Incorporated in 1985, the International Resource Centre For Performing Artists is a non-profit, charitable organization, whose mandate is to help freelance classical performing artists make the transition from graduation to steady employment, and to help audiences understand and support the preparation and needs of the artists they will eventually enjoy in performance. The IRCPA aims to help all performing artists in the classical music and ballet fields, to move into professional careers, with special attention to singers and dancers because of their short career spans.
The programs include Encounters with Employers (artistic directors, conductors, stage directors, coaches) for artistic direction, and Career Moves for the Business of Career Development.
Q: What’s the difference between masterclasses given at the university or opera school and the “Encounters” given by the IRCPA?
A: Masterclasses are in study programs.
The Encounters emulate the professional workings of an engagement in a Theatre. The singers sing once each day as they would in rehearsal, and the second day it is possible to see which singers were able to quickly integrate their new information, as is required on the job.
Q: Why does the IRCPA bring employers to Toronto instead of awarding grants to individual artists?
A: We feel that by bringing employers here, we can help 14 singers over a two day session, In the case of Opera Week, we are able to help 28 singers, thereby saving a great deal of money for the artists.
6: Q: Do all the singers in the Encounters develop careers?
A: Many do and many make important career decisions as a result.
Artists we have tracked are Adrianne Pieczonka, Isabelle Bayrakdarian, Measha Bruggergosman, Colin Ainsworth, Jean Stilwell, Kimberly Barber also actor Adam Brazier, to name a few. We’ve also helped accompanists and they are working in theatres outside Canada. We hope they will bring back their experiences to Canada. Toronto teachers who support the program include Mary Morrison, and Jean MacPhail.