Teen vocal soloists

For experienced singers in the high school grades who study classical technique and repertoire, SHAK's 2019-20 season offers many unique opportunities to perform -- from concert solos with our skilled high school instrumental ensemble to costumed chamber opera with a professional orchestra! 

Rehearsal schedules are streamlined, and participants receive their music to learn in advance with their own teachers. Openings are filled on a rolling basis, so use the form on this page to let us know right away if you're interested in participating!


The World of Salamone Rossi with SHAK's Early Music Youth Academy

Guest soloist openings: Soprano; soprano or alto; tenor

Memorization?: No -- you'll want to track the rhythmic interplay of the score

Languages: Italian and/or Hebrew depending on role

Schedule: Rehearsals in May and early June to be set with participants. Performance June 8 at the San Francisco Conservatory (afternoon time TBA by the presenter; participants can fly back to Seattle on Monday evening)

Cost: There is no tuition fee for guest vocal soloists. Participants may accept partial travel subsidies and homestays with local high school music students' families, or families may choose to fund their own travel.

This semi-staged program with SHAK's Early Music Youth Academy brings gorgeous music of Salamone Rossi to life in the context of his vibrant yet troubling times. This prolific and inventive early-17th-century Italian composer participated in the transition from Renaissance to Baroque style and enjoyed a fascinating circle of collaborators, including the philosopher poet Sara Copia, the humanist rabbi Leon Modena, and Rossi's own sister, the opera singer Madama Europa. By day Rossi commuted to work in the household of Mantua's Gonzaga dukes, composing music for their court ceremonies and performing in their wedding festivities. But at night, he and all of the city's Jewish population were required by law to return behind the walls of the Jewish ghetto.

Rossi composed during one of the most exciting transitions in music history, and our sampling of his works reveals how he helped transform the poignant symmetries of the Renaissance into the expressive virtuosity of the early Baroque on voices and instruments. This instrumental ensemble of skilled teen players on violas da gamba, violin, lute, and harp is joined by nationally-acclaimed continuo player John Lenti on theorbo and by guest teen singers who bring to life Rossi’s courtly Italian madrigaletti and his innovative sacred music in Hebrew.

In the spring, we polish the program with the addition of opulent period costumes, vocal coaching by Nancy Zylstra, and staging by Carmen Mettler.

John Frederick Lampe's Pyramus and Thisbe

This program is full. No openings remain.

This 1745 "mock opera" from London sets a beloved scene from Shakespeare to gorgeous Handelian Baroque music. The already-hilarious play-within-a-play from A Midsummer Night's Dream -- with its courteous lion, talking wall, and melodramatic star-crossed sweethearts -- grows even more charming with the richness of 18th century arias performed with period costume, gesture, and professional instrumental accompaniment.

Stage direction by Carmen Mettler; vocal coaching by Nancy Zylstra; music direction by Shulamit Kleinerman; orchestral accompaniment by Ingrid Matthews and Shulamit Kleinerman (Baroque violins), Caroline Nicolas (Baroque cello), and John Lenti (theorbo).


Early Music of Ireland and Scotland with SHAK's Early Music Youth Academy

Guest soloist opening(s): One or two, any voice type

Memorization?: Optional

Languages: English and/or Irish or Scottish Gaelic

Rehearsals: Learn your music in advance and choose 2-4 Saturday afternoon rehearsals among these dates to work with instrumentalists: March 7 and 21 and April 4, 11, and 18.

Performance: 4pm on April 25 at Christ Episcopal Church, 4548 Brooklyn Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105. Performers arrive 2pm.

Make a musical journey to 16th- and 17th-century Ireland and Scotland! Before the great tune collections that were first published around 1700, we can find evocative traces of an even older tradition -- melodies copied down by hand in manuscripts (including one by a 13-year-old lutenist), or hinted at by composers invoking an exciting foreign style in their music for the theaters of London.

This semester, new and continuing members of SHAK's Early Music Youth Academy come together to breathe new life into these half-lost tunes. Just as musicians of the period would have done, we'll adapt these pieces to our own group's instrumentation, experimenting with harmonies, arrangements, tempos, and expressive characters. Everyone makes an individual contribution in this chamber-music setting, and the emphasis is on playing and singing beautifully together.

*About SHAK's boy scholarships:

These days, boys and men are often underrepresented in the arts of drama, dance, and singing, and may be reluctant to sign up. We want to encourage you to give these historical arts a try! SHAK programs tend to draw together a varied mix of creative, strong-minded, curious young people who often find a unique sense of community together across categories of age and gender. Boys attending a SHAK theater, dance, or singing program are invited to take a one-time 15% discount off your tuition level. Need-based financial aid is always available for everyone.

At SHAK we know that everyone benefits when our programs are accessible, diverse, and welcoming!

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