Artists in Training

The Merola Opera Program offers a unique combination of training and performance opportunities for young professional singers, coaches, and stage directors. The summer includes fully staged operas with orchestra, a scenes concert, and the Merola Grand Finale Concert, which concludes the summer. These experiences in front of a live audience put into practice the depth and richness of the lessons learned over the program. Merola participants receive matchless advanced training in musical style and interpretation, role preparation, movement and acting, accompaniment and conducting, languages and diction, breath work, professional development.


Merola Opera Program Annual National Auditions

The Merola Opera Program is a young artist training program with a focus on performance and career development opportunities for young professional singers, coaches, and stage directors.
The Adler Fellowship Program is a residency offered to select singers and coaches who have completed the Merola Opera Program.
Auditions for the 2020 Program are now closed. Links to applications for the 2021 season will post on this page in early August 2020.
National auditions for the Merola Opera Program, under the artistic direction of the San Francisco Opera Center are held annually in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City in the fall, typically late October, and early November. The Program takes place at San Francisco Opera Center each summer from June – August. Singers, coaches and stage directors may apply.
The summer festival typically includes two fully staged operas in a professional theatre and staged scenes with orchestra (known as the Schwabacher Summer Concert) where the repertoire is chosen to showcase Merola artists, and all voice types are considered. The summer concludes with a concert with all artists performing with orchestra on the stage of the War Memorial Opera House. It is a well known, well attended San Francisco summer event known as the, Merola Grand Finale!
Every singer will be cast in one of the operas or the Schwabacher Summer Concert, and the Merola Grand Finale.


Applications are submitted through YAP Tracker, a web-based online audition manager. You do not need to be a paying subscriber to YAP Tracker to apply. When applications have gone live, usually in early August, you can then review the appropriate YAP Tracker listing: Singer, Coach, Director. The fee for applying to the Merola Opera Program is $35. Merolini chosen for the summer program receive a small weekly stipend, and housing. For the following five years after their engagement with the Program, Merolini are eligible to apply for Merola Career Grants to offset expenses associated with launching a career.
INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS ONLY: If you require a letter of invitation in order to obtain a visitor visa to attend our national auditions, you must email Lauren Hewitt at prior to May 1st of the year you intend to apply for an audition. And, if you want to have the artistic directors review your ability, send a link that showcases your skill, and we will let you know if we think it is worth your time and money to travel to the US to audition.
Questions about the YAP Tracker application process? Please email
Questions about the Merola Opera Program National Auditions? Please email or call (415) 936-2320.

For more information on Applying to the Merola Opera Program, contact: