Opera Reading Project Season Auditions

Rate of Pay: 

2022-23 Call for General Auditions for Opera Reading Series. Click on full listing for details.

Opera Reading Project (ORP) is holding general auditions for our 2022-23 season of opera readings on Wednesday, September 7th, 6:30-9:30 p.m. and Sunday, September 11th, 1:00-5:30 p.m. at the Minnesota Opera Center, 620 North 1st St. in Minneapolis. Readings will be prepared under the leadership of Lara Bolton, ORP’s Music Director. Our goal is to create a high-quality role preparation, polishing, and performing experience for participants. We select opera repertoire from a wide variety of genres from Baroque to living composers. Possible operas for 2022-23 readings include La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina, Werther, Falstaff, Il tabarro, Gianni Schcchi, L’enfant et les sortilèges, Cendrillon (Viardot), The Rake’s Progress, Candide and Highway 1 (W. Grant Still). Other operas under consideration may not be listed here and final selections for this season will be based on casting suitability, singer availability and role interest. To learn more about Opera Reading Project and our team, please visit www.operareadingproject.com.

Scheduling: Each opera reading takes place during a 2-3 week intensive with coachings, rehearsals and a final read-through. The time windows for each reading are listed below:

Window #1:  Nov 4-Nov. 21 or Nov. 28-Dec. 12

Window #2: Jan 13-Jan 30 or Feb. 21- Mar.10

Window #3:  May 8-21 or May 30 - June 11

Our third opera reading this season, a full-work by a living composer or a one-act by a living composer paired with a second one-act, will be performed in public, and will be tuition-free thanks to a generous donor gift.

We have also added an additional rehearsal for more polishing time to each reading, again thanks to our donor community. 

How to Audition: Fill out the 2022-23 Audition Applicant Form and sign up for an audition timeslot. Please be ready to list the types of roles you are interested in, including covers, and your scheduling availability. Audition sign-ups are accepted through September 2, 2022. Everyone will need to audition unless you have coached with music director Lara Bolton in the last 6 months. Then you are not required to perform a live audition, but please still fill out the 2022-23 Audition Applicant Form and email the office directly at operareadingproject@gmail.com to let us know.

For the audition, be prepared to sing two contrasting opera arias or classical songs, one in English. We would like to hear what represents you at your best. Singers auditioning for Opera Reading Project are MN-based singers who are typically at a professional or emerging professional/graduate level. Please provide your own accompanist for the audition. If you would like a list of excellent pianists who are available to play that day, send an email with PIANIST in the subject line to operareadingproject@gmail.com and the list will be sent to you.

**Important to Note: Opera Reading Project is casting for our role reading series and is not casting to stage operas. Opera Reading Project is a professional career development tool for singers that does not offer payment or housing at this time. Singers receive coachings, rehearsals and a final reading and pay a tuition rate per role based on role size according to AGMA classifications. For further details, please see the 2022-2023 Opera Reading Project Rate and Participation Guidelines

COVID-19 Protocols: In order to minimize the risk of COVID-19 to all in ORP as well as for those with whom we share space where we meet, we are requiring that everyone attending our in-person auditions be fully vaccinated against the virus. At this time masks do not need to be worn while singing in the audition room but should be worn before and after in the audition waiting area. COVID-19 protocol regarding wearing of masks in group environments will be determined on an ongoing basis, based on state and local health and safety protocols and policies.  If you are feeling ill or have been recently exposed to someone who has developed or tested positive for COVID-19, please do not come to your audition and reach out to ORP via email to make other arrangements. 

Diversity Statement: Opera Reading Project is dedicated to creating equitable and inclusive opportunities in our company that reflect the diversity of Minnesota. We affirm applicants from all racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Opera Reading Project stands strong in its commitment to equity for all applicants, regardless of race, gender, religion, age, marital or veteran’s status, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or any other basis prohibited by local, state or federal law.


Opera Reading Project commits to building community connection, professional career development and lasting change in opera. We cultivate and elevate Minnesota singers as they prepare, polish, and perform opera roles.

Opera Reading Description

With ORP, you musically prepare and polish an opera role with professional standards, culminating in a final concert reading, one of which will be offered publicly. ORP provides you the opportunity to:

  • prepare for an upcoming engagement

  • review a role you have already sung

  • polish a mainstay in your repertoire

  • complete a role as “prepared” on your resume

  • try out something new in a safe space 

ORP builds your singer community. We attract top-notch singers with high standards, and we strive to bring equity and accessibility to the rehearsal room. Throughout our project, you network with goal-minded colleagues in an inclusive setting. You form professional connections that move beyond the isolation of the practice room.  Our collaborations inspire and inform. We provide a unique professional development experience for singers that is rarely found beyond academia or the professional opera house.

How Opera Reading Project Works:

Once role assignments are finalized, we work through a complete opera score in a two to three- week intensive time period, meeting for coachings, group rehearsals and the final reading.  As in a professional setting, singers are expected to complete musical preparation of notes, rhythms and translations on their own prior to the first coaching. Memorization is not required, but you should be completely prepared to sing as the time period is brief. During the final musical reading, everyone contributes something to enjoy together during a refreshment break. ORP role tuition rates are based on AGMA designated role classifications and are primarily divided into three categories: leading, featured, and supporting.


Contact information

Opera Reading Project
Colleen O'Shaughnessy
Web site

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Saturday, September 3
Posted August 5