"The experience of singing with orchestra in a fully staged production was an important steppingstone to my next level as a professional singer! It gave me the opportunity to learn and experiment in a very professional but nurturing and "safe" environment, which gave me the confidence that I can sing, also under varying circumstances!" - Aleksandra Lukowski, "Niclausse" (Les Contes d'Hoffmann)

"Being in the thick of putting on an opera in the Prelude to Peformance program, it was difficult to see immediately how much my approach to the fundamental preparation of a role had changed. It is only since I have returned home to prepare for my upcoming engagements--a role in a Philip Glass world premiere with San Francisco Opera and two roles in a production of Don Giovanni--that I have realized how different my level of preparation, detail, dramatic consideration, context and elements of style have become. The Prelude to Performance program has given me a greatly heightened sense of awareness to these aspects (and more) of preparing a role, and for that I am ever grateful." - Anthony Russell, "Don Alfonso" (Cosi Fan Tutte)

Summer of '06

"Prelude To Performance is ideal for any singer who aspires to sing opera. Unlike many summer opera intensives, and there are many of varying quality – Miss Arroyo provides a complete package: language instruction (including grammar and usage and not just diction); private musical coaching and preparation from learned and seasoned maestri; blocking and stage direction from directors in the field; a complete dramatic reading and analysis of the libretto, separate from the music; and the opportunity to work with an orchestra and sing a complete role and not just a scene. Moreover, Miss Arroyo sets a tone of excellency and collegiality which serves as a catalyst for each and every member, independent of his level, to experiment with his art and grow. Miss Arroyo and the staff are adamant about not interfering with vocal technique which, in six weeks, could lead to confusion and create vocal issues. In addition, Miss Arroyo makes sure that singers don't fall into the trap of over-singing during rehearsals. Many thanks to all at Prelude for arming me with knowledge, tools and experience which will enhance and ameliorate every musical endeavor I undertake in the future." - Derrick Gay, "Notary" (Don Pasquale), "Pistola" (Falstaff), "Yamadori" (Madame Butterfly)

"It was a pleasure and an honor to be invited to participate in "Prelude to Performance. It was amazing to see all the effort and dedication that was put into creating an intensive six week educational summer program, and a delight to see how each individual participant grew as an artist because of it. I was treated with respect and professionalism by both the staff and the other singers, making this an experience I will treasure for the rest of my life. I grew so much as an artist and I hope to be able to do it again!" - Jorge Ocasio, "Commendatore" (Don Giovanni), New York, NY

"Prelude to Performance reaffirmed for me the value of complete preparation but with the added benefit of an inside connection to the professional artist's resources in New York City." - Alicia Hall Moran, "Donna Anna" (Don Giovanni)

"There is so much to recommend and praise about the Prelude to Performance program. The staff has a wealth of experience and knowledge, and always imparted them in the most professional manner. From our libretto classes, role classes, Italian language classes, musical rehearsals and staging rehearsals, I acquired the invaluable experience of preparing and performing a full role for the first time. At our first meeting with the staff and our colleagues, I was made to feel that I would be part of a friendly, supportive, and positive circle. But I did not expect to have as much fun as I ended up having, nor the good friends I ended up making. For young opera singers willing to work hard, this program will reward them with artistic growth." - Tanying Dong, "Zerlina" (Don Giovanni)

"The Prelude to Performance training program opened new doors to my professional career. I highly recommend it to singers who want to get ahead.” - Jason McKinney, Don Giovanni

“I have been so fortunate to have been a part of this program twice. Both times have been a very treasured learning experience in one way or another. I believe greatly in this program for young singers and would recommend it again and again." - DeAndre Simmons, Leporello (Don Giovanni), Philadelphia, PA

“"My second summer at Martina Arroyo's Prelude to Performance was invaluable to my artistic development. I had the opportunity to prepare and sing my first major Verdi role (Dame Quickly in Verdi's Falstaff) and to sing a large chunk of that role in a theater, with orchestra, costumes, sets, and props. Prelude to Performance gave me my first experience of singing opera as it is meant to be performed. The combination of orchestra, an exquisitely-made (and heavy) costume, props, a difficult role, and tricky music was something I had never experienced before, let alone in a sizable theater. As a result, I am so much better prepared for professional experiences, and I understand for the first time that if I want to be an opera singer, I have to find a way to consistently sing full roles in fully staged productions with orchestra. That's the only way to learn to do it.

