"For nearly a decade, Luke Housner has run summer opera workshops in Vancouver; Toronto; Portland, Oregon; and Bloomington, Indiana. These 12-day intensives have inspired students to return for subsequent summers to learn new repertoire, and inspired teachers to urge students to attend. Professor John Hines from the University of Northern Iowa describes these workshops as a great way to “coach language and style in a ‘hands-off-the-technique’ approach and perform complete operatic roles in a semi-staged setting.”
Learning, coaching, and performing entire roles is a top attraction for applicants. Housner takes great care to cast singers in roles appropriate for their vocal development, and everyone goes home with a role under their belt. The productions come together in fewer than two weeks, demanding great preparation and commitment.
Soprano Caryn Crozier—who has sung Barbarina, Papagena and Zerlina in workshops with Housner—describes the experience as “a small taste of what the real world of performing is like.” She also notes that his particular expertise with Mozart gave her a greater understanding of the composer’s recitative and style. Many singers referenced Housner’s high standards and commitment to training young singers as highlights of the program. One alum, Andrew Petracca, called these workshops the “best-kept operatic secret in North America.”
Tuition varies by program, but each is under $900. The majority of participants travel to these cities for the program, connecting in the months prior to arrange shared housing through services like VRBO and Airbnb."