Iain Scott is perhaps Canada’s best known and most popular opera educator and tour leader


He grew up in a small village in Scotland … Dollar, Clackmannanshire – (in the middle of an Edinburgh-Stirling-Perth triangle) – which has just 2,000 people and 3,000 sheep.

While at University – at St Andrews – he represented Scotland in Fencing – at both foil and epee.

He holds two Masters’ Degrees – an M.A. (in Medieval History) and an M.B.A. (Master of Business Administration).

He came to Canada 49 years ago and now lives in Toronto with his wife, Barbara.

He enjoyed a 30-year corporate business career (working with Engineers in SHELL, with Chartered Accountants in DELOITTE, and with Consulting Actuaries in MERCER).

During his working career, he taught evening classes on opera appreciation at the University of Toronto and also in many local Community Centres.

In 2002, he retired from corporate life – and founded his own company “OPERA-IS Travel and Learning” (the IS stands for “Iain Scott’)  to lead opera tours, develop opera appreciation courses,  and produce opera guides.


He is in great demand as a LECTURER on Opera.

– In the USA, he has lectured for the Smithsonian Institution, for the Chautauqua Institution, for the Great Books Foundation, for Opera America, for Opera Guilds International, for Palm Beach Opera and the Virginia Opera. He has also lectured for almost every Wagner Society in North America, including the Wagner Society of America, the New York Wagner Society, the American Wagner Association, the Wagner Society of Ohio and the Wagner Society of Washington DC.

– In the Toronto area, he has given many courses and lectures for the University of Toronto (the School of Continuing Studies, Massey College, and Innis College’s Later Life Learning), for York University (Glendon College’s Living and Learning In Retirement), for Ryerson University (Life Institute), for George Brown College (Seniors’ Association), and for the Royal Conservatory of Music (Royal Conservatory School – Music Appreciation).

– He frequently lectures at both the Miles Nadal and Prosserman Jewish Community Centres, as well as for many local synagogues and churches.

– He has regularly lectured for the Guilds and Friends of the Canadian Opera Company, for Opera Atelier, for Opera Hamilton, for the Toronto Wagner Society, for the Mozart Society, etc.

– and, for 30 years, he provided introductory “Backgrounder” talks for no less than 100 “obscure” operas for Opera in Concert.


He has been a frequent BROADCASTER on Opera.

  • – For 8 seasons, (1987 – 1995) he was a regular and frequent panellist for the Metropolitan Opera in New York on their broadcast intermission features – the“Texaco Opera Quiz”.
  • – For 25 years, he was a regular guest quiz panellist and commentator on the “Saturday Afternoon at the Opera” programme for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.


He is a WRITER of magazine articles and of program notes. (See some recent articles).



  • In Toronto, he has served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Opera Company, Toronto’s Opera-in-Concert, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, the Toronto Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Awards Foundation, the St Lawrence Centre for the Arts, OPERA CANADA magazine, the Aldeburgh Connection Concert Society and he was Chair of the Advisory Committee of the U-of-T’s Opera School.
  • In Vancouver, he was a longtime member of the Board of Directors of the Vancouver Opera Association and also the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.


  • Founder of “The Toronto Opera Club”.
  • He is a recipient of:
    • the U of T’s   Outstanding Teacher Award (1992)
    • the U of T’s   Arbor Award for outstanding volunteer service (2000 & 2007)
    • and the Government of Ontario’s   Volunteer Service Award (1990).