High School Vocal Artist Summer Program



A group of participants in the High School Summer Vocal Artist Program

This program will not be held in the summer of 2022. 

This week-long opera and art song program's mission is to train and develop the next generation of singing artists by connecting them with professional artists, teachers, and coaches, offering them excellent vocal training and stage experience. This summer, approximately 20 high school students will be invited to gather together on the campus of the University of Minnesota School of Music. Together, students will study and perform opera scenes, American and English art song, diction, acting, and movement classes. In addition to the daily training provided by the U of M Voice faculty and the Minnesota Opera faculty, students will perform in masterclasses, attend vocal music performances in the Twin Cities, and have the opportunity to meet with professional singers, coaches, and teachers.

In addition to exploring opera and the Italian and English Art song genres, this week-long immersive experience will prepare the high school singer for the college audition process through a review of college music programs throughout the country. Mock audition classes and one-on-one voice lessons with the U of M voice faculty will provide students with the opportunity to practice audition techniques needed for the audition.  Daily classes will take place at the School of Music in Ferguson Hall located on the U of M West Bank campus. Evenings will be occupied with various activities such as master classes, audition classes, meet and greet information sessions with singing artists, attending performances, and enjoying social events. The week will culminate in a live-streamed public recital in Ultan Hall on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. All participants will lodge in an on-campus dormitory within walking distance of Ferguson Hall.

“….she is not the same musician she was before camp – in 27 years I've not had a student come back from a summer camp so remarkably improved! Thank you for inspiring her and coaching her in the opera genre.  I will encourage her to return next summer...”  –Joel Green, Litchfield School District, Vocal Music

About the Program

  • Lyric diction for Italian and English art song: Students will learn the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and apply it to both English and Italian song repertoire.
  • Interpretation of song: an in-depth study of the interpretation of song through poetic readings and monologue work.
  • Acting: developing skills for the recital stage.
  • Private voice lessons and vocal coaching: the distinguished U of M voice faculty will focus on classical vocal technique
  • Masterclasses: U of M voice faculty will present master classes focusing on age-appropriate repertoire, career opportunities, and college preparation.
  • Auditioning skills: preparation for auditioning for college programs through mock auditions.
  • Ensemble singing: singers will perform duets, trios, or quartets to learn to sing in the solo/ensemble venue.
  • Final public recital: the week of study will culminate in a final live-streamed public recital in Ultan recital hall followed by a reception with parents and friends.

U of M Faculty 

Name Title
Dr. Wendy Zaro-Mullins Program Director, Associate Professor, voice
John DeHaan Associate Professor, voice
Jean del Santo Associate Professor, voice
Jane Giering-De Haan Affiliate Faculty, voice
Adriana Zabala Associate Professor, voice
Philip Zawisza Assistant Professor, voice

Minnesota Opera Faculty

Mitra Sadeghpour, Co-director, High School Vocal Artists Summer Program and Program Director of Project Opera
Pablo Siqueiros, Teaching Artist, Minnesota Opera
Sara Sawyer, Acting Coach
Emily Urban, Collaborative Pianist, Voices of Opera

Important Information

The High School Vocal Artist Summer Program will be held on June 21-26, Summer 2020 on the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus.

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

100 Ferguson Hall

2106 4th Street South

Minneapolis, MN 55455

If you have questions, please contact:

Dr. Wendy Zaro-Mullins, Director U of M High School Summer Artist Program, Associate Professor, Voice, at 952-221-0244, zarox001@umn.edu


Mitra Sadeghpour, MNOP Program Co-Director, 612-342-9597, msadeghpour@mnopera.org

Jamie Andrews, MNOP Community Education Director, 612-342-9573, andrews@mnopera.org

Audition Information

Visit Minnesota Opera's website to register for this program and for more information


$800 – if you sign up for an audition before March 17, 2020

$900 – if you sign up for an audition after March 17, 2020

Tuition includes all activities, room, and board. (*Scholarships are available.)


Jamie Andrews, Community Education Director

612-342-9573, andrews@mnopera.org

Audition information:

Live auditions will be held on Tuesday, March 17 from 6-8:30 pm at the Minnesota Opera Center (620 N. 1st St., Minneapolis). An accompanist will be provided. Auditioners must come prepared with one song to be accompanied by piano. Additional repertoire is acceptable, but please contact Jamie Andrews at andrews@mnopera.org before the audition.

Recorded auditions are accepted on an ongoing basis. Visit Minnesota Opera's website to register for this program and for more information.

Please note there is an audition registration fee of $25. If accepted, this fee will be applied to your final tuition.