Young Artist Program 2014

Opera Theater of Pittsburgh is proud to announce its SummerFest 2014 Young Artist Program: a combined professional training and performing program that takes place in Pittsburgh for four to six weeks from mid June – July 27, 2014, as part of Opera Theater’s summer festival activities. It is intended for Resident, Featured, Young and Apprentice Artists (singers, pianists and stage directors) with opportunities for solo performance for all participants.

A brief overview

Our Young Artist Program is divided into four categories, each of which has different fee structures and varying starting dates:

Solo Roles

Generally, we work hard to cast Resident, Featured and Young Artists (known collectively as Young Artists) in as many appropriate solo roles as possible, as well as in all cover roles. Most Young Artists also sing in the ensembles in mainstage productions.

Repertoire

SummerFest 2014 includes new productions of:

  • F. Lehar’s The Merry Widow (sung in English)
  • R. Strauss’ Ariadne on Naxos (sung in English)
  • A Broadway classic in a new version with lots of dance! We'll be announcing this soon!
  • Happy Hour! – Love on the Rocks: shorts, shots and chasers - World premiere opera by Roger Zahab, with multiple characters and scenes following blind dates in a bar, performed initially as “pop-up opera”, short episodes in local bars at happy hour, then linked together as a full opera in the last week of the festival. Happy Hour! will be cast solely from the YAP ensemble.
  • Gilda Lyon's A New Kind of Fallout: an opera inspired by Rachel Carson – this will be a workshop performance designed to help develop this new commission prior to its July 2015 world premiere, and will be cast mostly from the YAP ensemble.

In addition, all Artists are invited to perform in the Cabaret program and in other song recitals and concerts.

Training

The program will have a strong training element, and artists will work with world-class singers, directors, conductors, coaches, and choreographers both in production rehearsals and in training sessions, which will include individual and group vocal and repertoire coaching, masterclasses, auditioning classes and career seminars.

Housing

Summerfest is able to provide housing free of charge to Resident Artists only. All other Featured and Young Artists may choose to supply their own housing or pay $500 for Opera Theater to place them in a dormitory or home-stay situation.

I am so pleased to write to you, expressing the wonderful experiences I had at SummerFest 2012. You are all extremely talented and SummerFest is an amazing organization. Everyone was truly devoted to the great art of Opera and all involved worked from the heart. Special thanks to Mr. Eaton who helped me explore the complex sides of acting.
—Andrey Nemzer, Countertenor, Resident Artist, Mildred Miller competition winner and Met Finalist, 2012; roles with SummerFest 2012: Old Lady, Monostatos

Food and transportation

Each artist is responsible for his/her own food and for transportation to and from Pittsburgh. When necessary, once in Pittsburgh, very limited local transportation will be supplied by Opera Theater. Therefore, all Artists are very strongly encouraged to bring their own cars.

Application information

The application fee of $65 guarantees an audition or interview for SummerFest until audition slots are filled and the respective audition time and location are crossed out on the yaptracker application.

Audition cities

For the 2014 season, we will audition in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Houston, Boston, Chicago, and New York City: October 18-November 23, 2013. (See dates below.)

Program Details

Resident Artist Program

June 16 or 23 – July 27, 2014
Up to four Resident Artist Singers will be chosen to perform major solo roles in the mainstage festival productions, understudy major roles, and participate in all training opportunities. This category is designed for emerging professionals between the ages of 22 and 35. Each will receive a full scholarship. No fees are payable for artists admitted to the program in this category, however Resident Artist Singers are expected to submit a $500 deposit for their participation in SummerFest, which will be returned to them once they have completed the program. The duration of residency in Pittsburgh will be from June 16 or 23, depending on which roles and pieces singers are cast in, through July 27, 2014.

There will be 5 openings for Resident Artist Pianists. Each will receive a full scholarship, and will receive additional payments for accompanying services outside mainstage rehearsals. Pianists will work alongside world-class conductors and coaches in rehearsals and training sessions. The duration of residency in Pittsburgh will be from June 16 or 23, depending on which pieces pianists are assigned to, through July 27, 2014. 

