Shannon Holmes

Shannon Holmes

Department of Drama and Theatre Arts
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: Ephemeral Repetitions: Deconstructing Vocal Technique and Freeing Spontaneous Expression for Authentic Vocal Performance
Supervisors: Dr Caroline Radcliffe and Dr Adam Ledger
PhD Drama and Theatre Studies

I am a singer, actor, director and educator whose work revolves around voice. I received my BFA in Theatre Performance with a Minor in Music from Concordia University (Canada) and my MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College (USA). Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, I now reside in Montréal, Quebec.

As a performer, I have worked for over 30 years as both an opera singer and an actor with credits that include  Papagena in The Magic Flute, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel and Maria in Twelfth Night. I am also the artistic director of SoMo Theatre, a company dedicated to the creation of interdisciplinary performance that explores the intersection of singing and speech.

I was on faculty in the Theatre Department at Capilano University in North Vancouver BC where I taught voice and speech, and have led workshops both privately and for the Vancouver Arts Club Actors Intensive, Concordia University and Shift Space Inc. As well, I have maintained a busy private studio for over 20 years, coaching singers and actors in both speech and singing.

I have extensive training in a large and diverse range of vocal techniques including bel canto, Roy Hart, Linklater, and most recently, I have returned from the Royal Central School for Speech and Drama in London where I began my studies as a candidate for certification as a Fitzmaurice Voicework® teacher.


The heart of my artistic curiosity lies in how the sounds we make might reveal our authentic selves stripped of social expectations. How does vocal technique help or hinder an authentic expression? Between vocal technique and spontaneous expression, is truthful performance possible? How can we use our physical and emotional resources toward an authentic vocal response? In my work with voice, I address these questions by disrupting the dividing line between singing and speech, and developing new vocabulary and new physical and emotional economies for negotiating the intersections between the two.