Jennifer Barsamian
(Carmen, 2008)
I just wanted to share with you that I have booked my fourth Carmen since the one we did together! It made me think of you! Thank you for helping me to feel prepared! Ps: I didn't realize that you were doing Poppea! my favorite! Hope to work together again. Many thanks! (May, 2013)

Nathan Letourneau
Soldier 2 / Famigliare 2, L'incoronazione di Poppea, 2013
Remendado, Carmen, 2012

I found the high expectations for Carmen engaging and rewarding, and also refreshing as everyone took charge, leaving the frequent 'laissez-faire' attitude for other companies.  Everyone seemed inspired to create a true ensemble production; even with my smaller role I felt integral to the show- a result of rare genuine collaboration and ownership across all cast members.  Many thanks again for this wonderful opportunity and for helping me to hone my craft.  (Sept. 2012)

Jill Dewsnup
Queen of the Night, Die Zauberflöte, 2011
Countess, Le nozze di Figaro, 2010
Anna Bolena,

I would not be the performer I am today without the help I received from dell'Arte Opera Ensemble! I am an avid fan of the company and I just thought I'd let you know that I wear my dell'Arte T-shirt frequently, because people inevitably ask me about it and I try to get the word out. I have recommended the company to colleagues in the past as well.  Thank you so much for always believing in me and helping me become a better artist! 

Sarah Heltzel
Komponist, Ariadne auf Naxos, 2011

I am so pleased to have shown up here (Winter Opera Theatre of St. Louis) with the role (Komponist) under my belt - it was such a short rehearsal period and I think I can say that my preparation and physical confidence in the role has significantly shaped the Vorspiel of this production.

Angela Dinkelman
Pamina cover, Die Zauberflöte, 2011

I think that working with dell'Arte has been the most beneficial program in my career thus far.  We spend so much time in school learning things but maybe not getting very many opportunities to perform whole roles. I feel like now I know better what things need attention and how to work on them.  You have provided a really safe and positive work environment for me and the other singers (all incredible people!) and I'm so grateful for the work that you both do and the opportunity to be part of your program.

Matthew Anchel
Enrico, Anna Bolena, 2010

I wanted to thank you for everything. It wasn't an easy road, but you both helped me so much, not only with this show and role, but have given me SO many tools to use in my studies for my next endeavors. Thank you for taking a bit of a risk with a younger singer, singing a difficult role, but it was an experience I will always remember and cherish. Everything that you guys did for this show was SO classy and high quality. From the casting, rehearsals, coachings, all of it was just so helpful, educational and fun.  Thanks again!!!

Antón Armendariz
Monostatos, Die Zauberflöte, 2011

Working with dell'Arte Opera Ensemble was a thrilling experience.  From the very first moment they are thoroughly professional and hardworking.  There is no time for nonsense; the preparation of one’s role must be 100% from the very beginning, so one’s work can improve during the rehearsal period.  This, and the excellent quality of singers, musicians and directors makes the final product of the very highest quality.  I only can thank them for the great opportunity of debuting in New York, surrounded by great artists and a great atmosphere of opera and friendship.

Hans Tashjian, Bass
Seneca, L'incoronazione di Poppea, 2013
Truffaldin, Ariadne auf Naxos, 2011
Die Zauberflöte, 2011
I just wanted to thank you again for having me involved this summer.  It is such a gift to be a part of such incredible music.  I teared up at moments of Ariadne today, and was beaming for most of it.  It's pretty amazing when music just takes over.  Congratulations on making such music!

Erik Bagger, Tenor
Tamino, Die Zauberflöte, 2011

I have been told many times that 'The stage is a great teacher.' I did not fully grasp that notion until my summer in dell’Arte Opera Ensemble’s Standard Repertoire Project. After rehearsing and performing three fully staged productions within seven weeks, I realized just what kind of dedication was demanded in being a professional singer. I found myself surrounded by colleagues who acknowledged that there was no time for being under-prepared, and mentors who took the composers’ intentions to heart in every detail of the music that they worked on with us. I walked away from that summer with an enriched skill set, and a bolstered enthusiasm for the art of opera. It was exactly what I needed.

Jody Mullen, soprano
Erste Knaben, Die Zauberflöte, 2011

My 2011 SRP experience was challenging, rewarding, inspiring, and fun. …This intense focus on text, subtext, and dramatic choices helped to bring out more of my voice. I also went from having very little on my resume to listing a renowned program with a talented cast and creative team, singing a role with orchestra, and even getting a small mention in one of the reviews.  Everyone was committed to performing at the highest level and behaving like a professional. I think that the company's clear expectation of professional behavior attracts young artists who are serious about their work.  It was great to be around so many talented, well-prepared, supportive colleagues.

