Halifax Summer Opera Festival 2023

July 22 to August 20, 2023

Armide 2022

Join us for our 17th Season of supportive opera training on the East Coast of Canada!

We offer an artist-centred approach that teaches and strengthens your stage skills in the context of rehearsing and performing an entire role in an opera.

We’ll be hearing all auditions by distance this year, and the application form will remain live as long as there are roles available.

CASTING UPDATE: April 22, 2023

While many roles have been confirmed double-cast, we are still casting for the following roles (some of which may have unaccepted offers out on them):

Rose (soprano)
Clorinde (soprano)
Arthemise (soprano)
Madelon (soprano)
Justine (soprano)
Lise (soprano)
La Cocardiere (baritone or mezzo)
Pierot (tenor)
Germaine (mezzo or baritone)

Serse (high mezzo/countertenor):
Arsamenes (soprano/tenor)
Ariodate (baritone)
Elviro (baritone/mezzo)

2023 Festival Season Repertoire

In 2023, from July 22 to August 20, HSOF will rehearse and perform two fully-staged operas: Offenbach’s La jolie parfumeuse and Handel’s Serse.

music by Jacques  Offenbach
sung in French, with English dialogue

music director: Giancarlo Scalia
stage director: Andrew Pelrine
stage manager: Vanessa LePine
vocal coach: Susan Boddie
repetiteur: Mary Costello

Rose MichonAshley CarpenterMadeline David
BavoletMadeline BermanJanaki Butterworth
ClorindeCharlotte AndersonDahlia Gamache
La JulienneRosalie Dowlingmezzo soprano
ArthémiseCharise Pohlsoprano
MadelonAnna Simmons
JustineAbby Corpussoprano
LiseAutumn ZhaoSarah Brown
PoirotIsaiah D. Rickstenor
La CocardiereMarko Hubert
Germainbaritone or mezzo

Serse by G.F. Handel

music by G.F.  Handel
sung in Italian

music director: Melissa Doiron
stage director: Nina Scott-Stoddart
collaborative pianist: Jack Olszewski

SERSE by Handel
SerseEmma YeeSarah Luedeke
ArsameneHannah Overbeysoprano/tenor
ArmastreHeather ByfordMacKenzie Sechi
RomildaSiyuan Carter-PatkauClare Lowe
AtalantaJulia JordanChihiro Yasufuku
AriodateNicholas Murphybass-baritone


The 2023 Halifax Summer Opera Festival will run from July 22 to August 20, 2023.  We will produce two operas, Offenbach’s La jolie parfumeuse and Handel’s Serse.


The fee for the 2023 workshop will be $1900 Canadian per person. The fee includes all artistic costs, including coachings, acting/movement and audition classes, rehearsals and masterclasses.

This does not include housing and travel.


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.

Depending on COVID conditions in the summer of 2023, we can anticipate a COVID policy similar to our 2022 policy — daily rapid testing, staying masked during rehearsals and isolating when ill.


  1. Fill in the application form and pay $25 application fee via PayPal. 

2. All audition materials this year will be submitted digitally. 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 in the first wave of auditions, we ask that you submit your materials by November 6, 2022.


Recordings (video preferred, but audio accepted) of three selections.

  1. An aria, musical theatre number or art song in English. If you’ve got an aria from the show, that’s fabulous!

2. and 3. Any other song or aria 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 don’t have any opera repertoire whatsoever, and are just getting started in this genre we’re happy to listen to whatever you can present. 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.