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Biography

Ian McAndrew was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1958. Early training in Highland dancing and the bagpipes made way for piano and music theory studies in his teens. As well, he gained choral singing experience in his church and the Vancouver Bach Choirs, and began acting in school plays and musicals.

This led naturally to Mr. McAndrew’s attending the University of British Columbia as an opera major, studying voice and stagecraft with French Tickner and composition with Dr. Stephen Chatman. During his university years he continued to perform in choirs and with local amateur theatre companies.

After working for Pacific Opera Association as Production and Acting General Manager, in 1981 Mr. McAndrew moved to Toronto, Ontario where he has performed frequently with Toronto Operetta Theatre, St. Anne’s Music and Drama Society, and was a founding member of The Victoria Scholars Male Vocal Ensemble in 1993. During this time he also wrote two full-length stage plays, I’ll Go Where Hugo and Going Down Under, as well as several short plays for elementary school production, and was a member of the Tarragon Theatre’s Six Playwright’s Unit in 1983-1984.

In 1998, Mr. McAndrew began to turn his attention to composition. In addition to writing several short vocal, choral and chamber pieces, his first opera, Benjamin Brown, a one-act chamber work for young audiences, was composed in 1999 and recorded in 2000. His full-length chamber opera based on the story of the Trojan princess and prophetess, Cassandra, with a libretto by Gordon Portman, received its world premiere on 25 May 2003. Messrs. McAndrew and Portman are now working on a full-scale opera based on the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Mother of Kings.

Mr. McAndrew is a member of SOCAN.

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