Liza Balkan

Office: MB 245
Phone: (519) 661-2111 x85015

Liza Balkan is an accomplished Ontario based, multi- disciplinary theatre artist. She works as a director, librettist, writer, educator, and actor.  Liza’s  directing credits include Much Ado about Nothing ( Shakespeare  in High Park/Canadian Stage), Every Brilliant Thing starring Rebecca Northan ( Grand Theatre London) the  premiere staged production of  Stephanie Martin’s opera Llandovery Castle (Opera Laurier), the Canadian Premiere of  Louis Andriessen’s chamber opera Anais Nin , starring Wallis Giunta,  (Koerner Hall /RCM), The Brothers Grimm (COC Ensemble), Montsalvatge’s El Gato con Botas and Berio’s Folk Songs ( GGS/RCM ),and Bicycle Opera Project’s  summer seasons and performance at 21C Festival (Koerner Hall)

Through a multi – year Residency at the Theatre Centre, she developed her documentary/verbatim project about policing, mental health, race, and the law entitled Out the Window. The show was first produced at TTC in 2012. It received a production at Toronto’s International Luminato Festival in 2018.

Liza’s collaborations as a librettist have been produced by Tapestry Opera, 5 Boroughs Song Book (NYC), Scrag Mountain Music (Vermont), Opera McGill and Bicycle Opera Project. She recently created, directed and write the lyrics for the song cycle So,how’s it been, performed outdoors at Here for Now Theatre in Stratford , Ontario, Upcoming: a new opera work with composer Lembit Beecher for the Brooklyn Art Song Society and in January 2022, her collaboration with composer Brian Current, Gould’s Wall, will premiere at Koerner Hall/RCM. As an actor, she has performed in multiple productions across Canada and in the US, receiving a Dora Award for her performance in Still The Night (Theatre Passe Muraille/Tapestry) and a nomination for Calgary’s Betty Mitchel Award during the show’s Cross –Canada tour. Liza continues her busy practice as an educator and mentor and has been an instructor at the Don Wright Faculty of Music/Western, Humber College, George Brown College, University of Windsor, RCM/GGS, Laurier, Ryerson, Randolph Academy, CCPA (Victoria) and the Birmingham Conservatory at the Stratford Festival.