Auditions now open for the 2019-2020 Opera Workshop. CLICK HERE to set up your audition!
Participation in Act Too Studio Opera Workshop is available to Act Too Studio’s vocal students, ages 13-19, by invitation, and to students outside the studio by audition.
PREPARATION: Auditioners should prepare two contrasting songs of any kind (art song or “legit” musical theater preferred, but all are acceptable). An audition may last for up to an hour, and may also include coaching, vocal and acting exercises, and an interview. We approach opera as a multi-disciplinary art form, so students with acting and/or dance background are encouraged to mention this at or before the audition. Students may bring their own accompanist or arrange to hire one through the workshop.
Our studio culture springs from an understanding that the practice of classically-grounded, serious artistry naturally thrives in a warm, casual setting. We actively cultivate an environment of intellectual curiosity, welcoming community, and a real passion for and commitment to the process of making art. To that end, students are asked to respect both staff and each other as colleagues in this pursuit. This is the mindset students will want to bring with them to their audition, and to every class and rehearsal they may attend.
PLEASE NOTE: Acceptance into the program is contingent on appropriate vocal development, and most students will not be ready for the demands of the material even at its simplest by the age of 13. THIS IS NORMAL and nothing to be ashamed of. Our students sing with their natural voices, and we do not encourage artificially darkening the tone in an attempt to sound more “adult” or “operatic.” Students whose voices are not yet ready to join may audition again the next year. Students accepted into the program will sing music carefully selected to suit their current level of vocal development.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
All students invited into the Opera Workshop should expect to pay up to $250 per school year ($10 per class) on the workshop’s twice-monthly classes, plus an additional $300 if they accept an invitation to participate in the summer opera. Students who study voice and/or acting at Act Too Studio have the rest of their program tuition covered by a portion of their weekly lesson fees. Students outside the studio pay $520 per year base tuition to participate in the school-year program, $10 per class attended (up to $250 for a school year), and an additional $500 if they accept an invitation to participate in the summer opera. Scholarships and/or payment plans may be available, and we recommend that interested students audition even if they think they can’t afford it.
These student fees cover only part of the workshop’s yearly budget, which is supplemented by ticket sales, crowdfunding, fundraising events, and business sponsorships. Students in the workshop are expected to participate in fundraising activities throughout the year in order to keep this program accessible to everyone, including themselves.
WHAT IS MY COMMITTMENT?
Our workshop program exists in two parts—the first being a series of (approximately) twice-monthly classes and periodic recital performances and the second, our summer opera production. With rare exception, cast for the summer production will always be chosen from the school-year program, as it is cast not by audition, but rather out of long-term experience working with the students. This arrangement is necessary to ensure that students are always appropriately cast for their stage of vocal development. Additionally, the amount of commitment required for these two parts of our program are quite different from each other.
SCHOOL YEAR PROGRAM: Students who join the workshop are expected to participate in a majority of the group’s twice-monthly classes (Sunday afternoons, 1:00-4:00), as well as occasional rehearsals for the workshop’s school-year performances (2-3 per year), scheduled as needed. Workshop members are also required to serve on at least one student committee each year. Committees meet at least once a month throughout the school year, though these meetings may be online rather than in-person to accommodate everyone. Current committees are: ADAPTATION, PRODUCTION, FUNDRAISING, and PROMOTION.
SUMMER OPERA: Casting for the workshop’s summer opera is separate from the school-year program, and is usually complete at least six months in advance. Students for the summer opera are selected from the school-year program and invited by its director, without audition, and this commitment is substantial. Our summer opera rehearses 5 days a week, up to 8 hours a day (longer during Production Week), for roughly 6 weeks, beginning at the end of the school year, with performances in early August. Casting needs each summer vary wildly in size and scope, depending on the opera at hand.
Students selected for the summer opera are expected to have no other significant commitments during the rehearsal period, to practice their music outside of rehearsal, and generally treat it as they would a professional performance job. Rehearsals are meticulously scheduled to protect students’ voices. Though the atmosphere can be intense, it is also one of jubilant collaboration, and for those who enjoy challenging, inspiring work, it is guaranteed to be a rewarding time.
INTERNSHIPS: Additionally, a small number of creative and technical internships may be available each summer. Workshop alumni receive first consideration for these positions, and should contact the director to indicate interest. Past internships have included stage management, lighting design, costume and hair design, and assistant positions in musical or stage direction.
For more information, contact Workshop director Melinda Beasi at email@example.com.