The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program is a national model for the professional development of young singers. Created by Artistic Director Emeritus John Moriarty in 1978, the rigorous 10-week program integrates daily opera training in diction, movement, stage combat, acting, stage technique, individual coaching and role study; and sessions in career management with rehearsals and opera performance opportunities in the summer’s main stage and additional festival productions.

The program, which selects 30-32 participants from nearly 1,000 applicants each year, has provided valuable voice training for many of America’s most notable young opera professionals, including Denyce Graves, Alan Held, Cynthia Lawrence, Margaret Lattimore, Mary Mills, Emily Pulley, Greg Turay, Latonia Moore, Matthew Polenzani, Jesus Garcia, Chad Shelton, Daniel Belcher, and Celena Shafer. View the full list of past young artists.

If you are looking for an internship in a production or administrative area, please see the bottom of our jobs page for further information.

Program Details

The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program is conducted as an integral part of the Association’s Summer Opera Festival held each year in Central City, Colorado. Named in honor of a pacesetting endowment gift, the Artists Training Program has become a national model for comprehensive development of young singers.

The 10-week program includes daily opera training in diction and movement, stage combat, makeup and costuming, individual vocal coaching, and sessions in career management such as how to write a resume and maintain a performance portfolio, how to audition in order to succeed, combined with rehearsals and performance opportunities.

There are many places to learn how to sing; there are few places to learn how to be a performing artists. The difference is subtle, but it is a difference on which John Moriarty has built an effective and successful training program perennially sought after by gifted young American singers.


The objectives of the Artists Training Program are to provide participants with:

  • comprehensive career preparation, giving equal attention to practical instruction, performance training, individual coaching and counseling
  • main stage performing experience, appropriate to individual levels of development, in professional productions attended by reviewers, management representatives, and representatives from other opera companies


The Program offers two levels of training:

  • The Apprentice Artist Program is a career-entry program intended mainly for singers between the ages of 24 & 30. Positions are available for approximately 15 singers who have obtained or are pursuing graduate degrees, have some performing experience in school or professional productions, and are ready for secondary roles and to understudy featured and principal roles in main stage productions
  • The Studio Artist Program is intended for singers between the ages of 21 & 25 who demonstrate outstanding potential and who are seeking pre-apprentice experience. Positions are available for approximately 15 singers who are pursuing their education, have some performing experience in school productions, are ready for ensemble and chorus work and, in some instances, to understudy secondary and featured roles in professional productions and scene study culminating in public performances

The Program offers approximately 30 positions each year, with over 870 applications for these coveted spots. Trainees receive salaries and benefits and may earn additional performance fees for secondary and featured roles or if called to step in for a singer being covered.

All Program activities take place in Central City in housing, training, and performance facilities owned by the Association. Given the close proximity of these facilities, the Program has sustained its original and unique value – interaction among the trainees, the staff, and the principal singers. Emily Pulley (Studio Artist 1992, Apprentice Artist 1993) here in 2010 as Beatrice in Three Decembers, said, “What means most to me is the chance to pass on to these kids the same kind of support that the professionals gave me when I was an Apprentice.”

Additional details can be found on the audition information webpage.

Emily Pulley

Emily Pulley, past Studio Artist (1992) and Apprentice Artist (1993), Mainstage Artist as Julie in Show Boat (2013), Beatrice in Three Decembers (2010), Susannah in Susannah (2008), Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni