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. For more information about Concert of Arias, check out the video below.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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


Notifications will be emailed to you by Saturday, October 31, 2015.  

 

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 their $35 (or who are fee-exempt) will be contacted before October 31, 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.

 

There are no slots available on the day I need - what should I do?

Please e-mail us at studio@houstongrandopera.org or call us at 713.546.0227. We will do what we can to help.

 

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?

November 9, 2015 - Houston, TX (evening only)

November 11, 2015 - Houston TX (evening only)

November 16, 2015 - Houston, TX (evening only)

November 20, 2015 - Cincinnati, OH

November 21, 2015 - Cincinnati, OH

November 22, 2015 - Los Angeles, CA

December 10, 2015 - New York, NY

December 11, 2015 - Philadelphia, PA

December 12, 2015 - New York, NY

December 13, 2015 - New York, NY

December 14, 2015 - New York, NY (morning 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). 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? 

You can cancel your audition through YAP Tracker until November 3. After that, please contact the Studio at 713.546.0227. NOTE - canceled auditions cannot be rescheduled through YAP Tracker. 

 

What happens after my audition?

A maximum of 20 singers will be invited to Houston in January/February 2016 to take part in the semi-finals. You will receive an e-mail from the Studio by Thursday, December 31, 2015 to let you know whether or not you have 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 Thursday, December 31, 2015 if you are still being considered for a spot in the 2016 - 17 Studio. Studio positions will then be offered by Friday, February 12, 2016.

 

When will I hear?

We will e-mail all singers and pianists by Thursday, December 31, 2015 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 713.546.0227.

 

When are the semi-finals and finals?

Successful applicants will be invited to Houston to arrive on Friday, January 29, 2016. The semi-finals take place on Saturday, January 30 and Sunday, January 31. The finals start on Monday, February 1 and culminate in a public competition, accompanied by Bradley Moore, on Thursday, February 4. Flights and hotel accommodation will be provided.

 

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

All semi-finalists participate in two auditions, one on Saturday, January 30, and one on Sunday, January 31. Those not proceeding to the finals return home on Monday, February 1; finalists will start coaching that day, working towards private finals on Wednesday, February 3 and a public competition on Thursday, February 4. 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 2016 - 17 Studio.

All semi-finalists and finalists are considered for the Studio, and where possible offers are made within two weeks of the Concert of Arias.

 

Information for Singers

GENERAL INFORMATION

1. All applicants are considered for both the Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers – Concert of Arias 2016 and for invitation to join the Houston Grand Opera Studio from late August 2016. 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. Applications open on August 3, 2015. The application deadline is September 27, 2015.

 

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. Successful applicants will select their own date and time once granted an audition.

 

Audition dates:

November 9, 2015 – Houston, TX (evening only)

November 11, 2015 – Houston, TX (evening only)

November 16, 2015 – Houston, TX (evening only)

November 20, 2015 – Cincinnati, OH

November 21, 2015 – Cincinnati, OH

November 22, 2015 – Los Angeles, CA

December 10, 2015 – New York, NY

December 11, 2015 – Philadelphia, PA

December 12, 2015 – New York, NY

December 13, 2015 – New York, NY

December 14, 2015 – New York, NY (morning only)

 

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 YAP Tracker. The deadline is September 27, 2015. 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 Saturday, October 31, 2015 to tell you whether or not you have been allocated an audition. Successful applicants will schedule their own audition slot through YAP Tracker.

 

10. Audition Results – Applicants will be notified by e-mail of the result of their audition by Thursday, December 31, 2015. The judges' decision is final.

 

11. Semi-final and Final Auditions – Successful candidates in the preliminary auditions will be invited to come to Houston in January/February 2016 to participate in further auditions. Semi-final auditions will take place on Saturday, January 30 and Sunday, January 31, 2016. Those not proceeding to the finals will return home on Monday, February 1, 2016. Finalists will participate in additional auditions, coaching and interviews culminating in a public performance on Thursday, February 4, 2016 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 in late August 2016. Pianists are not eligible for the Eleanor McCollum Competition.

COMPLETING THE ONLINE APPLICATION

2. Applications should be submitted online. Applications open on August 3, 2015. The application deadline is September 27, 2015.

3. Audition Dates – Please select the city where you wish to audition. 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. Successful applicants will select their own date and time once granted an audition.

Auditions dates:
November 9, 2015 – Houston, TX (evening only)
November 11, 2015 – Houston, TX (evening only)
November 16, 2015 – Houston, TX (evening only)
November 20, 2015 – Cincinnati, OH
November 21, 2015 – Cincinnati, OH
November 22, 2015 – Los Angeles, CA
December 10, 2015 – New York, NY
December 11, 2015 – Philadelphia, PA
December 12, 2015 – New York, NY
December 13, 2015 – New York, NY
December 14, 2015 – New York, NY (morning only)

4. Audition Repertoire – Pianists should prepare the following for their audition:

Each applicant must prepare:

• A solo piece of no more than six minutes duration, to be performed from memory;
• “Sta nell’ircana” from Alcina;
• Die Zauberflöte Act 2 Finale (No. 21);
• La Traviata Act 2;


In addition, each applicant must offer:

• TWO of the following:
       o “I am the wife of Mao Tse-tung” from Nixon in China (pp. 244-255 in the p/v)
       o “Mab, la reine des mensonges” from Roméo et Juliette
       o “Wie du warst” from Der Rosenkavalier

You should be prepared to play and sing all selections, and you may be asked to conduct as well. You will be asked to sight-read, and there will be a brief interview with the audition panel. We ask that you submit your chosen solo piece and operatic excerpts 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 is September 27, 2015. 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 Saturday, October 31, 2015 to tell you whether or not you have been allocated an audition. Successful applicants will schedule their audition slot through YAP Tracker.

9. Audition Results – Applicants will be notified by e-mail of the result of their audition by Thursday, December 31, 2015. 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.