Just a quick update on the audition tour. Our Wednesday auditions in London are over. Thanks to everyone who auditioned there – some very fabulous singers!
Friday night auditions in Toronto are full, though there may be some last minute cancellations. Let me know if you wish to be added to the cancellation list.
Saturday (also in Toronto) still has a few audition spaces left, mostly around 5:00 pm.
Sunday in Montreal is full. If you haven’t been able to book your audition, but have paid for an audition slot, please email me, and I will manually book you a time.
Tuesday in Halifax still has some slots still available.
If you are suffering from illness, or are unable to attend your audition for any other reason, let me know as soon as you have a chance. You are permitted to switch your audition type to a distance application if you wish – the deadline for distance applications is November 30.
Administrator & Producer
At HSOW, we strive to keep your tuition low, and realize that many programs charge far more than participants can afford to spend, especially as attending one usually means giving up on a summer job. Unfortunately, this means that our budgets are quite limited, and we can only afford to provide so many services.
However, we also realize that you may be able to afford more than the base tuition. If this is the case, you may wish to take advantage of our list of ‘extra’ offerings, which can be purchased separately from your base HSOW tuition.
Please comment and tell us what you think of our extras, and let us know if there is anything else you would like to see added to the list!
WHAT YOUR TUITION COVERS
Stagecraft 101 Classes:
Taught by Nina Scott-Stoddart and Ed Franko during the first two weeks of the workshop, these classes are designed to introduce you to the basic stagecraft that all actors and singers should know: starting with the basics of working on stage with Ed and leading to how to act for singers with Nina. Through the use of group exercises and libretto work students will get coaching and feedback to help them bring authenticity to their performances.
Each of our productions has an associated Vocal Coach, with whom you will work for for the first two weeks of the workshop. During the first two days, they will sit in on the music rehearsals, see where you are vocally, and determine where you most need work. Later, you will have two one half hour sessions working on what they deem most necessary to enable you to perform your role to your fullest potential.
HSOW offers a variety of masterclasses, from diction and singing to acting and auditioning. You are encouraged to attend all masterclasses, and are guaranteed one masterclass performance slot.
Provided you come with your role well rehearsed and memorized, you will perform in two performances of your show’s production, and may be asked to sing in our “A Night at the Opera” (public concert) or “Thanks from HSOW” (private concert for fundraisers, sponsors, and donors) concerts.
Series of nine 45 minute classes: $90
For the sum of $90, you can attend a series of nine structured Alexander Technique classes offered during the first two weeks of our workshop. These are offered by Tasha Miller of Alexander Technique Atlantic, who is also a singer, and has taught Alexander Technique for over 20 years. Classes will be held at the Dalhousie Arts Centre, and private one-on-one tuition is available should you wish to continue your studies following the first two weeks of classes.
Two one hour classes: $25
Every opera singer should know the basics of dancing, and the waltz is one of the most used in the operatic field. Join Andrew Pelrine as he offers two one hour workshops in this fun and useful form of dance. The cost is only $25 to participate. This will be especially beneficial for those in A Little Night Music.
2 extra coaching sessions: $70
4 extra coaching sessions: $120
8 extra coaching sessions: $200
You are guaranteed two half hour vocal coachings with your production’s vocal coach as part of your base tuition. However, should you wish to continue with more in-depth vocal coachings, you can purchase one of our extra vocal coaching packages. These come in quantities of two, four, and eight, and each session is one half hour of vocal coaching. When you sign up to for one of these packages, please specify whether you would like to exclusively study with your production’s vocal coach, or whether you would like the chance to study with any of HSOW’s other fine coaches as well
Advanced Vocal or Dramatic Studies:
Book an extra slot with one of our guest masterclass leaders. These have very limited availability, so please book early to avoid disappointment! Their rates will vary.
Lorna MacDonald – voice
Jessica McCormack – voice
Andrew Pickett – voice
Anthony Radford – voice and acting
Nina Scott-Stoddart – acting
Edward Franko – acting
Lucy Hayes-Davis – voice and diction
Should you be accepted into HSOW, you will be sent a form detailing these extras in your acceptance package, and you can choose to opt in or not. Have any questions? Email MarjaRead More
At HSOW, we want to support not only our singers and performers, but production personnel as well. For our 2013 season, we are proud to support internships in collaborative piano, stage directing, stage management, arts administration and publicity.
An internship is an excellent stepping stone to bridge the gap between training and a career. These positions are unpaid, but offer hands on, practical, meaningful experience in your discipline all in a supportive and non-exploitative environment.
July 22nd – August 18th, 2013
Internships are available for the following positions:
If you have a real interest in working with opera singers, experience accompanying singers and are a very proficient sight reader, this position may be for you. As a key member of the musical team, you will be assigned to coachings, repetiteur work, and accompanying masterclasses or one of the extra concerts and events. This is a great way to get the experience to supplement your education in collaborative piano.
