Summer Lovin’ . . . in January

Plane ticket: $460. Tuition: $1,495. Meals and expenses: $265. New friends, new mentors, and a new full role on your résumé? Priceless.

Of my most memorable summers (40-some-odd that I can remember), three stand out: a summer in Washington D.C., a summer in Manhattan, and six weeks in Austria. All filled with wonderful singing experiences. Each had a few hiccups. But administrators worked quickly to resolve them and ensure that students—including me—got what they paid for.

In hindsight, my tuition bought much more than I expected—experiencing a new place; making many new friends (friendships that continue to this day); joyfully seeing my voice, talents, and abilities stretch and grow; and so much more. These character-building personal and professional experiences were all totally worth the price of admission.

Ensuring a stellar summer program experience boils down to two things: first, determine what you want to gain from the experience and, second, find a program that best meets those needs. This month, Christi Amonson gives a comprehensive overview of the various types of summer programs and what they offer singers (p. 12), a perfect resource to begin your summer program search.

After reading Christi’s overview, dive deeper to get in-depth details about specific programs spanning the globe and training spectrum. Find out about the five-year-old program Opera Neo in Los Angeles offering singers full roles with orchestra (p. 20). Hear from participants of the Druid City Opera Workshop as they share what it is like to learn directly from Pro Hough (p. 40). Or, if you want an off-the-beaten-path adventure, read about the Varna International Opera Program in Bulgaria and the professional experience it offers singers (p. 60). And if the bottom line is your main concern, read about a whole host of programs with tuition that won’t break the bank (p. 72).

Be sure to also peruse the pictures and program highlights of over 45 summer programs featured on pp. 48–51 and 66–71. And look through the Featured Listings printed here (p. 56) from our Summer Program Directory. Then visit the online directory to search more than 300 additional programs to find the one right for you.

So, if you’re enduring freezing temperatures and shoveling snow this month, warm up a bit by planning your next summer’s adventure and making sure it’s an unforgettable one—one that will help you progress on your journey to becoming the singer and person you want to be. That truly is priceless.

Sara Thomas

Sara Thomas is editor of Classical Singer magazine. She welcomes your comments.