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Become a Studio Artist

A career in opera is not an easy path; success requires exemplary musical ability, a passion for continuous improvement, and a hunger to learn. As a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, access to all that a contemporary opera company can offer - to its artistic, creative and developmental resources - and importantly, the opportunity to put learning to work onstage - is made available to you during a two-to-three year residency with the company. The journey to a Studio fellowship usually includes participating in Concert of Arias as a finalist.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I apply?

Applications for the 2018-19 Studio will be available on August 2, 2017

 

When will I hear whether I have an audition or not?


Notifications will be emailed to you by the end of October.

 

I haven’t heard from you about an audition – does this mean I didn’t get one?

No - all applicants who have submitted a form and paid the $35 application fee (or who are fee-exempt) will be contacted before the above notification deadline, whether they have been allocated an audition or not. If for some reason you don't receive an email, you can log back on to YAP Tracker to check your status.  

 

How do I select my time?

Please log in to YAP Tracker and follow the instructions. Detailed help can be found here. If you need any help with this part of the process, please contact YAP Tracker at help@yaptracker.com.

 

Why have I been scheduled for a city which wasn't my first choice?

We tried to schedule everyone to their first choice city, but some venues were over-subscribed so that simply wasn't possible. In those instances, we put you in your second-choice city. No one has been scheduled for a city which wasn't included on their application.

 

I’m no longer available for my chosen city – what should I do?

Please e-mail us at studio@houstongrandopera.org as soon as possible. If you are available on an alternative date we will endeavor to reschedule you. Please note that there will likely be a long wait-list for New York auditions. 

 

I want to swap with my friend - is that ok?

If that is convenient for both of you, that's fine, but YOU MUST LET US KNOW. It is not possible to process swaps through YAP Tracker. Additionally, you may not swap unless the two of you are due to be singing in the same city. Please e-mail studio@houstongrandopera.org. Do not arrange swaps that are not mutually beneficial, as we may know of someone who desperately wants your slot, and we are happy to help rearrange the schedule where possible.

 

What are the audition cities and dates?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017: Houston, TX (afternoon only)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017: New York, NY (pianists only)

Thursday, November 16, 2017: New York, NY (singers only)

Friday, November 17, 2017: New York, NY (singers only)

Saturday, November 18, 2017: Philadelphia, PA (morning/afternoon only; singers only)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017: Houston, TX (afternoon/evening only)

Friday, December 1, 2017: Cincinnati, OH (morning/afternoon only)

Friday, December 8, 2017: Los Angeles, CA (evening only)

 

What’s the format for the preliminary auditions?

You will select the first aria/song to be performed. Where time permits, the panel will then ask for some or all of a second or third piece from your repertoire list.  

 

Do you provide a pianist for auditions?

Yes, we provide a pianist. You are welcome to bring your own if you prefer.

 

Do I need to bring materials to my preliminary audition?

No, this is not necessary. You only need to bring a repertoire list if you have changed your selections.

 

I want to change my chosen repertoire – what should I do?

That's fine, as long as you stick to our basic stipulations (see Information for Singers #4 below).There is no need to inform us in advance, just bring a revised repertoire list to your audition.

 

I have forgotten what my repertoire was – what should I do?

You can view your repertoire by logging back into YAP Tracker.

 

I need to cancel my audition - what should I do? 

Please email us at studio@houstongrandopera.org as soon as possible.

 

What happens after my audition?

Approximately twenty singers will be invited to Houston to take part in the semi-finals beginning on January 26, 2018.  You will receive an email from the Studio by Friday, December 15, 2017 to let you know whether or not you made it through to the semi-finals.

Pianists do not participate in the semi-finals; you will receive an e-mail from the Studio by Friday, December 15, 2017 if you are still being considered for a spot in the 2018-19 Studio.  Studio positions will then be offered by Friday, February 16, 2018.

 

When will I hear?

will e-amil all singers and pianists by the above notification deadline with information whether or not you're still under consideration. If you do not receive an e-mail by this date, please contact us at studio@houstongrandopera.org.

 

When are the semi-finals and finals?