Amanda Pabyan
Zerbinetta, Ariadne auf Naxos, 2006
Gilda, Rigoletto, 2008)

Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Boston Lyric Opera

The first dell’Arte Readings Project in which I participated was Ariadne auf Naxos.  The following day, I began rehearsals for a production of Ariadne at the Metropolitan Opera.  My experience at the reading allowed me to walk into my first MET rehearsal calm and confident because I had already sung through my part in context with other singers.  I knew exactly what to expect in rehearsal from the conductor, where I needed to conserve vocally, where I needed to sing out – the list is endless.  Since then I have participated in two other readings with dell’Arte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Rigoletto) and I hope to do more in the future.  It is truly excellent preparation for performing these works at the highest level and I know that after singing a role in a dell’Arte reading, I could take that part to any opera company and be prepared for any production.

Isai Jess Munoz, tenor
Utah Festival Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Spokane Symphony, Carnegie Hall; Currently on the faculty of Indiana Wesleyan University)

dell'Arte Opera Ensemble provides practical and essential tools for any serious singer. The public readings and preparatory coachings have given me the opportunity to thoroughly prepare new roles before embarking on them professionally.  dell'Arte Opera Ensemble has paved the way for many successes I have had in auditions and onstage.  The Summer Opera Readings Project is a wonderful program for any professional singer wanting to learn a role with excellence.”

Sarah Long, soprano
Sarasota Opera, Tulsa Opera, One World Symphony, Bronx Opera, Opera Company of Brooklyn

“I had the pleasure of singing Violetta in dell’Arte’s reading of La Traviata, conducted by Fiora Contino.  It was extremely beneficial to me to have the opportunity to prepare this stunning Verdi role in a low stress and collegial environment; My role preparation coachings were thorough and enlightening, and Maestra Contino was so willing to share her depth of experience from years of working with great singers and conductors, as well as her own incredibly intuitive insights.  I’ve witnessed the development of the organization with interest and excitement … including a reading of Verdi’s Falstaff at the 92nd Street Y that brought together the cover for Falstaff from the Metropolitan Opera with professional and emerging singers.  Where else would a cover from the Met have an opportunity to perform in a low stress, collaborative environment, and where else would young singers have an opportunity to sing with a principal of such high caliber?”

Nathan Munson, Tenor
I traveled to New York from Illinois, and can recommend the dell’Arte experience to others who may need to travel.  It is a remarkable bargain considering the level of preparation you can attain in a very short period of time, not to mention spending part of your summer in beautiful Manhattan.

Samuel McCoy, Conductor
Serving as the assistant conductor for dell'Arte Opera Ensemble's SRP production of "Gianni Schicchi" was a wonderful experience. Maestro Fecteau was incredibly generous in the amount of opportunity given, from attending and conducting coachings with the singers, to being given the opportunity to conduct in rehearsals, and ultimately lead the performance. The chance to work with singers as they prepare a new role, from private coachings through the rehearsal process, allowed for an incredible amount of learning via different perspectives and approaches. Most importantly, dell'Arte creates a nurturing environment where everyone can feel safe to explore new territory and take on new challenges within a community of support.

Shannon Angelakis, Mezzo soprano
After returning from a vocal hiatus, I was so pleased to find dell'Arte's Standard Repertory Project last summer.  With private coachings and small group rehearsals,  I felt exceptionally prepared for my role in Suor Angelica.   In addition, the SRP also hosts a variety of free Master Classes with industry professionals that not only enhance the program but also provide valuable training for young professional singers.


Audience Buzz

“dell'Arte gets to the heart of opera by offering high-quality, accessible music in a comfortable setting. Explanations are given in words and in writing, and performers are available after a performance, so the audience is in a position to better understand the stories behind the music, and the music itself. This all leads to a greater appreciation of opera, without the shiny distractions of tuxedos and tiaras. Instead it's the music that steals the show – as it should – with great singing and wonderful music. In the end that's what gets the applause from me!”
Ted Kusio, graphic designer

“I’ve had the opportunity to see a few performances of the dell’Arte Opera Ensemble and I always come away duly impressed with the quality of performance.  I’m a singer and stage director in this mad business and find the level of preparation, as well as the standards of singing and musical sensitivity, to be extremely high – which is no small feat, considering the difficulty of repertoire.  I look forward to any performance they may be presenting and highly recommend this musical experience.”
Rod Gomez, singer/stage director
Glimmerglass Opera, Utah Festival Opera, San Diego Opera, New York Philharmonic (singer)
Pocket Opera, BASOTI, One World Symphony, dell'Arte Opera Ensemble (stage director)

“Ambitious repertoire. Up-and-coming singers.  Dynamic conducting.  What's not to like?”
Nate Merchant, stage director


Maestro Christopher Fecteau, Artistic Director