Opera star Marion Newman joins UVic Music

Fine Arts

Critically acclaimed Canadian opera singer Marion Newman joins UVic’s School of Music. Credit: Tony Hauser

Critically acclaimed Canadian opera singer and national CBC Radio host Marion Newman is returning to the University of Victoria to join the award-winning teaching faculty at the School of Music. 

Newman—whose traditional name is Nege’ga—is of Kwagiulth and Stó:lō First Nations descent with English, Irish and Scottish heritage. The 2022 UVic Distinguished Alumni Award recipient will officially join the School of Music as an assistant professor on July 1, 2024.

“I’m really looking forward to this,” she says. “It’s always a lovely circular journey when alumni return and become part of the faculty.” Currently based in Toronto, the busy mezzo-soprano will continue hosting CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera from Victoria.

No stranger to local audiences, Newman recently appeared in City Opera Vancouver’s Songs from the Uproar and is currently workshopping a new opera based on Thomas King’s 2020 comedic novel Indians on Vacation. She was also lauded for her performances in Pacific Opera Victoria’s Missing, which gave voice—in English and Gitksan—to stories of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Critically acclaimed Canadian opera singer Marion Newman portrait in red dress
Marion Newman. Credit: Tony Hauser 

Singing in Indigenous languages is something I've been doing for a number of years now. It's always exciting to immerse yourself in that way as a character to sing words … you start to understand what the general sound of the language is and how it grew out of the place and the people.

—Marion Newman, Canadian opera singer and national CBC Radio host

Already recognized as one of Canada’s leading voice programs, the School of Music is a perfect fit for Newman, who will join the internationally acclaimed likes of professors and opera performers Benjamin Butterfield and Anne Grimm, as well as a team of outstanding faculty covering program areas ranging from performance, composition and musicology to music technology, music education and music theory.

“We are thrilled to welcome Marion!” says School of Music director Alexis Luko. “Given her perspective, local connections and international reach, she’s positioned to have a profound impact on artistic and cultural life in Victoria, and will further UVic’s reputation as a destination for mindful and engaged artists.”

Newman’s hiring aligns with UVic’s Indigenous plan, Xʷkʷənəŋ istəl | W̱ȻENEṈISTEL | Helping to move each other forward, where Indigenous ways of knowing, being and learning are embedded into the university’s programs, systems and organizational structure.

“Part of what's exciting about coming to UVic is that wish to actually do what's needed,” she says. “There are a lot of places that think they're ready to have this conversation, but they’re not really ready for the consequences of those conversations.”

-- 30 --


Media contacts

Marion Newman (School of Music) at mezzo@marionnewman.com

John Threlfall (Fine Arts Communications) at johnt@uvic.ca

Simone Blais (University Communications and Marketing) at uvicnews@uvic.ca

In this story

Keywords: indigenous, music, arts, theatre, alumni, administrative, community

People: Marion Newman

Related stories