Rosselino Opera Company
Rosselino Opera Company. Founded in 1941 in Toronto by James Rosselino. Rosselino (tenor, b Jacob Roessler in Regina ca 1890, d Toronto 1960) went in 1924 to Italy where he sang as Giacomo R. Rosselino and taught music and English. Active in New York during the 1930s, he moved in 1939 to Toronto where he gave recitals in 1942 and 1945 and taught privately and at the Central Technical High School opera workshop.
Rosselino's small company provided valuable experience for his pupils among whom were William Morton and Dodi Protero. Monthly concerts or opera performances were offered at Rosselino's studio, and more ambitious programs, either of opera excerpts or of full productions, were staged 1944-51 at Eaton Auditorium. The company presented La Traviata 1946, 1947, 1949, and 1950; Flotow's Martha in 1948 with Pina Guido of New York in the title role; and Lucia di Lammermoor in 1951. Performances were given in Hamilton, London, and Guelph. Company members included the sopranos Dedena Morello and Lilli Washimoto, the mezzo-soprano Merle Stewart Denny, and the baritone Bruno Pasquale. Weldon Kilburn served as accompanist or, when a small orchestra was used, as conductor. The company's demise coincided with the rise of the Opera Festival Company of Toronto (later COC).
Rosselino continued to direct the Central Technical opera classes and productions during the 1950s.