Opera NEO holds national auditions in 14 cities around the country, where 30-33 exceptional young artists are selected to come to San Diego for 5 weeks of intensive professional training, mentoring, and performing.



We offer a place for the next generation of operatic artists to gain the tools to be well-rounded competitors and versatile performers in the ever changing and increasingly demanding classical music landscape.

The program has two levels:


Apprentice Artist Program is designed for emerging young professionals and emphasizes the rehearsal and performance aspects of training. Most of our apprentice artist singers have previous mainstage experience performing full productions with orchestra at other Young Artist Programs, opera companies, or significant academic experiences in leading roles on their résumés.

Studio Artist Program is for college and graduate students or young professionals and is designed to bridge the gap between the academic education and the professional opera world. It focuses on training by providing voice lessons, coachings, movement sessions, master classes, seminars, and round-table discussions. Artists also sing supporting roles in the festival.

The two levels allow us to tailor our offerings to the specific needs of artists at varying experience levels.

The Workshop and the Festival

Our integrative approach to training goes beyond instruction in vocal technique and acting. In addition to classes and seminars on performance and audition techniques, young artists participate in round table discussions where they are able to not only ask questions of the expert panel, but also debate each other and brainstorm ideas about all aspects of navigating the opera business.


Singers receive classes in yoga, tai chi, stage combat, and body awareness. We provide participants with a holistic experience in a supportive community that helps them realize their full potential. While many similar programs teach artists how to fit the mold, we nurture each young talent's individual qualities and personality to empower them to develop into independent artists.

Apprentice coaches, stage directors, and conductors are included in training.

Faculty and orchestra members include renowned artists who frequently perform with some of the world's most important companies.



In addition to giving our participants the opportunity of working alongside luminaries in the field, we feature these international artists in our performances, providing local audiences and visitors high quality opera productions, and enhancing San Diego's reputation as a cultural destination.