Michael Baitzer

Michael Baitzer, Director of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program

Central City Opera is thrilled to announce that Michael Baitzer, our Principal Coach of seven years, will join us as the Director of the acclaimed Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program for the 2019 Festival.

Baitzer has been a fixture of the Central City Opera (CCO) music staff since 1999, and he has overseen the Festival as Principal Coach since 2012. In addition to his work with CCO, Baitzer is the Head of Music Staff at Washington National Opera. An active coach and collaborative pianist, Baitzer has served on the faculties of premier programs, most recently Wolf Trap Opera Company, The Juilliard School, Spoleto Festival USA and Aspen Music Festival and School.

In addition to Michael Baitzer’s leadership and coaching, the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program staff is bolstered by the expertise of stage director/acting instructor Kenneth P. Cazan, movement/choreographer instructor Melinda Sullivan and stage combat instructor Erick Wolfe. The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program is regarded as a national model for professional development of young singers. Created by Artistic Director Emeritus John Moriarty in 1978, the rigorous 10-week program integrates daily training in language, movement, stage combat, acting, individual coaching and role study, along with sessions in career management, opera rehearsals and performances in the summer’s main stage and additional festival productions.

Photo by Amanda Tipton, Photographer

Applications are open now for the 2019 Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program. Apply by October 20.

The program selects 30-32 participants from nearly 1,000 applicants each year and has spring-boarded many of America’s young opera stars into illustrious professional careers. 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 are among a few of the notable program alumni.