Taiwanese-American soprano Tora Klassen is a passionate advocate for the arts as a catalyst for community building. This fuels her exploration of a wide range of repertoire and musical styles, including opera, art song, and contemporary and collaborative music. Tora is equally at home in the concert hall and on the operatic stage, and self-produces thematic concerts and recitals. She recently launched House Concerts at No. 77, an intimate concert series featuring young local artists in London, Ontario.
In 2015, Tora traveled to Aldeburgh, England, to participate in the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, studying French Mélodie and Grand Opera with Natalie Dessay, Laurent Naouri, and Roger Vignoles. And, she competed in the Das Lied International Song Competition in Berlin, Germany. 2014 offered Tora the opportunity to perform La Princesse in Maurice Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges with Western University Opera (London, Ontario), and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at Accademia Europa dell’Opera in Lucca, Italy under director Mariano Furlani and conductor Simone Luti. Also, she participated in Tapestry New Works Opera‘s (Toronto, ON) annual Songbook Recital. In 2013, Tora participated in the Vancouver International Song Institute (Vancouver, BC), where she coached and performed the music of Francis Poulenc with Rosemary Landry, François LeRoux, and Francis Perron. She also participated in Opera NUOVA’s One-Week Intensive program (Edmonton, AB). In 2012, Tora coached the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with Luke Housner, and performed the role of Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte as an Astoria Music Festival Vocal Apprentice (Astoria, OR).
Tora earned her Master of Music degree in Voice Literature and Performance from Western University, where she studied voice with Jackalyn Short, and coached with John Hess and Michael Cavanaugh. Tora recently joined the voice faculty at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University, and teaches private voice lessons in her home voice studio in London, Ontario.
Tora holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN). There, she studied choral conducting with Dr. René Clausen, sang with the internationally- acclaimed Concordia Choir, and studied with baritone Peter Halverson. She holds a Master of Arts in Theology from Regent College (Vancouver, BC). Until 2013, Tora performed regularly in Vancouver with musica intima, a self-conducted professional vocal ensemble; and, she served as the Directer of Worship at West Point Grey Baptist Church for six years.