Assistant Directors (July 22 – August 9)
You will be assigned to one of the three shows and given opportunities to assist and observe our directors at work as well as potentially being given hands-on time actually directing, depending on your experience and aptitude.
Assistant Stage Managers
You will be assigned to one of the three operas and will work closely with the Stage Manager for that opera, gaining hands on experience depending on your experience and aptitude. Typical duties might include attending production meetings, dealing with props, running rehearsals, notating blocking, and working backstage during performances.
Intern Assistant Producer (July 22 or earlier to August 9)
The successful applicant will assist Producer Marja Ernst in scheduling, attending production meetings, working with participants, keeping financial records, updating the website, overseeing the guest blogging program and other activities based on experience and aptitude.
Intern Assistant Publicist (July 1 to August 9)
This can be an entirely distance position, or a distance position from July 1 to July 22, and an onsite position from July 22 to August 9. You will assist Producer and Administrator Marja Ernst in contacting media outlets, arranging interviews, distributing promotional materials, updating our website, blogging, and various other publicity related tasks based on experience and aptitude. You ideally have either a strong interest or training in publicity for arts related events. This position would require approximately 10 hours per week leading up to the workshop, and can be combined with the assistant producer position during the workshop if desired.
All interns and assistants may attend all HSOW events for free — acting classes, masterclasses, rehearsals (as your schedule allows) and all performances.
These are non-paying positions, but we give really good references and we’re a positive and supportive group of people to work with.
To complete the online form, you’ll need the name, email address and phone numbers of three references, plus your cv or resume and a covering letter explaining why you want to intern with HSOW (these latter two documents can be in .doc, .pdf or .rtf formats). You’ll upload them right on the form.Read More
So many things to say about such an important week!
This past week was the hectic week of dress rehearsals, costume fittings, fight calls, you name it… It was a pretty busy week, but I always managed to do things outside of the schedule. On Monday, I went to get sushi with Phil, Rachel and Melody. Since I’m not much of a fish eater, I’ve never been a fan of sushi. They tried to convince me of trying it, but I was very hesitant. I ordered the beef teriyaki and chicken teriyaki rolls. They were pretty nice, though not as good as I expected. Then, after I was full, Rachel told me to try one of her sushi rolls. I decided to do so. Big mistake… I will not go into details, but I didn’t enjoy it at all. Afterwards, we went strolling down Spring Garden Road, and stopped at Il Mercato Trattoria (I think that’s the name!) for some delicious gelato. That was awesome!
On Tuesday, I can’t seem to remember what happened. All I know is there were many rehearsals. On Wednesday, most of the rehearsals were canceled, so I had nothing to do during the day. So I went back to my room and slept a while. Then, I went to facebook and saw that Allison Mills had posted a status, saying that it would be nice to have dinner out, so we immediately started planning, but had no idea where to go. Then, a few minutes later, I received a message that Nicholas, Tessa, Collin, Jennifer and her would go out for… wait for it… Sushi. I said to myself “Not again!!”, but just to spend time with the new people in my life, I went. There were non-sushi items on the menu, and that’s exactly what I got. Nicholas tried to convince me in trying other sushi rolls, but I just couldn’t. Now, I have to say… I’m awesome with chopsticks! It was my 2nd time eating with chopsticks, and never dropped anything! Then, we went to the waterfront for a little while, and we each headed to our homes.
Thursday and Friday were dress rehearsal days. Although there were still some difficulties, at least, in The Harpies, everything went pretty good, in my opinion. I mean, that’s what dress rehearsals are for. After the first dress rehearsal, we were all pretty hungry, so we headed to The Fickle Frog to have some dinner, and there was the cast of Carmen as well. So you can imagine a very long table full of opera singers. Lovely experience!
Friday’s rehearsal went pretty well also. Then, that night was opening night for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by Benjamin Britten. I couldn’t go because I really had to do laundry, but I’ve heard many wonderful things about the show. On Saturday, I’m guessing that I did the same as many people did… Sleep late! I woke up exactly at noon! So I dressed up quickly, had a quick “breakfast” and went to see the opening of Carmen, by Georges Bizet. It was a beautiful show! Everyone did a great job! After the show, I quickly went for food, ‘cause I was green (I’m not sure if the same expression is used in English, but in Spanish, when we say “Estoy verde”, which literally means I’m green, it means we’re really hungry). Then I went home, to rest for my own big day.
Now is a good time to mention that this week, I’ve had a few problems with English! For the first time since I got here, I’ve accidentally started speaking Spanish, or at least mumbled a word or two, just to realize that most people won’t understand, and I have to stop and think about what I want to say. That’s why, at most times, I’m pretty quiet, because I’m listening to what I hear, and trying to think more in English. Because it’s really weird when somebody comes up to you while your eating and says “Buen provecho”, which is “Enjoy your meal.” Or somebody that hits you accidentally, and says “Ay, perdón. Mala mía”, which means “Oh, sorry. My bad.”
