apprentice artist program


Opera Roanoke's premiere Apprentice Artist Program was launched by General and Artistic Director Scott Williamson in 2011 with the company's acclaimed production of Madama Butterfly. From a founding class of 6 young artists, the program more than tripled in size in its first year to include over 20 young singers, conductors and production assistants.

Carefully selected from the region's colleges, universities and recent graduates, Apprentice Artists work directly with Opera Roanoke's artistic staff and have select opportunities to work with guest artists. Previous opportunities have included master-classes with renowned artist manager and vocal coach Kathy Olsen and internationally acclaimed Roanoke favorite, soprano Elizabeth Futral.

As the core of the Opera Roanoke chorus for its main-stage productions, Apprentice Artists are afforded invaluable experience at the professional level working side-by-side with some of the finest singers, directors and conductors in the world of opera today. Apprentice Artists also perform in Opera Around Roanoke outreach programs to schools and community organizations around Virginia's Blue Ridge.

Enhancing students' arts education with professional experiences, Opera Roanoke's Apprentice Artist Program offers aspiring opera performers, artistic administrators and production crew leaders invaluable opportunities while enhancing their education and preparing them for the next stage of their careers. Opera Roanoke would like to thank the Taubman Foundation for its support of our Apprentice Artist Program.

Apprentice Artists will sing in the Chorus of main stage productions. A select number of Apprentice Artists may sing comprimario roles and / or cover principal roles in main stage productions. Additional opportunities include recitals and opera scene programs, outreach performances and regular coaching opportunities with Opera Roanoke's musical staff and guest artists.

Other internship opportunities include musical assistantships, artistic administration internships and "behind the scenes" roles in opera production, from assistant stage managers to costumes, props and lighting assistants. This is a "no fee/no pay" program though travel stipends and honoraria may be available for selected productions.

Contact our Apprentice Artist Program co-director Amy Cofield Williamson [email] for more information or to apply. There is no fee to apply for the Apprentice Artist Program. Auditions are heard on a rolling basis, typically once per semester.



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