We’re pleased to welcome Michael Donovan as a masterclass leader for 2018

The Halifax Summer Opera Festival is delighted to announce that Michael Donovan, Associate Professor of Voice at Dalhousie University, will be giving a masterclass in vocal performance at the 2018 Festival.

Michael is an educator, voice teacher, performer, composer and musicologist with wide ranging interests in the areas of vocal pedagogy, opera performance, composition and research. He’s the co-founder of Toronto’s Long Reach Opera Workshop, now working on its 5th season.

Michael will be working with six participants of HSOF on Friday July 20, from 8 to 10 pm at the Dalhousie Arts Centre. We welcome auditors — please contact Nina Scott-Stoddart for more information about how to attend!




A very modern Don Giovanni is the centrepiece of Eastern Canada’s largest opera festival

For Immediate Release
June 25th, 2018
(Halifax, NS) –  For the fourteenth summer over 90 people will descend on Halifax to rehearse and perform 12 live performances of fully-staged opera.
This year the Halifax Summer Opera Festival includes four performances each of Mozart’s great tragicomic opera Don Giovanni, Benjamin Britten’s  A Midsummer Nights Dream, and a masterpiece of early Baroque opera, LIncoronazione di Poppea  by Claudio Monteverdi. The main operas will be performed between August 3 and 12, and the entire season is supported by our print media sponsor, The Coast.
One of Mozart’s greatest operas, Don Giovanni (1787) is the story of the people (men and women) damaged by a serial seducer/abuser,, all set to incongruously glorious music. It could be ripped from today’s headlines, centring, as it does, around a sociopathic, celebrity serial abuser who almost gets away with it. Our #metoo modern-dress production will demonstrate just how relevant this 231 year old opera is. Don Giovanni is sung in Italian with projected translations, so audiences won’t miss any of the drama. Fully-staged and costumed and performed with orchestra. Opens August 4.
LIncoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) (1643)  tells the story of double-crossing lovers struggling for power in imperial Rome. Monteverdi’s last and greatest opera was written for the professional opera house in Venice. His score melds nasty people, moral ambiguity and outright comedy with music of surpassing beauty. A very modern story!  Sung in Italian with projected English translation and accompanied by  harpsichord and cello continuo and violins, this production is supported by the Early Music Society of Nova Scotia. Opens August 3.
A Midsummer Nights Dream (1960) is Benjamin Britten’s extraordinary setting of Shakespeare’s play, where nothing is as it seems. One of Shakespeare’s greatest plays set by one of England’s greatest composers, this operatic version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is unsettling, haunting, hilarious and stunningly beautiful. Accompanied by piano and harp and sung in English, with projected libretto. Opens August 4.
Tickets for the festival are on sale online at TicketHalifax.com, by phone at (902) 422-6278 (ext. 500), in person at The Coast’s offices, 2309 Maynard Street, or at the venue an hour before the show, payable by cash, credit card, tappable debit, ApplePay or cheque.  Audience members can also buy season passes, which will get them into every performance of every show (which can be quite interesting since there are two casts for each opera, providing two quite distinct interpretations).
The Festival kicks off with a series of free concerts at the Paul O’Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Library. There are three noon hour lecture recitals on July 18, 19 and 20, plus a musical evening exploring the poetry of W.H. Auden, especially his collaborations with English composer Benjamin Britten. That’s on Wednesday July 18 at 6 pm. The Festival also presents its annual Pride concert in collaboration with Halifax Pride, Opera Backwards, Wednesday July 25, 7:30 pm at the Bus Stop Theatre. Tickets $20
Halifax Summer Opera Festival and Workshop educates and develops both singers and audiences through the performance of operatic repertoire.  For eleven seasons, HSOF has presented fully staged operas each summer, giving singers from university undergrads to professionals opportunities to learn roles in the context of performing an entire, full-staged opera.  Participants are selected from live or recorded auditions and participate in rehearsals and master classes on everything from auditioning techniques to dramatic and musical interpretations by seasoned pros.  HSOF is a not-for-profit society with a volunteer Board of Directors, based in Lunenburg and Halifax.  You can find out all the details at www.halifaxsummeroperafestival.com.
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Information / interviews:  Bodhi Anders: mobile: 902-293-0264 or email: bodhi@halifaxsummeroperafestival.com

Opera Ceilidh Kitchen Party, April 30, at the Good Robot Brewing Company

Join us for our first Opera Kitchen Party, and help us raise money to support scholarships for local singers to the 14th Annual Halifax Summer Opera Festival!

Thanks to the generous support of the amazing folks at Good Robot Brewing and their Good Will Bot program, $1 from every pint of beer sold on Monday April 30 will go towards our scholarship fund. They’re open from 3 pm, so come on in and drink to opera education!

From 6 to 8 pm we’ll also present three sets of opera and musical theatre: featuring drunk opera, stupid opera stories, , audience participation, 50/50 draw, contests and an opera quiz. Many special musical guests will join us including Tara Scott on piano, soprano Maureen Batt, tenor Koosha Kormanian, mezzos Megan Hayward and Nina Scott-Stoddart, baritone MarKo Hubert and bass-baritone Tom Brosky.

Admission is free! Come and raise a pint from 3 pm or after 8, or come anytime between 6 and 8 pm and party the operatic way!

Second round of applications invited for HSOF 2018! We need men and mezzos :)

We have a great range of roles still available for singers interested in spending four weeks in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada this summer!  The Festival runs from July 14 to August 12, and features three MainStage productions:  Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea and Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Unfortunately, as of this date, we have no soprano roles left.

But we have good roles for mezzos, countertenors, tenors, baritones and bass baritones.

We’ll keep a constantly updated list of available roles here: Currently Available Roles for HSOF 2018.

To apply, fill in the Application Form. You’ll then be given details about how to upload your audition materials. There’s more information about what you should prepare HERE.

Applications will be accepted until all roles are cast.

If you have questions, send them to Artistic Director Nina Scott-Stoddart at ninascottstoddart@gmail.com 


We’ve started making offers for the 14th Halifax Summer Opera Festival!

We’d like to thank the over 150 singers who sang for Nina and David in person or for Nina by distance application. We started to make offers today. It’s an exciting time,  but can be quite a slow process, depending on how many offers a singer is juggling. We have about 60 offers to make, so it can take a while!

If you haven’t heard from us and need to know where you stand in terms of an offer because you’ve got an offer from another program, then please drop Nina a line at nina@halifaxsummeroperafestival.com

Thank you again!