So… Opening day, huh? Yeah. I woke up early, took a shower, and left to have some breakfast at Coburg Coffee. However, when I woke up, I noticed that I felt the whole world twirling around me. I was really dizzy! I decided to ignore it and keep on moving, but as I walked, it was getting worse. I even feared falling down! When I got to Dalhousie Arts Centre, I sat in the dressing room, and all of a sudden, I had to rush to the bathroom to regurgitate. I don’t understand why, but I just did. But after I did, I felt so much better! I wasn’t dizzy anymore. I felt energized, and ready to start the show! We had our fight call, our curtain call rehearsal, and then, costume change. Then, I heard Tessa’s sweet voice… “Places, everyone!” It was time. I wasn’t really nervous, but more anxious to get out to the stage and show everybody what I’m capable of doing. I really wanted to do a good job. Everything went great! The audience was lovely, and laughed a lot during The Harpies and Gisela in her Bathtub. Then, they cried with Riders to the sea. It was a magical two hours in Studio One. I just can’t wait for my next performance… I’m thirsty for more!!!
I just want to end this blog post by thanking the administrative team of HSOW for giving me the opportunity of being part of this wonderful workshop. Tessa, Jennifer, Bonnie and Steven, thank you so much for your time, effort and patience. And last but not least, all my fellow singers on stage and in other productions. This has truly been a wonderful experience for me, and I hope to come back soon!
Just in case, this isn’t my last post. I know those last few sentences make it seem so, but it isn’t.
See y’all!Read More
One thing you can usually depend on as a classical singer is that the composer is really not invested in how you sing your music. Mozart is not going to come back from the dead if I sing an eighth instead of a quarter somewhere in an aria. HOWEVER all that changes once you are lucky enough to work on a piece with the composer. Singing and coaching with the person who wrote the song or the opera? That’s not intimidating, right? RIGHT?
Hah. It was intimidating, but Leonard Lehrman was lovely to work with and I think everyone who coaching his or her repertoire with him felt the same way. I’ve never experienced working with the composer of my repertoire before, and I’m so glad I got to work with Dr. Lehrman and participate in the American Arias Concert- I’ve included some little lessons below.
One- There is a wealth of repertoire waiting to be found and performed!
This concert was full of music that I’d never heard before, and loved. Jeremy Hirsch, one of my fellow bloggers, gave one of my favourite performances of the night- “The Cradle Will Rock”, the title song from the 1937 opera. Another favourite piece from the program was “The Nickel Under the Foot”, sung by Nicole Smith, again from The Cradle Will Rock. Those two pieces are repertoire that will never be sung by me, sadly (again with the #sopranoproblems) BUT there was also a wealth of wonderful soprano repertoire that I’d never heard before- especially “I Wish It So” sung by Laura Noack and “Dublin Song” sung by Allison Mills. These pieces would be wonderful choices for any sopranos, especially those looking to step away from typical repertoire choices. You can bet any audition panel has heard every interpretation of “Vedrai, carino” umpteen times, but it’s a far greater chance that they’ve never or seldom heard “Dublin Song”. I know in my program at York we are strongly encouraged to seek out modern repertoire, and the jury panels and teachers welcome hearing new music. This recital program was all American music, and I’d be interested to see a similar idea next year at HSOW, but maybe with Canadian repertoire? DEAR CANADIAN COMPOSERS: email Nina and you too can be in residency in HSOW for a week and have ALL THE FUN.
Two- Solos are great, but ENSEMBLES ARE THE MOST FUN
I love ensemble work. I think singers by nature are gregarious and cooperative and whatnot, but so much of the work we do is solitary- arias and auditions and practice sessions are not team sports. Getting to work with my colleagues on duets and trios is always a lot of fun for me, so I’m glad in the recital program to have had two trios and a duet. (Thank you Laura and Allison, Alex and Pedro, and Will!) Singing in ensemble challenges you in different ways than in solo repertoire- you have to know when to balance and blend, and when to grab your moment within the piece, and to communicate with each other in rehearsal and in performance. Laura, Allison, and I had the closer to the program- a rollicking trio from Lehrman’s “E.G: A Musical Portrait of Emma Goldman” The trio was called “If I Can’t Dance” and involved a dance break at one point where we had to grab members from the audience to dance with us (Thank you Phil!) It was challenging but we pulled it off with at least a little pizzazz. Also verve. Perhaps moxie as well. Helene Williams, Dr. Lehrman’s wife, and a great soprano in her own right, could taught a course on pizzazz and moxie and verve- she was a dynamo, and her solos as well as duets with Max Zander and Nina Scott-Stoddart, and especially with Dr. Lehrman, were a treat to watch. So even when you’re not in the ensembles, or solos, you can learn a great deal from watching your colleagues (something that was evident in the masterclass series at HSOW, which just wrapped up this week).
