Merola Opera Program
Widely regarded as the foremost opera training program for aspiring singers, coaches and stage directors, the Merola Opera Program is the cornerstone of San Francisco Opera’s training and performance programs for promising young artists.
Established in 1957 in memory of Gaetano Merola, the first General Director of San Francisco Opera, Merola has served as a proving ground for hundreds of artists, including Sylvia McNair, Anna Netrebko, Patricia Racette, Ruth Ann Swenson, Carol Vaness, Deborah Voigt, Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham, Dolora Zajick, Rolando Villazón, Thomas Hampson and Patrick Summers.
The Program annually offers 29 artists the rare opportunity of studying, coaching and participating in master classes with established professionals for twelve weeks during the summer. Participants also perform in two complete opera productions with orchestra and a summer concert.
The Merola Opera Program incorporates intensive training in operatic repertory, languages, diction, acting and movement and culminates with the Merola Grand Finale, a concert with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra on the stage of the War Memorial Opera House. The Merola Opera Program is a financially independent organization with a separate 501(c)3 which operates in collaboration with the San Francisco Opera Center and San Francisco Opera. More information on Merola may be found here.