One of North America’s most respected vocal teachers and coaches, Elaine Overholt, BMus'75, has honed her skills as a sought-after vocalist, stage performer, educator and producer. As a graduate of Western University, where she studied classical piano, voice and opera, she was inducted into the university's "Wall of Fame" in 2011.
Elaine has performed with Ray Charles, Martin Short, Paul Shaffer, Eric McCormack, opera star Richard Margison, Anne Murray and Tina Turner. As a sought-after vocal coach for major Hollywood productions, she has heightened the performances of John Travolta, Zac Efron, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Marsden and Christopher Walken in ‘Hairspray The Movie’, and Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, and Queen Latifah in the Oscar-winning movie ‘Chicago’. The two episodes of 'The Ellen Degeneres Show' in which Elaine coached Ellen in a highly compressed ‘lesson’ for a mock musical, created a youTube sensation.
In the realm of theatre, she has trained the leads of the Broadway and/or Toronto productions of ‘Hairspray’, 'We Will Rock You', ‘The Producers’, ‘Rent’, 'Mamma Mia’ and ‘The Sound Of Music’, to name a few.
Record labels and management companies send their recording artists to Ms. Overholt where they learn to protect their voices, hone their live shows and prepare themselves for the rigours of touring. Both The San Francisco Ballet and The National Ballet of Canada engaged Elaine to prepare them for their singing debut in their highly-acclaimed productions of ‘West Side Story Suite”. And she was a judge alongside Andrew Lloyd Webber, as well as the lead vocal coach for the hit CBC-TV series 'How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?'.
Elaine was selected as a member of an international jury which included Stephen Fry and Atom Egoyan, that chose the 9th laureate of the renowned Glenn Gould Prize, Leonard Cohen. Her own TV series 'Big Voice' is currently airing on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) in the U.S. and Canada and Big Voice Studios in downtown Toronto is a 7-day-a-week creative haven of music-making with nine teachers, including Elaine. Her Big Voice DVD and Vocal Warm-up CD has sold all over the world.
Richard Gere wrote that Elaine is “... a patient, passionate and truly inspired teacher.”
John Travolta wrote: “Elaine instantly found my comfort level, so that I was able to re-discover my voice with great joy and confidence”.
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