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About the COC Summer Opera Intensive

Applications for the COC Summer Opera Intensive will be open until Saturday, April 30, 2022. This packed, one-week program will be held in person at the Canadian Opera Company Theatre and rehearsal spaces from Monday, August 8 - Saturday, August 13, 2022.

The Summer Opera Intensive invites advanced singers pursuing a career in professional singing to experience training of the highest quality and standards, with highly individualized assessments that take into full consideration participant goals, creative interests, and musical experience.

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

Carefully review the FAQ section below, as it contains important details about how to submit a complete application.


Please note that applications are now closed.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

SCREENING

  • Proof of vaccination will be required for all singers
  • All persons entering the facility (staff and students) are required to complete a COVID-19 self assessment form each day, before coming to the facility.
  • Any person exhibiting these or any other symptoms during their self-assessment should not enter the facility and notify camps staff immediately.
  • Staff and singers will also be required to stay home if:
    • they or a member of their household has received a positive COVID-19 test result in the last 14 days
    • they or a member of their household has come into close physical contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (meaning they have shared a living space, workspace, or classroom, less than 2 metres apart) in the last 14 days


HOW CAN I APPLY?

Applications can be found on our website here. 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 April 30, 2022. 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. 


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

This program is suited for advanced artists pursuing a career in professional singing, and interested applicants must audition at the same level or above that of an advanced undergraduate singer 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 voice teacher. References should be submitted as a PDF attachment, directly to the Community Partnerships & Programs Manager, Sarah Forestieri at [email protected]. Letters of recommendation must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on April 30, 2022.


WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE VIDEO FILE?

Two separate videos of recorded arias must be included in your online application. The arias should contrast in style and language. One of the arias must be in a language other than English. 
 
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 Sarah 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 for the one-week program.

WHEN WILL I HEAR WHETHER OR NOT I HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED INTO THE SUMMER OPERA INTENSIVE?

You will be notified by email on or before May 30, 2022 letting you know whether or not you have been accepted.

MEET THE FACULTY


Baritone and diction coach Jason Nedecky (Lyric Diction) 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. He also regularly performs and covers comprimario roles for the company.

Jason Nedecky is increasingly 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, Nedecky teaches French diction and repertoire courses. He is a contributor to the second edition of Le chant intime by French baritone, François Le Roux. Later this year, Oxford University Press will publish Nedecky’s French Lyric Diction: A Singer’s Guide


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 (Voice) enjoys an active 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.  

Mr. Daboll serves on the voice faculty at the University of Toronto, teaching studio voice, and as  a guest lecturer on topics in graduate-level voice pedagogy. His 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, at the Canadian Opera Company’s Summer Youth Intensive Program, and at the Marigold Music Program (MMP) Summer Intensive  – founded by his students to bridge the gap between marginalized youth and music education.  

Mr. Daboll sang at the Canadian Opera Company from 2000-2010 in numerous productions as a  member of the company chorus, having also performed for several seasons at the Festival of  Two Worlds (Spoleto Italy), Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston, South Carolina), Edinburgh Festival (with the COC), L’Opéra de Montréal, and in Merzig, Germany, with the Saar Music & Theatre  Festival. An oratorio and concert soloist, and avid recitalist, Mark most recently performed at  Wilfrid Laurier University’s Music at Noon Series, Carlton University, and at Toronto’s Heliconian Hall, featuring Maurice Ravel’s Histoires Naturelles and Samuel Barber’s Despite and Still, Op. 41.  

Academic accolades include a B.M. in voice performance from Westminster Choir College  (Princeton, New Jersey), an opera diploma from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a master’s degree in vocal pedagogy and performance from the University of Toronto. He is an active  member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the Canadian Music Festival  


Renée Salewsk (She/They) (Acting) is a portfolio artist who is active as a director, writer, voice teacher, producer, performer, and coach in North America and overseas. Creative opportunities have taken Renée all over the UK, London’s West End and off-West-End, Europe (most memorable: Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Ireland), Canada, Korea, and a great many other inspiring places. Highlights as a director/performer over the years include, English Touring Opera (three seasons), D'Oyly Carte Opera Company (2002 Season), The Arcola Theatre (Kismet), Edinburgh and Toronto Fringe Festivals (various), Opera York (six productions), Opera Revue (Blitzkeig Cabaret), several remotely directed projects during the pandemic (COSA Canada-Pirates of Penzance, La Clemenza di Tito, Endymion’s Dream), and writing and producing with long time creative partner Allyson Devenish (Rubi: Shades of Love, and Struggle and Protest). Recent roles and projects include: Intimacy director and production consultant for The Pocket: a folk opera (Peckham Fringe Festival, London, England), RBC Artist Mentor on the Association for Opera in Canada Mentorship Program, Canadian Opera Company Teaching Artist, VP of Special Projects and Events for NATS Ontario (National Association of Teachers of Singing), audition/role coach and voice teacher to many aspiring and professional performers.


