NATS Ontario Quarterly Newsletter  March 2014
View this email in your browser

Spring AGM
Professional Development

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Jeanette LoVettri
Somatic Voice Works


Welcome Spring?

Message from the President

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  With the sun shining and Irish Eyes smiling, like many of you, I am certainly ready to welcome spring! With the warmer weather comes many exciting NATS events including our annual general meeting in Toronto in May and the National Conference in the most Irish of places outside of Ireland - Boston, MA in July.

I hope you will join us on Saturday, May 3, 2014 in Toronto for our Annual General Meeting and Professional Activities Day. We are pleased to announce that Jeanette LoVetri will be our clinician and your executive has a whole day of activities planned.  Check out the information below for more details.

I am pleased to be serving on the Nominating Committee for the Great Lakes Region Governor elections to be held this spring. Nominations are open until tomorrow - if you know someone whom you feel could serve our Chapter and Region for the the next two years, please put their name forward.  It would be great to have a strong Ontario presence at the larger NATS table.

Finally, I hope you will join me in Boston for the 2014 National Conference.  The program looks fantastic with master classes by Thomas Hampson and Margo Garret as well as many fantastic sessions on everything from choral singing, to movement based performance pedagogy, to belt to copyright issues to American song, to voice science sessions with Harvard ENTS to ...well the list goes on!  I will be reuniting with many NATS Intern friends, former classmates and hopefully YOU!

In closing, I thought I would let Schubert (and Hölty) have the last word: "come around, you who love May and look gladly at the beautiful world..."

I look forward to seeing you all this spring!

Best wishes,

Elizabeth McDonald

PS: Please add to your contacts list so you don't miss any important future communications!

Join NATS Ontario in Boston!

The biennial NATS National Conference attracts NATS members and others from around the world to share in programs, demonstrations, lectures, master classes and competitions that help celebrate the art of singing and increase knowledge of teachers to help them better assist their students. The 53rd NATS National Conference will be held July 5-9, 2014, at the BostonMarriott Copley Place, a luxurious 70,000-square-foot full-service hotel that recently completed a five-year renovation, making it a destination of choice in one of America’s most historic cities.

Register now!

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS - Great Lakes Region Governor

Your region of NATS will soon be electing a new region governor to serve for a two year term.  This important position serves on the National Board of Directors and works within your region to promote and develop successful NATS events in your region.  It is a position that requires expertise and skill as well as time.  Please consider nominating one of your colleagues who you feel not only has the expertise and skill but also the time necessary to devote to this important role within NATS. 

Current region governor Laurie Lashbrook has appointed a nominating committee chaired by Caroline Smith and including Linda Snyder and Elizabeth McDonald.

Your nomination should include the candidate’s name and a brief statement as to why you think this person is ideally suited to this position of leadership.  You can compete the nomination form online HERE.  Each submission will be automatically forwarded to the nominating committee for their consideration and you could be contacted by the committee during deliberations should they need additional perspective.  

The deadline for nominations is March 18, 2014.

Great Lakes Region Governor Nomination Form

  Dear NATS  Chapter Colleagues:

  As Great Lakes Liaison Member for the NATS Foundation, I am writing this to ask that you consider making a  contribution to the Foundation which is active in a variety of different areas such as funding numerous programs that assist both NATS members and students of singing as well as projects that benefit the singing arts.

Some of these areas include:


  • NATSAA Competition - Third through Sixth Place finalists Awards  - semifinalists are given a  cash prize and a special prize is given for the Most Promising Singer.
  • NATS Intern Program
  • Co-sponsor of The Van Lawrence Award given to an outstanding NATS member.
  • NATS Workshop Student Scholarships.
  • Student NATS Chapters.
  • Young Leaders Award which is co-sponsored by NATS and the NATS Foundation.
  • The Vocal Pedagogy Award - enables a NATS member to study at a seminar or workshop on voice science or pedagogy.
  • CIRCLE OF FRIENDS  donations go for ongoing support of the NATS Foundation.

