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Teaching Studio

Vocal instruction available for teens and adults, beginners to professionals, in Classical, Musical Theatre, and Popular music

As a busy and successful singing teacher in Ottawa, David MacAdam emphasizes healthy and effective vocal production for all singing styles: from opera to musical theatre to popular. His students consistently excel in competitions & festivals at the local and provincial levels, and some at the national and international level as well. Many students prepare for RCM exams, perform in local musical theatre, opera, & operetta productions, and/or attend one of the local performing arts high schools. Students past and present have performed locally in concert & on stage with Opera Lyra Ottawa, The Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Ottawa Pocket Opera, Orpheus Musical Theatre Society, and many other organizations, and in concert in all styles, with some advancing to professional careers in opera, musical theatre and other styles in Canada, the United States and internationally. Selected students may have the opportunity to sing in Ottawa Pocket Opera productions, a local professional opera company of which David is the General and Artistic Director, where they can benefit from his long experience with internationally acclaimed artists, directors, and conductors on the opera stages of North America.

In the past fifteen years, no other Ottawa voice studio has:

  • produced a student who has won back-to-back victories at the highest levels of the OMFA Provincial Music Festival
  • produced a student who placed at the FCMF National Competition
  • produced a student who went directly from the studio to a significant international debut in opera with internationally acclaimed artists, without having first passed through other teachers and programs (Nadia Petrella: as Rosina in Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville”, Nickel City Opera, 2009. Cast featured as Figaro baritone John Packard, famous for creating the title role of "Joseph De Rocher" in Jake Heggie’s highly praised Dead Man Walking at San Francisco Opera, which subsequently has toured the world; New York City Opera regular tenor Benjamin Brecher as "Count Almaviva"; and as "Basilio" Metropolitan Opera bass Valerian Ruminski, a regular performer with other major opera companies throughout the United States and Canada, as well as internationally). [“As Rosina, Nadia Petrella is world class — beautiful and funny. Her high notes were clear as bells, her demanding lines dazzling.”, Mary Kunz Goldman, The Buffalo News].

In addition to teaching students how to sing, David also provides repertoire coaching at a very high level, such that outside coaching is generally not required, thereby reducing the cost to the student of paying for that service above and beyond the cost of their regular lessons. [See below for a list of some of the Masters he has worked with].

As an Associate Performance Instructor at Carleton University, David can carry students past high school and guide them to successful completion of a Bachelor of Music degree program. He is also equally comfortable working with Musical Theatre and Popular singers in all styles. Students have gone on to further their training and education at some of the foremost universities and advanced programs, including The Manhattan School of Music, McGill University, Mannes School (New York, USA), University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario, Carleton University, Queens University, The International Vocal Arts Institute, La lingua della lirica (Italy), Banff Centre for the Performing Arts, the University of British Columbia, and AMDA [American Musical and Dramatic Academy] (New York, USA), among others - most with scholarships and/or grant support.

David has also taken on clients with damaged vocal cords from incorrect use of the voice, and working with colleagues in medicine and speech language pathology has helped them to successfully correct their issues and get back to healthy singing.

An alumnus of the State University of New York at Buffalo, David holds Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Music degrees in Vocal Performance, both with honors. His educational background includes training in all areas pertaining to the lyric stage: vocal performance, dance, acting, directing, stage management, and technical areas. As a student, he also participated in master classes conducted by such luminaries as Gérard Souzay, Elly Ameling, Dalton Baldwin, Margaret Harshaw, and Maureen Forrester, among others. He has been often heard in opera, recital & concert, locally and abroad, and been broadcast live on CBC Radio.

"I strive to offer the opportunity for training to students at all levels, and not only the most obviously talented...and as a result have regularly uncovered 'diamonds in the rough'. I am not so much concerned about building my own image in the community by doing as some teachers do and hand-picking only the most obviously talented in order to make myself look good. While I can and do indeed help those obviously talented individuals to excel and achieve their goals, I am equally motivated to help individuals whose talents are less obvious develop and bloom into advanced singers as well as to help more challenged students who have a strong desire to add music into their lives in a way it may never have existed for them before..."