Bel Canto (‘beautiful singing’) tradition thrives here.

Dramatic performances. Recitals. Conversations. Immerse yourself in opera for a day or a weekend.  Let yourself be moved.

Of all the operatic works restored to life in our age of revivals, the most extensive and enduring group has been the products of the bel canto school – Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti, Vincenzo Bellini, and the young Giuseppe Verdi. Between 1808 and 1850 these masters produced some 125 works of musical theater in a style that made Italian opera the world’s most popular art form. Later, the shifting winds of taste swept all but about ten of these operas from regular use. But beginning with the spectacular example of Maria Callas, and continuing through Marilyn Horne, Joan Sutherland, and Beverly Sills, exciting artists have rediscovered the lapsed skills of bel canto singing and revealed dozens of masterpieces anew to modern audiences. In 1997, following the success of a Caramoor production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola that introduced Vivica Genaux to New York, we decided to establish a formal concentration on bel canto opera, and Bel Canto at Caramoor was born.

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Get the best seats (after Members) to both of next year’s performances! The Prime Opera Pass grants you early access to our 2016 productions of Fidelio (July 31) and Aureliano in Palmira (July 16).


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 Apply to be a Bel Canto Young Artist

Program Dates: June 13 – July 31, 2016
YA Salary: $3,500 (additional pay available for optional chorus participation)
Application Deadline: October 23, 2015
Audition Dates: November 12 – 14, 2015 in New York City
Application: Can be found here. The full program description can be found here. You do not need to be a paying subscriber to YAP Tracker to use the application form, although you will need an account (guest accounts are available; see the website for details). If you need technical support for your application, please email 

Who We Are

Will Crutchfield, Director of Opera
Rachelle Jonck, Head Coach/Chorus Master
Lucy Yates, Italian Instructor
Derrick Goff, Coach
Timothy Cheung, Coach

Caramoor is a music festival established seventy years ago in Westchester County. It is set on the lush grounds of a former private estate, with extensive gardens, a house museum, and three beautifully appointed performance spaces. The Bel Canto at Caramoor program was established in 1997 with a production of Rossinis La donna del lago, and has built an international reputation since that time as a center for innovative interpretation and memorable performances of bel canto opera. The New Yorkers Alex Ross declared after Norma in 2010 that Caramoor has become an operatic paradise” – just one of many accolades from the national and international press.

Who Our Young Artists Are

The typical member of our program is a singer who has completed formal training and begun to work professionally, who has particular aptitude for some aspect of the bel canto repertory, and who could participate successfully in a mainstage production if required to go on as a cover (as happened in 2010 when Jennifer Rowley took over the title role of Maria di Rohan with great success). We have no age limit; exceptional younger singers still in school are sometimes accepted, and for roles that typically require a mature voice, more experienced singers are sometimes invited as well. Some past program members currently pursuing notable careers include: Christopher Bengochea, Reyna Carguill, Carla Dirlikov, Inna Dukach, Amanda Forsythe, Stephen Gaertner, Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Eric Jordan, Yeghishe Manucharyan, Nicholas Masters, Mari Moriya, Angela Mortellaro, Zurab Ninua, Marco Nistico, Nicole Piccolomini, Jennifer Rowley and Manon Strauss-Evrard.

What We Do

Program members receive an intensive seven-week course in Italian operatic style and performance practice, while gaining practical experience as covers, singers of secondary roles, and soloists on concerts and recitals. Our focus is on the classic vocal accomplishments of bel canto singing, the Italian language, and the stylistic history of the Italian vocal tradition. We place great emphasis on integrating the theoretical and linguistic topics at the level of performance, and on one-on-one training. Performance exposure comes through the secondary roles sung in our mainstage performances and through recitals by the Young Artists given at Caramoor in the afternoon before every opera performance; these have become a very popular and well-attended feature of the Caramoor experience.  Free-standing Thursday concerts by Young Artists are also programmed as part of the Festival.

Important Limitations to Note Before Applying

We cannot provide housing; all members must either live in the New York area, or have access to a place to stay here. All members of the program must be able to work legally in the United States.

Roles Available for Cover

Aureliano in Palmira (Rossini)
Zenobia (soprano)
Arsace (mezzo-soprano)
Aureliano (tenor)

Fidelio (Beethoven)
Leonore (soprano)
Marzelline (soprano)
Florestan (tenor)
Jaquino (tenor)
Rocco (bass)
Pizarro (bass-baritone)

Roles To Be Sung by Young Artists

Aureliano in Palmira (Rossini)
Publia (mezzo-soprano or soprano)
Oraspe (tenor)
Licinio (bass or baritone)
Sacerdote (bass or baritone)

Fidelio (Beethoven)
Fernando (bass or baritone)
First Prisoner (tenor)
Second Prisoner (bass)


The program runs Monday through Saturday between 10:00am and 6:00pm. On most days, the full group will be called from 10:00am to 3:00pm, and the later hours will be devoted to private coaching. Rehearsals are mostly in Manhattan, and transportation is provided when we go to the Caramoor site. A typical day will include:

Lecture class on bel canto style and performance practice
Italian class
Work class (group work in masterclass format)
Chorus rehearsal (optional participation see below)
Rehearsal of mainstage opera (from third week onward)
Private coaching and concert rehearsals


Bel Canto at Caramoor has adopted an innovative approach to the perennial problem of chorus participation in Young Artist programs. We recognize that, for some young professionals, it becomes necessary to say noto singing chorus but at the same time, we value the energy and vocal resources that solo-quality singers bring to choral performance. Our solution, therefore, is to make it optional: Young Artists are not required to sing in the chorus, but those who would like to do so can earn some extra money. We also strive to make the choral experience soloist-friendly,with our chief coach doubling as chorus master.  

Apprentice Program

A second level of participation, the Caramoor Bel Canto Apprentices, is open to those for whom we do not have slots in the Young Artist group. The Apprentices participate in the class activities and receive occasional private coachings, and at least two masterclasses each week are devoted exclusively to this group. At least one recital program will also be designed to feature members of the Apprentice group. Apprentices are paid for chorus participation.

 All Ages
 American Roots
 American Songbook
 Evnin Rising Stars
 Kids & Families
 Program Alumni
 Afternoon Teas
 Family Friendly
 Mentoring Programs
 Parties/Fundraising Events
 Rosen House Events
 Daytime Events
 Evening Events
 Weekend Events
 Carriage Barn Arts Center
 Friends Field
 Italian Pavilion
 Multiple Locations
 Music Room
 Picnic Lawns
 Reception Tent
 Rosen House
 Spanish Courtyard
 Sunken Garden
 Venetian Theater