It is with absolute delight that we announce, world-renowned opera singing teacher, César Ulloa will return to the small but vibrant New Zealand west coast city of Whanganui to join with us for the 24th year of the NZ Opera Training School this coming January.
César Ulloa continues to be the Chair of Voice Department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he also works as Master Teacher for the Adler and Merola Opera programs of the San Francisco Opera. His students perform regularly on the major operatic stages of the world, and have been top prize winners and finalists in numerous competitions including the Metropolitan National Council, Operalia, Monserrat Caballe, Loren Zachary, George London, Richard Tucker and Cardiff Singer of the World. Mr Ulloa who studied music with Thomas Hayward and Franco Corelli, has worked with a number of NZ Opera School alumni in San Francisco and is considered by many to be the best singing teacher in the world.
Alongside his very intensive schedule, César also continues his work in Mexico City at SIVAM, Mexico's most prominent young artist program and it will be his 20th year working with SIVAM.
We are indeed privileged to have you returning to us, and we take this opportunity to ask César about the school during his first time with us earlier this year in January.
What was it like teaching at the school? Did you find it a worthwhile experience and why?
"It was a pleasure to teach at the NZ Opera School because all the students were so eager and enthusiastic to learn and take their singing to a higher level. Also, the entire music staff and administration was outstanding and all wonderful colleagues. I felt we were all working towards similar goals with each of the students…. a real family type atmosphere!"
Do you have any ideas or thoughts about what you plan to bring to the school in 2018?
"I am looking forward very much to coming back and continuing my work with the young singers. After being at NZ Opera School last year I plan to this time around to concentrate more on working on basic vocal technique with the young singers in my private lessons, as well as helping them choose the right repertoire for where they are technically at this particular time in the their vocal development. Singing repertoire, which they are not ready technically for, will produce bad muscle memory, which is something that takes a very long time to get rid of. It is important that they sing the correct repertoire that is suited for them."
What was one or few highlights that you can recall from the 2017 NZ Opera School you attended earlier this year?
"One of my biggest highlights was being welcomed by the traditional Haka ceremony/dance at the beginning of the program --This is something that I will always remember for the rest of my life!."
NZ OPERA SCHOOL would like to thank César for taking the time out of his busy schedule to give NZ and young NZ opera singers a little insight into his experience with the school. We all can't wait to have your talent, skill and most of all yourself at the 2018 school.