I find nuggets of wisdom that continue to resonate with my ongoing evolution as an artist.
I am incredibly grateful for NUOVA Vocal Arts and all the guidance, support, and lessons from my time in the program that have stayed with me as I built my performance career over the past decade. I look back at my time with this program with incredible fondness as it was transformational both personally and professionally. Even to this day while looking over my notebooks from that time, I find nuggets of wisdom that continue to resonate with my ongoing evolution as an artist. I am so grateful that NUOVA was a part of my professional and personal journey as it brought me inspiration, knowledge, friends across the country, and a foundation for my lifelong passion for the performing arts.
NUOVA Vocal Arts gave me my first opportunity to perform a full length opera with an orchestra, what a thrilling milestone.
I studied vocal performance at the University of Manitoba under the tutelage of Valdine Anderson. NUOVA Vocal Arts was a presence throughout my summers during my undergraduate degree. First, I was Kim’s personal assistant during the 2008 festival, and this taught me many life lessons. Working behind the scenes gave me insight into just how much work and how many people need to come together to make an opera production happen.
The following two summers I was a participant in the festival performing Despina in Cosi fan tutte (2009) and Nannetta in Falstaff (2010). NUOVA Vocal Arts gave me my first opportunity to perform a full-length opera with an orchestra, what a thrilling milestone. Those formative summers were filled to the brim with learning and those skills propelled me to continue my performing education.
Being able to share the knowledge I’ve gained over the years with the next generation of students is something I will never forget.
For my master’s degree, I attended the University of Toronto studying with the legendary Mary Morrison. Soon after I was accepted into the Yulanda M Farris Young Artist Program at Vancouver Opera. NUOVA Vocal Arts once again came calling when Kim invited alumni to return as mentors and shadows to the incredible faculty. Again this was an invaluable learning experience. Being able to share the knowledge I’ve gained over the years with the next generation of students is something I will never forget. Since then I have been fortunate to sing professionally throughout Canada with highlights including Le nozze di Figaro (Vancouver Opera), the world premiere and subsequent tour of Marie Clements/Brian Current’s opera Missing (Pacific Opera Victoria/City Opera Vancouver), and most recently a return to Despina in Cosi fan tutte (Edmonton Opera) directed by Kim Mattice Wanat herself!
It is no surprise then, that many of the working professionals in the Canadian operatic ecosystem are alumni of the program.
NUOVA Vocal Arts has been a source of support, inspiration, and transformation for my entire career, a sentiment that is echoed by my lifelong friends and colleagues who are also alumni. This type of intensive, applied training outside of traditional academic environments is so important in unleashing the creative potential of early career artists. It is, no pun intended, where one can “find your voice”. It is no surprise then, that many of the working professionals in the Canadian operatic ecosystem are alumni of the program. What a joy it is to work with fellow singers, collaborative pianists, stage managers, directors, and conductors who all have a shared touchpoint in NUOVA Vocal Arts. I will forever be grateful to Kim for all the opportunities, lessons learned, and constant support. I hope that with the support of people like you, this incredible program can continue to make an impact on the future generations of operatic performers in Canada.