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Program Information

Opera singers on stage

Simran Claire, Chelsea Pringle-Duchemin, and Brittany Rae. Opera in the 21st Century, Banff 2022. Photo by Joel Ivany


Opera in the 21st Century: Don Giovanni focuses on the development of early career opera professionals, providing the skills and experience to take them to the next level of their careers in an evolving industry. Led by Artistic Director Joel Ivany, the stellar faculty is comprised of internationally recognized professionals from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines.

Banff Centre’s 2023 Opera in the 21st Century: Don Giovanni is a 2 module multi-disciplinary program taking place at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa for Module 1 from June 5-17, 2023 and culminating in an additional 3 weeks of programming at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity for Module 2, July 3-22, 2023.

This program offers a unique opportunity for 8 singers, a director, and repetiteur to attend both modules to work with and learn from artists specializing in a range of areas including design, creation, composition, and production. 

What does the program offer?

An intensive residency devoted to practical skill extension and development for emerging professionals. The program offers classes in voice, resumé writing, website and social media management, alongside the chance to perform in community concerts, staged opera, and workshop new music.

In 2023, 7 singers, 1 stage director, and 1 repetiteur will join a cast of career principal artists in Ottawa and prepare the roles needed for Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. They will then remount the semi-staged production at the Banff Centre later that summer. Singers will act as mentored covers and should the need be to perform the role, you will be engaged under an Equity contract. You will also workshop and present a musical read-through of a new opera Adoration as part of the ensemble. Adoration is written by composer Mary Kouyoumdjian and Canadian librettist Royce Vavrek in collaboration with Beth Morrison Projects based on the film by Canadian Atom Egoyan.

Module 1: June 5 - 17, 2023 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Ontario

Arrive June 4 and Depart June 18, 2023. A travel allowance will be provided to assist with travel expenses to Ottawa (subject to regional maximums).

  • Preparation of the principal roles in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
  • Sessions with the Music Director of the NAC Orchestra, the stage director of the opera, Joel Ivany, and daily discussions and reflections as a cohort. 
  • One-on-one coaching with a repetiteur.
  • Round-table session with principal artists performing in the opera.
  • Attendance at all rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and performances.
  • Professional networking opportunities.

Module 2: July 3 - 22, 2023 at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity 

Arrive July 2 and Depart July 23, 2023.

  • Daily coaching and voice lessons.
  • Masterclasses. 
  • A public performance of Don Giovanni
  • Public community concerts.
  • Prepare musical read-through of Mary Kouyoumdjian and Royce Vavrek’s Adoration with one public showcase.
  • Sessions on producing opera, website/resumés/social media.
  • Opportunity for participants to sing original music by librettist/composer participants.

Module 2 of the 2023 Summer Opera Program will bring 3 additional singers as well as a librettist/composer pair to Banff Centre to work with Mary Kouyoumdjian and Royce Vavrek on their new opera Adoration. 

Who should apply?

We invite applications from post-secondary students and emerging artists already at an advanced level of accomplishment and with a well-documented record of artistic exploration to apply.

We are seeking applications interested in the following roles:

Note: Applicants interested in Don Giovanni roles must be available for both modules.

Mentored Stage Director (1)
Mentored Repetiteur (1)

Singers - Don Giovanni 
Don Giovanni; Baritone or Bass-Baritone
Leporello; Bass-Baritone
Donna Anna; Soprano
Donna Elvira; Soprano or High Mezzo
Don Ottavio; Tenor
Zerlina; Soprano or Mezzo
Masetto; Bass-Baritone
Commendatore; Bass

Singers - Adoration
Morris; Bass-Baritone
Tom; Baritone

Note: All singers cast in Don Giovanni will be required to participate in Adoration in Module 2 (whether named role or in the ensemble).

Opera in the 21st Century will offer a Banff only module for singers and a librettist/composer pair:

  • Interested singers should apply HERE.
  • Interested librettist/composer pairs please apply HERE.

The Opera in the 21st Century 2023 programs will accept at least one artist from British Columbia in recognition of the David Spencer Endowment Encouragement Fund. 

Banff Centre invites applications from anywhere in the world, and artists of all ages (18+), backgrounds, gender identities, and expressions.

For full details on vaccination requirements, masking, safety protocols, and COVID related policies please visit:   

This program is generously supported by the David Spencer Endowment Encouragement Fund.


Module 1: 
National Arts Centre - Ottawa
(Don Giovanni singing roles, stage director, repetiteur)

  • Arrival:  June 4
  • Ottawa programming begins:  June 5
  • Dress Rehearsal: June 14
  • Performance #1: June 15
  • Performance #2:  June 17
  • Departure:  June 18

Module 2: 
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity - Banff
(Don Giovanni and Adoration singing roles, stage director, repetiteur, librettist/composer pair)

  • Arrival: July 2
  • Banff programming begins: July 3
  • Opera Pub at Royal Canadian Legion: July 7 & 14
  • Public Reading of Adoration: July 15
  • Performance of Don Giovanni: July 22
  • Departure: July 23

*All schedules are subject to change


What's Included

Accommodation Read more Close


Kitchenette Room


Your program fee includes a single bedroom on the Banff Centre campus for the duration of your program.

