Melissa Bencic is the Founder and Artistic Director of Bravo Academy for the Performing Arts in Toronto where she works extensively in developing innovative performing arts programs for young and emerging professional artists. As well Melissa is part of the Vocal Faculty at Sheridan College. Melissa is active as a voice instructor, adjudicator, master class clinician, producer, stage director and performer. She holds a M.Mus. in Opera Performance from McGill, a B.Mus. in Opera Performance from UBC and studied Bel Canto Opera at Liceo Musicale “F. Manzato” in Treviso, Italy. Melissa performs both nationally and internationally in opera, operetta, oratorio, musicals, and concerts. Favorite roles include Susanna (Le Nozze Di Figaro), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Gretel (Hansel & Gretel), Adele (Die Fledermaus) and Serpetta (Die Gartnerin aus Liebe). Melissa has produced over 150 musicals and staged directed over 50 musicals and operas.

Melissa is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the inventive New Music Theatre Intensives (NMTI) which is a specialized music theatre program designed to teach students contemporary music theatre skills through developing new musicals and working directly alongside the writers. As part of the program Melissa has worked with some of Canada’s leading music theatre composers and has developed 4 new Canadian musicals; Drama 101, Going Under, Crack of Doom: Or How I Learned to Love the Meteor and is currently developing #Hashtag a new musical. Most recent credits include producing the viral hit musical Be More Chill which was nominated by Broadway World Toronto for Best Community Theatre Production and she recently stage directed Newsies with Bravo Academy's Teen Troupe. Upcoming projects for 2019 Spring and Summer include producing Legally Blonde the Musical, High School Musical II Jr. and Little Mermaid Jr.

Many of Melissa's students are professional working artists in music theatre, theatre, opera, film and pop. She holds much experience teaching artists in all styles of music in all ages and levels. Melissa is a member of the Music Theatre Educators' Alliance, MTEA Voice, National Alliance of Music Theatre, Theatre Ontario, Toronto Alliance of the Performing Arts, Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Melissa loves adjudicating and is honoured to be part of this festival!