Irena Welhasch-Baerg | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Irena Welhasch-Baerg

Irena (Cateryna) Welhasch-Baerg. Soprano, b Winnipeg 15 Apr 1956.

Welhasch-Baerg, Irena

Irena (Cateryna) Welhasch-Baerg. Soprano, b Winnipeg 15 Apr 1956. After early training in Winnipeg, she studied with Helen Simmie at the University of Toronto 1974-7, Herbert Belyea 1978-9 while studying languages at the University of Manitoba, at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, and beginning in 1985 with Victor Martens. After winning the vocal category of the Canadian Music Competitions in 1978, she began her career with the Manitoba Opera singing minor roles and was a member of the COC Ensemble 1982-4. Her debut in a major role was in 1983 as Liù in the COC's production of Turandot. She has sung with most Canadian opera companies in roles such as Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Anna in The Merry Widow, Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande, and Blanche in Les Dialogues des Carmelites (the last in a 1986 COC production broadcast on CBC radio and TV). In 1991 she was Carlotta in the Toronto production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. She has performed in the USA and France and has also performed a wide range of oratorio, concert, and recital repertoire. Welhasch-Baerg is married to baritone Theodore Baerg.