Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS

In 2020, the Aspen Music Festival and School launched the new Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS under the leadership of co-artistic directors Renée Fleming and Patrick Summers. The program provides a unique and premier-level opportunity for developing opera singers by combining performance with intensive individual instruction and mentorship with two of opera’s leading performing professionals.

The new program builds on the stellar platform of the Aspen Opera Center, led for more than 30 years by Edward Berkeley, who will continue on as stage director. All aspects of the eight-week summer program, continuing elements as well as new, are meticulously designed to train high-level young singers and vocal collaborative pianists for a career in opera and concertizing. Fleming and Summers, along with their hand-picked team, will work with all participants, and they will directly and intensively mentor the program’s top fellows.

“We are proud and honored that two of opera’s greatest minds and talents have chosen to lead this program in Aspen,” says Aspen Music Festival and School President and CEO Alan Fletcher. “The collective wisdom, experience, savvy, and sheer brilliance among the two of them, and their assembled team, including Ed, will offer an unparalleled educational experience to young singers pursuing a career in opera, and the combination of intensive education and mentorship with professional performance captures the very essence of our Aspen program.”

“At the start of my career, I was incredibly fortunate to be trained at the Aspen Music Festival and School,” says Fleming. “I feel just as lucky to have the chance to return to this beautiful place and share all I’ve learned in the intervening years with the best emerging talent in opera. And I’m thrilled to be building this program with Patrick Summers, with whom I have performed in America’s great opera houses, from the Met to San Francisco, Houston, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as on concert stages from Carnegie Hall to the Châtelet in Paris.”