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Opera in the 21st Century: Librettist and Composer - Adoration and New Work

Opera | Banff

Program Information


Opera in the 21st Century, Banff 2022. Photo by Joel Ivany


Opera in the 21st Century: Librettist and Composer - Adoration and New Work is a 3 week intensive residency in Banff focusing on developing early career opera professionals with 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.

A pre-existing composer/librettist pair will bring a new, ready to be performed work to the program for workshop and showcase by program participants. You should anticipate having access to two tenors and one mezzo-soprano. There may be additional voice types available.

What does the program offer?

The composer/librettist pair will access the invaluable resource of singers and collaborative pianists in a rehearsal and educational setting that will allow the pair to explore their own new and existing works. The selected pair will also audit the rehearsal process in the musical exploration of the new opera Adoration with celebrated composer/librettist duo Mary Kouyoumdjian and Royce Vavrek.

You will also have full access to the international opera faculty attending Opera in the 21st Century: Don Giovanni.

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

  • Masterclasses.
  • Public community concerts.
  • Prepare musical read-through and public showcase of Mary Kouyoumdjian and Royce Vavrek’s Adoration. 
  • Sessions on producing opera, website/resumés/social media.
  • New music showcase of own work performed by program participants.

Who should apply?

We are looking for one pre-existing composer/librettist pair to work with our faculty and alongside the participants of Opera in the 21st Century 2023.

The composer/librettist pair must have a proven track record of a working relationship. The composer and librettist should have experience writing for the voice and have collaborative work ready to be performed by experienced singers in a non-public setting and evaluated by accomplished artists. 

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.


  • Opera in the 21st Century will also incorporate participants working on Don Giovanni. Further details can be found HERE
  • Opera in the 21st Century will also invite singers to apply. Further details can be found 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.

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

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



  • Arrival - July 2
  • First day of program in Banff, AB - July 3
  • Opera Pub at Royal Canadian Legion - July 7 & 14
  • Public Reading of Adoration - July 15
  • New music workshops - Week 3
  • Departure - July 23

*Schedule subject to change


What's Included

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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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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. 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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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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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.

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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.

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Box Office DiscountsRead MoreClose

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

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Group Seminars/WorkshopsRead MoreClose

Join in group seminars/workshops.

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Showcase Your WorkRead MoreClose

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

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Create in one of our specialized studios.


Fees & Financial Assistance

Program Fee
$4 667.35
Program Fee with Financial Aid*

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

*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 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.

Letter of Intent

Please submit a 500-word document explaining your existing relationship and why the Banff program would be integral to your development

Video or Audio Samples

Librettist - 5 pages of original work

Composer - 2 Recordings of performed works lasting no more than 10 minutes (excerpted material is accepted) 

Note: Previous collaborative work is welcome.


Project Proposal

Please provide a one page (maximum) description of a collaborative project to be workshopped by singers in the program under the mentorship of the Composer and Librettist faculty.

Please note, you should anticipate having access to two tenors and one mezzo-soprano. There may be additional voice types available.

Financial Assistance

Be sure to complete the Financial Aid Question in SlideRoom to be eligible for the financial assistance.

Additional Application Information:

  • Please note, librettist/composer pairs should complete one application form and pay one application fee of $65 under the name of the lead applicant. Please submit joint portfolio materials at Step 3, including both librettist and composer details under single cover. There will be a $35 registration fee for the second member of the pair upon acceptance to the program.


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. Banff Centre respects the need for artists to plan ahead for their visit; applicants will be notified as soon as adjudication is complete. Applicants will be notified of their status as soon as adjudication is complete via email.

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)