Mock Audition Day


Date & Time:
Saturday, November 18 | 1 PM to 4 PM

Regisration Cost: $25

Venue: Somerville Music Spaces

Location: 1060 Broadway, C108B, Somerville, MA 02144

Panelists: Cassandra Lovering, stage director; J.J. Penna, vocal coach; and Dana Varga, voice professor & vocal coach

Pianist: Brendon Shapiro

Deadline to Register: Monday, October 23 @ 11:59 PM



Join MassOpera and Boston Singers’ Resource  on Saturday, November 18 for our Mock Audition Day. There’s no better way to practice the essential art of auditioning than with some real, hands-on experience! We will have local industry professionals there to offer you written feedback, and a pianist will be provided. Each singer will get 8 minutes to present their audition. Only $25 to participate in this valuable opportunity! Register now, as slots are limited. (BSR members will receive priority for 50% of the slots) Can’t wait to see you there!

Please note:  Auditions will be over 3 hours, and each singer will have 8 minutes alotted, with a total of 20 singers.


Cassandra Lovering

Cassandra Lovering

Stage Director

Cassandra Lovering is a NY-based Elliot Norton and IRNE award nominated director, producer, dramatic coach, teacher, and dramaturg.  Her work examines gender roles and relationships with a particular focus on the experience of women.  As the former Producing Artistic Director of MassOpera, she headed up new programming like the New Opera Workshop and directed 
Die Fledermaus in the Spring of 2019. Some directing selections include: It’s not about my mother (new work) Little Dog Laughed (IRNE and Norton Nominated) Suor Angelica, Trouble in Tahiti, Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night and The Beautiful Bridegroom.  This winter she will be part of the National Young Arts Program’s creative team for the classical instrumentalists division.  She received her MA in Theatre from Villanova University with a focus on directing and dramaturgy.  She is a Lincoln Center Director’s Lab 2018 Alum.

J.J. Penna

J.J. Penna

Collaborative Pianist & Vocal Coach

J.J. Penna has performed extensively with a variety of eminent singers, including Kathleen Battle, 
Harolyn Blackwell, Measha Brueggergosman, Denyce Graves, Ying Huang, Susan Narucki, Roberta Peters, Florence Quivar, and Andreas Scholl. He has held fellowships at the Tanglewood Music Center, Banff Center, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, and San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program. He received his training under Martin Katz, Margo Garrett, and Diane Richardson. Devoted to the teaching of classical song literature, he has been on the faculties of The Juilliard School, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Bowdoin Festival, Westminster Choir College, the Renée Fleming Song Studio, and Vancouver International Song Institute. He currently teaches at the Yale University School of Music and the New England Conservatory.

Dana Varga

Dana Varga

Voice Professor, Vocal Coach, & Artistic Director @ MassOpera

Dana Lynne Varga is the Founder and Artistic Director of MassOpera. She is an accomplished soprano, voice teacher, entrepreneur and career coach, and presently on the voice and opera faculty of the Longy School of Music.  Dana won first place in the 2016 Classical Singer National Competition. She has sung with numerous organizations including Boston Lyric Opera, Odyssey Opera, the Caramoor International Music Festival, Opera Maine, the Cantata Singers, the Metropolitan Chorale, the Springfield Symphony, Coro Allegro, and the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra. Favorite operatic roles performed include Fiordiligi in 
Cosi fan tutte, Musetta in La Boheme, Micaëla in Carmen, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus and the title roles in Alcina and The Merry Widow. An avid concert soloist, recent highlights include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, the Brahms Requiem, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Messiah, and the Bach Magnificat and B Minor Mass. Dana holds the DMA degree from Boston University and the MM degree from the New England Conservatory.

Visit Dana’s performance website at and her career coaching site/blog at


Brendon Shapiro

Brendon Shapiro

Pianist & Executive Director, Boston Singers' Resource

Pianist, vocal coach, and conductor, Brendon Shapiro, is a champion of vocal music of the 20th and 21st centuries. He is passionate about the way music can help to shine a light on stories and perspectives that have not historically been represented on American stages, and he specializes in working closely with singers and composers to create effective performances for audiences of all backgrounds.

Brendon is an alumnus of LA Opera’s Young Artist Program where he worked with such artists as Renée Fleming and Susan Graham and played a key role in the musical preparation of the world premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice, along with many other productions. He returned to LA Opera in 2022 to work on Rhiannon Giddens’ and Michael Abels’ Omar. He is also a regular at Boston Lyric Opera where he has served as pianist and coach for Omar, Bluebeard’s Castle, The Rape of Lucretia, Pagliacci, and Cavalleria Rusticana.

Brendon has joined the music staff for various productions at San Francisco Opera, Bard Summerscape Festival, Opera Omaha, Odyssey Opera, Opera Maine, and many other opera companies across the country. Additionally, he served as assistant conductor at Boston Conservatory for several recent productions.

Brendon is a co-founder and co-artistic director of Catalyst New Music, where he music directed for the workshop performances of Omar Najmi’s This is Not That Dawn and En la ardiente oscuridad, and produced and performed in the recital series FUSE: Collaborations in Song, a collaboration with Boston Singers’ Resource, a non-profit organization in which Brendon also leads as Executive Director. Brendon also maintains an active coaching schedule in the Boston area.




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