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 (Collaborative Pianist) 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.

In the fall, she will begin her candidacy in Doctorate of Music at University of Toronto. 
SESSIONAL ARTISTS

Graham Cozzubbo: Management

Graham Cozzubbo's wide-ranging career of serving diverse artistic communities has been at  the core of his professional practice over the past thirty years. His work has spanned much of the industry, including work as a freelance director and  dramaturg for theatre and opera, as well as extensive work in arts  administration and leadership. Graham has been an active educator for  many years at post-secondary programs and professional companies,  including the Canadian Opera Company, Cincinnati Opera, the University  of Toronto, The Peabody Opera School, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Ottawa, Manitoba’s Desautel School of Music and The Glenn Gould School.  Alongside his current work with Boulev’Art Artists’ Management,  Graham happily maintains his practice as a creative consultant.

In the 1990s, Graham had the pleasure of leading the 20th Century Opera  and Song Program with Keith Turnbull and John Hess at the Banff Centre  for the Arts. There, he chaired composer/librettist symposiums, directed  and developed new work and administered professional residencies and  singer/instrumentalist training programs.

As a committed artist manager and representative, Graham centres his  practice around artist advocacy. He believes in the importance of  assessing and growing the practice of artist management to keep pace  with, and meet the needs of, our evolving arts and culture industry. To  this end, Graham currently serves on the board of the Opera Managers  Association International and is the current chair of the Digital Media Committee.


Saman Shahi: Teaching Artistry

Saman Shahi is JUNO-nominated composer, pianist, conductor and educator based in Toronto. His compositions have been performed around the globe and include six orchestral works, three operas, two ballets works, and many works for choral, vocal and chamber forces.

Saman holds a master's degree in composition from the University of Toronto, is an affiliate Member of the Canadian League of Composers, Associate Composer at the Canadian Music Centre as well as a SOCAN member. He is a co-founder and the Executive Director at ICOT, Music Director at the Peterborough Concert band, and a composer and teaching artist with the Canadian Opera Company.

In 2020 Saman's debut composition album Breathing in the Shadows was recorded and released by Leaf Music. All song cycles in this album have won awards both in Canada and the United States including a 2022 JUNO awards nomination. His second album, Microlocking was released by People|Places|Records in 2021.


Aria Umezawa: Entrepreneurship

With her quirky, irreverent style, Aria Umezawa (she/her)’s work evokes wonder and challenges the long-established traditions of opera and classical music. The stage director, producer, and writer is a co-founder of Amplified Opera, the independent, equity-seeking opera company and current Disruptor-in-Residence at the Canadian Opera Company. Aria was Artistic Director of Opera 5 from 2012-17; during her tenure she wrote and directed the comedic webseries, Opera Cheats. Recent and upcoming engagements include Vastation with Calgary Opera, The Queen In Me co-directed with Andrea Donaldson in a co-presentation with Amplified Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Nightwood Theatre and Theatre Gargantua, and Toshio Hosokawa’s The Raven with Opera Philadelphia.

An advocate for safe, equitable practices in the opera and performing arts industries, Aria is in demand as a presenter and educator. In 2018 she developed Safe to Run: Bystander Intervention Training for the Rehearsal Room with Opera McGill and the San Francisco Opera Center, and has run the workshop at opera companies across North America. That same year she was a speaker on the Gender Equity in Opera panel at the inaugural Opera.ca Opera Changing Worlds Education Summit. With OPERA America, Aria has presented on Anti-Harassment Policies and Stage Intimacy Techniques (2019) and Building a Healthier Company Culture for Artists (2020), and has contributed as a panelist on Managing the Challenges of the Inherited Repertoire (2020), and Breaking Down Gatekeeping (2021). She was an artistic consultant on a new co-production of Madama Butterfly with Opera in the Heights and Pacific Opera Projects. ariaumezawa.com.


Chris Enns: Finance

Chris Enns is a certified financial planner (CFP) and opera singer. He has spent 10 years as a performing artist and learned the hard way that ignoring money doesn’t really work. He is the founder of Rags to Reasonable - an advice only financial planning firm that specializes in working with creatives and people with other non-traditional financial situations. ragstoreasonable.com



SarahRose Black: Music & Mental Health

Dr. SarahRose Black is a certified music therapist and registered psychotherapist, specializing in palliative care and psychosocial oncology at both the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Kensington Hospice in Toronto. She is a pianist, vocalist, and music health educator, and has performed, taught, and presented on her clinical work and research across Canada. As a lecturer and educator, she specializes in educating health care providers and artists in the use of music as a tool for optimal health care.

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