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National Auditions

Merola Opera Program

The Merola Opera Program, under the artistic direction of the San Francisco Opera Center: Carrie-Ann Matheson, Artisitc Director and Markus Beam, Geneneral Manager offers performance opportunities, holistic training, and career development for young professional singers, coach/pianists, and stage directors. In addition to numerous performance opportunities, each participant receives daily individual coaching in the area of their discipline, classes in diction, acting and stage deportment, movement, financial planning/fiscal responsibility, mental health/well-being, physical health/wellness, and public relations/branding from leading professionals in the opera field. In addition to Merola’s guest faculty, internationally renowned artists conduct a series of public master classes throughout the summer.

The Merola Opera Program provides a weekly allowance, round-trip transportation from place of residence to San Francisco, and shared-accommodation housing. Please note: the Merola Opera Program only provides housing to participants and does not provide housing to spouse/partner, children, other relatives, or pets.

For five years after leaving Merola, alumni may be eligible, with Merola's approval, to receive up to a total of $12,000 in career grants, with a maximum of $6,000 in any single year.

Schwabacher Recital Debuts
Merola Opera Program and San Francisco Opera Center may engage Merola singers and pianists for a debut recital to take place in the spring of 2023 at a San Francisco venue. These recitals have been endowed in perpetuity by the generosity of celebrated Bay Area singer, scholar, and teacher James Schwabacher.

Adler Fellowship
(Resident Artists of San Francisco Opera)
Each year singers and pianists are chosen from the Merola Opera Program to join the prestigious Adler Fellowship Program. The Adler program gives 10-12 young artists a year a performance-oriented experience, providing individualized and advanced training. Adler Fellows are engaged for roles in San Francisco Opera’s season, as well as performing in Opera Center programs and activities. The Adler Fellowship is a renewable yearlong residency and is a salaried position.

Program Dates

June 5, 2022 - August 19, 2023

Pianists/Coaches and Stage Director
May 29, 2023 – August 19, 2023

Application Deadline

Application materials must be on or before Friday, August 26th, 2022.
Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

How to Apply
All applications and materials must be uploaded via Resonance at the links below. You do not need a paid subscription to submit an application, but will need to create an account if you don’t already have one.

Resonance links:
Singers: Click here
Pianists/Coaches: Click here
Stage Directors: Click here

2023 Season Information
Please see links above for full details.

Materials Required

  1. Completed application form
  2. Video file – Singers are required to upload one operatic aria recorded in the last 12 months. Pianists/Coaches are required to upload one video file of a collaboration with a singer recorded within the last 12 months with the application materials. Directors are required to upload a video sample and production photos that best represent their work.
  3. Headshot
  4. Resume
  5. Name and contact information of 2 industry professionals to serve as professional references; written reccomendations are not required

Application/Audition Fee:

Audition Process:
Singers and pianists/coaches who are chosen for an in-person audition will be notified following application submission/video prescreening round and will be scheduled in their chosen audition location. Please note that date preferences will be taken into strong consideration but cannot be guaranteed.

Singers and Pianists/Coaches chosen for an in-person audition will be notified approximately 3 weeks before their audition date.

All applicants chosen for an in-person auditions will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination and photo ID.

Stage Directors chosen for an interview will be notified 2 weeks before their interview date and will be scheduled for a 30-minute interview via Zoom. All stage director interviews will be conducted virtually in November 2022.

In-person Audition Locations and Dates

  • New York, NY: Monday, October 2nd - Saturday, October 8th, 2022
  • Atlanta, GA: Tuesday, October 11th, 2022
  • San Francisco CA: Friday, October 14th - Saturday, October 15th, 2022
  • Houston, TX: Tuesday, October 18th - Wednesday October 19th, 2022
  • Chicago, IL: Friday, October 21st - Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

A pianist will be provided for in-person singer auditions. Singers may also use their own pianists.

In-Person Audition Requirements for Singers
- Five selections, total:
- Four operatic arias in varying languages and styles. If you would like to be considered for roles in The Rape of Lucretia, please include one 20th or 21st century opera aria in English.
- One art song or musical theater/cabaret selection in the language of your choice. 

Singers should be prepared to begin their live audition with a selection of their choice, after which the audition panel may ask for additional selections.

In Person Audition Requirements for Pianists/Coaches
Pianist/coach applicants granted an audition must choose ONE option from EACH of the following five categories. All selections are to be PLAYED AND SUNG by the applicant. Sight Reading will be included in the audition.

EITHER the Act 1 finale from Così fan tutte OR the Act 2 finale from Le nozze di Figaro
A brief secco recitative from a Mozart opera
Tarquinius' Ride from The Rape of Lucretia by Britten
An aria or scene from an opera by Puccini or Richard Strauss
One aria from a Bel Canto opera
One art song

Pianist/coaches should be prepared to begin their live audition with a selection of their choice, after which the audition panel may ask for additional selections.

Virtual Interview Requirements for Stage Directors
Merola Stage Director applicants should be prepared to discuss, in detail, concepts for productions of operas they wish to direct. Please be ready to discuss general philosophy toward production. Applicants are asked to include a brief statement in the application describing their interest and background in becoming a young artist stage director in the Merola Opera Program. Applicants granted an interview will take part in one 30-minute Zoom interview, which will be scheduled in November 2022. Applicants should be prepared to screen share an up-to-date portfolio for discussion at the interview. 

Contact Information
If you have questions after reviewing the Resonance links above, please contact: auditions@merola.org