IRCPA Presents OPERA WEEK IN TORONTO, May 5 – 9, 2011


Opera Week - May 2011
Opera Week Poster - May 2011

Celebrating the 65th Anniversary of La Scala’s Reopening by Toscanini.

An exciting new crop of opera singers will be presented in the Opera Week Celebration Concert, Wednesday, May 11, 8 p.m. at the George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street (North York City Centre subway). They will have been chosen after an intensive week of work, by renowned coaches from La Scala, Milan and the Metropolitan Opera Company, New York, as well as representatives from the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists (IRCPA).

Tickets, $30, $25 seniors and students, may be obtained from the Centre’s box office, 416-872-1111, or through Ticketmaster, More information is available at

Opera Week is presented by the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists in collaboration with the Toronto Centre for the Arts, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura (Italian Cultural Institute) and The New Classical 96.3FM.


Vincenzo Scalera
Vincenzo Scalera

Beginning May 5, Vincenzo Scalera of La Scala and Joan Dornemann of the Metropolitan Opera will be in Toronto to work intensively with Canadian opera singers during Opera Week. The sessions will help singers learn what their possibilities

might be in the international market, and how to prepare important auditions for employment. The information will also be of interest to coaches, pianists, conductors, stage directors, teachers and managers.

Morning and afternoon sessions will take place May 5-9 at the TCA’s Gallery Theatre Space. Observers are welcome. Tickets are $20 a session (payable at the door).


  • Thursday and Friday, May 5 and 6 – 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; 2-5 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 7 (and Sunday, May 8 if there is sufficient interest) – 12-3 p.m.; 4-7 p.m.
  • Monday, May 9 – 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; 2-5 p.m.

Well-known as an accompanist with some of opera’s greatest stars in recital, pianist and coach Vincenzo Scalera of La Scala Opera house and the Academy of La Scala ( will give the sessions May 5 and 6. (He accompanied Andrea Bocelli for the famed tenor’s Metropolitan Opera recital debut on February 13.)

Joan Dornemann, Metropolitan Opera
Joan Dornemann

Joan Dornemann, whose name is familiar to Metropolitan Opera broadcast fans around the world as coach and prompter, and known for her work as head of the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Montreal and Virginia (, will begin May 7.

Application & Registration:

Singers may apply to participate by sending audio or video tapes for audition to IRCPA, 43 Bright Street, Toronto ON, M5A 3H5, before April 10.

Singers for the May 11 concert will be chosen during the week’s coaching sessions, by Mr. Scalera and Ms. Dornemann, together with Canadian operatic divas Clarice Carson and Lois McDonall, both retired after illustrious international careers, and now active members of the IRCPA.

The May 11 concert will celebrate the 65th anniversary of the reopening of La Scala by legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini on May 11, 1946, after it was bombed in 1943. The International Resource Centre for Performing Artists has designed programs since 1983 to make artists ready for employment. After formal training, they need guidance in auditioning for national or international markets. The IRCPA provides the opportunity for them to learn from artistic directors and high-level coaches who work with international casts and know what they need to be hired. The artists thus gain rare access to people currently at the pinnacle of their field, while saving on the costs of travel and an accompanist normally needed in seeking out these people.

These sessions (also called “encounters”) are often supplemented by panel discussions and information on the “business” of performing – including contracts, protocol, and the expectations presenters and employers have of artists. The next such encounter is scheduled for November 2011.