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Intensive summer opera training program

Dr. Michael Donovan & Anne-Marie Donovan, Co-Artistic Directors

Established in 2014, Long Reach Opera Workshop is an incorporated not-for-profit organization that provides emerging singers with specialized training to complement their university education. LROW is based in the heart of downtown Toronto, the world's most multicultural city.


LROW places its focus squarely on the singer-actor, working in an intimate ensemble setting to develop well-rounded performers. Workshop participants have the opportunity to develop their stagecraft and perform an opera role in an environment that is supportive, challenging and fun. We have a world-class faculty of movement, acting, music and language professionals who work with the singers in a comprehensive, integrated approach.


What makes LROW unique?

We invest in young people. Working in an integrated fashion, LROW’s small but mighty faculty is committed to creating a deep learning experience in a safe and nurturing environment. We offer the opportunity to have a transformative, enduring learning experience that is transferable to performing any role in the future, be it in opera or in another context.

LROW invests in young adults grappling with an art form that requires passion, discipline, intelligence, courage and generosity - qualities that make this particular subset of young people quite extraordinary. Our students are future leaders and thinkers and we are incredibly privileged to be their guides for a time.

Music students are among the busiest in undergraduate programs: a full course load and the task of practicing an instrument for hours each day is demanding. Voice students have the added challenge of having to perform in a minimum of four singing languages! LROW comes in when, once on stage, a singer must be able to sing, move and act simultaneously, beautifully and seamlessly (possibly in German or Italian or Russian…!). It is a complex, all-involving act that can be incredibly rewarding, but also overwhelming. Our program offers an immersion in the language of the opera, movement and acting, musical refinement, ensemble collaboration and exactness of preparation away from the distractions of their university course load.

We believe it is possible to achieve excellence and have a truly joyful, meaningful human experience on stage. The joy and exhilaration our singers feel up on stage in LROW productions is palpable. Our elated, growing audiences have made that clear.

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What our alumni say about LROW:

Quotation mark“This program has formed me into the artist I've always wanted to be. The tools I've learned from LROW set me apart; through refined, intentional, and dramatic processes, I was able to create a character without compromising my own authenticity.”
- Christina Yun, 2019 Alumni (Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro)

Quotation mark“Long Reach Opera Workshop was genuinely the most valuable learning experience that I have ever had. Every aspect of my performing abilities was improved drastically over the course of a single month—from diction, to technique, to acting, and everything in between. The faculty are incredible. Not only are they staggeringly knowledgeable professionals with impressive careers outside of LROW, they are a group of open, caring teachers. That, perhaps, is what defines LROW: its emphasis on teaching and learning above all else. Yes, it’s a fantastic opportunity to perform a world-class work, but the real value of the program lies in the safe, fun, yet distinctly professional learning environment that the faculty has fostered over the years. I would do LROW again in a heartbeat, and would encourage any singer of any skill level to audition, because it’s an opportunity that will change your life.”
- Sarah Nearing, 2019 Alumni (Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro)

Quotation mark“I came to singing late as a “mature” adult. Consequently I arrived at the YAP programmes in a different way and older than the norm. However at LROW 2019 I felt supported by all and helped by everyone. It was such a nurturing environment. At times I had to go out of my comfort zone but without that I would not have grown as a singer and performer, thank you for giving me this opportunity.”
- Ian Green, 2019 Alumni (Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro)

Where are our alumni now?

Many are pursuing graduate performance degrees in prestigious institutions, many have become professional singers, many are now teaching themselves:

  • Nicholas Higgs (LROW 2018, 2019) is pursuing a Masters at University of Toronto
  • Nicole Leung (LROW 2018) is pursuing a Masters at Yale University
  • Chantal Grysbas (LROW 2018) has graduated with a Masters from San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • Soprano Bahar Harandi (LROW 2018) is pursuing a second Masters degree at Conservatoire de Musique de Montreal
  • Ahlyssa Mundy (LROW 2017) is pursuing a Masters at Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England
  • Midora Marsh (LROW 2017) won First Prize at the COC Ensemble Studio Competition and is in her first year as a member of the COC Ensemble
  • Tenor Andrew Derynck (LROW 2016) has just completed his tenure in Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artists Ensemble
  • Soprano Caroline Stanczyk (LROW 2014, 2015) is at Atelier Lyrique de l'Opera de Montréal.

Please Donate now to the LROW Scholarship Fund.