There will be 3 places for Resident Artist Stage Directors. Each will receive a full scholarship and work closely as Assistant Directors on mainstage productions, and direct one or more of the Happy Hour! episodes themselves. The duration of residency in Pittsburgh will be from June 16 or 23, depending on which pieces directors are assigned to, through July 27, 2014.

Featured Artist Program

June 16 or 23 – July 27, 2014
Up to four Featured Artist Singers will be chosen to perform substantial solo roles in the mainstage festival productions, understudy substantial roles, and participate in all training opportunities. This category is designed for emerging professionals between the ages of 22 and 35. Featured Artists pay $750 towards tuition fees; they may supply their own accommodation or pay an additional $500 for accommodation supplied by OTP. The duration of residency in Pittsburgh will be from June 16 or 23, depending on which roles and pieces singers are cast in, through July 27, 2014.

Young Artist Program

June 23 or 30 – July 27, 2014
Up to 24 Young Artist Singers will be chosen to participate in the training program and perform in the ensemble with the possibility to understudy and perform appropriate main and smaller roles. In addition, the majority of Happy Hour! roles and many of the cabaret and concert solo performing opportunities will be reserved for Young Artists.

This program is designed for pre-professional and emerging professional singers between the ages of 18 and 30. Residency in Pittsburgh will be from June 23 or 30 through July 27, 2014. Young Artists pay $1,750 towards tuition fees; they may supply their own accommodation or pay an additional $500 for accommodation supplied by OTP.

Apprentice Artist Program

June 16 – July 27, 2014
Up to four Apprentice Artist Singers will perform in the ensemble and participate in the training program as available without charge, and in return will work for the festival in varying capacities ranging from driving artists to and from rehearsals to assisting backstage or front of house as required. Apprentice Artists are expected to have their own cars and accommodations in Pittsburgh: it is therefore an ideal opportunity for young, local Pittsburgh-area singers. 

Returning to OTP was worth every moment of my summer! The experience I gained and the people I worked with are beyond amazing! I love OTP and thank the company for all the opportunities they gave me.
—Brynn Terry, soprano; roles with SummerFest 2012 and 2013

Roles and Casting Policy

SummerFest takes great pleasure in casting Resident, Featured and Young Artists in solo activities as much as possible. In our past 2013 festival, for instance, RAPs FAPs and YAPs were cast as understudies for all roles in all productions, and as soloists in the following roles:

  • The Tales of Hoffmann–Retold: Olympia, Giulietta, Antonia, Crespel, Spalanzani, Nicklausse, Antonia’s mother, Stella, and others
  • The Secret Gardener: Sandrina, Arminda, Nardo, Serpetta and Don Anchise
  • A Little Night Music: Anne, Henrik, Petra, Frederika, Charlotte, Frid, and two Liebeslieder Quintets
  • Night Caps International: 4 world premiere chamber operas: YAP artists took virtually all solo roles (some 20 roles) in these productions.

All of our young artists also sang solos as part of our Cabaret program, a Mozart concert series, and numerous outreach opportunities.

Roles available for SummerFest 2014

All Understudy roles are open to Resident, Featured and Young Artists. For solo roles, we will consider RAPs, FAPs and YAPs for solo roles as follows:

  • F. Lehar’s The Merry Widow (sung in English): all roles except Hanna Glawari, Danilo and Baron Zeta
  • R. Strauss’ Ariadne on Naxos (sung in English): currently all roles, but with the eventual exception of Ariadne, Bacchus and the Music Master
  • Harvey and Schmidt's The Fantasticks: all roles with the probable exception of the fathers
  • Happy Hour! – Love on the Rocks: shorts, shots and chasers – all roles (15 anticipated)
  • Gilda Lyon's Dream of the Company Wife: all secondary roles will be cast from the YAP ensemble

