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Opera in the 21st Century: Instrumentalists and répétiteurs

Supported by the David Spencer Endowment Encouragement Fund

Program Information

Kopernikus, Banff Centre, 2017.


Opera in the 21st Century is a performance-based, collaborative training experience for emerging opera professionals that truly challenges the conventions of opera performance, production, and design. 

The residency’s focus is to develop young opera professionals with the skills and experience to take them to the next level of their careers and beyond. The multi-disciplinary program offers a unique opportunity to work with diverse artists. It is open to singers, instrumentalists, conductors, and stage directors.

What does the program offer?

Opera in the 21st Century is a five-week intensive residency devoted to practical skill extension and development. Instrumentalists will participate in rehearsals and performances of No One's Safe (a Mozart Murder Mystery), composed and arranged by Canadian composer Nicole Lizée with stage direction by Joel Ivany. In No One’s Safe, instrumentalists will play a character and will be immersed in the theatricality of the opera as well as accompanying singers in this immersive opera experience. In addition to playing in chamber music concerts during the first two weeks of the residency, under the guidance of Guest Faculty Artists Adrian Fung and Min-Jeong Koh, instrumentalists will join with singer participants in a Closing Night celebratory concert of operatic hits.

Répétiteurs will participate in all projects listed above as well as La bohème (Against the Grain Theatre’s original English-language hit; in a bar with piano).

The program will also introduce participants into new technologies available to enhance production.

The stellar faculty, led by Joel Ivany, is comprised of Against the Grain artists and other internationally recognized professionals from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Nicole Lizée will join the program as Composer-in-Residence, and participants will also work with featured artists-in-residence. Opera in the 21st Century features the unique opportunity for participants to meet and work with Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company, during concentrated career development sessions.

Who should apply?

We invite applications from post-secondary students and emerging artists already at an advanced level of accomplishment, with a well-documented record of artistic exploration. Artists from historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. 

Instrumentalists must possess a strong theatrical desire. Instrumentalists will be expected to be involved in staging and have some music memorized.

The program offers space for 10 instrumentalists including: drum kit/percussion, electric guitar (doubles as classical guitar), harp, violin, violoncello, electric bass, and double bass. There may also be opportunities for a flute, trumpet and/or tuba. We welcome applications from these instrumentalists also.

Supported by the David Spencer Endowment Encouragement Fund




What's Included

Shared RoomRead MoreClose

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

Single rooms may be available upon request for an additional fee. Please contact the Office of the Registrar. 

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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Full Flex Meal PlanRead MoreClose

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.

The Full Flex meal plan includes $38 credit per day, equivalent to breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Vistas Dining Room.

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Performance OpportunitiesRead MoreClose

This program offers opportunities to showcase your work in one of our performance venues.

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Gym MembershipRead MoreClose

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.

Paul D. Fleck Library and ArchivesRead MoreClose

Access a wide range of publications, books, music and films in the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, open six days a week.

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Box Office DiscountsRead MoreClose

Enjoy special artist rates for ticketed performances or complimentary access to events.

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Participant ResourcesRead MoreClose

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.

Fees & Financial Assistance

Program Fee (shared room)*
$4 989.10
Program Fee with Financial Aid
Application fee: $65
*Financial Aid up to 100% of the program fee may be available
Single rooms may be available upon request.

How to Apply

Learn more about the steps to Complete Your Application.

Financial assistance

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


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

Headshot and bio

A recent digital photograph (size: 8x10) with your name in the file title, and a 250-word biography.


Submit a digital video recording(s).

Instrumentalists: Please submit examples of three orchestral/operatic excerpts. Please submit one solo work of your choosing. We accept audio (30MB each) and video files (maximum 10 minutes total).

Répétiteurs: Please prepare two arias of contrasting styles, to be both played and sung, one of which has been composed after 1970. 

All video submitted should have been recorded within the last 12 months.

Personal statement

Please provide a 500-word description of why you wish to attend this program, what you hope to learn, and what impact it could have on your artistic practice.

Audition Tour

Please note: Audition slots are no longer available. Please see above requirements to submit digital recordings for adjudication.


Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators on the basis of their submitted material. In addition to artistic merit, consideration will be given to the likelihood that the artist's work will benefit from the program.

Applicants will be notified of their status as soon as adjudication is complete.


All programs, faculty, dates, fees, and offers of financial assistance are subject to change. Program fee is subject to applicable taxes. Non-refundable fees and deposits will be retained upon cancellation. Any other fees are refunded at the discretion of the Banff Centre. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

Contact the Registrar

For questions on preparing your application, please contact the Office of the Registrar:

Toll Free Number (Canada + USA)