“A Day in the Life” with Toronto opera singer Midori Marsh

Midori Marsh is a professional opera singer, an amateur impressionist, a mediocre cook, and a great friend.

Though originally from Cleveland, she followed her Canadian roots up to Kitchener-Waterloo in 2013 to study voice at Wilfrid Laurier University. Midori went on to get both her Bachelors in Music and Opera Diploma there, before moving to Toronto in 2018 to pursue a Masters degree in Opera Performance at the University of Toronto.

She’s performed many opera roles over the years, and even spent the past summer in BANFF for their Opera in the 21st Century Program. She’s brought her own flair to characters like Don Giovanni ’s Zerlina, The Tender Land ’s Laurie and La Finta Giardiniera ’s Arminda, among others.

This season she’s singing Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park with U of T Opera, and she recently won both the First Prize and Audience Choice awards at the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio Competition.

Watching Midori perform has always been an amazing experience. She takes the air out of the room. People who don’t know her cheer for her. She has the ability to disappear into a character, but now and again, there is a moment. A flash. Blink and you’ll miss it. A moment where you can see just how much
fun she’s having doing her favourite thing in the world. I’m convinced that’s what makes her a joy to watch. It was never a wonder that Midori would take the stage by the cojones. Her entire world is a stage that she is constantly on. There are moments of comedy, drama, action and a lot of adventure, sometimes all at once.

Now, this is not to say that she is fake or playing pretend, quite the opposite. It is real and vibrant. It’s like watching a carefully crafted piece of performance art, and you get to star in it as well. She is always more than ready to share the stage. One moment she is sitting in the kitchen telling an anecdote, then suddenly she’s performing a dance routine with two sock puppets to Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Three little maids from school are we”, and then carefully crafting an impromptu sea shanty that would make a sailor blush. If you dare look away for one minute or tune out for a second, you’ve missed something magical. It is truly a whirlwind for the senses. When she is on stage, she is just herself: something that is larger than life.

Bio written by Evan Theriault and Chad Quigley, Midori’s roommates and two of her best friends.

Midori Marsh
Me and the cast and crew of one of the craziest and most fun shows I’ve ever done: Against the Grain/Nicole Lizee’s No One’s Safe at the BANFF Centre for the arts and creativity. It was an improv, murder mystery, techno Mozart opera. I sang an aria to five audience members in a moving van. Nuts! I love what I do!
A Las Vegas trip with the roomies/biography writers. We got absolutely no good pictures together, but we did get whatever this is.
Looking fancy wIth some U of T friends at the Ruby Awards last week!
Midori Marsh
My first radio interview! This was a few days after the COC competition, it was so exciting!
Midori Marsh
Me with the aforementioned sock puppets, aka the two other little maids from school.
My family and me! They are some of my biggest supporters, and are a huge reason that I get to do what I do. They’ve come to see so many of my shows, even my little sister who thinks opera is boring. Knowing that they’re in the audience cheering for me is the best feeling ever, thanks guys!
Myself and my amazing U of T pals/colleagues! These are the people that I see every day, and they get me through all of the ups and downs of school. They’re some of the funniest and most caring people I know, and are all amazing, generous performers. I’m so lucky to get to hang out and work with them!
At the season launch of National Sawdust, an amazing Arts Institution founded and directed by composer Paola Prestini who I worked with at BANFF. I performed a segment from the opera Silent Light , which she composed for the Opera in the 21st Century Program.

 

What ‘hood are you in?

I’m living in the Parkdale area! Very convenient once a year for going to the CNE, lots of good places to eat, and so many friendly neighbourhood dogs!

What do you do?

I’m currently completing the second year of my Master’s degree in opera at U of T. It’s amazing, and busy! We put on three full operas a year, so there’s never a dull moment. Other than doing that, I love to draw, paint and write, eat good food, watch period dramas and cartoons, and SLEEP. I’m a pro napper.

What are you currently working on?

Currently working on the role of Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. It’s a doozy. But I love Susanna, she’s strong and funny, with lots of heart. Plus I get to wear a corset and a big skirt! Honestly more fun than you would think. And getting to play dress up at school, what could be better??

Where can we find your work?

You can find me on the stage of the MacMillan Theatre on November 22nd and 24th, singing Susanna! If you can’t come on those nights, see the other cast on November 21st and 23rd, they’re amazing and Nozze is just such a great show, there’s something for everyone. I’m also at least another few days, it’s a work in progress!

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1786 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography