Opera is a vibrant and integral component of the Voice Department at the Desautels Faculty of Music, at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Whether as a process or goal in itself, opera trains singers to engage as performers with their whole being. It requires complete physical presence in order to commit to the character and story telling as singing actors. The skills used in opera are relevant to all vocal repertoire, which is why we value it so highly as a learning tool as well as a vital art form.
At the Desautels Faculty of Music, we see singing and acting skills as integrated components of a singer’s communication, rather than as separate entities. Each supports and develops the other. Good language and diction skills are essential to operatic performance and all of our vocal instructors emphasize their importance and support the development of these skills. Opera is an ensemble art form and we value its collaborative nature.
Collaborating with Winnipeg’s Artistic Community
We are fortunate to be part of a thriving artistic community that is extremely appreciative of the work we do at the Desautels Faculty of Music. Our students have performed as soloists and chorus members with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (The Magic Flute), the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (Mozart’s Bastien et Bastienne), the Little Opera Company, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Rainbow Stage and Manitoba Opera.
We benefit from our relationship with Manitoba Opera through the many renowned guest artists that are made available to us for masterclasses, such as conductor Dean Williamson, directors Tom Diamond and Michael Cavanaugh, coach Stuart Hamilton and singers John Fanning, Russell Braun, Robin Follman, Elizabeth Turnbull and Judith Forst.
Opera Studies Coordinator
"The University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Music has a solid track record for grooming new opera talent, with an appearance by five students of its Opera Apprenticeship Program proving that tomorrow’s stars may be as close as our own back yard.” ~ Winnipeg Free Press
Testimonials from past participants:
“The UMOA helped us to discover our potential, not just as singers, but as musical actors.”
“UMOA's relationship with Manitoba Opera allowed us to have a sense of what being a professional would be like.”
“There was a wonderful sense of team spirit among the students and faculty involved in UMOA, creating a comfortable environment to work in.”
"This programme prepared me so well that I found that I was very much ahead of the game when I came to Toronto."
"With such a limited enrolment, the program becomes very personal and the amount of attention committed to your artistry is truly tremendous."
"The size of the program's faculty is belied by their sheer amount of passion and knowledge."
"UMOA helped me face my fears and really fill the holes I was missing in my education. For each of us it was a unique experience, tailored to our needs. The opportunities were numerous and the faculty generous. It was a sense of community fostered through teamwork. An unforgettable experience."