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SFO orchestra and cast at curtain call


San Francisco Opera is dedicated to nurturing opera's most promising young artists through its prestigious training programs.

San Francisco Opera Center 

The Opera Center’s roots trace back to artist training programs established in 1954 by Kurt Herbert Adler, the Company’s second general director. In 1982, his successor Terence A. McEwen created the San Francisco Opera Center to oversee these programs. Today, San Francisco Opera Center embodies a new era in which young artists with major operatic potential develop and flourish through intensive training, study and performance.

San Francisco Opera Center has trained and introduced many budding stars to the international opera stage through the Adler Fellowship Program, and its graduates are active throughout the world as performers, production artists, and teachers.

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Merola Opera Program

One of the oldest and most prestigious opera training programs in the world, Merola was founded in 1957, and named in honor of San Francisco Opera's first general director, Gaetano Merola. Merola operates in close artistic collaboration with San Francisco Opera, but is a financially independent nonprofit organization governed by its own Board of Directors. Merola is responsible for its own fundraising, primarily from loyal members and foundations.

The Merola Opera Program is widely regarded as the foremost opera training program for aspiring singers, coaches, accompanists, and stage directors.

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National Auditions

Merola Opera Program National Auditions with young professionals posing on stage