Past Voice and Stagecraft Faculty

Vocal coaching artists

  • Laura Knoop Very (YAP Program Director), soprano, Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Mobile Opera, Nevada Opera
  • Mildred Miller Posvar, (company founder), mezzo, 25 years at the Metropolitan Opera
  • Diba Alvi, soprano, Palm Beach Opera, Long Beach Opera
  • Robert Chafin, tenor, Carnegie Hall, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Salzburg Festival, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Stuttgart Opera
  • Demareus Cooper, soprano, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Long Beach Opera
  • Anna Singer, soprano, New York City Opera, Virginia Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, New Bulgarian Opera.
  • Daniel Teadt, baritone, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Arizona Opera, Pittsburgh Opera.

Repertoire coaches

  • Brent McMunn, conductor, New York City Opera, Arizona Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Music Director Thornton School of Music USC
  • Robert Frankenberry, Music director, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh
  • Hyery Hwang, Principal Coach, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh

Stagecraft training and business seminar

  • Jonathan Eaton, Artistic Director Opera Theater Pittsburgh; New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe and Spoleto Festivals; Royal Opera Covent Garden
  • Scott Wise, Director; Pittsburgh Playhouse, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater

Applications

Please note that the application process varies somewhat for singers, pianists and directors.

All applications must be submitted online (electronic applications only) at YAPTracker.

Applications for SummerFest 2014 and The Mildred Miller International Voice Competition are separate (and both are available through YAPtracker)

The application fee of $65 guarantees an audition or interview SummerFest as long as audition slots are available.

Applications for individual locations are accepted until audition slots are filled and the audition time and location are crossed out on the YAPTracker application.

What a wonderful program you have here. I enjoyed every minute! Thank you for giving me an opportunity to perform in such a beautiful city.
—Errin Brooks, 2013 Young Artist Scholarship Recipient, Tenor

Auditions and Interviews

You may request an audition or interview at any of the following locations. Photo ID is required for entry at all auditions and interviews. 

Cincinnati
Friday November 8, 5:30-10:30pm; Wednesday November 13, 4-10pm, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0003

Pittsburgh
Thursday November 7, 4-10pm; Thursday November 14, 4-10pm, Opera Theater Pittsburgh, Stephen Foster Center (Third Floor), 286 Main St., Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Chicago
Saturday November 16, 10am-6pm; Sunday November 17, 10am-6pm, MAB 109, Choral Room, Music Administration Building, Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University, 711 Elgin Rd., Evanston, IL 60208-1200

New York
Saturday Oct 19, 1-9pm; Sunday October 20, 10am-9pm; Monday October 21 7-10pm; Tuesday October 22 7-10pm. The Steinhardt School, NYU Dept. of Music and Performing Arts, 35 West 4th St., New York, NY 10012

Houston
Friday November 22, 3pm-9pm; Saturday, November 23 10am-5pm; Room 129, Moores School of Music, University of Houston, 120 School of Music Bldg., Houston, TX 77204-4017

Boston
Friday November 8, 5:30-10pm; Sunday November 10, 10am-10pm; Room 118, Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, 290 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115

Pianists Auditions

You will be contacted directly and offered an audition on the dates, in the cities above or at other times to be determined.

Stage Directors Interviews

You will be contacted directly and offered an interview on the dates, in the cities above or at other times to be determined.

Singers and Pianists Audition Repertoire

Each singer should bring 3 contrasting arias, one of which must be in English. Each candidate will begin with the aria of his/her choice. The next selection(s) will be chosen by the Opera Theater representative. An accompanist will be provided at each audition, although candidates are free to bring their own. All audition slots will be 8-10 minutes. Singers are encouraged to act out and perform as fully as possible all of their. Please feel free to move about the room, not stay rooted to the piano, and convince us of your acting ability as much as of your singing ability and musicianship!

Each pianist should bring 2 contrasting opera accompaniments and 1 performance piece. Pianists should be prepared to sight-read and also to sing out (loudly!) some vocal lines while playing.

Directors should bring any portfolios they have with photographs or DVDs of productions directed and be prepared to talk about the concepts underlying their design and production choices.