We encourage you to make a contribution which can be designed for a specific fund or award.

Any gift of $100.00 or over  will automatically enroll you as a member of the Foundation’s Circle of Friends.

If you would like to support the NATS Foundation in this way,  please make your contribution payable to the NATS Foundation and send it to:


Dr. Brian Horne, President
Assoc. Professor of Voice and Voice Pedagogy
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
4307 E. Whitley Dr. 
Bloomington, Indiana 47401-8645

If any questions write him at:

Thank you very much.

Norma Codispoti - NATS Foundation - Great Lakes Liaison Member

A Note from our District Gov'nor

I’ll bet that you are (as I am!) bracing yourself for the busiest time of the year.  Music Festivals, recitals, auditions, conservatory exams… it’s crunch time for our students and the fruition of all their work through the year.  I get to hear so many wonderful recitals through March and April and delight again in one of the many soul-feeding fringe benefits of teaching voice at a university – so much wonderful repertoire, so many passionate young artists, so much growth to congratulate! 

As we look ahead now toward our Spring General Meeting I look forward to the opportunity to connect with you.  These Chapter meetings are the foundation of NATS:  Collegial connection, professional development and supporting our profession.  As District Governor one of my duties is to supervise the Chapter elections.  I would like to encourage each of you to consider serving on the executive.  There are many ways to serve and serving your profession in this small way affords the satisfying rewards of seeing your ideas in action as well as forging deep collegial friendships.  Please do contact me if you would like to offer your time, energy and ideas to our Chapter.  I am sure that you will agree with me that we have a wonderful, competent and dedicated group of folks serving currently and I thank them and encourage YOU to join them.

Now is the time to consider also travelling to Boston this summer to attend the National Convention.  These conventions are a lot of fun!  The schedule is full of seminars that you will enjoy and that will give you many wonderful ideas and resources for your own teaching.  Don’t forget that all the expenses for this sort of professional development are tax deductible!

I am enjoying serving on President, Kathryn Proctor Duax’s Strategic Planning Committee.  The discussions are imaginative, creative and exciting.  I would like to renew my call for you to send me your thoughts and ideas about NATS.  This is an opportunity for your ideas to be heard in a forum of some people who will likely be national presidents in the near future.  Several of you have already sent me extensive ruminations and these have formed part of the committees Skype-meeting discussions.  The discussions are at the ‘pie-in-the-sky’ level – that magical, creative level where anything and everything is discussed so that we can continue to renew our association to represent us and support our profession in the 21st century.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Torin W. Chiles
(519) 661-2111 X84323


Mezzo soprano Alexandra Asher
Ontario was pleased to award Mezzo Soprano Alexandra Asher first place in the District Round of the 2014 NATSAA Competition.  Alexandra competed at the Regional NATSAA Round on February 21 at Ball State University. After the competition, Alexandra wrote "

"Overall, I was pleased with my performance and was happy that the feedback was different than what I heard in London. I made sure to focus on those critiques as I prepared for the second round. 

I did not move on to the next round in Boston, but it was great to hear other singers and repertoire. I think that woman who won has a terrific instrument and I wish her all the best!"

Keep reading to find out more about Alexandra.
Mezzo-Soprano, Alexandra Asher lives and performs regularly in Toronto, Ontario, where she sings in various chamber ensembles as a soloist and chorister.  She has been a featured soloist with the Cantabile Chamber Singers and the King Edward Choir, where she sang the alto role in Handel’s Messiah, as well as with the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra performing the mezzo-soprano solo in Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël.

Alexandra’s most recent operatic roles include singing as part of the chorus in Verdi’s Oberto, Tryptych; ‘Madame Armfeldt’ in A Little Night Music, Halifax Summer Opera Festival; ‘Phobia’ in Mushroom Pizza, and ‘The Second Witch’ in Dido and Aenaes, both with Yorkshire Opera Workshop in Saltburn, UK.



