Aspiring conductors have had few academic options in the past. However, the Ithaca College School of Music and the Syracuse Opera offer a conductors' training program for the study and performance of opera, the university reports in a press release.
Graduate-level students from the School of Music are selected annually as Syracuse Opera conducting fellows to study the operatic repertoire, languages and the human singing voice as well as the responsibilities associated with leading an orchestra in opera performance.
Established by School of Music faculty Brian DeMaris and Jeffery Meyer, and Syracuse Opera's Director of Music Douglas Kinney Frost, the program spans the Syracuse Opera season. This allows the conducting fellows to observe the orchestra, chorus and staging rehearsals from several productions. They can also work with Syracuse Opera staff, performing artists and conductors.
"Learning how to conduct opera is an often-overlooked element in the professional training of conductors in the U.S., and we are proud to [offer] what we believe is the first such program specifically targeted at conductor training for opera in the country," said Frost.
In addition, the School of Music and the Syracuse Opera host a conductors' training master class that focuses on the standard opera repertoire.
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