Project Opera

Project Opera is Minnesota Opera’s youth training program for young singers in grades 4-12. Students from all over Minnesota sing, study, rehearse, and connect with their peers, strengthening their musical and personal voices all while learning about opera.  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. This innovative program is for all singers who love to sing and want to want to learn about communicating through singing. Be part of one of the most exciting and unique programs in the country! 

Graduates of Project Opera go on to enrich their communities in many ways.  Our students 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 Opera Festival, the Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Opera Theater of St Louis, Portland Opera, CincinnatiASZVF Opera, Opera Omaha, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Sarasota Opera, Theater Koblenz, Madison Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Saratoga, Mill City Opera, Skylark Opera, and Minnesota Opera. 

 

The Ensembles

  • Ragazzi is a mixed group of treble singers in grades 4-8. They explore the world of opera and the joys of working in an ensemble while they develop skills in multi-part singing, the fundamentals of healthy singing, stagecraft, musicianship and rehearsal skillsRagazzi perform both in concerts and in the spring opera. 
  • Giovani is a mixed group of SATB students in grades 9-12. Singers continue their vocal development of the fundamentals of solo singing, acting technique, performance skills, movement for the stage, and diction and musical style. Student leadership is an important component of Giovani and students practice communication skill and collaboration in each rehearsal. Giovani perform in concerts and in the spring opera.
  • Apprentices are advanced students in grade 12, auditioned out of Giovani. The program aims to develop advanced skills in solo singing, performance, and language, as well as preparation for college auditions.  Apprentices work closely with Minnesota Opera staff and guest artists from the Twin Cities region and beyond.

 

Rehearsals

The Project Opera season starts in September and runs through May, generally following the school calendar. 

  • Ragazzi – Saturdays (8:30am-10:30am) 
  • Giovani – Saturdays (11am-2pm) 
  • Apprentices – Saturdays (2:30pm-4:30pm) 

Please be assured that we are taking precautions due to COVID-19.  Rehearsals for the 2020-2021 year will begin virtually on September 26 and will continue virtually through December. Our plan currently is to begin face-to-face rehearsals in January in preparation for our May performances of “The Song Poet” by Jocelyn Hagen and Kao Kalia Yang. All plans will be revised when necessary to place student and staff safety as our top priority. 

Please note that rehearsal times may change throughout the year and may include weekend and weekday evening rehearsals. A complete schedule will be distributed at the beginning of the year orientation 

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

Auditions for 2020-2021 will be held September 15 and 22 via Zoom.  When you register for your selected date, you will be assigned an audition time between 5pm-8pm and sent a Zoom link. The audition consists of one memorized song of your choice, with accompaniment (live or track). Click Register Now for more information. 

Tuition Fee for 2020-2021

We have a sliding scale for tuition costs. This year, we are introducing a sliding scale for tuition at $250, $500, $750, and $1,000. The cost of the program to Minnesota Opera exceeds $1000 per student, and in previous years the tuition has been set ta $1,000. If these are out of reach for your family, please email us at msadeghpour@mnopera.org as we do have scholarship funds available.  Students will receive the same excellent opera education from experienced and qualified music staff, regardless of the tuition amount paid. We want all kids who love to sing to participate in Project Opera!

 


 

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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