"... tremendous placement of voice and timbre..." (Le Devoir)
"Jonah Spungin was a standout in the role..." (Opera Canada)
Jonah Spungin is a Canadian baritone with “tremendous placement of voice and timbre” (Le Devoir). A member of the Canadian Opera Company's Ensemble Studio, he recently made his COC debut as Marco (Gianni Schicchi), and will return to the stage with them as Second Priest (Die Zauberflöte) and Marchese d'Obigny (La Traviata). He will also create the role of John/Fantasma in their world premiere of Fantasma by Ian Cusson. The Summer of 2022 will see Jonah making his European debut, singing the role of Jan Nyman (Breaking the Waves) with Vadstena-Akademien in Sweden.
Before joining the Ensemble Studio at the COC, Jonah was an Emerging Artist at Calgary Opera, where he sang such roles as Marullo (Rigoletto), King Melchior (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Paris (Roméo et Juliette), and Mike Groom (Everest), among others. He also created the role of Ludovic Athenodorus in the world premiere of Ghost Opera – a joint production between Calgary Opera and the Old Trouts Puppet Workshop.
Equally comfortable on the concert stage, Jonah has appeared as a soloist with many ensembles across Canada, most recently having understudied and subsequently partially performed the title role in Mendelssohn's Elijah with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Other engagements have included the baritone soloist in Fauré Requiem and Goodall Eternal Light: a Requiem with the Ottawa Choral Society, the title role in Handel's Hercules and the bass soloist in Zelenka's Missa Votiva with Compagnie Baroque Mont-Royal, the bass soloist in Handel's Messiah with the Ottawa Sacred Music Society, and various solos with the Choir of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul in repertoire such as Herbert Howells's A Spotless Rose, Adolphe Adam's Cantique de Noël, and Pietro Yon's Gesù bambino.
Jonah has won second prize in the Ottawa Choral Society New Discoveries Auditions and is a laureate of the XXVe Audition Lyrique Nationale for Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, where he won a Chinese Concert prize. He has been a finalist in the COC Ensemble Center Stage competition and Opéra de Montréal's Talent Gala, and a nominee for the Wirth Vocal Prize.
Jonah received a Master's in Voice Performance and Opera at McGill University, where he performed a varied repertoire of concert and operatic works. Highlights include Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with Opera McGill and the title role in Mendelssohn's Elijah with the McGill Symphony Orchestra and Choirs, both to rave reviews. Other notable endeavours include singing the role of Gideon March (Little Women) and Polar Bear Prince in the North American premiere of James Garner's East o' the Sun, West o' the Moon, both with Opera McGill, and appearing as the bass soloist in Philippe Leroux's Extended Apocalypses with McGill's Contemporary Music Ensemble. Jonah was invited to workshop the role of Benedick in James Garner's opera-in-the-works Much Ado About Nothing in collaboration with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2017 and would reprise that role in a second workshop in the inaugural Opera's Changing Worlds summit at McGill University in 2018.
With a penchant and passion for comedy, and “perfectly-delivered one-liners” (The McGill Tribune), Jonah also appeared several times with the McGill Savoy Society in roles such as Baron Mirko Zeta in The Merry Widow and Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore. He has worked as a freelance host and MC, rolling many eyes and eliciting many groans, and is prone to making incredibly niche cross-lingual jokes that could only possibly be funny to other classical singers. He is even known to perform occasionally with his guitar at open mics and retirement homes, where he applies all of his operatic training to produce what may be the loudest Bon Iver covers the world has ever seen.