Pacific Opera Victoria's Resident Artist Program is designed to offer extensive coaching, concert performance, new work development and a mainstage role debut for artists at an advanced stage of their training, who have already completed university or conservatory studies and Young Artist programs.
Singers appear in concert performances at selected community venues and seniors residences throughout the region, presenting selections from the mainstage opera in which they will perform, as well as other mutually agreed upon repertoire.
The program includes music coaching, career counseling in marketing and publicity practices. Participants have the opportunity to prepare audition and marketing packages.
Each performer is engaged under an agreement with Canadian Actors Equity Association. The fee for the engagement is based on Equity minimum, supplemented by travel and housing in Victoria. All artists must be or agree to become members of Canadian Actors Equity Association, and be citizens or permanent residents of Canada.
The Resident Artist Program is designed for singers who have completed advanced university study and/or young artist training programs, and have begun their professional careers.
The current career trajectory for a Canadian Opera singer often involves university training, private study, and a year-round young artist training program with one of North America's largest companies. Once artists complete this study progression, they join the many artists seeking employment in a competitive field. Out of work, often without professional management and the musical support system afforded to them by a relationship with a larger company, these artists are now at riskŁ of early burnout, audition fatigue, and financial concerns.
POV's Resident Artist Program addresses this need by offering young artists a residency with our company. The artists take on roles in one mainstage production (Madama Butterfly in February, 2008, The Magic Flute in April, 2009, La traviata in October 2009), Carmen in February 2012. They also receive extensive coaching by musicians active in the industry and career development counseling with experts in marketing, recording, and auditioning. They receive performance opportunities as part of a new community concerts initiative, and participate in a composers' workshop for the development of new operatic works.
Participants are selected from national auditions.
There is some excellent work in smaller roles, too – Flora, the baron, the marquis and especially Violetta's maid, Annina (the rich-voiced soprano Betty Waynne Allison).
Vocal honours were even between Lucia Cesaroni, Letica Brewer and Erin Lawson as the Queen's ladies-in-waiting. They brought delightful campy humour to their singing and acting, particularly when blending seamlessly to compete with each other to stay with the unconscious Tamino with Ich, Ich, Ich.
The Suzuki of the young Québécoise Michèle Losier was nothing less than a revelation: focused singing, effective acting, a winning stage presence are the harbingers of, I'd bet, a young star in the making.
The minor roles were nicely taken. Eric Olsen has a proven comic sense and the POV has found a gem of a comprimario tenor in him, his Goro the marriage broker, not only ably sung but shot through with nuances . . . as Prince Yamadori Peter McGillivray delivered idiomatic performances, with acting skills to boot.