leslie Dala makes his debut with Pacific Opera Victoria as conductor of Britten's Albert Herring, a co-production between POV and Vancouver Opera.

Equally at home with symphonic music, opera and contemporary music, Leslie is currently Associate Conductor and Chorus Master of Vancouver Opera, Music Director of the Vancouver Bach Choir, and Principal Conductor of the Vancouver Academy of Music Orchestra.

For Vancouver Opera, Leslie has prepared over fifty main stage productions and conducted the company première of Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera and performances of Rigoletto, West Side Story, and La Bohème. Later this season he will conduct performances of The Magic Flute.

In 2012/13, he led the Canadian première of John Adams' El Niño with the Vancouver Bach Choir and Vancouver Symphony; he has also conducted the Vancouver Bach Choir performances of Handel's Messiah and The Creation, Rachmaninoff's Vespers, Berlioz' The Damnation of Faust, Orff's Catulli Carmina, Stravinsky's Les Noces, and Brahms' German Requiem.

For eight seasons he was Music Director and Conductor of the Prince George Symphony, the longest-serving Music Director in the history of the organization. During his tenure, the orchestra presented several premieres of newly-commissioned works and gave many performances of important 20th Century works.

Leslie has collaborated with the UBC Opera Ensemble for several seasons in productions of Così fan tutte, La Bohème, Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, HMS Pinafore, and Albert Herring. In 2012, he conducted Suor Angelica for the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy.

At the prestigious Santa Fe Opera Festival, he was the cover conductor for the world première of Lewis Spratlan's opera Life is a Dream; for the North American première of Kaija Saariaho's Adriana Mater, and for Gluck's Alceste, starring Christine Brewer.

Previously held positions for this versatile conductor include Music Director of Les Jeunes Voix du Rhin, in Strasbourg and the Opera as Theatre program at Banff Centre, where he conducted John Estacio's Lillian Alling. He has worked with the Canadian Opera Company, Edmonton Opera, Soundstreams Canada, Tapestry New Opera, Vancouver New Music and the Okanagan Vocal Arts Festival. An avid performer of contemporary music, Leslie has recorded three dramatic works by Canadian composer Harry Somers, including The Death of Enkidu starring tenor David Pomeroy for Centrediscs, and worked with all of the leading contemporary music ensembles in Vancouver, including the Hard Rubber Orchestra, Standing Wave and the Turning Point Ensemble.

Guest conducting appearances include The Nutcracker with Vancouver Opera Orchestra for Goh Ballet, and Ottawa's Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra. For Musicfest Vancouver, Leslie led the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra with Sarah McLachlan as well as The Gershwin Experience with Soprano Sylvia McNair, pianist Stephen Cole and the VSO.

Leslie Dala drew superb eloquent and focused playing from the orchestra, pacing the score intelligently.
Bernard Jacobson, Seen and Heard International - MusicWeb.uk.net

Rarely has the road to hell been described in music so powerful – and so very appealing.
David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun

December 2012