Astoria Vocal Arts Academy for Young and Emerging Artists thumbnail

Astoria Vocal Arts Academy for Young and Emerging Artists

Start an Application

Narrow your Search

Due to unforeseen conflicts this program is


Dr. Mark Ross Clark, Artistic Director

Dr. Claire Hudkins, Administrative Director


Metropolitan Opera Artist

, Metropolitan Opera Artist

, Metropolitan Opera Artist

RICHARD ZELLER, Metropolitan Opera Artist

IMRE PALLO, Conductor

ARI PELTO, Conductor and Coach, Conductor/Music Director of Opera Colorado

MARK ROSS CLARK, Stage Director, Alexander Technique Teacher, and Author of Singing, Acting, and Movement in Opera, Guide to the Aria Repertoire and The Broadway Song


  • Daily individual voice, coaching, or staging lessons
  • Daily movement classes: Yoga & Alexander Technique
  • Daily classes on developing essential performing and career skills
  • Master classes by pre-eminent Artists
  • Live production of Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld
  • Live performances in the historic Liberty Theater and regional venues
  • Opportunities to meet singers from throughout the US and abroad
  • Round-table artist faculty discussions about the life of a singer

Apprentices will be guaranteed a role in Orpheus, a Mozart scene, and a solo piece on one or multiple regional concerts. 

Auditions and Assignments
Please apply directly through our audition service at Young artists are requested to upload the following: 

  • a current resume and headshot
  • provide the name and contact information for a professional reference (i.e. private teacher, coach, director, etc)
  • video files of one operatic aria and one other selection, either musical theater or art song. One selection should be in a foreign language. 

*Application Deadline: June 1, 2022
Audition results will be posted, and acceptance letters will be sent no later than May 10. Please note: we are accepting applications on a rolling basis so please submit your applications as soon as possible.
For further information, please visit our website at or contact us at or

Apprentice Artist Faculty and Music Staff

Vocal study and master classes with renowned faculty:

Elizabeth Futral, soprano
is one of the world’s leading sopranos, embracing a repertoire that ranges from Baroque to world premieres, including the leading role of Stella in Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire. She has notable relationships with the Washington, Houston, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, New York City, Vancouver, and Minnesota opera companies. Internationally, she has been heard at the Royal Opera Covent Garden, the Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Theater an der Wien, the Grand Theatre de Genève, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, and Hamburg Staatsoper. She also has been featured as a soloist with the great symphony orchestras of the world. She currently teaches at Peabody Institute.  

Juliana Gondek, soprano
Has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, the operas of San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, Florida, Baltimore, Utah, San Diego, Long Beach, Hawaii, Milan’s La Scala, the Zurich, Scottish, and Netherlands Operas, and Washington’s Kennedy Center. She is on faculty at UCLA in Los Angeles, CA. 

Allan Glassman, tenor 

a leading tenor at the Metropolitan Opera, Spoleto Festival,  The Santa Fe Opera, the LA Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Frankfurt and Paris Opera, and throughout the world.  He is on the faculty of Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Richard Zeller, baritone
a leading baritone at the Metropolitan Opera, is an internationally acclaimed singing artist.  Not only has he performed with many of the leading opera houses, he also is known for his success in the concert hall singing the central role of Elijah with the Chicago Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra, and has soloed with many other symphonies.  

Ari Pelto is a young conductor who at age 24 was made assistant conductor at the Spoleto Festival.  Since then, his mercurial career has led him to conducting at the New York City Opera and around the world.  He has worked with many young artist companies and conservatories, including  The Juilliard School, The Curtis Institute, Manhattan School of Music and Oberlin Conservatory and the Young Artist Programme at Covent Garden. He is presently the Music Director of Opera Colorado in Denver.

Dr. Mark Ross Clark
began his career as a solo singer with the Roger Wagner Chorale, then concertizing in Germany, Austria, and France before singing at the Giessen Stadttheater for three years. Returning to the US, he began to study to become a director, starting a doctoral program at the University of Washington and apprenticing for mentors Wesley Balk and Giorgio Tozzi.  Following the artistic direction of several regional opera companies, he was for ten years a professor teaching opera workshop and stage director at The Indiana University Opera Theater. He is a certified Alexander Technique teacher.

Imre Pallo, Conductor
Originally from Budapest, Hungary, Maestro Pallo made his American Debut in 1973 with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. Since then he has conducted at major opera houses including Wuppertal Opera, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Duesseldorf, New York City Opera, and Frankfurt Opera. He has guest conducted for symphonies all over the world in cities such as Los Angeles, Budapest, Brooklyn, Charleston, Columbus, Munich, Lisbon, Luxembourg, New Jersey, Weimar and Melbourne, Australia. He has led productions at Cincinnati Opera, Cleveland Opera, Connecticut Opera, Calgary Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Philadelphia Opera, Portland Opera, St. Louis Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera, Vancouver Opera, Manitoba Opera, New Israeli Opera, Den Norske Opera Oslo, De Vlaamse Opera Antwerp, Budapest State Opera, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Berlin State Opera, Leipzig Opera, Deutsche National Theater, Weimar, West Australian Opera (Perth) and Opera Australia. He has been on faculty at Indiana University and Sydney Conservatorium of Music (University of Sydney). We are pleased to welcome Maestro Imre Pallo back this summer to conduct our production of Falstaff!


  • Juliana Gondek, Astoria Vocal Arts Director of Vocal Studies
  • Mark Ross Clark, Astoria Vocal Arts Program Director
  • Claire Hudkins, Astoria Vocal Arts Administrative Director 
For technical questions, please check out our Help Desk for frequently asked questions.

Tuition: $2000
Housing: Estimated cost $1000
(Rooms will be available in private homes and/or hotels)

Payment Schedule

  • $500.00 due upon acceptance (non-refundable)
  • Program balance due by July 25, 2022