During the first 10 years of ASOP's existence in New York, ASOP's Summer Workshop Program bridged the gap for young opera singers between graduation from university and a professional career. This unique program was designed to fit the scheduling needs of excellent American singers had day jobs, and could not afford the high cost of education in summer programs that operate overseas.
The seven-week New York Summer Workshop included lectures and master classes as well as a weekend intensive rehearsal period, and culminated with a fully staged and costumed opera and a concert of opera scenes presented in a high quality public auditorium in midtown Manhattan. Singers also participated in an Art Song Concert.
In 2007 the Board of Directors decided to move ASOP to North Carolina, due to rising costs in New York that made it impossible to keep the workshop affordable for young singers. Our first workshop here was held at Greensboro College, Greensboro, North Carolina from June 24-July 1, 2007 and, although only a week long, featured classes and individual instruction dealing with all aspects of opera performance, such as audition skills, make-up techniques, when to consider management, what to look for in a head-shot, and techniques for role preparation. The workshop culminated in an aria recital and a presentation of staged opera scenes which were chosen to highlight the gifts of the individual singers involved.
In 2010, now a two week workshop featuring a fully staged opera, we moved to the prestigious Wake Forest University Campus. We are excited about their excellent facilities and beautiful campus, and proud to be a part of the summer programs offered at this important institution. In 2012 we expanded the workshop to include a chamber orchestra for the opera production. Most of our operas are performed in Italian, with English secco recitative. In 2013 we added an "Intro to Opera" workshop, designed for the High School student interested in a career in opera.
The program, whether in New York or North Carolina, features an extremely supportive environment, and utilizes a wide range of methods to educate the whole singer, not just certain aspects of a singer's career. Classes concentrate on performance skills (acting, movement, language coaching), artistic values, vocal and operatic history as well as professional and ethical standards. Master Classes with Barbara DeMaio Caprilli, Richard Heard, Barbara Peters and Dr. Ann Rhodes and a vocal health presentation by Leda Scearce of the Duke Voice Center are an important part of the workshop experience.
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