Once again, the faculty at Ms. Arroyo's program were outstanding. Second to none. I had the opportunity to work with Ms. Arroyo, Maestro Willie Waters, Maestro Carmine Aufiero, Ron Land, and Ellen Rievman, all of whom made a profound and lasting effect on my interpretation of Quickly and on my artistry in general." - Stephanie McGuire, Dame Quickly, New York, NY

Summer of '05

"The Martina Arroyo Foundation's "Prelude to Performance" Program was truly a life altering experience. Going into the program I had no idea of the amount of detail work and process really involved in preparing a role. Leaving the program I felt more confident in my ability to prepare future roles and was completely satisfied with the level of consistency and individual attention provided by faculty members. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in perfecting their craft and learning from some of the best coaches, directors, and music professionals in the industry."- Sequina DuBose, "Rosina", Detroit, MI

"Italian was my weakest language before I went to Prelude to Performance. After 6 weeks of excellent language coaching and instruction, I now feel as strong in Italian as I do in French and German. Equally impressive was the level of musical coaching, and the directors and conductors assembled by Martina Arroyo were all world-class. At Prelude to Performance, I learned how to go about preparing a full role as a complete artist." - Stephanie McGuire, "Berta/Marcellina", Boston, MA

"I applaud the Martina Arroyo Summer Program for assembling such an impressive group of coaches, conductors and stage directors to work with us in our role preparation and performance. It was an honor to be working with some of the highest caliber professionals in the field, and to have access to their accumulated knowledge, applied to my specific role. I learned skills and perspectives which will inform all of my future work as a professional singer. I am a better performer for having attended this program."” - Deleen J. Davidson, New Orleans, Louisiana, "Susanna"

"The Prelude to Performance was a great opportunity for me to see how the business really is. It showed me the value of knowing your languages, being prepared and the proper way to really learn a role." - Paulette Chiasson,” Countess,” Houston, TX

"My experience with the Prelude to Performance program was a great and positive one. The program is one of the few if not the only program where the artist gets the opportunity to study, learn and perform a complete opera with high caliber teachers and professionals assisting the artist. The program stresses the importance of the complete study of a role and the opera by encouraging the artist to research and read any and all materials relating to the opera before it was actually an opera. In addition to that, the artist must concentrate on who the character is, why the character is important to the story and how does the character relate to the other characters. This program taught me how to better study a role and a complete opera. It is important for the artist to be complete so the role can be complete. This will lead to a complete performance." - Robert Mack, "Alfredo," Colonia, New Jersey

"I chose to participate in the inaugural season of prelude to performance not only because of Martina Arroyo's reputation and commitment towards the development of young artists, but because of the first rate line up of reputable conductors, stage directors, coaches, language instructor, and other opera professionals. The esteemed panel of professionals was duly committed and focused on ensuring that each individual participant received specific attention catered to their unique needs.

Like other participants I was provided with invaluable individual consultation with Ms. Arroyo, Mr. Rucker, and other staff members. This one to one attention was instrumental in ensuring that my individual professional and personal growth needs were addressed. I was provided with specific feedback on the areas that I needed most improvement on. Given my specific needs I was assigned specialized staff members to facilitate my progress. The collaborative feedback and techniques that I obtained could have never occurred without the planning, and vision of the program's artistic administration. As a result an ideal environment was provided for young artist to excel within.

Each member of the staff acted with absolute integrity, enthusiasm, and heartfelt dedication towards the success and development of the overall program, but importantly towards the development of each individual artist. Ms. Arroyo and her staff created a phenomenal program to provide young artists with all encompassing education and technique in role and performance preparation. I am very grateful for the technique and skills I personally learned and the confidence I gained in obtaining this knowledge from such highly esteemed professionals." - Esther Hickman, “Cherubino”, New York City

"Prelude to Performance helped me fill in the learning gaps that universities and conservatories miss. The recitative and libretto classes were both stimulating and unique. The faculty is filled with enthusiastic and dedicated individuals who inspire personal growth and artistic creativity." - Stephani Riess, "Barbarina/Gianetta," New York City

"The Martina Arroyo Foundation Program Prelude to Performance is a well thought out and demanding program I have done so far. Its goals are truly ambitious but one is well supported in achieving them in all areas that it covers. I performed two major roles, Figaro and Dulcamara, and for me personally it was an invaluable test to my aptitudes. I highly recommend this program particularly for young singers as it allows them to elevate enormously the standard of their performance. It is a program promoting the up and coming singers and well worth attending." - Javier Borda, "Figaro", London, England

"Thank you for giving me exposure to higher level of professionalism. The skills I received during "Prelude to Performance", have given me greater skills and confidence."- Stacey Murdock, "Count", Portland, OR

"A solid opportunity to perform. I was among coaches, directors, conductors, teachers, artists, etc.. who have succeeded in this business. As a group we completed choice standard repertoire. In a short time we put it on it's feet and delivered it to the public." - Luke Scott, "Count", Hartford, CT

Anonymous

"The classes were the best part.  I learned so much from each of the teachers.  Martina is a wealth of knowledge.  The performances were fun, but I gained the most from the work leading up to them."

"It’s a terrific and valuable pleasure to focus entirely on the performance preparation process; these are the most important tools we need as performers."

"Everything, from audition process and feedback, to duration of program was Excellent!"

"Best program I’ve been in, hope to be back next year!"

"By the time we got to the performances, I felt very comfortable and prepared."

"I had a blast!  I feel so much more secure and happy about this profession than ever.  I’m really happy to have taken part in it.  I valued the great camaraderie among everyone."

"I loved the program, it was exactly working on details that you don’t have time for in school!  Thank you for six amazing weeks!"

"I have to say that I really enjoyed the program!  It gave me a chance to work hard and better my craft."