An innovative opera program debuts at the Aspen Music Festival and School next year. Opera stars Renee Fleming and Patrick Summers will lead Aspen Opera Theatre and VocalARTS.
Aspen Opera Theatre and VocalARTS will offer instruction and mentoring to burgeoning singers and accompanying pianists. It will also coach them on other aspects of life as a performer, such as PR, financial planning and mental health care.
This will be the first major teaching position for soprano Fleming. She herself trained at the Aspen Music Festival and School.
Summers is currently the artistic and music director of Houston Grand Opera.
The new program replaces the Aspen Opera Center, directed by Ed Berkeley for over thirty years. Berkeley will serve as stage director starting next year.
Student auditions will be held in October in cities around the country.
Next summer, the program’s students will perform two shows for the public: “The Magic Flute” and “The Grapes of Wrath.”