Apprentice Artist Program
The Apprentice Artist Program offers students valuable experiences in training to become a professional opera singer. Students selected from partner universities have numerous opportunities to gain performance experience through chorus, comprimario and principal roles, and with community outreach and activities.
Lyric Opera has a proven track record of casting Apprentice Artist alumni in leading roles when appropriate. Apprentice Artists have appeared with opera companies around the world, including: Chautauqua Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Dallas Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Florida Grand Opera, English National Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera, Minnesota Opera, New Israeli Opera, San Diego Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and many others.
University of Missouri-Kansas City
The UMKC Conservatory/Lyric Opera Apprentice Artist Program is a collaboration between the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. The program prepares the exceptional young singer for a professional operatic career while they are enrolled in a Master’s, Doctoral, Performer’s Certificate or Artist’s Certificate degree program at the Conservatory.
Through UMKC Conservatory, Apprentice Artists will have the opportunity to perform in two fully-staged opera productions per year, along with workshop programs, premieres and outreach activities. For more information, please contact the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance.
University of Kansas
Building on a history of excellence in training young singers, the University of Kansas, in partnership with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, is proud to offer students the opportunity to join the Apprentice Artist Program. Selected Masters and DMA students combine musical and theatrical training at the university with outstanding career preparation through Lyric Opera. Through the University of Kansas Voice and Opera program, Apprentice Artists have the opportunity to perform in three fully-staged opera productions per year from a wide ranging repertoire. They also attend audition and role preparation classes and master classes with guest artists of international fame. For more information, please contact the KU School of Music – Voice and Opera Department.
2020 – 2021 Apprentice Artists
Kelli Van Meter, soprano
Kelli Van Meter is scheduled to appear in the choruses of all four mainstage operas and the Explorations programs at Lyric Opera. Previous roles include Alice Ford in Falstaff with Lawrence Opera Theatre; Plaintiff in Trial by Jury with Landlocked Opera; and Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Elle in La Voix Humaine and Arminda in La finta giardiniera with UMKC Opera. She will also make her debut with Heartland Opera Theatre in the title role of Suor Angelica in the spring of 2020. Van Meter is pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at UMKC.
Katarina Galagaza, mezzo-soprano
Mezzo-soprano Katarina Galagaza is a recent graduate of Boston University’s College of Fine Arts and a first-year Lyric Opera Apprentice Artist. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music. Notable roles include Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Mrs. Soames (Our Town), La suora infermiera (Suor Angelica), Suor Pazienza (Mese Mariano), Prince Charmant cover (Cendrillon), Mrs. Webster (Sweets by Kate), Nancy (Albert Herring), Flora Bervoix (La traviata), and Fox Goldenback (The Cunning Little Vixen). Katarina is currently pursuing an Artist Certificate at the UMKC Conservatory, where she studies with Dr. Maria Kanyova.
Thomas Drew, tenor
Thomas Drew, tenor, is a second-year Apprentice Artist with Lyric Opera. Prior to Covid cancellations, he was slated to sing Romeo (Romeo and Juliet) with Lawrence Opera Theatre and cover Frederick (Pirates of Penzance) at Sugar Creek Opera. Thomas is pursuing his Artist Diploma at the UMKC Conservatory under Raymond Feener and Natalia Rivera’s instruction. He performed Albert (Albert Herring) and Eduardo (La cambiale di matrimonio) with UMKC opera. He received his master’s degree from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and Performance Diploma from Southern Methodist University. Thomas is from Cleethorpes, United Kingdom.
Robert H. Riordan, baritone
Robert H. Riordan, a Wisconsin native, is in his second season as an Apprentice Artist with Lyric Opera. This season, Robert performed the Wolf/Dr. Dulcamara in Finger Lakes Opera’s production of Pinocchio and was in the chorus of Lyric Opera’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. He will return to FLO in 2021 as a Tomita Young Artist to sing Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia. In the previous season, he sang the Sergeant in Lyric Opera’s La bohème and Sid in Albert Herring with UMKC. In summer 2019, he covered Carl-Magnus in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music with the Aspen Music Festival.