Get connected with other artists on campus and focus on your projects in a creative environment while we take care of the day-to-day essentials.

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Meal Plan Read more Close


$75 per day STIPEND


Using a credit-based system to dine on campus, our flexible meal plans allow you to select meals according to your own needs during your stay. Banff Centre can respond to most dietary requests. 

The Full Flex meal plan is equivalent to $61.95 credit per day, equivalent to breakfast, lunch and dinner at our Buffet service.

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Showcase Your Work Read more Close

This program offers opportunities to showcase your work-in-progress.

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Group Seminars/Workshops Read more Close

Join in group seminars/workshops.

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Studios & Facilities Read more Close

Create in one of our specialized studios.


Travel Grant Read more Close

A grant towards your travel costs to and from Ottawa provided by the National Arts Centre

Travel grants are not available for Module 2 (Banff)

Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives Read more Close

The Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives - Current Services

The Library is delighted to support Banff Centre Participants, Artists, and Faculty with the following services:

  • Open hours:  9:30 am to 1 pm, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  • Access to collections, including program relevant books, scores, artists’ books, recordings, periodicals, and object library.
  • Library accounts for borrowing materials.
  • Digital Library, on campus and remote access.
  • Library research assistance, by appointment.
  • Archives research, by appointment only.

Please email or for more information or assistance.

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Banff Gym Membership Read more Close

During your stay in Banff your program fee includes free access to the swimming pool, climbing gym and fitness suite as well as discounted rates for classes at the Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre.

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Participant Resources Read more Close

During your stay in Banff enrich your experience and get to know other artists on campus by taking advantage of the activities and support provided by our Participant Resources team.

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Box Office Discounts Read more Close

During your stay in Banff enjoy special artist rates for ticketed performances or complimentary access to events.

Fees & Financial Assistance

Program Fee*
$5 777.27
Program Fee with Financial Aid*

Application fee: $65 ($35 for applicants who identify as Indigenous).

Module 1: Financial Aid of 100% is available to cover Program Fee, including accommodation. A stipend of $75 per day will be issued to help cover food costs while in Ottawa. A travel allowance will be provided to assist with travel expenses to Ottawa (subject to regional maximums).

Module 2: Financial Aid of 100% is available to cover the full Program Fee, including single accommodation and full flex meal plan. *Note, participants are required to arrange travel to Banff at their own expense.

Application fees are not refundable.  

Banff Centre will issue official tax receipts for eligible tuition fees and financial assistance and awards as required by the Income Tax Act. You will receive a T2202 (Tuition and Enrolment Certificate) for eligible tuition fees paid and a T4A (Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income) for applicable financial assistance and awards.

Help fund your experience at Banff Centre! View a compiled list of external national and international opportunities here

How to Apply

Learn more about the steps to Complete Your Application.


A one-page resume or C.V. describing academic, professional, voice type, and other relevant experience.


Please upload a recent headshot with your name and voice type in the file title.

Letter of Intent

Please provide a statement addressing the following questions:

1 - What is your vision of the future of Opera?  (max 500 words)

2 - How do you think that the Banff Opera in the 21st Century program can help you contribute to the actualization of this vision? (max 500 words)

Video Samples

Please provide examples of your artistic work:

  • Singers: in the form of two contrasting arias (a contemporary English selection is suggested but not required)
  • Directors: in the form of video or images of past work
  • Repetiteurs: in the form of two contrasting arias where you are accompanying a singer (a contemporary selection is suggested but not required) 

Financial Assistance

Be sure to complete the Financial Aid section to be eligible for financial assistance.


Adjudication is based on artistic merit, the potential impact of the program on artists’ practice and careers, project feasibility and the capacity of Banff Centre to help realize the project, and the project’s fit with Banff Centre’s values and strategic directions as described in its strategic plan. Banff Centre respects the need for artists to plan ahead for their visit; applicants will be notified as soon as adjudication is complete.

Please note that all application fees are non-refundable and support the review of each program application and the audition process. Due to the high volume of applications, we do not provide feedback on applications and cannot guarantee acceptance to the program. 

International Applicants

Banff Centre welcomes domestic and international applicants for this program. Please note, Banff Centre programs do not meet Canadian Student Visa eligibility requirements, you must obtain a Visitor Visa to enter Canada. Accepted individuals are responsible for identifying and complying with the immigration requirements to enter Canada as a visitor from their country of origin. Current wait times to receive a visa are much longer than normal, so applicants who require a Visitor Visa should check the current expected processing times prior to applying.


Applicants must be ages 18+ at the time of the program start date.

Contact Admissions

For questions on preparing your application, please contact Admissions:

Toll Free Number (Canada + USA)