Tulsa Youth Opera

Tulsa Youth Opera is a tuition-free training program for singers in grades 3-12. TYO’s Music Director is Aaron Beck, Tulsa Opera’s Artistic Administrator and Director of Education.

Admission is closed for 2020-21. Check back here in the spring for 2021-22 audition dates!

For more information, please contact Aaron Beck at abeck@tulsaopera.com.

Tulsa Youth Opera provides weekly training (Tuesdays 4:15-6:00pm, starting September 15) from music professionals, which includes vocal technique, foreign language, acting, movement, and performance skills. Performances are scheduled throughout the year. Students are not required to have previous vocal training – we judge applicants on potential, not necessarily current ability – but a live audition is required.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students will have the option of socially distanced weekly indoor rehearsals at the Tulsa Opera offices, or attending the rehearsals virtually from home. This option will continue as long as necessary to ensure the safety of our students and their families.

In 2019-2020, TYO students presented two performances in addition to many outreach and community performances: Georges Bizet’s Carmen and a traditional annual production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019-2020 season was cut short and the planned production of Aaron Copland’s The Second Hurricane was postponed.

In 2020-2021, TYO students will be featured in Tulsa Opera’s mainstage productions of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice and Tobias Picker’s Emmeline, and will again perform Amahl and the Night Visitors. A Spring production of the postponed The Second Hurricane is also in the works.

In addition to performances like these around the community and region, TYO students will also attend Pizza Night at the Opera. At Pizza Night, we’ll have a TYO pizza party before opening night of an opera, and each TYO student will be given two tickets to the opera free of charge!

Tulsa Youth Opera is open to students entering grades 3-12.

We’re open to students from anywhere — not just Tulsa! However, if your student is accepted, he/she must be able to be at rehearsals in Tulsa by 4:15 p.m. each Tuesday.

We accept all levels of students, from beginners to those with years of experience. We do not require previous vocal training!

The short answer: as many as we feel will benefit from the program.

The long answer: Tulsa Youth Opera has varied in size from as few as 15 students to as many as 75. We generally have 80-120 students audition for the program, though this varies as well.

We do not have a set number of students we take each year. Many variables enter into the equation, including season repertoire needs, how many qualified students we hear, etc.

Parents of interested students should register for an audition on the Tulsa Opera website. There is no fee to audition or to participate in the program.

You will be asked to arrive for your audition 10 minutes early. When you arrive, you will complete an audition form. One parent may accompany the student, and both student and parent must wear a mask in the Tulsa Opera building. The student will remove their mask to sing.

When you are called into the audition room, the first thing you will do is sing your one three-minute prepared song. A pianist will be provided, but please make sure you bring music for the pianist! Recorded music is not permitted at Tulsa Youth Opera auditions. For more information on what to sing, check out “What should I sing for my audition?” below.

After you sing your song, you may be asked to sing some scales or vocal exercises so we can get a better idea of your vocal ability. Don’t worry — we’ll walk you through these, and they should be stress-free!

All students auditioning for Tulsa Youth Opera must bring one prepared solo in a classical style for their audition.

The piece should be 3 minutes or less if possible.

If your junior high or high school student has competed in district or state solo contests, the piece he/she performed at contest would be an excellent choice.

If your student is in elementary school or has not participated in district or state contests, some other good choices would be: traditional folk songs, Stephen Foster songs, classical-style Broadway songs (e.g. My Fair Lady or The Music Man), hymns, and patriotic songs.

Students should NOT bring: country, pop, or rock songs, or Broadway belt music (e.g. Wicked or Gypsy).

If you don’t have a song to bring, please feel free to download and print any of the songs below, which will work perfectly for your audition:

Past Performances