Saturday May 3, 2014

Faculty of Music, University of Toronto                  Admission
80 Queens Park, Toronto                                   NATS Members: Free
*NEW TIME*  11AM - 5:30PM                                    Non-NATS Members: $40 

Outline for the Day
11AM - 12PM     Annual General Meeting

12:30-5:30PM*   Jeannie LoVetri
                           Somatic Voice Works, Master Class, Lecture Follow up, Q&A

*We will schedule a break during this time!


Ms. LoVetri developed "Somatic Voicework" - The LoVetri Method of functional vocal training which draws from the many disciplines of voice science, medicine, classical voice, musical theatre (all styles) as well as yoga, dance, acting and speech. 

"It is possible to develop stylistic skills in a wide variety of material. SVW ™ is body-based work with the voice." - Jeannette Lovetri 

Find out more at Ms. LoVetri's website.  We will announce more details shortly but the day will consist of lecture and master classes by Ms. LoVetri for both teachers and students.


Daniel Lichti invites you....

This summer I'll be teaching/coaching for a week (July 26-Aug. 1) in Lyon at the Academie de Fourviere, which is essentially housed in the Lyon Conservatoire on the Fourviere hill overlooking the old city of Lyon and the Rhone and Saone Rivers that converge there.  The Academie is for pianists, strings and voice, and is a great opportunity for singers not interested or ready for one of the many summer opera workshops to get some coaching and performance experience in a wonderful cultural setting.  Student recitals take place every afternoon, in interesting venues, and this year, teachers can also recommend students to perform alongside faculty in the Academie "Festival".

If you know of any young singers who might be interested in an experience like this, and a chance to explore song repertoire and perform it publicly, have them visit the website.  The Academie is quite affordable, certainly in comparison to other European-based summer courses.  Accomodation is private and in nearby university residences.  All the info is available on the website.  I was there last summer for a week with Deena at the tail-end of our sabbaticals and loved our time with the other participants at the Academie...very professional, and very collegial.

Interdisciplinary Survey on Common Usage of Breathing Terminology

This survey was created by Shannon Coates (DMA Candidate, University of Toronto) to find quantitative data showing the level of consistency of terminology used by speech language pathologists, otolaryngologists, and singing teachers throughout North America.

The survey was approved by the University of Toronto Ethics Board on 24th January, 2014 and forms a major part of my doctoral research. Your participation is completely anonymous and voluntary, and data collected from this survey will remain confidential, non-identifiable, and will be used for research purposes only. While participation in this survey will not benefit you directly, it will contribute to the voice community as a whole, and you may find benefit from reflecting upon the terminology that you use in your studio, clinic, or practice.

The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and you may complete it all at once, or in more than one sitting. By clicking on the survey link, you are consenting to voluntary participation, acknowledging that you are at least eighteen years of age, and that you treat or teach classical singers in your studio, clinic, or practice.

I anticipate collecting data 31st  March 2014, after which the survey link will no longer be active.

As a larger survey sample size will ensure more significant data, leading to a greater impact on the clarification of terminology used in the voice community, I would be grateful if you would consider forwarding the survey link to any of your colleagues who teach or treat classical singers.

The survey may be accessed via this link: Interdisciplinary Survey on Common Usage of Breathing Terminology

If you have any questions concerning my research or the survey, please contact me or my supervisor (contact information below). Your time and dedication to voice research is valuable and highly appreciated.

Shannon Coates, DMA Candidate in Vocal Performance, Specializing in Voice Pedagogy, University of Toronto

Professor Lorna MacDonald, Lois Marshall Chair in Voice Studies, University of Toronto


