The Meet the New Resident Artists! Blog Series is a sequence of Q&As designed for you to get to know our new artists. Today, we invite you learn about one of our new tenors, Zachary Rioux! Mr. Rioux comes to us with a Bachelor of Music from Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music. He has performed a variety of different roles, such as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte at Glenn Gould School Opera, BrottOpera, and Toronto City Opera; and Marquis in The Ghosts of Versailles and Gastone in La traviata at The Glimmerglass Festival. For a full list of Mr. Rioux’s previous roles and competitions, visit his biography on the AVA website!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
“I’m a 22-year-old tenor born in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, Canada. I graduated from The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music this past May and spent the summer at The Glimmerglass Festival as a Young Artist. When I’m not working on music, I spend much of my free time either going to the gym or watching TV.”
What has been your favorite role to perform?
“My favorite role to perform so far has been Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. I have had the privilege of performing this role with three different companies between March of 2018 and March of 2019. The first two times I performed the role were in two different English translations and the third time was in the original German. It was a great experience to have to re-learn the role three times because every time I noticed something new and gained a deeper understanding of the character.”
What is your dream role?
“My dream role is Cavarodossi in Puccini’s Tosca. I’m very much looking forward to the day that I will be ready to take on this challenge—I actually have a tattoo of the final line of his third act aria “E lucevan le stelle” on my arm, along with the first line to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”.”
What made you want to get involved in opera?
“I have been exposed to music since birth, specifically rock music. I began playing guitar at the age of four, and began singing lessons at seven with the intention of being the lead singer/guitarist in a rock band when I got older. I began studying with a classically trained teacher, but it wasn’t until the age of 16 that I seriously considered pursuing a career in classical singing. My first time watching an opera was also my first time performing in one in the first year of my undergraduate degree at The Glenn Gould School, and have been hooked ever since!”
Tell us something interesting about yourself!
“I have a black belt in Kung Fu, I was voted most athletic in my graduating class in high school, I’m a HUGE basketball fan, I can juggle, and my two favorite foods are nachos and poutine!”
Written and interviewed by AVA Administrative Associate Stephen J. Trygar