Barbara and Halsey Sandford Studio Artist Program


Applications for the 2017/18 Season are now live on Yaptracker!

All applications will be accepted via YAP Tracker. A pianist will be provided at all audition locations; applicants are also welcome to bring their own. The application deadline is Friday, November 11th, 2016.  

 Audition Dates:
Wednesday, November 30th
– Cincinnati, OH. Cincinnati-Conservatory of Music, Cohen Family Theater. 4:00 – 9:00 PM.

Wednesday, December 7th – New York City, NY. Opera America, MacKay Studio. 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

Thursday, December 8th – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Academy of Vocal Arts, Large Rehearsal Hall. 10:00 – 5:00 PM.

Wednesday, December 14th and Thursday, December 15th – Louisville, Kentucky.
University of Louisville School of Music, Room 248. 2:00 – 7:00 PM

Late or incomplete submissions will not be accepted. All applicants will be pre-screened prior to awarding a live audition. Notification of audition status will begin no later than early November 2016.


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 nearly 400 young singers auditioning for limited positions, the Kentucky Opera Studio Artists offers some of the most talented upcoming voices to be heard in North America.

Kentucky Opera’s 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 Main Stage 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 Main Stage productions covering roles, performing comprimario roles, and singing in the chorus. They are the principal performers in a collaborative semi-staged concert opera with regional partner orchestras and arts partners, as well as in the Composer Workshop, a composer in residence project with the University of Louisville School of Music. Resident composers work extensively with Studio Artists over the course of production. Composers in residence have included Jake Heggie, Ben Moore, Daron Hagen and Paul Moravec. In addition, Studio Artists also perform for a myriad of patron and community events.

Professional development opportunities for all levels of Studio Artists include study with incoming professional opera singers, conductors and directors as well as insight into the business of opera.

Auditions for Resident Artist positions with Kentucky Opera are held in Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Louisville. 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 Main Stage season. Apprentice Artists may have comprimario, cover and chorus roles for Main Stage 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.

*Artists contracted in the education programs are considered Teaching Artists in addition to their Main Stage artist responsibilities. Teaching Artists will receive specific training on their respective roles in the schools and interaction with students, educators and community members.

For more information on the Studio Artist Program, please contact Aubrey Baker, Manager of Education at (502) 561-7938.

Need a Singer? Kentucky Opera artists are available for events.
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