Opera in the Black Hills!

Get ready for the 2014 Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Institute on June 15-28, 2014. If you are interested in attending this institute. Please complete the registration form today! 

The Johanna Meier Opera Theater Institute is now in its 17th and final year. This year, we will be selecting 20-25 aspiring pre-professional opera singers from all over the United States and Canada for this unusual two-week program. Students will be assigned roles in April and asked to memorize their roles before arriving in South Dakota. World famous operatic soprano Johanna Meier is the artistic director, and the stage director is David Walsh, Director of Opera Theatre at the University of Minnesota School of Music. Operatic conductor John Stewart is a former leading tenor at the Metropolitan Opera and in Europe who recently retired from teaching voice and opera at the University of St. Louis. New York pianists Thomas Bagwell and Elizabeth Hastings serve as vocal coaches and accompanists. Melanie Palm provides instruction in movement and dance.

The Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Institute offers multi-level instruction for varying stages of performance development. Through concentrated study in a supportive environment and intensive individual attention offered by a nationally renowned faculty and an ensemble atmosphere, student camaraderie develops, as well as an important understanding of and rapport with colleagues, coaches, and those in charge of opera production. Classes in this professionally rewarding program meet six days a week in preparation for a series of public performances. Participants in the program are urged to stretch creative potential with emphasis on individual expression.

At the Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Institute students receive individualized instruction from internationally renowned faculty with a maximum of 25 students, ensuring a low student/teacher ratio. Informal lectures, focus on individual expression, private and group discussions, and performance opportunities will help accelerate student learning at the Opera Theatre Institute. Faculty members are career coaching professionals who can provide unique career planning sessions in order to help you succeed. The Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Institute is housed in the state of the art music facility, Clare & Josef Meier Hall, located at Black Hills State University.  The Institute is supported by a variety of individual donors as well as the South Dakota Arts Council.

Student testimonials:

"This was a fantastic program to be a part of.  The staff were wonderful and I learned a lot.  Thank you very much!!!"

"This has been a truly inspirational experience, and I am so grateful to have been a part of this program.  I feel that i grew not only as a singer, but as a performer as well, and will never forget how happy I was at JMOTI!"

"Learned a lot and the faculty was amazing!"

"A great learning experience! Not easy, very intense, and very demanding."

Comments about Program:
"The quality of the instruction and performances is enhanced by the exceptional music facilities of Black hills State University."

Opera Faculty Member

“The Summer Institute offers teaching and coaching by the distinguished faculty of the international artists. Their collective experience exposes their students to the necessary and key elements in positive steps to a career in the Arts. This program has my highest recommendation.”

Richard Elder Adams
Vice President / Dean of Faculty and Performance
Manhattan School of Music
New York City

"I enjoyed the program very much. I think it offers good opportunities. It allows students the experience of doing an opera scene without overwhelming them with an entire opera. It is a good stepping stone to get on the stage."

Former Student

"A great training program that helped to take me to the next level as a singer and performer."

Former Student

"I felt privileged to be part of this.  I wish more young performers could have access to such programs."
Former Student