About the COC Summer Opera Intensive

Applications for the COC Summer Opera Intensive will be open until Thursday, February 29, 2024. This packed, one-week program will be held in person at the Canadian Opera Company rehearsal spaces from Monday, August 12 - Saturday, August 17, 2024

The Summer Opera Intensive is a tuition-free program that invites advanced singers and collaborative pianists pursuing a career in performance to experience training of the highest quality and standards, with highly individualised assessments that take into full consideration participant goals, creative interests, and musical experience.

In addition to daily group classes and discussions, participants will receive private coaching in voice or collaborative piano techniques, drama, performance kinetics, and lyric diction. This program is designed to provide a framework for young artists to learn about the many facets of a professional career, equipping participants with the necessary skills and information to succeed in today’s rapidly changing industry.


APPLY ONLINE


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW CAN I APPLY?

Click here to access the COC Summer Opera Intensive online application form

A complete application consists of the online application form as well as two recommendations to be submitted via email to [email protected] by 11:59 p.m. ET on February 29, 2024. You will also need to upload a resume, headshot in JPEG format, and two separate YouTube links of recorded arias which contrast in style and language. One of the arias must be in a language other than English. 

Singers

Two recorded arias which contrast in style and language. One of the arias must be in a language other than English.

Collaborative Pianists

One recorded aria with a singer and one recorded recitative (sung and performed by the pianist)


WHO IS THIS PROGRAM FOR AND WHAT LEVEL OF EDUCATION IS REQUIRED?

This program is suited for advanced artists pursuing a career in professional performance, and interested applicants must audition at the same level or above that of an advanced undergraduate singer or pianist in order to be considered. Applicants MUST be Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Citizens of other countries who do not possess either a Canadian passport or permanent resident card are not eligible for this program.


ARE THERE AGE RESTRICTIONS?


All participants must be 18 years of age or older at the start of the program in order to participate. 

IS THERE A FEE TO APPLY?

No fee is required to submit an application to the COC Summer Opera Intensive. 


WHO NEEDS TO WRITE MY REFERENCE LETTERS?


We require two reference letters to be submitted via email. We recommend the letters come from music professionals who know you and your artistry well, and one letter must come from a current or past private teacher. References should be submitted as a PDF attachment, directly to the Community Partnerships & Programs Manager, Madeleine Smith at [email protected]. Letters of recommendation must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on February 29, 2024.


WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE VIDEO FILE?

Two separate videos must be included in your online application. The requirements are as follows:

Singers

Two recorded arias which contrast in style and language. One of the arias must be in a language other than English.

Collaborative Pianists

One recorded aria with a singer and one recorded recitative (sung and performed by the pianist)

 
Videos may be recorded specifically for this application or may consist of existing recordings. Videos must be created within the last six months of the calendar year. 
 
Please note that special recording equipment does not need to be purchased for these videos; recording on a phone or computer is perfectly acceptable. You may also use a pre-recorded track instead of a live pianist. 
 
If you have any questions about making your recordings or are in need of assistance sourcing piano accompaniment tracks, please reach out to Madeleine Smith at [email protected]


IS THERE A FEE TO ATTEND THE COC SUMMER OPERA INTENSIVE?

No, there is no tuition fee if you are accepted to attend the program.


WHAT IS INCLUDED IF I AM ACCEPTED INTO THE SUMMER OPERA INTENSIVE?

All accommodation and some meals are provided. Successful candidates will be responsible for the cost of their travel to Toronto.


HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE YOU TAKING INTO THE SUMMER OPERA INTENSIVE?


We will accept up to 10 singers and 2 collaborative pianists for the one-week program.

WHEN WILL I HEAR IF I HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED INTO THE SUMMER OPERA INTENSIVE?

You will be notified by email on or before March 31st letting you know if you have been accepted.

MEET THE FACULTY


Baritone and diction coach Jason Nedecky has appeared as soloist with many Canadian concert series and opera companies, and has recorded with the Aradia Ensemble on the NAXOS label. Since 2005, Nedecky has been a member of the Canadian Opera Company chorus, and has also performed and covered many comprimario roles for the company.

Jason Nedecky is sought after for his expertise in lyric diction. He has acted as a language coach at the Canadian Opera Company, the Luminato Festival, Société-Radio-Canada, the Toronto Children’s Chorus, Opera NUOVA (Edmonton), and the Mountain View Summer Festival (Calgary). He is the English diction specialist for The Diction Police website.

Nedecky is instructor of diction courses at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, and is language coach for its opera division. At the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, he is instructor of French diction and repertoire courses. Nedecky is author of French Lyric Diction: A Singer’s Guide, published by Oxford University Press. 


Jennifer Swan (Performance Kinetics) is a Performance Kinetics Consultant for the Canadian Opera Company. She is developing a syllabus for breath support that challenges the traditional methods. Many of her students are now appearing on the international stage. Her technique has evolved from her extensive dance and Pilates background. For over 25 years she has been the Director of Swan Studio Dance, in London, Canada. 
 
