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MasterClass Monday: Celebrating The Musical Legacy Of Three Singers Who Left Us All Too Soon During This Past Week: Part One: Canadian Musical Theatre Star Gregory Cross


MasterClass Monday: Celebrating The Musical Legacy Of Singers Who Left Is All Too Soon During This Past Week: Part One: Gregory Cross, Canadian Musical Theatre Star

This week, we lost three phenomenal singers, each noted for their outstanding work in different genres of vocal music.

The first, pictured above with me, is the wonderfully talented and genuinely charismatic Gregory Cross. We were musical colleagues and shared so many musical memories together that it hurts me to write each word of this article. The knowledge of his death creates deep emotions which are still raw and intense.

So many people are upset by his passing. He courageously fought his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer with dignity and determination and everyone hoped that, through some miraculous medical intervention, that his life could be extended to years instead of months. But, it was not to be and on Monday, November 20th, Gregory began his journey Home.

He was a special and loving person who touched so many lives, not only through his gift of music, but also through his warm and generous nature. He was always so positive and so gregarious. There was never a dull moment when you were in Greg’s company. He was a joy and a privilege to have in our lives and the memories will always remain in our hearts.

Gregory was an extremely accomplished vocal artist, as evidenced in his biography on his website:

“Gregory Cross has appeared in Choral Concerts, Musicals, Theatre, Television & Opera across Canada and Great Britain. For five years he played the role of ‘Monsieur Firmin’ in the award –winning Toronto production of “Phantom of the Opera”. He has appeared on London’s West End in such shows as “Miss Saigon”. In Canada, Mr Cross has sung with choirs coast to coast; his theatrical appearances include the Charlottetown and Shaw Festivals . His operatic performances include appearances with the Edmonton, Vancouver and Canadian Opera Companies, and Opera in Concert in such roles as ‘Goloud’ in “Peleas et Melisande“, ‘Ramiro’ in “L’heure Espagnol“, and ‘Papageno’ in “The Magic Flute“. His TV credits include “Due South”, “Wind at my Back”, “The Twilight Zone” and a recurring role as ‘Ed Caruso’ (The Singing Telegram Man) on the children’s series “Noddy”. Gregory has Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Toronto. He is much in demand across the country as an adjudicator and clinician, his areas of expertise being Choirs, Choral Speech, Musical Theatre, Dramatic Arts & Classical Voice.”

i feel blessed that he was featured on our Scenes From A Dream CD, which you can hear on iTunes Music or Apple Music

However, I would encourage you to purchase the Canadian Cast Album Of Phantom Of The Opera on iTunes, where you can hear him in the role of Firmin, one of two theatre managers. The other theatre manager is played by our shared friend, Paul Massel.

And if you would like to add to your Christmas musical collection, I highly recommend Gregory’s Christmas CD, A Baritone Christmas.

The video performance below is a gem. Gregory always loved the role of Tevye from the musical Fiddler On The Roof. He owned that role and was born to play it. It became his signature song. The training and professionalism he displayed in this performance is quintessential Greg. Full of life, embracing life and living life to its fullest.

How I miss him. Today, the world is a little dimmer in his absence but a beacon of light burns brightly via the wonderful musical memories he has left with us.

My heartfelt and prayerful condolences go out to his family and friends, especially his wife, Emma, his son, Adam and daughter Nicola.

R.I.P. my dear, sweet friend. May flight of angels bring you swiftly home.

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About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

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