Born in Zurich, the Dutch - Canadian soprano Désirée Till grew up in Switzerland where she also studied singing and graduated (B.MUS) at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Bern, Switzerland. Further studies led her to the Zurich Opera and her operatic debut as Olga in Léhar’s Merry Widow conducted by Franz Welser-Möst in a staging by Helmut Lohner (Vienna).
Her engagements led her to different theatres in Switzerland where she performed many roles such as Valencienne (The Merry Widow), Arsena and Saffi (The Gypsy Baron), Annina (A night in Venice), Rosalinda and Adele (Fledermaus), Fiordiligi (Cosi Fan Tutte), Eurydice (Orpheus in the Underworld) and Manon (Manon by Massenet).
Significant influences for her work on stage have been: Martin Markun (Schweizerisches Opernstudio, Switzerland), Georges Delnon (Staatsoper Mainz, Germany) and Sarah Ventura (Opera de Chambre from Geneva, Switzerland). She interpreted contemporary songs specially written for the trio AMALTEA at the Swiss Radio station DRS2. She also sang many concerts with musicians from the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne (OCL) at the museum of the International Red Cross in Geneva (Musique et Vie) and different concerts to benefit UNICEF and the Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Society with Marie-Cécile Bertheau (Opéra Lausanne/Switzerland). In 2008 she sang Adele (Fledermaus) in a production from the atelier d’opéra at the Université de Montréal with Jean-François Rivest. Also in 2008, Désirée Till performed for the first time at the Toronto Summer Music Academy and Festival’s Ariadne auf Naxos the role of Zerbinetta with Agnes Grossmann who also invited her to sing at galas and the Classic Radio 96.3FMToronto. She completed her masters in Music Interpretation at the Université de Montréal in Canada in 2009. In 2010 Désirée Till created with Coenraad Bloemendal (cello) and Erica Goodman (harp) the exciting new Trio Désirée.
Désirée Till was the author and the producer of a Canadian adaptation of the Fledermaus for Trio Désirée and four singers, arranged by John Rea, Christopher Goddard and Avalon Rusk. Désirée sang the role of Rosalinde. The operetta was proudly presented at the opening of the Muskoka Opera Festival.
Coenraad Bloemendal was born in Amsterdam and did his training at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Carel van Leeuwen Boomkamp. He did his postgraduate work with the legendary cellist Janos Starker at Indiana University in the US. After moving to Canada in 1971, Coenraad Bloemendal joined the Camerata Canada chamber ensemble and quickly established himself as one of the country’s most outstanding cellists.
As a soloist he has played the Dvorak, Schumann, Haydn and Beethoven Triple concerti, and in May 2006 he premiered a long forgotten romantic virtuoso concerto by David Popper. With pianist Valerie Tryon, his duo partner of 25 years, Bloemendal has performed most of the repertoire for cello and piano both in concert and for CBC radio. He has played with Glenn Gould on CBC Television’s “Music in our Time” which led to participation in other recording projects with the great pianist.
Coenraad Bloemendal has played with many chamber groups including Camerata Canada the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, The Toronto Chamber Players and The Rembrandt Trio. He has played at numerous festivals such as the Stratford Festival, the Guelph Spring Festival, The Collingwood Festival the Orford and the Shaw Festivals. He also toured North and South America, Europe and the United Kingdom. Coenraad Bloemendal has recorded extensively on different labels such as Sony, Dorian, Crystal, CBC and Marquis Classics. His album «Reflections» with Erica Goodman can be heard frequently on Classical 96.3. Trio Désirée started a new label ERDECO RECORDINGS and Coenraad Bloemendal was the producer of the first release called COULEURS featuring soprano Désirée Till with the members of the Trio in a program of French romantic songs. The second album, called CAPRICE on ERDECO RECORDINGS is a collection of French duos for two cellos featuring cellist Coenraad Bloemendal and cellist Sybil Shanahan.
A native of Toronto, Erica Goodman is acclaimed as one of the world's outstanding solo harpists. She received her training at the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), the National Music Camp (Interlochen Michigan) and the Curtis Institute of Music (Philadelphia). Already a concert performer in her teens, Erica played under the baton of Igor Stravinsky when he recorded in Toronto.
While at Curtis, she was a concerto soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Upon finishing her studies, Mario Bernardi chose her to be a member of the newly formed National Arts Centre Orchestra, with whom she played Harry Somers' Suite for Harp and Chamber Orchestra at the orchestra's New York debut performance. Erica is currently a member of Toronto's Esprit Orchestra with whom she played Alex Pauk's harp concerto on the orchestra's inaugural European tour in 1999.
Erica's love of chamber music is highlighted by her long association with colleagues and groups such as flutist Robert Aitken with whom she performed in Hong Kong in 2009, oboist Lawrence Cherney, Trio Lyra, Tapestry New Opera Works and the newly formed Trio Désirée. Her collaboration with Swedish horn virtuoso Sören Hermansson has resulted in discovering old works and commissioning new ones for French horn and harp. Two CD's of their repertoire are available on the BIS label.
Erica is a charter member of New Music Concerts with whom she has recorded three albums for Naxos featuring the music of Toru Takemitsu (awarded «Editor's Choice» by Grammophone magazine), George Crumb and Elliott Carter. Two recently released CD's on the CMC's Centrediscs label spotlight the music of Jeffrey Ryan and Marjan Mozetich. Erica has encouraged many prominent Canadian composers to write major works for harp. A few examples are Oskar Morawetz, Alexina Louie, Milton Barnes, Harry Freedman, Lothar Klein, Rodney Sharman and Chris Paul Harman.
In 1995, Erica won a Juno for her solo BIS CD «Erica Goodman Plays Canadian Harp Music». In 1980, her BIS recording «Flute and Harp» with Robert Aitken one the Grand Prix du Disque. NOW Magazine selected her as Best Canadian Classical Musician in its 1996 «Best of Toronto» readers' Poll.