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May 11, 2010

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
Cause opportunity comes once in a lifetime...yo

(from Lose Yourself by Eminem)

Did you sing into the hairbrush as kid? Do you still dream of performing on stage? If music is something you love, don’t let it go! That’s the guiding sentiment of Camosun College/Victoria Conservatory of Music graduate Eve-Lyn de la Haye, who is making music her future.

Eve-Lyn de la HayeNot your average love story

“My parents are both musicians and they met each other while they were both teaching at the Victoria Conservatory of Music,” says de la Haye. My mom was the head of the Suzuki Piano department and my dad taught clarinet and ran the music library. I guess you could say I was a Conservatory baby!

Although I started with lessons on violin, when I was 15 years old, I knew that singing was what I wanted to do. My parents said, well then, you should study with the best, and that is Selena James.

So that is what I did. When I was 17, I auditioned for the Camosun Program and ended up spending seven years studying with Selena. Some of my favorite memories from that program are History classes with Robert Holliston whose passion for music is nothing short of inspiring, and Repertoire classes where I had such experiences as hearing Schumann’s Dichterliebe for the first time.

After I graduated from Camosun, I taught voice lessons at the VCM for five years to pay my way through more studying with Selena. I specialized in teaching kids and teens and developed the “Gotta Sing” musical theatre program for kids. For six years, I also sang with the Opera Studio program which was run by Selena James and Robert Holliston. There I worked with amazing choreographers, directors and conductors like Gwen Dobie, Alison Green and Joey Pietraroia.

From Victoria with love

I was sad to leave Victoria, but it was time to move on, and in 2005 I was accepted into the University of Toronto’s Opera Programme. During my two years in that prestigious program, I studied with the renowned teacher Mary Morrison and performed lead roles in two operas each year. Over the years, I have attended numerous summer festivals such as the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts, Opera NUOVA, Tanglewood (where I worked with Maestro James Levine), the Britten-Pears Programme in Aldeburgh, England, and the International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel.

I now have an agent and am auditioning and performing all over the country. One of my most exciting career experiences so far was last January when I sang the role of Echo in Calgary Opera’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos along side some of Canada’s best singers including Victoria’s own Richard Margison (also a former Selena James student) as well as coloratura Tracy Dahl and lyric soprano Wendy Nielsen. This production was broadcast on CBC Radio’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera.

This is a difficult career with continuous ups and downs. You have to want it more than anything else and you must truly believe that you have something unique to say with your art. My advanced training began at the VCM and it has taken me far. I come back whenever I can and have a check up with Selena who still knows my voice better than anyone else. I am grateful for my years there—for one thing, I met the man I eventually married in my first English class at Camosun.

Ready to make music your life story?

The VCM/Camosun Professional Music School is reviewing late applications for Diploma in Music, Diploma in Jazz Studies, and Certificates in Music Foundations until June 1, 2010. For more information, contact Fuchsia Shier, VCM Post-Secondary Registrar, at 250–386–5311, ext:2360, or visit

Last updated: February 22, 2017 4:10 pm

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