In fall 2006, Wolf Trap Opera’s Kim Witman conceived of an idea to expand the training and educational opportunities offered by WTO. She turned it over to Artistic Fellow (and WTO alumnus) Joshua Winograde, who proposed a program that would provide 12 to 16 singers, all of them currently earning degrees in opera performance, with important career development opportunities to assist them in the transition from student to young professional. In 2007, Wolf Trap Opera Studio’s inaugural season featured productions of Volpone and L’étoile.
Over the past decade, more than 100 young singers have benefitted from the Studio’s performance-oriented training, guest faculty expertise, individual mentoring, and seminars that demystify this unique profession.
“The Wolf Trap Opera Studio allows artists to be hands-on. It encourages singers to be curious, learn, and grow. My time in the Studio was some of the most formative of my career.” – Nicholas Brownlee (Bass- baritone, Columbia Artists Management Inc.)
Alumni of the Studio are now performing all across the country, on main stages and in “big house” artist training programs including those at the Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Pittsburgh Opera, and Washington National Opera. Others have transitioned to engagements abroad in Amsterdam, Geneva, Lisbon, Munich, Dresden, and beyond.
“Whenever I have to recommend a program to a younger singer, I always, always recommend the Wolf Trap Studio. I am constantly using lessons that I learned at Wolf Trap.” — Aleksandra Romano (Washington National Opera, Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist)
Several Studio alumni have had the opportunity to return to Wolf Trap as Filene Young Artists. The list includes previous FYAs Catherine Martin, Tracy Cox, Sarah Larsen, and Amy Owens, and 2017 FYAs Ben Edquist, Shea Owens, and Megan Mikailovna Samarin.
“I remember my time in the studio program as a collection of transformative experiences with some of the most committed, helpful, and skilled professionals I’ve ever met.” — Ian Koziara (Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist)
Other alumni have segued into important related work. Paul Hopper is now the Assistant Artistic Director for Houston Grand Opera. Tim Campbell is still singing in Los Angeles, but is perhaps better known as an award-winning audiobook narrator. And Chris Newcomer has performed on Broadway and around the world with CHICAGO The Musical.
“My summer in the Wolf Trap Opera Studio was truly a transformative experience.” — Paul Hopper (Assistant Artistic Director, Houston Grand Opera)
The Studio’s 10th Anniversary season will include a performance of staged opera scenes, the world premiere of a new children’s opera (Listen, Wilhelmina!), a pops concert with the National Orchestral Institute + Festival, and appearances in supporting roles across WTO’s performance calendar. Join us in celebrating the work of these talented young singers and the important contribution the Studio makes to the opera world.