Whats new with SNATS University of Toronto?
            On January 22nd 2014, SNATS UofT executive members Brooke Dufton, Catherine Gardner, Charlene Santoni, Suzanne Schaafsma, Karine St-Pierre joined the University of Toronto’s Hart House Midday Mosaic Series for a voice recital with pianist Mai’kai Nash. The five sopranos performed works by Calixa Lavallée, Alphons Diepenbrock, Richard Strauss, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Lori Laitman.
On January 31st, SNATS UofT held a with Andrew Kwan, a Toronto-based artist manager and Director of Andrew Kwan Artists Management Inc, at the University of Toronto’s Hart House. Mr. Kwan presented on how to create your own performance opportunities. Based on his own management experience, Mr. Kwan shared successful examples of classical performers who were able to create lucrative opportunities for themselves, without loosing their artistic integrity. Mr. Kwan gave useful advice to the participants and emphasized that one needs to find a balance between his/her artistic goals and performance opportunities available in Ontario.
On Sunday March 2nd at the University of Toronto’s Hart House, we hosted the annual SNATS UofT Vocal Health & Pedagogy Symposium

The last event of the year will be a workshop with classical music public relations specialist Liz Parker, who will present on how to market yourself as a performer, what to include in a biography and a website, and what to wear at auditions. See the poster for details!

And check LIKE our Facebook page to keep updated on our activities!

Dear friends of opera!


Come to an exclusive fundraising event for the intensive summer program, Highlands Opera Studio, providing highly advanced performance and networking opportunities for emerging operatic artists as well as supporting opera outreach and education in the region of the Haliburton Highlands. 

It will be held on MONDAY, JUNE 2ND, at the spectacular private Bank of Montreal (BMO) venue on the 68th floor of the BMO tower in downtown Toronto. The evening, generously sponsored by BMO, will include cocktails, a gourmet dinner with exceptional wine pairings, a spectacular silent and live auction and performances by NATHAN AND JULIE GUNN, RICHARD MARGISON, Lauren Margison, HOS alumni and surprise celebrity guests! 

'Opera is an art form that we both have devoted our lives to and one that we continue to support in every way we can. 

Eight years ago we decided to start a program in the beautiful Haliburton Highlands (2 1/2 hours north of Toronto) for very advanced emerging operatic artists in which we would concentrate not only on the goals of performance excellence, but also on networking and potential employment opportunities for young singers. We also felt that at this level, these young artists should no longer be expected to pay for a summer program, and, therefore, all Canadian artists attending the month-long intensive program are on full scholarship. This limited number of participants is chosen through a rigorous cross-Canada (and NYC) audition tour during which we listen to on average close to 200 applicants. Out of those we choose on average 15-20  highly qualified participants. 

The community of the Haliburton Highlands and the extended areas of Muskoka, Kawartha Lakes, and Bancroft, have welcomed us into the region.  Since our inaugural year in 2007 we have focused on providing community interaction and audience education through pre-performance chats, run-out concerts, and ‘Random Acts of Opera’, short concerts in local venues. In 2011 we established the Highlands Opera Community School in which we offer voice lessons, masterclasses, the opportunity to observe the Opera Studio participants, and potential involvement in one or the other of our staged productions.

We are extremely excited about this event, the young artists and the community that it is supporting. We hope you will join us on the evening and visit our website to learn more about the program itself.

Help us support the future of the art form we all love so much!


Valerie Kuinka
General Director

Richard Margison
Artistic Director

Highlands Opera Studio'  (


COST IS $250/PERSON (tables of 8)




Highlands Opera Studio is operated by Highlands Opera Theatre, a not-for-profit organization. The charitable registration number is: 822457263RR0001. Tax deductible donations can be made to 'Highlands Opera Theatre'. Please write a memo stating that the money is for 'Highlands Opera Studio'. 


Your News Here!

We would love to feature YOU in our upcoming newsletters!  

Send us news about your studio, research and performing activities!

Deadline for submission for June 2014 Newsletter: June 1, 2014.

PLANGERE Announces Reynaldo Hahn in a new Publication

Renaldo Hahn: Melodies
The complete mélodie catalogue of Reynaldo Hahn is now published in seven volumes.  All volumes are now readily available and include his setting of Verlaine's Chanson Grises (Volume 1), settings of Robert Lewis Stevenson english text titled Five Little Songs perfect for the younger singer (Volume 4) and of course, the original volumes of collected single songs (Volumes 5&6) including Si mes vers avaient des ailes and A Chloris

NATS Ontario members receive a 20% discount on all orders. Visit the Plangere website for more details.

