The acclaimed Barbara and Halsey Sandford Studio Artist Program at Kentucky Opera brings young professional opera singers to Louisville to train and expand their experience as they prepare for their careers. With over 500 young singers auditioning for limited positions, the program features some of the most talented upcoming voices to be heard in North America.
The Sandford Studio Artist Program provides unique training experiences and career guidance for emerging opera artists at multiple stages in their education. Studio Artists have typically completed their graduate studies in voice and are looking to cultivate their training through MainStage experiences, comprimario and covering roles as well as access to professional singers, conductors, directors and coaches and professional development opportunities.
Studio Artists with Kentucky Opera participate in MainStage productions covering roles, performing comprimario roles, and singing in the chorus. In addition, Studio Artists may sing in recitals, concerts, participate in master classes, and represent KO in various community and patron cultivation programs. Previous projects have featured Studio Artists as principals in collaborative semi-staged concert operas with regional partner orchestras and arts partners; education and family audience programming; and The Composer Workshop, a composer in residence project with the University of Louisville School of Music. Composers in Residence in the Composer Workshop have included Jake Heggie, Ben Moore, Daron Hagen and Paul Moravec. Professional development opportunities include coachings, lessons and masterclasses with industry professionals.
Auditions for Resident Artist positions with Kentucky Opera are held in Cincinnati, Louisville and New York City. Artists are paid a weekly stipend and provided with patron housing while on contract. Artists are responsible for their own transportation to, from and around Louisville during their residency.
Apprentice Artist Partnership with the University of Louisville School of Music
The Apprentice Artist program is a partnership with the University of Louisville School of Music. Apprentice Artists are still in the process of completing their graduate training in voice and are given an opportunity to train with Kentucky Opera during the MainStage season. Apprentice Artists may have comprimario, cover and chorus roles for MainStage productions, and participate in education and outreach events throughout the community, including live radio and TV broadcasts, donor events, community concerts, and school programs. They are included in professional development opportunities, master classes, and coachings.
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