The classical voice program provides each singer with the tools needed for a lifetime of expressive singing. Technical study is balanced with intense work on language and interpretation - solo performance is balanced with ensemble performance - academic courses are balanced with performance-based courses. Working in a collaborative environment led by our outstanding Vocal Faculty, students are encouraged to become the well-rounded singers and teachers needed in today’s changing world.


Course Offerings:

Along with core academic courses in Theory, History, and Basic Skills, we offer the following performance courses:

  • Diction-Repertoire – Beginning in 2nd year, this three-year cycle takes Undergraduate students through a detailed approach to Italian, German, and French diction and repertoire. Post-Baccalaureate and Graduate students have a separate Diction cycle covering English, French, German, and Italian.
  • Performance Skills – For 3rd and 4th year students, this course covers all the different aspects of performance, including presentation, programming, auditioning, resumes, business concerns, and so on.
  • Vocal/Instrumental Collaboration – This class is open to those who want to explore Vocal/Instrumental collaboration and includes working with composers to prepare and present new works written for the class.
  • Advanced Opera Studies– For Masters, Post-Baccalaureate, and advanced Undergraduate students, this program comprises Acting for Singers, which includes a Dance/Movement section, and Operatic Repertoire.
  • Role Study – For Masters and Post-Baccalaureate students who want to study a complete role.

Lessons, Coachings, and Masterclasses:

Students receive 26 lessons each year(one hour per week). Those in 3rd year performance,  4th  year Performance, Post Baccalaureate, and Masters programs have 1.5 hours of lessons each week. Vocal coachings are scheduled for all voice students on a bi-weekly basis. Interpretation coachings, focusing on text and physicality, are also a feature of our program. Each singer sings once per term in Vocal Masterclass. Clinicians for the Masterclass include our own faculty along with guest instructors. Guest instructors have included Rachel Andrist, Judith Forst, Darryll Edwards, Christiane Riel, Mark Wilson, Nikki Einfeld, John Tessier, Deen Larsen, Robert Tweten and Theodore Baerg.


Undergraduate singers participate in two ensembles per year, one a choral ensemble, the other a stage ensemble. Post-Baccalaureate and Masters singers participate in ensembles in consultation with their advisors.

Performance Opportunities

Singers at the Desautels Faculty of Music have countless solo-performing opportunities through their ensembles, performance classes, masterclasses, and recitals. Also available are numerous performing opportunities with the larger arts organizations found in Winnipeg’s vigorous arts community. These organizations include the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Opera, the Little Opera Compnay, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Canzona, Winnipeg Singers, Camerata Nova, and the Musical Offering.

Classical Voice Faculty:

Mel Braun Vocal Dept Coordinator/Voice Teacher/ Opera Music Director
Laura Loewen Diction-Repertoire/Vocal Coaching/Collaborative Piano
Katherine Twaddle Opera Studies Coordinator/Opera Theatre Director/Performance Skills
Robert MacLaren Voice Teacher/Role Study/Vocal-Instrumental Collaboration
Elroy Friesen Choral Studies Director/Choral Ensembles
Karen Jensen Graduate Studies Chair/Vocal Pedagogy

Classical Voice Sessional Instructors:

Valdine Anderson Voice Teacher
Tracy Dahl Voice Teacher
Donna Fletcher Voice Teacher/Musical Theatre Ensemble
Monica Huisman Voice Teacher
David Klassen Voice Teacher
Rosemarie van der Hooft Voice Teacher
Lois Watson-Lyons Voice Teacher