Project Opera

Project Opera is Minnesota Opera’s youth training program for talented young singers in grades 4-12. Each year Project Opera performs one opera specifically composed for kids for audiences of kids. Project Opera singers also serve as the children’s chorus in Minnesota Opera main stage productions. Minnesota Opera is looking for all talented singers who want to learn about singing, acting, and opera. Be a part of one of the most exciting and unique programs in the country!

Graduates have gone on to study music at the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, Oberlin College Conservatory, Lawrence Conservatory, Luther College, and St. Olaf College, among others, and have performed with opera companies throughout the US, Canada, and Europe including: Glyndebourne, the Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Opera Theater of St Louis, Portland Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Omaha, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Sarasota Opera, Theater Koblenz, Madison Opera, Opera Saratoga, Mill City Opera, Skylark Opera, and Minnesota Opera.

The Ensembles

  • Ragazzi is a mixed group of talented singers in grades 4-8. They explore the world of opera and ensemble music, develop skills in multi-part singing, and learn the basics of performing in foreign languages. The singers also participate in performances throughout the year, and the spring opera.
  • Giovani is a mixed group made up of students in grades 9-12 who perform primarily in an ensemble music setting. Participants develop the fundamentals of solo singing, basic acting skills and perform in an age-appropriate opera in the spring with the Apprentices.
  • Apprentices are advanced students in grade 12, auditioned out of Giovani. The program aims to develop skills in solo singing, performance, and language, as well as preparation for college auditions.

Participants work closely with Minnesota Opera and other local artists.


The Project Opera season starts in September and runs through April and generally follows the school calendar.

  • Ragazzi – Saturdays (9am–noon)
  • Giovani – Saturdays (9am–noon)
  • Apprentices – Saturday (12:30pm–2:30pm)

Please note that rehearsal times may change throughout the year, and may include weekend and weekday evening rehearsals. A complete schedule will be sent upon request.

Participation is by audition only. For more information, please email Education Director Mitra Sadeghpour at

Auditions for 2019-2020 will be held August 21 from 5pm-6pm at the Opera Center, or by submitting a recording. Click Register Now for more information.

Tuition Fee

  • Ragazzi: $1,000
  • Giovani: $1,000
  • Apprentices: $500

Need-based scholarships and fundraising opportunities are available.



Minnesota Opera recently announced the commission of The Song Poet for Project Opera, Minnesota Opera’s premier youth vocal training program.The opera adaptation of the popular book will focus on a daughter learning who her father is and their experience in Minnesota. “I believe this opera will push the boundaries of the form and the dreams of my people and new Americans everywhere who live and love the arts in a positive and necessary direction,” said author of The Song Poet Kao Kalia Yang. “The Song Poet speaks to so many of the big themes of the best operas I’ve seen: the tumult of war; the loneliness of yearning for a parent that is not there; the desperate journey to find a true and passionate love; the gifts we give, in the words of my father Bee Yang, my inspiration for the book, ‘when all we have to offer the world are our stories and our tears.’ I hope opera lovers—young and old and everywhere—will cheer for the coming of The Song Poet to Minnesota Opera.”

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MN Opera will be closed July 8-July 14 for summer break.