Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.
I started teaching at Laurier in 2012, after returning from a 23-year career in Europe performing in operas and on concert stages across the continent and as far afield as Russia and Israel. I performed over 50 tenor roles (from once to over 100 times for some Mozart roles) in 6 languages on countless stages. In Germany I taught at the post-secondary level at the Folkwang University in Essen and also gave master classes in song interpretation in Germany and Italy. Through these experiences helping new singers find their unique voice and plan their careers, I discovered a great love of teaching.
While my experience forms the substance of my teaching, my methods have been honed in the German and European traditions and more recently enhanced with a Masters Degree in Vocal Pedagogy, which I completed at the University of Toronto in 2015.
Research Interests / Ongoing Projects
I continue to research methods in vocal pedagogy. A teacher’s philosophy must remain flexible to adapt to scientific advancements, and changing tastes and attitudes, while maintaining the fundamentals of vocal performance technique. Inspired by the teaching methods of Richard Miller, James C. McKinney and Robert Caldwell, I continue to seek out the writings of international teachers of singing, and incorporate them into my teaching philosophy.
I continue to perform in select productions, particularly those that present an artistic challenge such as Die Winterreise. I have performed Schubert’s complex song cycle on numerous occasions and continue to be pulled into the story to peel back the layers of meaning in this singular story of a man’s anguished journey.
Awards and Achievements
ARCT with First Class Honours (Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto) and awarded the Edmund Walker Scholarship.
Bachelor of Music at the University of Toronto with First Class Honours, and awarded the Eaton Graduation Scholarship as top graduating student.
Post graduate studies with William and Dixie Neill in New York and Amsterdam.
Post graduate studies with Sir Peter Pears in England.
Performed as soloist with the leading orchestras and choirs in Canada;
Toronto Symphony under Sir Andrew Davis
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir under Dr. Elmer Iseler
Ottawa Choral Society under Brian Law
Vancouver Bach Choir under Jon Washburn.
Featured as first lyric tenor of the opera houses in Nürnberg (Music Director: Christian Thielemann) and Essen (Wolf-Dieter Hauschild) while performing leading tenor roles in the opera houses of Leipzig, München (Theater am Gärtnerplatz), Düsseldorf (Deutsche Oper am Rhein) and many more throughout Germany and across Europe.
Student Opportunities / Supervising
My studio is student focused, with each student’s learning requirements and emerging plans for the future at the centre of all we do. For students who plan to become professional singers, I provide a holistic, career-development approach including consultation on the projects and performances they undertake – with the primary goal of developing their singing technique and performance experiences for long term success. For students who do not plan to make a career on the stage but consider singing a core part of their education (e.g. Music Therapy or other disciplines), we focus on how singing will enhance their specific area of focus and career path. I also provide guidance to any students who wish to further their education and/or begin a career in Europe.
Anecdotal Thoughts on Teaching at Laurier
When I returned home to Toronto it was to focus on teaching - passing on my knowledge, technique and experience to a new generation of Canadian singers. I established a private studio in Toronto and joined the faculty at Laurier. While I love both, I particularly enjoy teaching at Laurier because of the campus’s positive, inspiring atmosphere, in which diverse musical disciplines thrive, and each talented student is challenged to discover and fulfill his or her unique potential.