Successful applicants will be invited to Houston to arrive on Friday, January 26, 2018.  The semi-finals take place on Saturday, January 27 and Sunday, January 28.  The finals start on Monday, January 29 and culminate in a public competition, accompanied by Bradley Moore, on Thursday, February 1.  Flights and hotel accommodation will be provided.

 

What's the format for the semi-finals and finals?

All semi-finalists participate in an two private auditions for the panel, one on the first day of semi-finals and the other on the second day of semi-finals.  Those not proceeding to the finals return home that evening or the following morning.  Finalists will start coaching the next day, working towards private final auditions the day before the public competition. If you are not available for the full week, it is usually possible to come to an arrangement to come to audition for the Studio, even though you cannot be considered for the competition prizes.

 

How many people are you taking into the Studio?

The number of spaces in the Studio varies from season to season. We do not strive for a certain number of Studio artists, nor do we have to fill slots for certain voice types. Having said that, it is normal for us to offer between three and seven new positions each year.

 

When will I find out if I've gotten into the Studio?

If you are a candidate for the Studio, you will either be invited to the semi-finals and finals, or, if you are not available for those, we will discuss alternative times when you might be able to come to Houston to sing to the full casting panel. 

Unsuccessful preliminary auditions will not result in consideration for the HGO Studio.  All semi-finalists and finalists are considered for the Studio.

All semi-finalists and finalists are considered for the Studio, and offers

 

Information for Singers

GENERAL INFORMATION

1. All applicants are considered for both the Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers – Concert of Arias and for invitation to join the Houston Grand Opera Studio. Note: If you will not be able to participate in the Semi-final and Final auditions, please mention this in the additional information section of the application form. We still encourage you to apply for the preliminary auditions. Participating in the Semi-final and Final auditions is not a requirement for admission to HGO Studio.

 

COMPLETING THE ONLINE APPLICATION

 

2. Applications should be submitted online. Application availability and due date are listed in the FAQs above.

 

3. Audition Dates – Please select your preferred city. If you can easily attend more than one city, please indicate this by selecting a second choice city. This may improve your chances of being granted an audition, as some cities are more over-subscribed than others. Audition dates are listed in the FAQs above.

 

4. Audition Repertoire – Preliminary audition repertoire must show a variety of styles and be offered in at least three different languages. Opera, operetta and oratorio arias are acceptable. Five selections should be offered including two selections within the following criteria.

• A contemporary aria or art song in English (we suggest something composed after 1950)

• At least one aria by Mozart, Rossini, or Handel

 You are required to submit your chosen repertoire on your application, but you may amend your choices at your preliminary audition as long as you stick to the basic categories and offer contrasting repertoire.

 

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

 

5. References – Your application must be supported by at least three confidential online recommendations; one from your current/most recent primary teacher and two from music professionals. As part of the application process, you will be given the opportunity to contact three references to ask them to complete a short online recommendation form through YAPTracker. The deadline for references is the same as the deadline for your application. Please contact your references early in the process.

 

References should come from your current/most recent primary teacher and two of the seven professional types listed below.

• Opera Stage Director / Opera Workshop Director

• Opera General Director

• Music Director/Conductor

• Artistic Administrator

• Department Chairman or Dean

• Choral Director

• Pianist or Coach

 

6. A non-refundable $35 application processing fee must be paid online at the time of submission. If we have offered to waive your fee, you will receive a special link to access the application form.

 

7. Recording – An audio clip must be submitted as part of your application. Please ensure this is of the highest possible quality and shows your vocal quality at its best. A studio recording with piano is usually the best option.

 

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

 

8. Selection criteria – Singers must demonstrate major operatic potential supported by musical and theatrical training. There is no age limit, and there are no restrictions regarding nationality. HGO Studio reserves the right, without explanation, to decline to hear singers for any reason. Applications are reviewed by HGO Studio staff and are considered confidential.

 

9. Audition Notification – Houston Grand Opera Studio will e-mail you by the notification deadline in the FAQs above to tell you whether or not you have been allocated an audition. If granted an audition, you will be assigned an audition date and time in one of the two cities marked in your application.  If you have constraints within the dates and times, please make note of that in the additional information section of your application.

