The 2020 Halifax Summer Opera Festival will run from July 18 to August 16, 2020.  Our shows will be Poulenc’s Les dialogues des carmélites,  Weill’s Die Dreigroschenoper and a double bill of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Blow’s Venus and Adonis. We’re also introducing an Art Song Intensive coupled with chorus work in the Poulenc.


The Halifax Summer Opera Festival is open to all performers, regardless of nationality or age.

We are committed to diverse, inclusive casting. For every role we seek qualified performers, without regard to race, age, color, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity, within the confines of voice types (and sometimes not even then!) We encourage trans singers to apply.

Follow along for information about the application process, or go right to the application form.


After you’ve filled in the application form, you’ll choose your audition venue.  You can send in a distance application or sing for Nina at any of the following locations:1


 4LONDON, ON — Tuesday, October 29, Western University, Faculty of Music, Music Building, Studio 242, 2 pm to 5:30 pm


TORONTO, ON — Saturday November 2, University of Toronto, Edward Johnson Building, Rm 109, 11 am to 2 pm
TORONTO, ON — Sunday November 10
, University of Toronto, Edward Johnson Building, Rm 109, noon to 4 pm
MONTREAL QC — Monday November 11, McGill University, Room E-109, 555 Sherbrooke Avenue West, 5:00 to 8:00 pm
Tuesday November 12, McGill University, Room C-411, 555 Sherbrooke Avenue West, 4:00 to 8:00 pm
HALIFAX, NS — Saturday December 7  Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts, 6199 Chebucto Road, Room 4,`12:50 to 3 pm


In all cases you must arrange for your own accompanist. In Montreal, our head collaborative pianist, Giancarlo Scalia, is available both days for auditions — email him in advance at


Please bring your headshot and bio/resume. There will be a form to fill out at the door, so be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes early. Unfortunately we don’t have places for you to warm up at the audition venues.


HSOF is open to everyone, no matter your citizenship, age or location. Nina reviews every distance application herself, and she casts many, many roles from distance applications, so rest assured that it’s worthwhile applying this way.

After you’ve submitted your application form, you’ll receive a confirmation email with information about sending us your materials.

Prepare recordings of pieces as specified below. You’ll be able to upload audio or video files or submit links to them.
You’ll also need to submit a covering letter and a digital headshot and upload a bio and resume.

If Nina hasn’t worked with you before, a letter of recommendation is also highly appreciated!

While we will accept distance applications until all roles are filled, in order to be considered at the same time as the live auditions, we ask that you submit your materials by November 29, 2019.




For the audition, however you do it, we’ll ask you to prepare three selections, as follows:  

1. One should be an aria for the character for which you wish to be considered, if that character has an aria. Or you can sing an excerpt from the role. This should be in the original language. Or pick an appropriate (language/style/voice type) substitute.

2. An aria, musical theatre number or art song in English, if #1 isn’t in English. If your #1 pick is already in English you can choose anything else that shows you off.

3 . Any other song or that really shows off your personality and voice. Personality and acting ability are very important to us, much more so than you might be used to. Nina casts lots of people on this basis. 

If you’re applying for the Kurt Weill we may ask you to read a brief scene from the show in English. 

If you don’t have any opera repertoire whatsoever, and are just getting started in this genre, or if you’re auditioning for the Art Song Intensive, we’re happy to listen to whatever you can bring. Musical theatre is just fine by us, as are art songs, if you’ve got nothing operatic. If the opera you want to be cast in is in a foreign language, do try to bring us something in that language. Most importantly, we want to see you and what you bring to your pieces. We have roles available for performers of varied strengths and experience.

Ready to Apply?


Check out our FAQ
Email Nina at
Phone Nina at 902-521-8577

Or apply today!

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