At a casual glance, Wolf Trap Opera seems to have continued its normal operations in 1978. There were two opera productions at the Filene Center: The Gondoliers and a world premiere of The Duchess of Malfi – a new opera by Stephen Douglas Burton. The 1970’s era general template was in place – guest artists in starring roles, with young artists filling out the cast. But the 1978 season young artists weren’t chosen during an annual audition process; rather they were hand-picked for a repeat engagement from the list of participants from recent seasons. These singers included Neil Rosenshein, Janice Hall, Faith Esham, Elaine Bonazzi, Maryanne Telese, and Jake Gardner.