Aspen Music Festival And School

Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS - Voice Back To Aspen Opera Theater...

Important Information
  • Must be available for participation in the full-session, eight-week program
  • Fleming Artists receive fellowships covering tuition, room, and board plus $1,500 stipend
  • Studio Artists may apply for scholarship assistance
  • Benefit from mentorship and vocal consultation from Renée Fleming
  • Resume, repertoire list, head shot, and letters of recommendation required
  • All applicants must submit a video recording for pre-screening
  • Recorded Live Audition invitations for Renée Fleming Artist and Studio Artist Candidates released by October 31, 2020
  • Renée Fleming Artist and Studio Artist offers released by December 1, 2020
Fees & Deadlines
Deadline: October 15, 2020
Application open September 1, 2020

Application Fee

$25 September 1-15, 2020
$60 September 16-October 15, 2020

Renée Fleming, co-artistic director
Patrick Summers, co-artistic director


The Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS (AOTVA) program, under the co-artistic direction of Renée Fleming and Patrick Summers, launches in summer 2021. The program will train young singers for the future of vocal artistry: for a career in opera and concertizing, emphasizing technical skill, process, knowledge of the business, and versatility. The 2021 season will include two fully-staged productions in the historic Wheeler Opera House as well as a semi-staged performance in Harris Concert Hall. Performances are sung exclusively by AOTVA singers and are coached and led by distinguished conductors and directors.

All AOT singers participate in the weekly Saturday Opera Theater Master Class series. The series includes opera and musical theater scenes workshops led by Renée Fleming, Patrick Summers, Ed Berkeley, Rachelle Fleming, and AMFS senior coaches; presenting two workshops conducted by Aspen Conducting Academy (ACA) conductors and accompanied by the ACA Orchestra. All artists participate in RepLab, which offers seminars of two weeks each on Art Song and Lieder, Cabaret, 21st Century Music, and American Songbook; and culminate in bi-weekly public performances. Select singers will also be assigned to perform in vocal chamber music programs, professional musical theater productions, opera chorus, and House Music recitals, which are all ticketed events.

Singers will receive extensive musical and diction coaching from nationally recognized coaching staff drawn from the finest universities, conservatories, and professional opera houses around the world. Classes will include acting, meditation, and movement training to meet today’s theatrical and operatic demands. Weekly panel discussions with professional artists and administrators will highlight important topics on “The Business of Music” and both singers and coaches will have the opportunity to perform for Young Artist programs and select industry professionals. All singers will receive 90 minutes of instruction weekly from a resident artist-faculty of their choice and have the opportunity to participate in masterclasses given by distinguished artists and voice teachers.

The program is anticipated to attract 300-500 applications, of which 12-16 will be invited as Renée Fleming Artists. For the 2021 season, all 2020 Fleming Artists have been re-invited and limited spots will be available. Approximately 40 will be invited as Studio Artists. Applicants may designate if they would like to be considered for only a Renée Fleming Fellowship, only a Studio Artist, or both opportunities. 

  • Renée Fleming Artists will sing and cover leading roles in mainstage productions and will receive vocal consultation and mentorship from Renée Fleming. They will study with Ms. Fleming weekly when she is in residence and may arrange to also continue instruction with their regular assigned teacher. Fleming Artists will receive fellowships covering tuition, room, and board as well as a $1500 stipend.
  • Studio Artists will sing and cover supporting roles and/or perform in the chorus for mainstage productions. They will receive master class and seminar instruction from Renée Fleming. Studio Artists are eligible for scholarship assistance covering up to full tuition and, in some cases, room and board.  

2021 Productions:

Mozart’s The Magic Flute
Jane Glover conductor
Edward Berkeley stage director 
          Performances: July 15, 17, 19 

Thomson’s The Mother of Us All
Scott Terrell conductor
Stage director TBA 
          Performance: August 4

Handel’s Rodelinda
Patrick Summers conductor
Stage director TBA
          Performances: August 19, 21 


How to Apply


All applicants must submit a video audition and will be pre-screened for the opportunity to submit a recorded live audition.

  • Resume
  • Comprehensive Repertoire List
  • Audition Repertoire List
  • Head shot
  • Two letters of recommendation from a musical authority

Pre-Screen Audition (submitted with your online application by October 15, 2020 for pre-screening)

  • Three pieces in at least two languages meeting the following criteria
    • One aria
    • One musical theater piece (e.g., You'll Never Walk Alone from Carousel) or work composed during your lifetime (e.g., Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, Adams’s Doctor Atomic, Abrahamsen’s Let me tell you)
  • Spoken monologue of one-two minutes (can be dramatic, comedic, poetic, contemporary)


Recorded Live Audition (by invitation only; invited applicants will be asked to record selections from their Recorded Live Audition repertoire on a single track without stopping—as if auditioning live)

  • Five pieces in at least three languages meeting the following criteria
    • One aria
    • One musical theater piece or work composed during your timeline
    • One art song
  • Spoken monologue of one-two minutes (can be dramatic, comedic, poetic, contemporary)



  • Are there pre-requisites for Renée Fleming Artists?
    • We expect that Renée Fleming Artists have at least completed their junior year of undergraduate degree program in vocal performance and/or participated in a young artist program. To be considered for this appointment, singers must have performed (or covered) a complete role. Singers at this level should also have extensive experience singing in at least three languages.  
  • What is a comprehensive repertoire list?
    • Our audition panel would like to see a list of the repertoire you have sung for an audience (or anticipate to perform within the next six months). Please use this opportunity to demonstrate your experience with languages and different genres of vocal music.
  • What is an audition repertoire list?
    • We ask that you upload a PDF document listing your pre-screen repertoire (meeting the above listed requirements) and your recorded live audition repertoire (meeting the above listed requirements) separately. Our audition panel will use this document to select pieces for the recorded live audition should you be chosen.
  • What if I can’t record my audition with a live pianist?
    • Singers can use older recordings for the pre-screen audition (as long as they represent your current ability). Singers may also choose to record their pre-screen or recorded live audition with a pre-recorded track.
  • When will I know if I have been selected for a recorded live audition?
    • All applicants will be notified by October 31.
  • If I am invited for a recorded live audition,what will I need to do?
    • By October 31, selected singers will receive communication outlining the recorded live audition process. Please be prepared to record and submit your audition by Friday, November 6. Late submissions will not be accepted.
  • When will I hear if I have been accepted or been assigned a role?
    • AOTVA offers will be released on December 1.




Recording Specifications
  • Recordings must be recent: made no more than three months prior to application.
  • Each excerpt or work must be played through without stopping.
  • All excerpts and works must be uploaded in the order listed.
  • Please label each upload with the name of the excerpt or work. DO NOT include your name.

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO