Each fall, Wolf Trap Opera travels to 8 cities to hold auditions for the upcoming summer season. From an initial pool of 1,000 applicants, about 500 are invited to audition—35 to 40 are accepted.

“When I hear that a young artist has spent a summer at Wolf Trap, I pay attention.”

 —Patrick Summers Artistic and Music Director, Houston Grand Opera
Because of its reputation and track record, WTO gets the best of the best emerging singers. Those bound for professional success. Those in the category of ‘exceptional.’ Those with as much to offer us as we have to offer them.

Wolf Trap Opera also fosters the next generation of artistic, administrative, and production leaders through fellowships and internships. Without the contributions of these talented fellows and interns, the company could not present exceptional performances at 2 different venues in just a 3-month period each summer.

Current artists

Filene Young Artists

Named for Wolf Trap’s founder, Filene Young Artists have completed advanced degrees and are already on their way toward significant careers. Many alumni credit Wolf Trap Opera with preparing and propelling them down the path to success.

“Wolf Trap Opera is where the next generation of opera stars sing what will become their leading roles in the future.”

—Lenore Rosenberg, Metropolitan Opera

Nobody’s backup singers
Unlike most residency programs, Wolf Trap Opera casts its singers in lead roles rather than in the chorus. Artists get to experience the rigorous demands, and of course the thrill, of performing center stage in expertly produced operas—a significant level of responsibility so early in a career.

Audiences appreciate the freshness and energy these young artists bring to classic lead roles and their provocative interpretation of more modern works.

An artist-driven repertoire
When it comes to selecting repertoire, Wolf Trap Opera puts artists first.

WTO is one of the only companies in the world to select each season’s operas after choosing singers and determining their strengths. That is to say, when 2 countertenors, a contralto, and a mezzo-soprano walk into a bar, Wolf Trap goes for Baroque! Handel’s Giulio Cesare was just right for 2014’s mix of artists. 

Handel's Giulio Cesare at Wolf Trap, 2014, with Filene Young Artists Ying Fang, soprano and John Holiday, countertenor

Studio Artists

Wolf Trap Opera also selects a group of 16 Studio Artists each year—singers who are currently finishing undergraduate or graduate study.

During an important transition period in their academic and professional lives, WTO provides both career guidance and a chance to polish skills needed to advance to the next level.

Studio Artists take on small or chorus-level roles in what is often their first professionally conducted, directed, coached, and designed production.

Fellows and interns

Singers are the most visible part of any opera company, but much important work happens behind the scenes.

Part of Wolf Trap Opera’s mission is to train the next generation of administrators and artistic personnel. Wolf Trap offers coaching fellowships, as well as internships in the areas of stage direction, technical theater, stage management, and artistic administration.