This is a combined professional training and performing program that takes place in Pittsburgh for a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of six weeks (depending on casting) from June 15 – July 26 2015, 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. For detailed information please see below.
A brief overview
Our Young Artist Program is divided into four categories, each of which has different fee structures and varying starting dates:
"This is the first time I have felt completely supported as an artist and human being simultaneously. Bravi tutti to everyone for treating us as colleagues, but also nurturing us in the areas we need to grow."
—Studio Artist 2014
Generally, we work hard to cast Resident, Featured and Studio 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For the 2015 season, we will audition in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Houston, Boston, Muncie, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City, mostly over weekends, from November 8 - December 6, 2014. (See dates below.)
"What a marvelous experience this has been. I must extend my deepest and most heartfelt gratitude… you have assembled a fine, fine group of musicians here, an excellent staff, and an overall amazing performance and learning experience. Thank you so much for everything. I have had a most memorable experience, and I hope to work with you again in the future."
—Jesse Leong, Resident Artist Pianist, 2014
June 15 - July 26 2015
Singers: 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 15, depending on which roles and pieces singers are cast in, through July 26.
Marianne Cornetti Resident Artist Scholarship: One singer will be the recipient of this scholarship in honor of international mezzo soprano Marianne Cornetti.
Pianists: 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 15, depending on which pieces pianists are assigned to, through July 26.
Stage Directors: 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. The duration of residency in Pittsburgh will be from June 15, depending on which pieces directors are assigned to, through July 26.
for most participants: June 22 - July 26
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 22, depending on which roles and pieces singers are cast in, through July 26.
for most participants: June 29 - July 26
Up to 24 Studio Artist Singers will be chosen to participate in the training program and perform in the ensemble with the possibility to perform appropriate roles and understudy roles. In addition, the majority of Damn Yankees roles and many of the cabaret and concert solo performing opportunities will be reserved for Studio 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 29 through July 26. Studio Artists pay $1,750 towards tuition fees; they may supply their own accommodation or pay an additional $500 for accommodation supplied by OTP.
Watch an excerpt from the SummerFest 2014 production of Ariadne on Naxos. (Elizabeth Baldwin as Ariadne;
Elizabeth Fischborn as Zerbinetta; Erika Hennings as The Composer; Benjamin Taylor as Harlequin)
for most participants: June 15 - July 26 2015
Up to four Apprentice Artist Singers will perform in the ensemble and participate in the training program 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
2015 Season Mainstage repertoire includes:
|Capriccio||by Richard Strauss||All roles available to YAPs|
|The Marriage of Figaro||by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart||All roles available except Bartolo and Marcellina|
|Damn Yankees||by Adler & Ross||All roles available|
|A New Kind of Fallout||World Premiere of an eco-opera inspired by the work of Rachel Carson||10 roles available|
|by Gilda Lyons & Tammy Ryan|
Additional opportunities expected to include:
|The Impresario||by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|
|Prima la musica e poi le parole||by Antonio Salieri|
|A Schubertiade: several recitals
featuring arts songs by Schubert
|works by Franz Schubert|
SummerFest takes great pleasure in casting Young Artists in solo activities as much as possible. In our 2014 festival, for instance, all Young Artists were cast, not just as understudies, for all roles in all productions, but also as soloists in the following roles:
|Ariadne on Naxos||all roles except Ariadne, Bacchus, and The Major Domo|
The Merry Widow
|Camille, Kromow, Bogdanovich, Sylviane, Raoul de St Brioche, Vicomte Cascada, Olga, Pritschitsch, Praskowia, Lolo, Dodo, Joujou, Froufrou, Cloclo, Margot|
|The Fantasticks||Luisa, Hucklebee, Mortimer|
|Happy Hour!||31 roles in eight newly commissioned pop-up operas|
|All young artists also sang solos as part of our Cabaret program, in our series of five recitals, and for numerous outreach opportunities.|
Past Master Classes
Marianne Cornetti, Robert Croan, Jane Eaglen, Timothy LeFebvre, Mildred Miller Posvar, Eugene Perry, Melanie Sonnenberg
Past Voice Faculty
Mildred Miller Posvar, (company founder), mezzo, 25 years at the Metropolitan Opera
Diba Alvi, soprano, Palm Beach Opera, Long Beach Opera
Raymond Blackwell, baritone, coach, Pittsburgh Opera, CMU, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh
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
Dimitrie Lazich, baritone, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Cleveland Opera, Staatsoper Stuttgart, Sarasota Opera
Milutin Lazich, bass-baritone, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh; Professor, Clarion University
Craig Priebe, baritone, New York City Opera, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Playhouse
Anna Singer, soprano, New York City Opera, Virginia Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, New Bulgarian Opera
Laura Knoop Very, soprano, New York City Opera, Metropolitan Opera
Daniel Teadt, baritone, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Arizona Opera, Pittsburgh Opera
Raymond Very, tenor, Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Hamburg State Opera, Bavarian State Opera
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
Bernard McDonald, conductor, Glyndebourne, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera
Hyery Hwang, Principal Coach, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh
Stagecraft training and business seminar
Jonathan Eaton, Artistic Director, Opera Theater Pittsburgh; NYC Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe and Spoleto Festivals; Royal Opera Covent Garden
Peter Kope, Producing Artistic Director, Attack Theatre
Scott Wise, Pittsburgh Playhouse
Please note that the application process varies somewhat for singers, pianists and directors.
All applications must be submitted online (electronic applications only) at yaptracker.com and are due on Friday, November 7, 2014.
Applications for SummerFest 2015 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 & 2014 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.
Pittsburgh , PA
Saturday November 8, 10am - 6pm: Opera Theater Pittsburgh, Stephen Foster Center (Third Floor), 286 Main St., Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Sunday, November 16, 10am - 6pm: Room 118, Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, 290 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Cincinnati , OH
Saturday, November 15, 10am - 5pm: Werner Recital Hall, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0003
Saturday, November 15, 10am - 6pm: MAB 109, Choral Classroom, Music Administration Building, Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University, 711 Elgin Rd., Evanston, IL 60208-1200
Saturday, November 22, 10am - 6pm: Room TBD, Ball State University, Muncie, IN
New York , NY
Saturday and Sunday, November 22 & 23, 10am - 6pm: The Steinhardt School, NYU Dept. of Music and Performing Arts, 35 West 4th St., New York, NY 10012
Saturday, November 22, 10am - 6pm: Room 129, Moores School of Music, University of Houston, 120 School of Music Bldg., Houston, TX 77204-4017
December 6, 11am - 7pm: Room TBD, University of Southern California
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 choice: 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.
Comments from survey of 2014 YAPs:
"This experience was invaluable. I learned so much more about being a professional singer."
"First opportunity to develop 3 characters in 3 operas simultaneously, so this developed new skills in learning, rehearsal, staging, focus, etc!"
"Great opportunity to work with professionals and meet colleagues in the industry! Innovative work and opportunity to work with an experienced, talented director, with tremendous insight into the career path and techniques."
"The program provided ample opportunity for the YAPs to perform and work with the faculty. The faculty was very knowledgeable, and I appreciate the amount of time I was given to work with them. I felt like I improved a lot."
"All the masterclasses, coachings, and voice lessons were really great to have. Keep them up!"
"Very positive. Excellent learning and performance experience. Great connections."
"I loved my host family."
"Scheduling was a bit of an issue, lack of sufficient time for food!"
"Better run than any company I have ever been a part of; wonderful communication via call board… love it!"
"I loved the opportunity I received here with Opera Theater. The faculty and artists were a pleasure to work with."
"a great experience! I want to return!"