Dr Afarin Mansouri is an award-winning composer and musicologist whose works have been

performed in Canada, the United States, England, Iran, and South America. She is the recipient of many awards including Canada 150 Medal for her artistic contribution, and being a nominee for Louise Applebaum Composition Award for Young Audience. Afarin has collaborated with various organizations and Festivals such as Seattle Opera, Canadian Opera Company,  Tapestry Opera, You Dance National Ballet of Canada, Queen’s University, Willard Laurier University, Tirgan Festival and Toronto Nuit Blanche.

        In the past few years Afarin has devoted her compositional career in producing operas: In 2018, her opera “Forbidden” gained national and international attention by Globe and Mail and BBC world as she made a new approach to combine Eastern music  with opera. Opera Canada considered her music “powerful, the most memorable highlights of the opera” in her operatic composition “Saffronic” which was a  part of the stage production The Journey, Notes of Hope. Her Audio Opera “Little Heart” which was published by Centredisc in January 2020, is available online at the Canadian Music Centre: and has been mentioned by Opera Canada magazine as “a sweet adventure into cross-cultural storytelling with sound. Her Opera AITCH ARR was performed by Queen’s University March 2020 as her first digital opera.

    In 2016, Afarin founded cultureland, an organization to commission and produced operas which include non-western elements in terms of Language, drama, music or design. The first scene of Afarin’s  first Farsi language opera Zulrykha will be performed  at Kingston’s Watershed Festival in may 2021: This opera is a spiritual opera which combines Eastern mystical subjects and meanings and music with operatic style.

        As an educator and researcher, Afarin has presented various research papers, lectures, and

opera workshops on national and international level, including but not limited to Wilfrid Laurier University, Queen’s University and Canadian Opera Company. Her music workshops cover various topics such as using emotions during creative process, soundscape, music and intelligence, mystical music, opera history, and composition. She is the founder and director of Music Nest (, and has developed new methods by combining storytelling and music pedagogy. Her PhD research is on the topic of Children’s opera, it’s history and it’s effect of developing children’s intellectual skills. She has published a step to step guide for teachers and artists educators who are interested to create an opera with young or amateur participants: (

    As a mezzo soprano, Afarin has performed new music for Watershed Festival, Toronto Culture Days, Tirgan Festival and Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto’s program “The Thirtieth Act”.

    An advocator of social and artists equity, Afarin has been working as a member of diversity, equity and inclusivity committee member at Canadian OperaCompany, an has been a national councilor of Canadian League of Composers, co-founder and Artistic Director of Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto (ICOT).

Last Update: April 2021

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