The most impactful learning is accomplished when artists have dedicated time to solely focus on their craft with the support and guidance of seasoned professionals. Inspired by this, Guild Hall and Canto Boot Camp (BCBC) have created The Guild Hall & Bel Canto Boot Camp Resident Artist, after successful collaborations during COVID-19 with BCBC Sunday Matinées, Bel Canto 101 & Terminology for Opera Lovers, and Behind the Screen with BCBC prior to each “MET Live in HD” broadcast. With the shared values of creative authenticity, artistic development, and community engagement, the series, which has been generously sponsored by the V. Atkins Foundation, will support an emerging generation of opera singers while bringing operatic performances and community engagement programs to the East End.
The Guild Hall & Bel Canto Boot Camp Resident Artist Program will award paid week-long residencies in the Hamptons to emerging artists identified by an application and audition process. The program will offer each singer individualized training with BCBC coaches, providing time and space for role preparation and scene study on site in East Hampton. Guest artists at the height of international singing careers are invited to join resident artists as both mentors in masterclasses and colleagues in concerts – a unique training and performance collaboration between operatic superstars, established professional singers, and promising singers still on the verge of an international career. Baritenor Michael Spyres and tenor Jack Swanson join Bel Canto Boot Camp at Guild Hall for the 2022 launch season. Soprano Lisette Oropesa is slated for August 2023.
By inviting audiences into select rehearsals and master classes, Guild Hall and BCBC will provide an insider’s view into the singer’s process – affirming an ever-increasing love and appreciation for the finesse and power of the unamplified voice. Resident artists will engage with the Guild Hall Teen Arts Council, among other education and arts organizations in the communities of the Hamptons. Bel Canto Boot Camp will offer audience education events before recitals and as separate events.
Auditions have been announced for this season’s summer and fall residencies. Information can be found at belcantobootcamp.com/residencyauditions/. In line with Guild Hall and BCBC’s priorities of inclusivity and equity, no cost is incurred to the auditionee to apply or audition, and virtual options are on offer for singers not based in New York.
Of the program, BCBC co-founders Derrick Goff and Rachelle Jonck said, “When Guild Hall of East Hampton reached out to us to support their opera audience during COVID, we immediately realized that we had found in them the perfect partner. Their website states: ‘Guild Hall Education strives to create experiences for all our communities to think like an artist: to see and respect a world of various colors and shapes, to experiment with harmony and dissonance, and to value process over product.’ We found people who speak our language – well, they found us! After multiple successful collaborations during the pandemic, we put our heads together once more to find ways to serve our respective communities. The Guild Hall & Bel Canto Boot Camp Resident Artist Series was born to create training and performance opportunities for emerging artists and to bring live unamplified singing to East Hampton. We’re thrilled to make music together.”
“There is a unique love of Opera here in East Hampton,” says Anthony Madonna, Guild Hall’s Patti Kenner Senior Associate for Learning + Public Engagement. “Guild Hall patrons filled the theater each time a Met Live in HD broadcast was presented. Not only was it a way for them to experience the opera in their own backyard, but to gather weekly with friends and family. Over the pandemic, when sitting in a theater was not possible, we saw a different side to, and built new relationships with, our opera patrons. Through the many virtual collaborations with Bel Canto Boot Camp, we learned both what our community loves about the opera – their favorite characters and beloved voices, and what they strive to learn more about. The Guild Hall & BCBC Resident Artist Series is an exciting step forward in building our audiences love and knowledge for opera and the live unamplified voice. Through experiencing artists at both the turning points and heights of their careers, we all – audience, coaches, and performers – will continue to learn together and build upon our love of opera.”
ABOUT BEL CANTO BOOT CAMP
Bel Canto Boot Camp was born during the pandemic when we reached out to singers around the world – singers who had no place and seemingly no reason to sing. To be honest, we needed to find a way to feed our own souls as well while we were cut off from music making – something we never even considered could possibly happen. We created The Vaccai Project – a unique online training course for singers. Just short of two thousand singers from America to South Africa, from Colombia to Russia practiced together for the day when stages would be open to them again and theaters would be filled with audiences. We discovered a beautiful new way to support singers – beautiful in its inclusivity, its expansion of the richness of the New York opera community to artists all over the world, the breaking of often prohibitive barriers of distance, cost, time and audition-only programs.
Now, as the world continues to emerge from Covid-19, Bel Canto Boot Camp strives to support artists in the physical world as we did (and continue to do) virtually. Our ability to work in person with singers is now supported by an online platform allowing us to stay in contact when we cannot be there physically. Additionally BCBC allows singers, teachers, and presenters to network effectively with each other in the ever-growing BCBC community. www.belcantobootcamp.com. @belcantobootcamp
Principal Sponsor: V. Atkins Foundation
Additional support: Dr. Ralph Gibson, in memory of Andy Jacobyansky, who generously shared his passion, knowledge, and support for the opera
Learning & Public Engagement programming is supported by The Patti Kenner Arts Education Fellowship, The Hearthland Foundation, Stephen Meringoff, Susan and Stephen Scherr, and funding from the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Endowment Fund, and The Melville Straus Family Endowment.
Theater Programming supported in part by The Schaffner Family Foundation, Straus Family Foundation, Michael Balmuth, Blythe Danner, and funding from The Ellen and James S. Marcus Endowment for Musical Programming and The Melville Straus Family Endowment.