Detroit Opera Youth Chorus to begin auditions for upcoming season – Daily Tribune
The Detroit Opera Youth Chorus, formerly known as the Michigan Opera Theater Children’s Chorus, will be holding auditions Saturday, June 4, and Monday, June 6, for its 2022-23 season at the Detroit Opera House.
The name change — which follows the announcement of Michigan Opera Theater’s name change to Detroit Opera in March — aims to reinforce the company’s transformative vision that “emphasizes community, accessibility, artistic risk-taking, and collaboration.”
Now in its 16th year, the Detroit Opera Youth Chorus (DOYC) is a respected training program for young vocalists, helping build a solid foundation in musical literacy and theory as well as artistic expression, according to Detroit Opera. It is made up of two choruses: the Preparatory Chorus, which introduces young singers ages 8-11 to choral performance; and the Principal Chorus, designed for students ages 10-16 who are ready to perform advanced repertoire.
The Preparatory Chorus is directed by Jane Panikkar, and the Principal Chorus is directed by Assistant Director Dianna Hochella.
“Now more than ever, focusing on our youth is even more important. Now is the time to adapt and align ourselves even more with our community,” said Detroit Opera Assistant Music Director & Chorus Master Suzanne Mallare Acton. “We will continue to offer our Youth Chorus students great learning experiences that represent their varied economic, cultural, and social backgrounds and prepare them for fantastic futures.”
Past performances have included Cary John Franklin’s “The Very Last Green Thing,” Malcolm Williamson’s “The Happy Prince,” Gilbert and Sullivan’s “HMS Pinafore” and Hans Krása’s “Brundibár.” The ensemble also sung in “The Nutcracker” ballet and in main stage productions for “Carmen,” “Tosca,” “La Bohème,” and “The Magic Flute,” as well as made appearances at Detroit Tigers’ games, America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and more. Many DOYC alumni have continued their studies at prestigious conservatories and universities majoring in vocal performance or musical theater, according to Detroit Opera.
The DOYC 2022-23 season will run October 2022 through April 2023 with rehearsals primarily on Monday evenings at the Detroit Opera House. In December, the DOYC will present its annual showcase concert, “A Winter Fantasy,” in addition to producing its own fully staged opera, Seymour Barab’s “The Maker of Illusions” on April 23, 2023.
“We are thrilled to revisit ‘Maker of Illusions’ next spring and we welcome all area youth to participate in this marvelous opera,” said Dianna Hochella, DOYC assistant director and conductor. “In this piece, a wicked Queen imprisoned for transgressions against her people demands the Genie and Goblins sacrifice a young Boy for his ‘Life Force’ to restore her beauty. Their attempts to use illusions to lure the Boy from his home and thwart his sister’s rescue efforts are overcome by the sister’s determination, and the Queen learns the true meaning of ‘Life Force’.”
In-person auditions for the Detroit Opera Youth Chorus will be held from 10 am to 4 pm June 4, and from 5 pm to 9 pm Monday, June 6, at the Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway St. Auditions are open to students ages 8 to 16. An exact audition timeslot will be assigned upon registration, and students will not need to stay for the entire duration of the auditions.
For more information about Detroit Opera Youth Chorus, including registration information, tuition fees and financial aid possibilities, visit detroitoperayouthchorus.org or email Twannette Nash at [email protected]
Detroit Opera Summer Programs
Registration is also underway for Detroit Opera’s annual Summer Programs held July 5 through August 5 at the Detroit Opera House for area youth ages 8 to 18.
Participating students will have the opportunity to develop their skills as performers, composers, designers, directors, and crew members via two programs: “Operetta REMIX!, for youth ages 13-18, and “Create & Perform,” tailored for students 8- 12.
“Detroit Opera prides itself on connecting students with renowned industry talent,” said Director of Education Andrea Scobie in a news release. “We are thrilled to resume our in-person experience this summer and continue our long-held commitment to arts education in a robust way.”
Create & Perform is a two-week program held from 10 am to 4 pm July 5-15, in which young people create their own stories, music compositions and dances, culminating in a performance at the Detroit Opera House at 6 pm Friday, July 15. Participants receive direction in singing, dancing and stage movement and get to take part in all aspects of mounting a new production as they write and perform an original opera. Leading this summer’s “Create & Perform” program is award-winning playwright Emilio Rodriguez (director) and renowned guest artist Maria Cimarelli (music director).
Operetta REMIX! will take place 10 am to 4 pm July 25 through Aug. 5, and offer local teens valuable experience in healthy vocal technique and audition practice. Workshops will be taught by experienced opera and theater professionals including Mary Martin (director, fourth summer with Detroit Opera), Jessica Fielder (vocal coach), Branden Hood (vocal coach) and Joseph Jackson (accompanist). The program allows aspiring youth to explore scenes and songs from beloved operas and musicals and learn more about career opportunities. The program will culminate with a performance at the Detroit Opera House at 6:30 pm on Friday August 5.
For more information, including program fees, visit detroitopera.org/learn/music-and-theater or contact Andrea Scobie at 313-237-3429 or [email protected]