Placement auditions are being postponed. Updates to be posted soon.

Music and Theater in Action for ages 8 – 18

Explore the excitement of singing, acting and movement, and the thrill of theatre with Kentucky Opera’s Youth Opera Project. Train with professional teaching artists in an engaging and enriching environment as you prepare to represent Kentucky Opera as one of its performing company members.*

This program meets Monday evenings and select Saturdays during the academic year.

All youth ages 8 – 18 welcome to apply. All skill levels welcome; no experience necessary!

*Performing company members are invited to audition for mainstage performances and represent Kentucky Opera in performances throughout the community.

A nonrefundable $25 registration fee is applied to tuition
Tuition is $500 per semester
Financial assistance available

Placement auditions are being postponed. Updates to be posted soon.

Upon registering, a staff member will confirm an audition time.

2019/20 Program Info

Members of the 19/20 Youth Opera Project participated in the youth opera chorus of Bizet’s Carmen in the September, 2019 production, and will perform in the production of Ben Moore and Kelley Rourke’s Robin Hood on March 27 and 29, 2020, in the Bomhard Theatre at the Kentucky Performing Arts.

19/20 Youth Opera Project Staff

Lisa Hasson, Chorus Master
The 2019/20 season marks Lisa Hasson’s 12th year with Kentucky Opera, where she has served as both Music Director of the Sandford Studio Artist Program and Chorus Master. Hasson has been Chorus Master and Director of the Apprentice Artist Program at Des Moines Metro Opera for 16 years. She has been guest chorus master for Turandot and Carmen with The Atlanta Opera and has coached for Opera North, Indianapolis Opera, New Orleans Opera, Knoxville Opera, Utah Festival Opera, and Florida Grand Opera. She is currently on faculty at College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. She graduated from McGill University in Montreal and The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and The National Opera Studio in London.

Kelly Kitchens, Stage Director
Kelly Kitchens is a professional director, actor, adaptor, and arts educator.  She is the Co-Artistic Director of Seattle Public Theater, a Lecturer in Directing and Acting at the University of Washington, a member of the Sandbox Artists Collective, and a member of Actor’s Equity Association. Her honors include:  a three-time nominated and two time recipient of the Gregory A. Falls Award for Outstanding Director; named Best Director by the Seattle Weekly Readers Poll; Broadway World Seattle Critic’s Choice Award for Best Direction of a Play; Seattle Theater Writers Gypsy Rose Lee award for Outstanding Direction of a Play; and named in Seattle Magazine’s inaugural list of “Top 20 Most Talented People in Seattle”.  Kelly earned her B.A. from Vanderbilt University and her M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Catherine Clark Nardolillo

Catherine Clarke Nardolillo, Music Director
Catherine Clark Nardolillo has appeared as a soprano soloist in concerts at Carnegie Hall, and with the Toledo Symphony, the Boulder Philharmonic, the Evansville Philharmonic, the Johnson City Symphony, the Owensboro Symphony, the Natchez Festival of Music, the National Youth Choir, the Prague Summer Nights Music Festival Orchestra, Lexington Chamber Orchestra and the Lexington Philharmonic. She has performed in operas at the Aspen Opera Theater Center, Colorado Lyric Theater, Chautauqua Music Festival, Operafestival di Roma, Dicapo Opera in New York, University of Colorado, and the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre. Catherine is the Director of Voice at the Prague Summer Nights Music Festival, the Director of the Kentucky District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and the Music Director and conductor for Kentucky Opera’s Youth Opera Program. She currently serves on the faculty at the University of Kentucky and Centre College. A native of Maysville, Kentucky, Catherine earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky, a Masters from the University of Colorado and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from UK.

Jeannine Ary, Assistant Music Director
Jeannine Ary has been a member of the music faculty at KCD since 1995. She holds a Bachelors of Music in Music Education from the State University of New York at Fredonia and a Masters of Music in Music Education from Ithaca College, both with a major in piano. She also studied piano at the Vienna Conservatory in Vienna, Austria. Before coming to KCD, Jeannine taught music and musical theatre at the Greenwich Country Day School and at Escola Graduada, the American School of São Paulo, Brazil. At KCD, Jeannine teaches Fourth Grade General Music, Middle School Piano Lab and is the director of the Choral Theatre Players and the Bearcat Singers. Jeannine is president of the Greater Louisville Music Teachers Association. She is the MNTA Foundations Chair for the state board of the Kentucky Music Teachers Association. Jeannine has completed Levels I and II of the Write an Opera program with the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden and studied conducting at the Choral Institute at Oxford University, England. For four years, Jeannine was the musical artist instructor at the Institute for Arts in Education, a University of Louisville graduate course for educators held at the Kentucky Center.  Jeannine is currently the lead teacher in the ongoing educational exchange between KCD and KCD’s sister school, the Woodhouse Grove School in West Yorkshire, England.

Shelby West, Stage Manager

Shelby West, Stage Manager
Shelby West is excited to be returning for her second season with Kentucky Opera where her previous credits include The Magic Flute, Enemies: A Love Story, and Rigoletto. She is a graduate of Georgetown College holding a bachelor’s degree in Theater and Film. She can’t wait to begin her involvement with the Youth Opera Project and Robin Hood this season!