After a year’s hiatus from teaching, singer, director and producer Melina Moore is ready to start up her studio, Valley Vocal Arts (VVA), for its 18th season, starting in September.
Founded in 1996 (as StudioMoore), Moore took the past year off to concentrate on her performing career, and says she is feeling refreshed and rejuvenated to start teaching again.
“It was a difficult decision to take a year off, but I felt my students would only stand to benefit if I recharged my batteries,” said the local soprano, who is originally from New York City and studied at Juilliard. “I also had several goals I wanted to accomplish involving my own performance career and it was proving too much to juggle. When I do something, I want to give it my 100 per cent.”
Last November, Moore successfully produced, directed and starred as Maria in The Sound of Music, featuring the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and a local cast and crew.
The show was sponsored by Sparkling Hill Resort.
“This performance made local history, being the first feature musical production ever to collaborate with the OSO,” she said. “We then reprised the show on New Year’s Eve at Sparkling Hill Resort and it was a triumph.”
Moore’s relationship with Sparkling Hill continues to thrive, and many future projects are in the works.
“We are already in the planning stages for the fourth annual New Year’s Eve Gala at Sparkling Hill to ring in 2014, the theme of which will be masquerade,” said Moore.
The singer also continues to perform in private concerts and as part of the musical trio, The Dharma Dolls, featuring Judy Rose and Tanya Lipscomb.
This summer took an exciting turn when Moore performed with legendary Canadian musical theatre icon Michael Burgess.
The two are planning a nationwide concert tour for 2014-15.
“Singing with Michael this past summer was absolutely a dream come true. Sharing the stage with this legend, I kept having to pinch myself,” she said.
The past year also saw Moore perform with renowned Welsh tenor Peter Karrie, who played the Phantom of the Opera. The two completed a 12-show Okanagan concert tour, which marked their third annual collaboration together.
With VVA set to open, aspiring singers of all ages will soon prepare for public performances to take place throughout the teaching year in the form of workshops, master classes, monthly recitals, cabaret-style evenings and a feature mainstage musical at the Powerhouse Theatre in the spring.
“I began producing and directing our full-length musicals in 2010 with our production of Les Misérables. It was so successful that we went on to do The Producers in 2011 and The Pirates of Penzance in 2012,” she said. “This year is going to be epic. We have already secured the rights for Brigadoon, Hair, Fiddler on the Roof and Monty Python’s Spamalot. Now it’s a matter of deciding when we will feature what.”
A Merry Moore Christmas is also making its return this December at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre, and will feature both Melina and local tenor Paul Moore, as well as VVA students.
In addition to the studio’s regular activities, Moore has been planting the seeds for a brand-new non-profit organization called Curtain Call Concerts.
“The CCC Society will be a new Okanagan concert series that will present beloved musicals and operettas in concert format on stage, giving singers even more opportunities to perform for a live audience, and local concert lovers a chance to see and hear all their favourite musicals,” said Moore.
Auditions for VVA are being held this weekend. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment or visit www.melinamoore.com for more information.