Three- it’s all in the delivery.
Dr. Lehrman refers to himself as a “non-singer”, but he performed admirably in duets and solos throughout the program. My favourite was “Penny Candy” from No For An Answer check this. You can sing the pitches correctly and be the most rhythmic musician there ever was, but if you don’t believe in what you’re singing, you won’t convince anyone. Dr. Lehrman put so much energy and conviction into his music that it didn’t matter whether he was singing with beautiful tone and perfect intonation- we believed him and loved his performance for that reason. You gotta sell it. “If I Can’t Dance” worried me before the concert because it was a low, fast patter song about a woman who was full of anger and hated by thousands of people- I don’t really “do” angry- I’m not a particularly fire-y person. However, if I wanted to close the program and sing “If I Can’t Dance” with Laura and Allison, I had to find some way to believe in myself as Emma Goldman and really sell the trio. I don’t think I did it perfectly, but I think I pushed myself more than I have before to inhabit this character who is so different from myself.
The American Aria Concert was great fun, thank you to Nina, Marja, Dr. Lehrman, and Helene, and my fellow performers for their mentoring, organization, and collaboration!
As a follow-up to my last post – I’m definitely loving life more often than I used to, there’s no question about that. Some days are still much more difficult than others, but that’s true for everyone. Fortunately, last Wednesday was another day for loving life. Here’s an explanation of my last epic Facebook status.
Wednesday was Lukas’s birthday, so a group of us went to Henry House for some food and drinks. As our table was being cleared, Ashley decided she wanted to walk to the waterfront. It was a beautiful night, so I opted to go, too, and we ended up with a little group: Ashley, Allison, Pat, Max, Jeremy, and myself. With a few drinks in us, Allison decided she had a specific destination in mind. There is a giant blue statue of a wave on the waterfront with a “do not climb” sign in front of it. But when it’s conveniently surrounded by squishy rubber flooring and situated in front of a playground, what do they expect?
It was coming up on midnight at this point, but after a few trials and errors, we all successfully ended up on top of the giant wave. After a few more trials and errors, we not-so-successfully tried to set the timer on my camera to take pictures of us from below. As we struggled with this, a group of tourists wandering by stopped to watch our antics. They were significantly older than us, but I looked down and shouted to them that they should be jealous that we were all huddled on top of the wave.
Jeremy was keen on becoming friends with these strangers, and invited one of the women to come up and take pictures with us. After further wave-climbing and picturing-taking mayhem, we found out that one of our new tourist friends was celebrating his 40th birthday. What are a bunch of opera singers to do but sing? We sang happy birthday to Jeff, milking the opportunity for all it was worth, and our new friends were awestruck. After finding out that these rambunctious “teenagers” were in fact a group of young professional opera singers, out came the video camera and the song requests. By 1 in the morning, we had spent a lot of time trying to come up with something classical that we all knew, and ended up being posed all over the boat-shaped playground singing snippets of our various unrelated arias. Allison and I also did some Flower Duet, Allison and Ashley did some Phantom of the Opera, and Max and Jeremy did their Pyramus and Thisbe scene from Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which Pyramus (Jeremy’s character, Bottom) falls in love with Thisbe (Max’s character, Flute, dressed up as a woman). By the time we decided we should head home, we’d attracted much attention along the waterfront: a little crowd, lots of applause, and an invitation to party on a random yacht. We opted to call it a night, but our tourist friends told us they were at the end of their trip and we were the highlight. We even beat out whale-watching! ;)
It took me a little longer than I would have liked to finish this post. I started it last week in a fantastic mood, of course, as I had so much fun that night. A few days later, though, before I was able to finish this, I got some very tragic news late Saturday night. Hence the Verve lyrics in my title. One of my closest friends texted me to say that her cousin (another of my closest friends) lost her little brother. He drowned on Saturday. He was 14 years old. I only met him once or twice, so I feel a little selfish that this has hit me harder than I would have expected, but it hurts me to see my friends hurting. Not to mention that the opera I’m working on here is a devastating tragedy in which my character’s last brother is drowned. I look on in horror as his washed-up body is laid on my kitchen table. The music was prevalent enough in my head day and night before, but now there are certain lines that won’t leave me… “he’s gone now, God spare us…” “and the almighty God won’t leave her destitute, with no son living…” we haven’t done a run-through since I got this news, so now my challenge will be to use this experience to inform my character without becoming overwhelmed. Here’s to hoping for more sweet than bitter in the upcoming days, and that Kenton’s family has lots of support in this difficult time.