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This is a place where our classical hosts, interns and artists can share their stories, viewpoints and point of view on topics related to classical music and the arts in general. Come back to this page often to read the latest and share your comments.

Opera at Chautauqua: Glass half empty or glass half full?

Chautauqua Opera’s Young Artist Program, August 2022
Chautauqua Opera’s Young Artist Program, August 2022

Due to the perfect storm of increased expenses to produce and stage full scale operas, downward trends in audience, and post-COVID uncertainties that many performing arts organizations industry-wide are trying to navigate, Chautauqua Institution and its opera company recently made the difficult choice and announcement that no major productions would be staged at Norton Hall, which has been the home of Chautauqua Opera for decades.

Although devastating for sure, especially for staff who will lose summer employment, I for one, prefer to delve behind the headline and focus on the plans and opportunities at Chautauqua Opera that will be available to young opera singers moving forward.

Virtually every non-profit and performing arts organization is discussing how to renew their programs, initiatives and visions in a sustainable way that will provide the biggest impact and relevance to audiences and the artists creating the art. This is exactly what I see happening at Chautauqua Opera Company and Conservatory, as they focus on their mission to train, nurture and provide performance opportunities for the artists who participate in the workshopping and development of new contemporary American operas.

Chautauqua Opera's General and Artistic Director Steven Osgood says that opera will remain a strong component of the artistic mix and priorities of Chautauqua, maintaining a focus on a high level of training of young singers who will workshop new pieces, and bring that experience to their careers in opera, long after they leave Chautauqua.

Learn more about the Chautauqua Institution's Opera program.

Other opportunities for young singers who are looking to pursue operatic careers:

Finger Lakes Opera Young Artist Program

Opera America workshops at conservatories and artist training

The Young Artists Program at Glimmerglass

Eastman Opera Theatre Practicum

Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program

Berklee Careers in Opera