Opera Singing lessons

Montreal Opera Singing Lessons

While perfecting the voice and breath learn how to best project your voice over an orchestra. Receive expert guidance in preparing for complete roles and recitals in all major operatic languages.


During classes the student will receive singing demonstrations by Gino Quilico that include acoustic, physiological and technical explanations of:

  • The foundations of breath control

  • Projection without forcing the voice

  • Strategies for naso-pharyngeal spacing, vocal chords and resonance

  • How physical and emotional conditions affect the singing voice

  • The use of legato and support (appoggio) 

  • Vocal literature and dramatic interpretation

  • Musical styles associated with the composers

  • Preparation and presentation skills

Cecilia Bartoli 


Placido Domingo

How to select a good Opera Vocal Coach or what makes a good Opera vocal coach?


A good vocal coach should be focusing on the breath control. This is the number one issue with most singers. Remember that we are a wind instrument or breath instrument (No air, No sound).

A good vocal coach should be able to identify your strengths and your weaknesses and use both to build a solid technique. A good coach does not let things pass easily. Bad habits should be corrected immediately. Finally, a good coach is there to teach, advise and assist you to achieve your best.

Top strategies that classical singers use to hit high notes


The famous high note that makes us all tremble in fear! If I had give you one answer to this question... I would say (Forget the High note). However, this is not enough to cure us of this fear. We need more solid answers. Well, let me see... Oh yes... The breath...The support...The approach...The lifting of the upper palate...The cover... The visualization...The vowel... All of these expressions and more are used and the approaches must be perfect to make it really happen. If you reach for the high note then you are most likely pushing the sound out by force. A perfect high note must not feel high, one should think the high note is low, the palate is high, the support is engaged and the note must float on a wave of air.

Most popular Operas for beginner


One could say the most popular operas that we like to sing are the popular ones: Carmen, Tosca, La Traviata, Barbiere di Siviglia, Don Giovanni, La Boheme. But some of these operas are the big powerhouses that demand great vocal strength and technique.


I like to suggest to my young students to start with the more simple arias or art songs. Not necessarily the lead roles but the secondary ones. Some baroque music such as the first opera ever written Orfeo by Monteverdi. Some of the lighter art songs Handel, Tosti, Fauré, Brahms etc… The ones that do not demand great vocal stress. I like to call this the comfort zone.


My reason for this is to work more on the breathing technique in a more relaxed fashion rather than a very demanding vocal aria. This gives us more of a chance to work on details such as the text and pronunciation which very often interferes with the vocal production. The simple arias or art songs tend to demand less volume (not loud singing). The volume plays a less important role and therefore you can work more on the timbre of your voice (Not Quantity but Quality).


Of course if a student is more advanced and has more experience and is planning to sing La Traviata or Don Giovanni, then  yes, we will work hard to get these roles to perfection with the same approach.


Opera in Montreal


L’Opera de Montreal is the main company and definitely were one should see opera. However, today we have small companies that try very hard with small budgets to produce opera which is a very expensive art form to produce. Sometimes these smaller companies produce incredible performances. So I definitely recommend to take the plunge and you might be very surprised. One example could be the small company of Chicoutimi - Société d’art lyrique du Royaume which produce one opera every year. It’s a far trek but worth it.


Montreal has a long history of opera but mostly a long history of producing great opera singers.

To name just a few (Raoul Jobin, Richard Verreau, Maureen Forrester, Louis Quilico, Joseph Rouleau, Robert Savoie, André Turp, Huguette Tourangeau etc…. The list goes on and on. Why you may ask. Well this is a good question but there is no correct answer. It has to do with the culture, the language and so many other reasons that can be expressed by personal opinions. I tend to believe that the Québécois simply Love music.