History and Mission

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The Emerging Artists Program was first implemented in 2006 and has been rapidly growing ever since.  The main focus of SPO’s educational mission is to provide stimulating artistic challenges in a professional setting for opera performers in various stages of their development.  In our program the artists attend all rehearsals of the principal cast, learning not only the music for the character they are covering, but also the staging and any dialogue.  In addition, the participants will have private and group coaching sessions with Maestro Mark Sforzini, as well as stage rehearsal time with the Stage Director.  A unique feature of St. Petersburg Opera’s Emerging Artists program is that each artist will be given the opportunity to rehearse with full orchestra.  An invaluable experience for aspiring opera performers preparing for a role. There are opportunities for public performances, and by the end of the program, participants usually have performed 75% – 100% of their role in public.   The cover cast also has a run-through onstage with set during tech week.  Guest vocal clinicians are invited to work with each individual emerging artist focusing on the technical approach to their music.  Past guest clinicians have included Sherrill Milnes, Maria Zouves, Tito Capobianco, Stella Zambalis and Caren Levine.

With the expansion of the St. Petersburg Opera Company more opportunities for aspiring performers have become available, starting with the creation of Music in Motion in 2010 culminating each session with the thrilling Opera Idol competitiion. The newest addition to our educational programs is The St. Petersburg Opera Residency Program, which will began in 2013.


Our current Emerging Artists (EA) opportunites are for covering roles and/or performing small roles in  our large main stage productions of Pagliacci, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Putting It Together, and Turandot this season. Artists are currently being chosen and notified based on our round of auditions held in March/ April 2014.