An Invitation to the Membership

My name is Emilio Pons ( and I am an internationally active, Mexican/German professional opera singer (tenor), cultural entrepreneur, member of the European Cultural Parliament, as well as Artistic Director and Co-founder of the Sankt Goar International Music Festival and Academy ( 

While we hope to be able to expand the scope of our operations in the future, we decided to launch this project by focusing on the art song genre. As you well know, whereas interest in art song has dwindled by comparison to the operatic genre, it remains an integral part of the curriculum of every school of music and conservatory in the world, and should remain an essential component not just of the training but also of the performance repertoire of every serious artist. We are Europe's first and only institution to focus exclusively on the art song repertoire, and to do so while encompassing a large variety of repertoires, i. e. German Lied, French mélodie, Italian, Spanish, American and English art song (as opposed to just the German or the French repertoires).

Although this will be our inaugural season, thanks to the excellent professional contacts and good reputation that I was able to establish over the past several years as a professional, international opera singer myself, we already have quite an impressive faculty roster which includes the likes of Jennifer Larmore, Francisco Araiza, Roger Vignoles, Julius Drake, Petra Lang and Julia Hamari amongst many other remarkable artists of both the older and younger generations. Sophie will also be teaching with us this summer.

Since I myself studied in the United States and as a young student profited from the experience of studying in Italy during the summer on a couple of occasions, from the beginning I decided to target namely the American student population. After all, American students (as opposed to their European counterparts) for obvious reasons do not have readily accessible exposure to a myriad of languages within their original cultural context. In spite of the excellent quality of American and Canadian training, I believe the experience of studying in Europe, even if only for a summer, simply cannot be replicated, and it is enriching impact on a young individual, regardless of the capacity in which they end up developing professionally, is bound to last a life-time.

Furthermore, precisely based on my own experience as a young student, I am all too (painfully) aware of the fact that, while there are undoubtedly wonderful educational opportunities to be found, many summer programs in Europe cater to the American market with the sole aim of making a profit, taking advantage of the young students' naivité and their dreams and aspirations, rather than having their talent be carefully nurtured and the repertoire adjusted to their skills. I am convinced that, particularly within the span of a few weeks during the summer, the latter is a goal which is best accomplished through the study of art song.

At the Sankt Goar International Music Festival and Academy, students get:

  • 24 individual voice/piano lessons;
  • 15 hours of German instruction
  • 15 hours of diction in German and the target language of the session of their choice;
  • participation in two master classes per session, with internationally acclaimed singers and collaborative pianists;
  • participation in concerts open to the public;
  • shared accommodation over a 3 week period;
  • half board (breakfast and lunch) from Monday through Friday.

No other institution comes even close to offering this many hours of instruction to their participants. Moreover, all this costs less than taking a single 3-credit hour graduate class in voice over the summer at most American universities! Our program costs €3,150 for singers and €2,750 for pianists. (By contrast, a single 3-credit hour voice class in an American music school over the summer costs, on average, more than US$4,500)

In spite of our best efforts, a very wide-ranging and expensive advertisement campaign, and the excellent quality of our faculty and the training that we offer, enrolment is still rather slow. Therefore, provided that this program is of interest to you, I was wondering whether you would be willing to assist us with your NATS colleagues both in Canada and in the United States. I can hardly think of a better way to reach both countries' finest voice teachers. Naturally, I would greatly appreciate any other assistance or advice you may wish to share with us. 

I can be reached any time over e-mail under this address ( and over the phone at (+49) 151 24 15 81 26. Should you wish to call me, please bear in mind the time difference between your time zone and Europe.

Should you have any other questions, comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I thank you for your time and with nothing further, I remain, 

Yours truly,


Emilio Pons

Doctor of Music, Indiana University

Co-founder and Artistic Director,

Sankt Goar International Music Festival and Academy

Member of the European Cultural Parliament

Have a friend or colleague who is not a member of NATS?  
Why not forward this email?

Copyright © 2014 NATS Ontario, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp