Tara Litvack is known for her distinctive style of teaching and musicality. Detail-oriented, intellectual, emotionally-driven, and theatrically holistic, her approach is known for going “beyond the notes” – always seeking an honest and grounded performance that no longer feels like song, but real life. Tara’s performances are meticulously taught to ensure everything holds meaning and enhancement to the larger production and seek to make a lasting emotional impression and connection to both the audience and cast.
Tara was born in Santa Barbara, California and early on moved to Boulder, Colorado with her family. By the age of six, Tara had moved again to Montreal, Quebec and began her piano studies at the McGill Conservatory of Music. Her love of piano began there with her studies with Andrea Iuoras and later with James Angelopoulos. Tara entered the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music in 2006 and was the recipient of the Eric James Soulsby Music Scholarship. She received an Honours B.Mus in Music Education with her major in piano. There, she studied piano with John Kruspe, orchestral conducting with Ivars Taurins, choral conducting with Lori-Ann Dolloff, as well as Vocal Pedagogy with Lorna MacDonald.
Tara kicked off her pursuits in musical theatre serving as the musical theatre accompanist at the National Music Camp of Canada in 2007. She continued to pursue musical direction in university-based productions and later branched out to Hart House Theatre first acting as a music assistant for the Canadian Premiere of High Fidelity and later in 2011, becoming music director for the Toronto Premiere of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. She began her extensive work in youth theatre at Toronto Youth Theatre in 2010 and music directed several productions with them including the first all-youth version of the controversial musical, Spring Awakening. Tara later became faculty and music director for Teen Troupe at Bravo Academy.
In 2012, Tara began working for The Musical Stage Company, Toronto’s premiere contemporary musical theatre company. Since then, she has music directed Reframed – a collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario featuring the new works of three writing teams, including composers Britta Johnson, Bryce Kulak, and Kevin Wong – and received a Dora nomination for Best New Musical. She served as Associate Music Director for both Reza Jacobs on Falsettos and Bob Foster on LaChiusa’s The Wild Party. During The Wild Party‘s production run, Tara music directed a concert, in collaboration with The Musical Stage Company and Theatre Sheridan, featuring LaChiusa’s work and had the honour of Michael John LaChiusa in attendance. Tara continues to work with The Musical Stage Company in various capacities.
In 2014, Tara was selected as the Music Directing Intern at the Shaw Festival under the mentorship of Paul Sportelli. While there, she worked on their production of Cabaret in rehearsals, and played 35 shows on both Keys 1 and 2 in the orchestra, as well as conducting one performance. She was the first woman to conduct in their Festival Theatre. She also contributed to their production of The Philanderer as vocal coach, and music directed, orchestrated, and recorded music for Alistair Newton’s Director’s Project Must it be it must be it must be: Three Short Plays of Samuel Beckett. The internship was generously funded by the Metcalf Foundation Performing Arts grant.
Tara has worked with Mirvish Productions, The Stratford Festival, Charlottetown Festival, Theatre Sheridan, The Guild, among other companies in Toronto as a music director, accompanist, and keyboard sub. She has worked on several original works composed by Britta Johnson, Bryce Kulak, Kevin Wong, Yan Li, Kieran MacMillan, Linda Barnett, Eliza Musselwhite, Jesse Farb, and Greg Janssen. In addition to music direction, she is a sought after audition and masterclass accompanist working with The Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, Charlottetown Festival, The Musical Stage Company, Dayton Walters Casting, Segal Centre, Rainbow Stage, among others. Running her own private studio, Tara is also a busy vocal coach, preparing singers of all ages and ability.
Tara adores playing, breathing, and living music each and every day. She currently resides in Toronto with her rabbit and two cats. Once in a blue moon when she is not working on music, she is playing with her lovely animals, reading a good book, drawing cartoons of her life, and dreaming of getting a dog. Please feel free to drop her a line – she is passionate of discussing music in all aspects and genres and loves meeting new collaborators.