Frequently Asked Questions

Check out the frequently asked questions to find more information on our application, scheduling, and audition processes, as well as other general information regarding the Young Artist program.

Applications for the 2021 Young Artist Program are now closed.

Season dates, repertoire and role opportunities will emerge gradually over the coming months in response to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, along with final budget allocations from the Chautauqua Institution. 

Chautauqua Opera celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its Young Artist Program in 2018, and expect that Young Artists will be a significant part of any in-person, hybrid or virtual 2021 season.  All 20 Young Artists accepted into the 2020 season have been promised Right of First Consideration for any appropriate roles or opportunities in the 2021 season.  Applicants for the 2021 season will join a pool of singers to be considered for roles and opportunities which will become clearer between November, 2020 and Spring, 2021.

Chautauqua Opera has decided to join in the consortium being organized by Houston Grand Opera in order to help streamline the 2020 application process for all Young Artists.  While the application deadline and subsequent video audition deadline will be ahead of our season planning, we will welcome this opportunity to hear and follow the progress of singers who are currently pursuing Young Artist programs.  In consideration of these factors, there will be no application fee for the 2021 season.

Steps are outlined below to guide your understanding of this shared audition process.

Step 1: Apply to each program as you normally would. Applications are due Monday, October 12.

Step 2: Notifications of second-round video auditions will be sent by each company by Friday, November 6. This notification will contain a link to submit your audition aria list.

Step 3: Submit your aria list (one list for all programs), indicating your chosen “starter” aria, by Tuesday, November 10. Your aria list must include five (or more) selections, four of which must be operatic, reflecting at least three languages, including English.

Step 4: Notification of requested arias from your list (one request for all programs) will be sent on Friday, November 13.

Step 5: Record a new video audition and submit the video by Monday, November 30Please consult these Opera America guidelines for guidance on best practices for creating your video audition. 

If you have questions about Chautauqua Opera's Young Artist program that are not addressed below, please email us at


Application Process

Q: How do I apply for the Young Artist Program?
A: Applications for our Young Artist Program are housed on YAP Tracker. Simply fill out the application on YAP Tracker and attach all of the required materials.

Please note: Applying for the Young Artist Program does not guarantee that an audition will be granted.

Q: What is the deadline to apply?
A: The deadline to apply for the 2021 Young Artist program is October 12, 2020.

Q: What materials am I required to submit?
A: Along with the online application, yaptracker will prompt you to upload the following: an up-to-date resumé and headshot, digital audio recordings of 2 arias – 1 in English and 1 in another language.

You must also include a copy of documents proving your age (passport, driver's license, or goverment-issued ID with birth-date) and right to work/study in the U.S. (passport or visa). Please note: the Chautauqua Opera Company can NOT provide a visa for non-US citizens. You must already have or be able to procure a work or student visa before your contract begins in June 2021, valid through the program's duration, in order to be considered for this program.

Q: Am I required to include letters of reference with my application packet?
A: No, we only require the name and contact information of your current voice teacher.

Q: If I don't have an original language English aria recorded, is it acceptable to send a musical theater or English artsong selection?
A: This is done on a case by case basis. It is always better to send an original language English aria (opera or oratorio), but if not, an aria translated into English would be preferable to either musical theater or artsong.

Q: Is there an application fee?

A: There is no application fee for the 2021 Young Artist application.

Audition Process

Q: Will CHQ be holding auditions in person this year?
A: This season all auditions will be held virtually, by submitting a video audition.

Q: When will I be notified if I have received an audition?
A: You will be notified on November 6. We do notify all applicants, whether or not they receive an audition. 

Q: What should I do if I haven't heard by November 7?
A: Please check your spam/junk email folders, as messages sent through YAP Tracker often get flagged, then email us at

Q: I've been granted an audition! What do I do next?

A: In the notification you recieve on November 6, you will be asked to submit your audition aria list to the consortium. You will choose your starting aria, just as you would in a regular audition, and the companies will then vote on the two additional selections you will be asked to record. You will then be notified of the repertoire the panel has selected for your audition on November 13 and will have until November 30 to create and submit your video(s). To be clear, the consortium's goal is to streamline the process so that each singer only needs to create one audition video (or set of videos) this season.

Q: When can I expect to hear whether I have been accepted into the Young Artist Program or not?

A: We expect that this will be an ongoing process between December, 2020 and Spring, 2021, as we determine what is viable and safe for us to produce as a company during summer 2021. In addition, we must note that the 20 Young Artists accepted into the 2020 season have been promised Right of First Consideration for any appropriate roles or opportunities in the 2021 season. 

 General Information

Q: What is the age range of Chautauqua Opera Young Artists?
A: The age range for eligibility is 21 to 35. Young Artists must have completed their final year of undergraduate studies by the time the opera's season starts in June.

Q: How many artists are accepted into the program each year?
A: On average, we accept 8 Apprentice Artists and 16 Studio Artists. 

Q: What is the difference between an Apprentice Artist and a Studio Artist?

A: Apprentice Artists sing or cover leading, supporting and/or comprimario roles in mainstage productions, perform at outreach performances, perform with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and are hired under an American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Apprenticeship contract.

Studio Artists perform in the "Studio Showcase series", which includes artsong recitals, Opera Invasions (community engagement events), open-mic nights, opera scenes, and operas for young audiences; they may also be assigned leading, supporting, comprimario or cover roles in the mainstage productions, and are hired under non-AGMA contracts.

ALL Young Artists appear in the chorus of mainstage productions. Young Artists receive extensive musical coaching from a nationally recognized coaching staff drawn from the finest universities, conservatories and opera houses in the US. Classes in movement, combat, makeup, and acting, as well as master classes given by distinguished artists, agents and voice teachers are offered to all Young Artists. Notable masterclass teachers in the past have included John Fisher (Metropolitan Opera), Peter Kazaras (UCLA), Marlena Malas (Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music), Craig Rutenberg (Metropolitan Opera) and Brian Zeger (Juilliard). 

Housing, a weekly stipend and a travel allowance are provided for all Young Artists.

Q: What are the dates for the summer season?
A: The Young Artist contracts begin in mid-June and end in early August.


If you have further questions, please feel free to email us at: AUDITIONS@CHAUTOPERA.ORG