Click here to apply

Applications are now open.

For the second year in a row, Against the Grain Theatre joins University of Toronto Opera to immerse established and emerging artists in a two-week program focusing on the exciting canon of modern-contemporary works, now under a new name, National Opera Intensive (NOI). The NOI is meant to prioritize individual artistic needs in the middle of August when audition season is just around the corner. By looking at the hidden gems of opera’s 20th and 21st-century repertoire, AtG and UofT provide valuable insight to artists as they aim to develop modern opera repertoire. Against the Grain Theatre’s outside-the-box approach to traditional opera matched with UofT Opera’s educational excellence is quickly being established as a hub for singers to learn and perform.

Over the course of two-weeks, singers and, for the first time, pianists, will participate in masterclasses, stagings, daily one-on-one coaching sessions, perform at an Opera Pub and a culminating staged opera scenes concert with both the performers and audience members right on the MacMillan Theatre Stage. In addition, each artist will leave the NOI with a professional audition package, including two (2) professional aria recordings, updated professional headshots, and feedback on their resumes from industry leaders, preparing them to jump into audition season feet first.

While the NOI is best suited to established and emerging artists, students pursuing undergraduate studies will be considered on a case by case basis.

Application Information:
Deadline to apply: NEW December 15, 2019

$2,150.00 (inclusive of professional audition package, valued at $650.00)

* NEW Sunday, December 15th, 2019 – Application Deadline; Application closes on AtG’s website
Monday, January 13th, 2020 – Successful applicants are notified of acceptance. Only those selected will be contacted.
Friday, February 28th, 2020 – Participants must confirm attendance. 50% deposit due.
Monday, June 1st, 2020 – Remainder of tuition due.
Tuesday, August 4th – Thursday, August 20th, 2020 – NOI Program Dates
Friday, August 14th, 2020 – Opera Pub Performance
Wednesday, August 19th – Performance #1
Thursday, August 20th – Performance #2

Cost: $2,150.00 CAD with a 50% deposit due Friday, February 28th, 2020. Remainder due Monday, June 1st, 2020. Payment can be made by e-transfer to

Program Location: Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Questions? Contact with “[Your Full Name] + Summer Modern Intensive” in the subject line and a real human will reply ASAP.

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“As a graduate of this storied institution, my foundation for opera was built at UofT Opera. Our Executive Director, Robin Whiffen is also a graduate of UofT Voice and together we couldn’t be more thrilled to continue this relationship with Sandra Horst and Michael Patrick Albano.” — Joel Ivany

“This Summer Intensive is a well-thought out program, helping us to find the rhythm of lessons, practice and self-promotion any artist needs when navigating the business post-graduation. It’s was a pleasure to explore the realm of non-mainstream contemporary opera within this creative sphere!” — Sarah Parkin, UK


MacMillan Theatre in the Edward Johnson Building
University of Toronto, Faculty of Music
80 Queens Park, Toronto, Ontario


Photos: Darryl Block Photography

National Opera Intensive Faculty

Voice Faculty:
Miriam Khalil
Laura Tucker
Heidi Melton

Music Faculty:
Sandra Horst
Nathan Brock
Rachel Andrist
Andrea Grant

Stage Direction/Acting Faculty:
Joel Ivany
Michael Albano

Lighting/Set Design Faculty:
Jason Hand

Stage Management Faculty:
Lesley Abarquez

2019 Alumni:
Dani Agostino
Madison Angus
Anna Boyes
Alasdair Campbell
Julie Ekker
Jocelyn Fralick
Lauren Halasz
Nolan Kehlar
Christina Lanz
Virginie Mongeau
Amy Moodie
Brittany Rae
Morgan Reid
Stephanie Sedlbauer
Whitney Sloan
Carmen Sprecht
Caroline Stanczyk
Charlotte Stewart-Juby
McKenzie Warriner
Gwen Yearwood

2018 Alumni:
Madison Angus
Shaelyn Archibald
James Brown
Kallie Clayton
Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor
Jaclyn Grossman
Camille Holland
Meghan Jamison
Kieran Kane
Philip Klaasen
Janelle Lapalme
Emili Losier
Jonathan MacArthur
Julia Morson
Justine Owen
Annie Ramos
Jonelle Sills
Whitney Sloan
Rebecca Townsend
Gwendolyn Yearwood