Meet Your Professor: J. Patrick Raftery, Assistant Professor of Voice

Prof. Raftery

Introduce yourself in 280 characters or less

“Singer and Voice Teacher, Flâneur and World Traveler”
“Facilitator of musicians of the future!”

What courses do you teach?

This year I’m teaching Voice Studio and MUSC 537C (Seminar in Opera Literature).

How would you describe your approach to teaching music? What do you enjoy the most about teaching?

I enjoy the process of helping each student find their own voice and their own unique set of gifts. The challenge is what brings the fun!

What can students expect during their private lessons with you?

Laughter, learning, challenges, struggles, and wins!

What do you love about your instrument? What drives you crazy about it?

The greatest thing about my voice is that it is an ever-moving octopus with eight unyielding legs flailing around! I get to try to control them and this is also what drives me crazy about my voice.

WATCH: Prof. Raftery performs “Largo al factotum” from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville



Describe one of your most memorable performances (good or bad!).

One of my most memorable performances was getting to sing Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with the Metropolitan Opera in Central Park for 100,000 people during a rainstorm! The great Alfredo Kraus and astounding Mariella Devia were the other singers and at one point we had to run for cover for fear of the lightning hitting the orchestra shell and stage! It was very operatic!

What is your favourite piece of music?

Whatever new piece of music I am learning at the moment! I love the challenge of wrestling a new work into my voice! I also think learning new music keeps your voice healthy!

If you didn’t sing, what instrument would you like to play?

French horn, tuba, trumpet, and/or trombone. . . my heart is really with the brass!

When you’re not practicing or teaching or performing, what are you most likely to be doing?

Enjoying the stunning city of Vancouver, the views of the mountains and Pacific Ocean, and eating sushi!

Finally, what advice would you give students entering the BMus program this year? And for students thinking about the BMus program, what are your top three best reasons for studying music at UBC?

I think the study of music is an essential form of self-care and learning. I believe a love for music is a calling that is given to only a few and it is tragic not to follow your calling. My colleagues at the School of Music and the atmosphere within the School make it an ideal setting to discover yourself and realize your calling to a life in music!

For more information about Prof. Raftery, check out his
faculty profile.