 

10. Audition Results – Applicants will be notified by e-mail of the result of their audition by the semi-finalist notification deadline in the FAQs above.

 

11. Semi-final and Final Auditions – Successful candidates in the preliminary auditions will be invited to come to Houston to participate in further auditions. Semi-final and final auditions will take place in late January/early February.  Those not proceeding to the finals will return home; finalists will participate in additional auditions, coaching and interviews culminating in a public performance at which cash prizes are awarded. Travel and accommodation for semi-finalists and finalists will be provided by HGO.

 Success in the competition does not guarantee an offer of a position in HGO Studio, neither is it necessary to sing in the competition in order to be offered a place in the Studio.

 

Important Notes:

 

You can access your application at any time by logging in to the YAP Tracker website.

 

Do not mail applications, recordings or videotapes to HGO.

 

Notify us immediately at studio@houstongrandopera.org if your contact information or availability to audition changes.

 

Information for Pianists

GENERAL INFORMATION

1. All applicants are considered for the Houston Grand Opera Studio beginning. Pianists are not eligible for the Eleanor McCollum Competition.

COMPLETING THE ONLINE APPLICATION

2. Applications should be submitted online. Application availability and due date are listed in the FAQs above.


3. Audition Dates – Please select your preferred city. If you can easily attend more than one city, please indicate this by selecting a second choice city. This may improve your chances of being granted an audition, as some cities are more over-subscribed than others. Audition dates are listed in the FAQs above.


4. Audition Repertoire – Repertoire for the upcoming audition tour will be updated on this web page in late summer/early fall.

 

Please be prepared to play and sing all of the repertoire you have chosen.  You will be asked to sight read and you may be also asked to conduct.  In addition, you will be asked to play selections from the standard aria repertoire.  As you prepare, please bear in mind that this is a répétiteur audition and not a piano competition.  The audition is designed to assess your aptitude and proficiency across the broad range of skills required of an assistant conductor in a professional opera company; it is not expected that candidates will be equally proficient in all dimensions.  Above all, our goal is to gain an understanding of your unique musical identity.  We ask that you submit your chosen solo piece on your application, but you may substitute a different piece or excerpt at your audition if you wish.

There will also be a short interview with the audition panel after the audition.


ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS
5. References – Your application must be supported by at least three confidential recommendations; one from your current/most recent primary teacher and two from music professionals. As part of the application process, you will be given the opportunity to contact three references to ask them to complete a short online recommendation form through YAP Tracker. The deadline for references is the same as the deadline for your application. Please contact your references early in the process.

References should come from your current/most recent primary teacher and two of the seven professional types listed below. 
• Opera Stage Director / Opera Workshop Director
• Opera General Director
• Music Director/Conductor
• Artistic Administrator
• Department Chairman or Dean
• Choral Director
• Coach

6. A non-refundable $35 application processing fee must be paid online at the time of submission. If we have offered to waive your fee, you will receive a special link to access the application form.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
7. Selection criteria – Pianists must demonstrate major potential supported by prior experience as a repetiteur. There is no age limit, and there are no restrictions regarding nationality. HGO Studio reserves the right, without explanation, to decline to hear pianists who, in the judges’ opinion, do not meet the criteria. Applications are reviewed by HGO Studio staff and are considered confidential. 

8. Audition Notification – Houston Grand Opera Studio will e-mail you by the notification deadline in the FAQs above to tell you whether or not you have been allocated an audition. If granted an audition, you will be assigned an audition date and time in one of the two cities marked in your application.  If you have constraints within the dates and times, please make note of that in the additional information section of your application.

9. Audition Results – Applicants will be notified by e-mail if they are still in consideration for the Studio by the semi-finalist notification deadline in the FAQs above. The judges' decision is final. Pianists will not be asked to participate in semi-final and final auditions and may be asked to join the HGO Studio based on preliminary auditions.

Important Notes:

You can access your application at any time by logging in to the YAP Tracker website.
Do not mail applications, recordings or videotapes to HGO.

Notify us immediately at studio@HoustonGrandOpera.org if your contact information or availability to audition changes.