Artist Development

Mary's Wedding, 2011. David Cooper Photography

Artist Development programs offered by Pacific Opera Victoria include a suite of coaching, workshop, and mentorship programs delivered by distinguished teachers, singers, creative artists, and specialists in voice, music, theatre, stage design and direction. Among the program offerings are the following:

Master Classes

(Free. Open to the public.)

Master classes with distinguished visiting artists feature some of Canada's finest musical artists, selected for their teaching skill and professional experience. These master classes provide superb learning opportunities for young singers and allow observers to see exceptional teaching in action. Each class focuses on a particular topic, repertoire style, or voice type. Both the students being coached and the audience of students, educators, and opera lovers benefits from this unique learning experience.

  • Master Class
    Wednesday, February 15, 7 pm. Wingate Studio
    Mezzo soprano Dawn Johnson coaches young singers. Principal Coach Tatiana Vassilieva accompanies on piano.
    Open to the public. All welcome.
    Reservations: 250-382-1641 or .

  • Master Class
    Monday, April 24, 7 pm. Wingate Studio
    Baritone Gino Quilico coaches young singers. Robert Holliston accompanies on piano.
    Open to the public. All welcome.
    Reservations: 250-382-1641 or .



A wide range of engaging professional training opportunities is offered free of charge and by invitation only to members of the POV Chorus, select students of voice and theatre, and young artists working in the local community.

Artists are asked to email to confirm attendance at any workshops, vocal clinics, coachings, and diction sessions listed below.

Opera Workshops

This dynamic workshop curriculum addresses stage movement, acting technique, and character development, and is carefully crafted to complement the demands of POV's productions and the needs of the participants. Workshops are offered to the POV Chorus and students of the Victoria Conservatory of Music Opera Studio and UVic School of Music.

These workshops are not open to the public.

  • Stage Combat / Quarterstaff Workshop
    Saturday, January 7, 2-4 pm
    Monday, January 9, 7-9 pm
    Wingate Studio. With Jacques Lemay.
    This workshop will focus on quarterstaff technique for stage combat. Warm-up and coordination exercises, parries, cuts and thrusts will be taught, along with basic falls. The workshop will culminate with learning a short choreographic fight. Quarterstaff will be provided. Wear loose-fitting clothing, runners, cycling/gardening gloves.
    For Artists.

  • Inhabiting a Character in a Group Setting
    Monday, May 1, 7-9 pm
    Saturday, May 6, 2-4 pm
    Wingate Studio. With Jacques Lemay.
    This workshop will focus on strategies for creating a compelling character in a group setting. Using space-specific scenarios and evocative music, participants will be taught to explore and inhabit a variety of situations, environments, and periods. Wear loose-fitting clothes.
    For Artists.

  • Neutral Mask Workshop
    Friday, May 12, 7-9 pm
    Wingate Studio. With Treena Stubel.
    The workshop is based on the pedagogy of French visionary Jacques Lecoq, for whom the mask was an integral element of actor training, influencing a vast array of modern theatre practitioners. The workshop will focus on the physical playing of the actor. Participants will seek out a transparent neutral body, a heightened sense of self witnessing, greater understandings of spatial awareness, and existing in the present. At the core of the training is the potential for a poetic body that may convey meaning with sensitivity and clarity.
    For Artists.

  • Waltz – Standard to Viennese
    Tuesday, May 16, 7:15-9:15 pm
    Wingate Studio. With Jacques Lemay and Janis Dunning.
    This workshop will provide a review of the standard waltz and introduce participants to the Viennese Waltz. Participants will be invited to work with a variety of partners.
    For Artists.

Vocal Clinics and Career Preparation

This varied offering of group sessions addresses the technical aspects of singing on stage and in an audition setting. Voice faculty Benjamin Butterfield and Tatiana Vassilieva.

The Vocal Clinics are not open to the public.

  • Vocal Clinic
    Saturday, January 14, 2-4:30 pm. Wingate Studio.
    Explore the concepts of breath and healthy vocal sound production through informal performances in a group setting. Session includes a tour of the POV Music Library and an introduction to the recording capabilities of Wingate Studio. Bring a vocal selection to sing in front of the group (optional).
    For Artists.

  • Musical Résumé and Audition Etiquette
    Friday, March 3, 7 - 8:30 pm. Wingate Studio.
    Explore and discuss the necessary elements of a classical singer's résumé as well as the do's and don'ts of an opera audition. Bring a copy of your musical résumé, if you have one.
    Instructors: Tatiana Vassilieva, Giuseppe Pietraroia
    For Artists.

  • Mock Auditions
    Tuesday, March 21, 7 - 9 pm *. Wingate Studio.
    * Each participant will be scheduled for an 8-minute individual slot.
    Sing a practice voice audition and receive concrete, individual feedback from a panel of experienced opera and theatre professionals. Bring your musical résumé, headshot, and music for the pianist. Prepare two contrasting vocal selections. Wear your usual audition attire.
    Panelists: Jacques Lemay, Ben Butterfield, Giuseppe Pietraroia, Julie McIsaac, Tatiana Vassilieva
    For Artists.

  • Mock Audition Debrief
    Tuesday, March 28, 7 - 9 pm. Wingate Studio.
    Analyze and build upon audition experiences through discussion and performances in a group setting. Bring the vocal selections from your mock audition.
    Instructors: Ben Butterfield, Jacques Lemay, Giuseppe Pietraroia
    For Artists.

Lyric Diction Sessions

Learn the basics of diction and the demands of singing idiomatically in languages other than English.. Voice faculty Giuseppe Pietraroia and Tatiana Vassilieva.

The Lyric Diction Sessions are not open to the public.

  • Lyric Diction: German
    Sunday, January 8, 2-3:30 pm. Wingate Studio.
    Introduction to German Diction.
    For Artists.

  • Lyric Diction: French
    Sunday, March 12, 2-3:30 pm. Wingate Studio.
    Introduction to French Diction.
    For Artists.

Individual Vocal Coachings

Individual musical and dramatic coachings are offered to the POV Chorus to support vocal and musical development. Develop your skills and build confidence in performance with individualized music and dramatic coaching.

The coaching sessions are not open to the public.

Music Coaching with Tatiana Vassilieva. Wingate Studio

  • Tuesday, January 17, 3:30-5:30 pm (UVic students only)
  • Tuesday, January 24, 3:30-5:30 pm (UVic students only)
  • Wednesday, March 8, 6-9 pm

Music / Dramatic Coaching with Tatiana Vassilieva and Julie McIsaac. Wingate Studio

  • Sunday, March 12, 5-9 pm
  • Sunday, March 19, 5-9 pm


Artist Inquiries and RSVPs:


The POV Chorus



NRS Foundation

Victoria Foundation


ALACS Foundation

Moss Rock Park Foundation

Quail Rock Foundation

RBC Foundation

British Columbia Arts Council, Sponsored by the Province of British Columbia

Province of British Columbia