VOICE (Classical, Opera, and Musical Theatre)
Ana Toumine, soprano, is an active performer in Winnipeg, performing with the Manitoba Opera Chorus, Little Opera Company, and Flipside Opera. She holds a Master of Music in Voice and Opera Performance from McGill University, a Bachelor of Music in Opera Performance from the University of British Columbia, and a diploma in Voice Performance from the University of Manitoba, where she studied with Tracy Dahl.
Career highlights include; the 2020 winner of the North Dakota-Manitoba District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; the 2019 second prize winner of the Vancouver Opera’s 1st inaugural VOX Gala competition; Mimí in Opera Kelowna’s La Bohème.
Ana has also participated as an artist in residence at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, received recognition from the Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts as a 30 under 30 artist, was a participant of the Creative Manitoba Mentorship program, and was awarded an Alberta Foundation for the Arts Training and Career Development Grant.
What is your education and experience?
Master of Music in Voice and Opera Performance – McGill University (2017) Bachelor of Music in Opera Performance – University of British Columbia (2012) Post-Bacc Diploma in Voice Performance – University of Manitoba (2015)
What makes your lessons different from the rest?
I believe that singing takes all of a person, not just their voice. It is the individuality, exploration, technique, expression, and practice that truly make a whole singer. In my lessons, we will focus on all of these elements, while working together to build an exciting path that combines the student’s natural voice and needs, with hard work, to hone the skills required to reach their goals.
Every student is different and there is nothing more wonderful than that individuality. It comes out in a student’s voice, in their passion, and in their story-telling. It is my job as their teacher to help them find the courage to express themselves as who they are, and no one else.
With individuality comes individual learning styles and needs. Not only will we explore with the voice (often making wild sounds to get to the pretty sounds!), but we will also explore with aural and sight training, as well as physical movement and breath.
Breath and support are the foundations of healthy singing. Technique is very important to me, as I have always prioritized the longevity and growth of the instrument. Optimal singing and expression need a good base to stand upon, no matter what the style. Therefore, the building blocks to artistry must include an understanding of technique.
This involves text (language, translation, and pronunciation), interpretation, and story-telling. Different styles require varying levels of emoting, but all of them require expression.
This is one of the most important elements of my studio. I will teach my students everything I know, but they must be willing to explore regularly on their own at home. I encourage my students to reflect, question, and make choices that will ultimately build their confidence in themselves, their artistry, and their voice. We will set goals and work backwards to carve a path to achievement. Weekly stepping stones may feel tedious, but are very important, as I believe these small steps are the way to truly grow sustainably as an artist.
What do you love about teaching?
I have always been a helper, a leaner, and a passionate individual. The opportunity to share this passion with anyone looking to express themselves is a thrill for me. In the early days of singing as a child, I struggled a lot with stage fright. I so longed to be able to break that barrier, because I just loved to sing. It was difficult for me to find the confidence because I always felt mismatched with such a big voice (and passion) in such a little body.
With the help of my nurturing, challenging, and knowledgeable voice teachers, I was able to find the foundation that grounded my voice to continue growing and learning through music for the rest of my life. No matter what form music takes in an individual’s life, if I can bring a positive impact to the growth of a student over all, it is a joy for me to fulfill.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking music lessons?
Yes – join us! There are so many wonders of the human experience that can be expressed or felt through music. No matter what your goals or dreams, music will help you to become more self aware, more disciplined and goal oriented, expose you to a unique and magical interaction with an audience, and transport you to another world that you can carry into the rest of your life. Music is for everyone – let yourself be surprised at where it takes you.