Jennifer has worked with the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, the Opera program at Indiana University and the Opera Workshop for Advanced Singers in St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick. She is the resident choreographer of the Toronto Children’s Chorus and has worked with internationally recognized opera singers including Wendy Nielsen, Tim Noble, Neil Shicoff, Sanford Sylvan. In December 2016 Jennifer was a guest speaker at TedxToronto - Canadian Opera Company: How To Build an Opera Singer.


A tireless advocate for effortless singing at all stages of evolution, baritone Mark Daboll enjoys a dynamic and diverse career as a voice teacher, performer, and music educator. His 21st-century solution-based, structural approach to singing successfully serves the building of all voices, garnering him a reputation as a master vocal technician. He is sought after as a reliable voice-renovator to professional opera and music theatre singers in all stages of their careers, equipped with immediate solutions to reaffirm individual, authentic vocal identity, and maximize vocal and artistic capability at the highest level of performance. 
 
An Instructor of Applied Voice at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, Mr. Daboll’s students have won or placed in national and international competitions and have been accepted into several professional development programs, including the International Lyric Academy Summer Program in Vicenza, Italy, where he also teaches. One of his principal mentors is W. Stephen Smith, author of The Naked Voice, and teacher of many of the world’s elite singers. He has served as a vocal coach and master class teacher for the Ontario Youth Choir, the Canadian Opera Company’s Summer Opera Intensive and Summer Youth Intensive programs, and for the Marigold Music Program–founded by his students to bridge the gap between marginalized youth and music education. 

Mr. Daboll has performed in Canada, the US, UK, Italy, and Germany in opera, oratorio, concert, and recital. Academic accolades include a B.Mus. in voice performance from Westminster Choir College (Princeton, New Jersey), an Op. Dip. from Wilfrid Laurier University, and an M.Mus. in vocal pedagogy and performance from the University of Toronto.  



Renée Salewski is a vibrant performing arts professional with twenty-five years of diverse performing, teaching, writing, and directing experience from stage to film, to things in between. Creative opportunities have taken Renée all over the UK, Europe, Canada, Korea, Central Asia, and many other inspiring places. Highlights as a director/performer over the years include, English Touring Opera (company principal and teaching artist), D'Oyly Carte Opera Company (Savoy Theatre, 2002 Season, ensemble and swing), Marsinah in Kismet (The Arcola Theatre), Associate Director for Noise Ensemble composed by Ethan Lewis Maltby (Edinburgh Fringe, Seoul Drum Festival, European Tour), director of Little Red Riding Hood composed by Tom Smail (Toronto Fringe Kids), director of Le Nozze di Figaro, L'elisir d’amore, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, The Merry Widow, Die Zauberflote, Don Pasquale (Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts), Opera Revue (Blitzkeig Cabaret), and coaching, writing, and producing with long time creative partner Allyson Devenish (Rubi: Shades of Love, Struggle and Protest, The Audition Clinic). Renee welcomed the opportunity to remotely direct Endymion’s Dream, The Pirates of Penzance, and La Clemenza di Tito for COSA Canada, whilst continuing to work with singers and actors online. In 2022, she had the pleasure of being an RBC Artist Mentor with the Association for Opera in Canada, a teaching artist with the Canadian Opera Company, a principal performer in Risk!: A Climate Cabaret (Silverman and Eastman), a choral clinician to the Durham Girls Choir, a core faculty member on the inaugural COC Summer Intensive, an invited teaching artist at SOLLT, U of T, Hart House Theatre, and The National Opera Studio (London, England), as well as a teacher/coach/mentor to individual singing actors at varying stages of their development and careers.


Born in Hong Kong, Timothy Cheung (Collaborative Pianist) is a pianist and vocal coach based in Toronto. A graduate of multiple prestigious young artist programs — the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, the Merola Opera Program, and Music Academy of the West — he has gone on to work extensively in Canada and the United States. At Palm Beach Opera, he served as the Principal Coach and the Head Coach of the Benenson Young Artist Program. At Teatro Nuovo in New York, formerly Bel Canto at Caramoor, he works in a hybrid role of music staff and administrator. He has been the music director for many outreach programs at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. He has also worked as a music staff member for Houston Grand Opera. Mr. Cheung holds a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Western Ontario.


Pianist and co-founder of Muse9 Production, Korean Canadian pianist Hyejin Kwon is currently based in Toronto, actively working as a vocal coach.

She has received her Bachelor of Music and Masters of Music degrees from Peabody Conservatory and Artistic Diploma from University of Toronto opera. She is also a graduate of Canadian Opera Company's ensemble studio.

Hyejin has worked as a music staff at Canadian Opera Company, Canadian Children's Opera Company, University of Toronto Opera, Long Reach Opera Workshop, St. Andrews Opera Workshop by the Sea, Repertory Opera Theatre in Washington, Lyric Opera Baltimore, and Shoestring Opera, and was a vocal accompanying fellow at Aspen Music festival.

Hyejin is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Toronto

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