Artist Development

MassOpera cultivates experiences for artists and audiences that challenge the status quo and reflect our diverse community.

MassOpera is dedicated to helping emerging artists grow and flourish.   We present several annual programs for Artist Development.  Past programs have included:

  • The Business of Singing Seminar, (including budget, debt and financial management)
  • Audition Preparation Evenings
  • and Master Classes

We are one of the only companies in the Northeast that offers written feedback at our Vocal Competition, and often provide feedback from auditions upon request.  We now present our Vocal Competition bi-annually in rotation with our newly re-launching New Opera Workshop, in partnership with OperaHub.

Check back for upcoming programming!

New Opera Workshop

In the tradition of supporting and educating emerging classical singers, MassOpera launched the New Opera Workshop in 2018, with Kamala Sankaram and Jerre Dye’s Taking Up Serpents, ahead of its World Premiere with Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center in January 2019; and more recently with Dan Shore’s Freedom Ride, ahead of its World Premiere with Chicago Opera Theater in February 2020.

In its two-year infancy the New Opera Workshop provided a rare opportunity in opera to give the composer and librettist a chance to see and hear their piece for the first time with singers and orchestra before a fully-mounted production. The workshop performance allowed the creative team to figure out what music/text needs to be cut, added, changed, tweaked or completely re-imagined, in order to tighten and improve the operatic piece.

Partnering with Washington National Opera and Chicago Opera Theater allowed MassOpera to better establish itself as a company, and get the New Opera Workshop on the map.  We are proud of the work we have done in two years, but we want to take it further and work from the literal infancy of an opera–from the ideation stage–helping to develop the libretto, incorporating music through various stages of revision, all the way through to a full production. To do this we are launching an official partnership with OperaHub to bring forth a re-envisioned New Opera Workshop (NOW), that will workshop opera like its never been workshopped before, over a 2 year period.

Re-envisioning the New Opera Workshop (NOW) also allows MassOpera to foster the growth of new stories that have never been told. Our goal over the coming years is to not only push the boundaries of music and style in opera, but to also push the boundaries of what types of stories are told and what types of characters are presented, requiring a majority of roles be for women, including a broad variety of roles for diverse women.

With the re-launch of the NOW we are looking for librettists to fill out our Intent to Submit Application.  For information and to fill out the application CLICK HERE.

For our inaugural New Opera Workshop performance of Taking Up Serpents we decided to showcase the talents of a female composer, Kamala Sankaram, whereas by workshopping Freedom Ride, we wanted to tackle an important part of American Civil Rights history.  We look forward to pushing opera forward to a more just, equitable, and compelling future.

The Business of Singing Seminar Series

The Business of Singing Seminar Series features an introductory panel discussion to the landscape of classical singing today, representing the three basic principles that will help singers (and most other freelance artists) be solid, professional people:

  • Honing and developing one’s technical and artistic capability as a performer
  • Marketing, promoting, advocating and negotiating for oneself as a freelance business person
  • Developing the literacy and practice of financial management, including budgeting, taxes, and (student) loan repayment


Over the next two seasons MassOpera plans to dive deep into these three basic principles with more in-depth individual seminars, giving singers and other artists the option to take part in one, two, or all three seminars based on their individual needs.

Check back for dates and times this Fall!

Audition Preparation Evenings

A few years ago, MassOpera (MetroWest Opera) introduced Audition Preparation Evenings. This provides an opportunity for singers to:

  • Try out new repertoire, including arias, oratorio, art songs, and legit musical theatre pieces before an audience of their peers
  • Receive written, anonymous feedback from peer singers, to help with musicality, diction, and interpretation
  • Experiment with musical, dramatic, and comedic interpretation
  • Gain the experience of singing these new audition pieces to a live audience before singing said audition pieces in a real audition

We plan to open up the Audition Preparation Evenings to musical theatre singers of all styles in our upcoming season.

Please check back later in the Fall for more details!

Master Classes

MassOpera will be introducing Master Classes for the first time this season to our singers. Much like the Audition Preparation Evenings give singers a chance to test out new audition repertoire before a panel of their peers, our Master Classes allow singers to take their learning a step further, and be heard and seen by some of the most accomplished singers, stage directors, and music directors in the Boston area.

Check out our website in 2019 for details on our first Master Class!

Vocal Competition for Emerging Artists

MassOpera introduced the Annual Vocal Competition for Emerging Artists in 2010 and has held this event annually every year through to 2018, and bi-annually thereafter. We saw a need for singers to have the opportunity to gain experience performing in a high-steaks, multi-round vocal competition, in order to gain meaningful experience and also compete for cash prizes in the Final Round. What has always made MassOpera’s Vocal Competition for Emerging Artists stand out is that:

  • Every applicant is given the opportunity to sing
  • Every applicant receives written feedback from the Preliminary Round Judges
  • The Finalists compete for cash prizes totaling $1,500
  • The winner receives free admission to all educational programs, performances, and events throughout the season following their win (in addition to the top prize of $600)

As we launch our 13th Season as MassOpera we have decided to hold the Vocal Competition bi-annually as we introduce new programming, such as our New Opera Workshop.

To learn more about auditions for the Vocal Competition for Emerging Artists and to fill out an application, please CLICK HERE!