Described as having a “warm sound” (Claude Gingras, La Presse) and “fluid mezzo and excellent intonation” (Ute Davis, National Capital Opera Society), Turkish native mezzo soprano Beste Kalender has given many vocal performances and recitals in various places in Turkey and Canada. In 2007, she participated in the “International Bologna Chorus Festival” in Italy, organized by the University of Bologna. In the same year, she won a scholarship from the International Sir Duluth Summer Arts Opera Performance Festival, and sang in Bizet’s CARMEN and Donizetti’s LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR.
Since moving to Canada in 2008, Beste has been working with the vocal coach Dr. Jean MacPhail. In 2009, she made her Canadian debut in the title role of Summer Opera Lyric Theatre’s TANCREDI by Rossini. In March 2010, she was on stage as “Cornelia” in Handel’s GIULIO CESARE with Opera by Request. Ms. Kalender made her first operetta debut with Toronto Operetta Theatre’s COUNTESS MARITZA and was on stage as “Madge”, in Telgmann’s LEO, THE ROYAL CADET.
She also had a stint as “Mercedes” in CARMEN FLEMENCO (SOLT) and “Cherubino” in Mozart’s LE NOZZE DI FIGARO (OBR). In March 2011, Beste was in the role “Chambermaid” in the Canadian premiere of Dvorak’s THE DEVIL and KATE with Opera in Concert and, in May, was on stage in the title role of Pellegrini Opera’s CARMEN by Bizet.
Beste was well received by audiences and critics, with Ute Davis, Vice-President of the National Capital Opera Society observing that “Beste Kalender was outstanding in her interpretation of the seductive Carmen. Helped by her exotic brunette beauty, she projected a natural Carmen, supported by her fluid mezzo and excellent intonation.”
In August 2011, Beste sang the role “Susan Valadon” at the recording for the world premiere of a new musical, TOULOUSE LAUTREC, by Viennese composer Peter Branka, in Vienna, Austria. In October 2011, she was on stage in the title role of OBR’s ORLANDO by Handel and in December 2011, she played the “Third Lady” in Mozart’s THE MAGIC FLUTE with the GGS Opera.
In March 2012, Beste has made her debut at The Koerner Concert Hall with the lead role “Endimione” in Cavalli’s magical opera LA CALISTO with the GGS Opera. In summer 2012, she played “La Zia Principessa” in Puccini’s SUOR ANGELICA in Opera on the Avalon Music Festival and was a participant at The International Vocal Arts Institute 2012 in Montreal. In November 2012, Beste will be playing Ellen in Ned Rorem’s THREE SISTERS WHO ARE NOT SISTERS at the Mazzoleni Concert Hall.
In addition to a vocal diploma from the Istanbul State Conservatory (under the supervision of Ayse Sezerman Unel), Beste holds a Master’s degree from the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Bogazici University, where she received the Bogazici University Rectorship Award.
Beste is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology at the University of Toronto, with emphasis on Personality and Music. She has been recently awarded with the Muriel Cassidy Vocal Scholarships, and has started her second year at The Royal Conservatory’s The Glenn Gould School – Artist Diploma Program.