National Auditions

Merola Opera Program and Adler Fellowship Program

Administered by the Merola Opera Program, the National Auditions for the Merola Opera Program and Adler Fellowship Program are held annually. These programs offer performance and career development opportunities for young professional singers, coaches, and stage directors.

Each summer the Merola Opera Program offers multiple performance opportunities to each participant, as well as daily individual coaching in the area of their discipline, classes in diction, acting and stage deportment, movement, financial planning, mental health/wellness, physical health/wellness, and public relations/branding from leading professionals in the opera field.

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.

Merola Opera Program and San Francisco Opera Center may engage singers and pianists for a Schwabacher 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.

The Adler Fellowship Program is a year-round residency offered to selected singers and coaches who have completed the Merola Opera Program.

Program Dates

June 5, 2022 - August 20, 2022

Pianists/Coaches and Stage Director
May 31, 2022 – August 20, 2022

Application Deadline
Application materials must be received by Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021.
Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

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

Yaptracker links
Singers: Click here.
Pianists/Coaches: Click here.
Stage Directors: Click here.

2022 Merola Season Information
Please see Yaptracker links for full details.

Application 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.
3. Headshot
4. Resume
5. Name and contact information of 2 industry professionals to serve as professional references

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.

In-Person Audition Locations and Dates
New York City: October 23rd, 25th, 26th, 27th
Chicago: October 30th and 31st
Atlanta: November 2nd
Houston: November 4th and 5th
San Francisco: November 8th, 10th, 11th

Virtual: a limited number of virtual auditions may be granted for applicants who advance to the final round of auditions, but who are unable to travel to an audition city on the dates above. In this instance, additional audition videos will be requested.

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

In-Person Audition Requirements for Singers
• Four arias, one of which must be in German, and one must be in English
• One art song or musical theatre/cabaret selection in the language of your choice.
Singers should be prepared to begin their live audition with an aria of their choice, following the guidance in the Audition Repertoire section of this application.

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
• An aria or scene from an opera by Puccini or Richard Strauss
• One aria from a Bel Canto opera
• One art song

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 2021. Applicants should be prepared to screen share an up-to-date portfolio for discussion at the interview.

If you have questions after reviewing the Yaptracker links above, please contact: Merola Opera Program National Auditions Email: