Join Windsor and Essex County’s music lovers, community champions and business leaders for a night of opera and European elegance at the Willistead Manor in support of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.

In concert with a 20-piece chamber orchestra, Maestro Robert Franz will lead four Canadian soloists from the WSO’s production of the Madama Butterfly in a one-of-a-kind performance of each featured soloists’ favourite Italian aria. Passed hors d'oeuvres, libations, and a refined Italian-inspired dinner by Chef Julie Myers of Thyme Kitchen will bookend the evening.


Saturday, January 18th, 2020
Willistead Manor
1899 Niagara Street, Windsor, Ontario

6:00 pm  |  Aperitivi e Antipasti in the Great Hall featuring the WSYO String Quartet
7:00 pm  |  Primi Piatti in the Saltmarche Gallery
7:30 pm  |  Intermezzo Musicale conducted by Maestro Robert Franz
8:00 pm  |  Secondi Piatti e Dolce

Attire: Black tie optional. Gowns, 3-piece suits and tuxes are encouraged!


Tickets: $200




Premier Tables are available as an exclusive opportunity to dine with the featured soloists of Madama Butterfly and Maestro Robert Franz, in support of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.

Seven (7) people can be seated at each table. Your guests will will be joined by an esteemed Canadian opera singer of your choice and learn about their artistry, craft and journey.

Premier Table with a Featured Soloist:                      $2,500 CAD
Premier Table with Maestro Robert Franz:               $3,000 CAD

Those who purchase Premium Tables will be recognized at the event and a charitable tax receipt will be issued for the gift, minus the value any tangible benefits per the guidelines of the Canada Revenue Agency.





Teiya Kasahara
as Cio-Cio-san
Aria: Giuseppe Verdi’s La luce langue
from Macbeth

Premier Table Available


In their WSO debut, Toronto’s Teiya Kasahara is a multi-disciplinary performer and creator, and first-generation Nikkei-Canadian of Japanese and German roots. As a dramatic coloratura soprano, Teiya has sung operatic roles across North America and Europe and been praised as a “force of nature” and a “magnetic performer.”

As a creator, Teiya’s first ever opera-inspired theatre piece, The Queen In Me, will premiere in 2020 in Toronto.



Taras Chmil
as Pinkerton
Aria: Gaetano Donizetti’s Una furtiva lagrima
from L'elisir d'amore (The Elixer of Love)

Premier Table Available


Tenor Taras Chmil is proud to make his debut with Windsor Symphony. Whether performing solo repertoire or in ensemble, acclaim for Taras’ tenor continues to grow.

Taras has performed in the Canadian Opera Company’s productions of Eugene Onegin and Rigoletto, the Summer Opera Lyric Theatre’s Carmen in Toronto, Pennsylvania’s Capitol Opera’s La traviata, and sang in Tosca with the Chelsea Opera in New York.                                                                                          

Jason Howard
as Sharpless
Aria: Giuseppe Verdi’s Pietà, rispetto, amore
from Macbeth

Premier Table Available


Welsh baritone Jason Howard was born and raised in the South Wales Valleys and has settled in Toronto after a storied 31-year, international career.

Jason made his operatic debut in the title role of Don Giovanni at the Scottish Opera and has subsequently gone on to sing at leading houses worldwide, including the Scottish Opera, New York City Opera, English National Opera, New Israeli Opera, Royal Danish Opera and many, many more.

Jason focuses primarily on teaching now, but performs in select engaging projects in Canada and the UK.   


Ryan Downey
as Goro
Aria: Giacomo Puccini’s Lunge da lei 
from La traviata (The Fallen Woman)

Premier Table Reserved


A proud Newfoundlander, tenor Ryan Downey is quickly gaining nationwide recognition for his “nimbleness of voice” (Bachtrack) and “attractive lyric tenor colour” (Edmonton Journal).


Ryan has recently appeared as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Rodolfo in La bohème, and as the tenor soloist in Ana Sokolovic’s dawn always begins in the bones.

Upcoming events include appearing as Ralph Rackstraw in Toronto Operetta Theatre’s HMS Pinafore and reprising his role of John in Ours by John Estacio with Opera on the Avalon at the National Arts Centre.


The WSO’s Unforgettable Evenings Series is generously supported by

Cypher Systems Group

Wine Sponsor: 
Pelee Island Winery

Carmen Specht
as Suzuki 

Premier Table Available


Carmen Specht is a German/Canadian mezzo-soprano from Lacombe, AB and is currently in her fourth year of the Doctor of Musical Arts program at Western University, under the tutelage of Dr. Sophie Louise Roland and Simone Luti. Her stage experiences have included: the title Role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica (UWOpera), Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème (UWOpera); Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (AEDO – Accademia dell’Opera); Foreign Woman in Menotti’s The Consul (UWOpera); Lady Billows in Britten’s Albert Herring (Opera NUOVA); Venus in Offenbach’s Orphée aux Enfers and Miss Pinkerton in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief (UofA Opera Workshop); and others. Carmen has also enjoyed learning and singing in many summer programs including AEDO (Accademia Europea dell’Opera), St. Andrew’s By the Sea Opera Workshop, COAA (Canadian Operatic Arts Academy), Opera NUOVA and the Franz Schubert Institute, after receiving The Johann Strauss Foundation Music Award for Advanced Study in Austria. This season Carmen is singing as a soloist with The London Singers in November 2019, and joining the Windsor Symphony Orchestra as Suzuki in their pro­duction of Madama Butterfly in January 2020. 


For more information about Arias at the Manor, the Unforgettable Evenings Fundraiser Series, or sponsorship please contact:


Jeremy Klaver
Development Manager
519-973-1238 ext. 28