Praised for his “lyrical phrasing and clear diction; his upper range particularity strong and true.” (Holly Harris, Opéra Canada), Martin Renner Wallace grew up in Victoria B.C. where he started singing in school and church choirs at the age of 12. Quickly finding his passion in music, he started to study voice at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and performing in the local music festival where he was awarded “Most Promising Junior” in his first year. Continuing on his education Martin undertook his Bachelors of Music in Performance at the University of Victoria where he was enrolled in the studio of Alexandra Browning-Moore. While at the University of Victoria he found a passion for opera and oratorio which he started to perform with ensembles all around the lower island. While in Victoria Martin also participated in the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Opera Studio under the direction of Selena James. In 2006 Martin participated in Pacific Opera Victoria’s Young Artist Programme where he engaged in a school tour, a new music composer/librettist workshop, and his first professional opera role as Borsa in Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi.
After completing his Bachelors degree, he moved to Vancouver to perform in Vancouver Opera in Schools and later participate in the opera company’s Young Artist Coaching Intensive. Upon completion of his tour with VOA, he was admitted into the University of British Columbia Masters of Music in Opera programme to further develop his skills. He was part of Peter Barcza’s Studio and had the great opportunity to participate in many concerts and operas during his time at UBC including Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi and Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte. During his time at UBC Martin was also honoured to sing as a soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in their annual Christmas concerts. He was also a soloist at Holy Rosary Church downtown and with many other orchestras and ensembles around town.
Immediately following the completion of his masters degree he was invited to participate in the Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Programme in 2010-2011. While in Calgary Martin coached with singers, conductors, and coaches from all across Canada. That year he performed the roles of The Saloon Singer in Bramwell Tovey’s The Inventor, The Messenger in Verdi’s Aida, and once again Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte. He has since returned to Calgary Opera to perform in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, described as “smooth and rich, never faltering, but instead, playfully intoning the struggles of poor, bereft Nanki-Poo.” (Huffington Post Alberta) In 2010 Martin was also a District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera Competition proceeding to the regionals in Seattle. As a member of the Emerging Artist Programme he also had the pleasure of performing as a soloist with the Calgary Civic Orchestra.
Returning to Vancouver Martin was a member of the inaugural Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Programme where he continued to coach and study with many artists from across Canada and sing in concerts and operas with Vancouver Opéra. He has since been a frequent guest artist with the company singing in operas such as Verdi’s Don Carlo and Othello and J Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. Since returning to Vancouver Martin has sung with many local companies making his debut in roles such as Pollione in Norma, Canio in Pagilacci and Bacchus in Ariadne Auf Naxos. He is also an accomplished oratorio singer performing works across the repertoire like Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, and Mahler’s 8th Symphony. His voice has been described as “ a clear pure tenor sound with exquisite high notes and lush warmth in his lower register.” (Kelowna Daily Courier). Martin remains active as a performer across Canada and most recently in China as well.