Acting through Arias

An acting and auditioning workshop
for the modern opera singer

“Working with Wes is like popcorn for smart people, he is a very generous actor/singer who explores roles at a very rare level of depth. His aptitude to adjust like a chameleon to one’s vision is simply remarkable and is the proof of great technique, research, psychology, but also, empathy.”
Maria Todaro, Stage Director and General Director of
The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice

"Lots of room for creativity and exploration"
"Very informative, fun, and helpful."
"Unique and memorable."
"I feel like I have learned SO much more over this past hour.
Students from
The Governor’s School of the Arts

“Wes is a singer who understands the relationship between his voice, the orchestra, subtle shades of tempo, and phrasing around text.
Because of this, our collaborations have been wonderful, intuitive, and easy going, an important part of the singer/conductor interaction.”
-Dean Williamson, International Conductor and Music Director for Nashville Opera

Photo by Adam Griffith

Photo by Adam Griffith

Do you struggle with your acting as an opera singer? Are you at a loss on how to move naturally while still singing demanding music? Do you consistently become locked in place with your hands against your chest while negotiating a sentimental passage of music? Do you notice your high notes are accompanied by a parallel extension of your arms in a kind of “I’M KING OF THE WORLD!” Titanic nod?

Well, you’re not alone.

These days, we constantly hear how opera singers need to be better actors but rarely do those who voice this opinion offer solutions and resources to remedy this. After witnessing a fabulously sung scenes concert filled with stock gestures and stiff physicality by some of the most gifted young artists in our country, I was inspired to put together a lab to help address these default positions.

The truth is, we all are guilty of allowing our bodies to high-jack our movements while singing in opera. The good news is: we can break these habits.

In this three hour workshop, each participant will sing through an aria in a group setting as we discuss tools we can use to strengthen our expression, free up our physical gestures, and get out of the way of our voice. 

In addition, we will discuss such topics as use of rehearsal time, methods for incorporating demanding emotional states into our singing, the realities of auditioning for opera in the current job market in the United States, available resources for bridging gaps in our training, and more. 

Overall, this is a class where you can explore your interpretive abilities and artistic identity. I’ve been singing professionally for over 16 years and I want to be your advocate and help you in any way I can. Our community needs to support one another more than ever.

So, whether you are fresh out of a training program or you are a seasoned veteran looking to shake things up, you are welcome to join us. However, previous extended training in classical singing is required. Scroll down below to reserve a spot. Space is limited to 6 participants. First come, first served.

What You can expect

  • Individualized Coaching in a Supportive Environment Among Peers

  • iPhone Footage of Your Work Session For Study

  • Role Preparation Techniques

  • Discussion and Analysis of the Collaborative Process in a Rehearsal Room

  • Diction Tips

  • Repertoire Suggestions

  • Discussion of Acting Techniques and How They Relate to Our Work

  • Using the Music and Words to Inspire Emotional Choices

  • Breakdown of Stock Gestures To Avoid

  • Tips and Suggestions for Building your Website

  • Resume Revisions

  • Discussion of the Audition Process & Realities of Casting

  • Stories from the Industry & Balancing Life on the Road

  • List of Resources to Further Your Skill Set

  • Reading and Viewing List

  • A New Ally in Your Artistic Journey

    FUTURE DATES TBD Please ConTact below to inquire

Name *
Describe any relevant training in opera, voice, and acting as well as coaches and teachers. Just a short list or a few sentences.
Please list any professional experience you've had: (Show, role, Company, Year)