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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
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Make the Most of Audition Season
Ken Benson, consultant; Anthony Roth Costanzo, countertenor; Kelley Rourke, OPERA America; Edward Yim, New York City Opera
Making Connections

Preparing for and performing auditions are important aspects of a professional singing career that require focus, strategy and dedication — not to mention time and money. At this panel discussion, hear from industry experts about how to maximize your potential for a successful audition season.

About the Author: Ken Benson, vice-president at Columbia Artists Management for 25 years, began his career in advertising, working with Doyle, Dane & Bernbach. In 1977, he decided to channel his strong interest in vocal repertoire and career development into the formation of his own artists' management firm with his business associate and friend Eddie Lew. Benson joined CAMI in 1986 and has worked with such artists as Harolyn Blackwell, Rod Gilfry, Marcello Giordani, Thomas Hampson, Jerry Hadley, Lucas Meachem, Aprile Millo, Leona Mitchell, Kurt Ollmann and Florence Quivar. In past seasons, he has given classes at Indiana University, Manhattan School of Music, Yale University School of Music, Hart School of Music and as part of the Susan Ormont Audition Project. In addition, he is a frequent guest on the Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast's Opera Quiz.

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo’s future seasons include debuts at the Metropolitan Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia as Artemis in Henze’s Phaedra, at Boston Lyric Opera as Ottone in Agrippina and as Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice at Palm Beach Opera. In 2010, he made his debuts at New York City Opera as Armindo in Partenope, at the New York Philharmonic as Prince Go-Go in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre and with the Cleveland Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah. He also returned to Glimmerglass Opera to sing the title role in Handel’s Tolomeo and to Carnegie Hall for performances of the Messiah. Costanzo is a grand finals winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, won a George London Award, a Richard Tucker Career Grant, first place and audience choice in the Houston Grand Opera Competition, and a Sullivan Foundation Award, among others. Costanzo made his film debut as Francis in the Merchant Ivory film A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton, and received his Master’s from Manhattan School of Music.

Kelley Rourke is the dramaturg at Glimmerglass Opera, where she has been on staff since 1994. She has been commissioned to write new English adaptations of several operas, including Sir Jonathan Miller’s production of The Elixir of Love for English National Opera (2010); Orpheus in the Underworld for Glimmerglass Opera (2007); and The Magic Flute (2005) and The Abduction from the Seraglio (2004), both for the In Series (Washington, D.C.). She has written supertitles for more than 40 operas, and her work has appeared at such companies as the Metropolitan Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Florida Grand Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Orlando Opera, Arizona Opera and others. She has held various positions at OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, since 1998; she currently serves as editor of the organization’s magazine. Rourke holds degrees in piano performance and arts management. She became a certified yoga teacher in 2004 and continues advanced studies in yoga and anatomy at The Breathing Project in New York City.

Edward Yim serves as director of artistic planning at New York City Opera. In this capacity, he is the senior director responsible for casting, music staff, new production development and commissioning, education, and management of the company’s orchestral and choral forces. Prior to joining New York City Opera, Yim was senior vice president and director of the conductors and instrumentalists division of IMG Artists North America. Yim also served as director of artistic planning for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Leading a team that worked across a wide range of musical genres including classical, jazz, world music and popular entertainment, he created artistic programming for over 200 concerts per season for the Los Angeles Philharmonic both at Walt Disney Concert Hall (where he was involved in planning the inaugural seasons) and at the Hollywood Bowl. Yim has worked for the Cleveland Orchestra as an artistic administrator and for The Philadelphia Orchestra. He is a graduate of the American Symphony Orchestra League’s Management Fellowship Program.

Fall 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Are Women Different?
  • Preparing for Klinghoffer
  • Emerging Artists: Act One

Contact Us
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From Airport:
The easiest way to reach the OPERA America offices is to get a cab at the airport. Cost is $40-45
(not including tip).
  • JFK - Take the AirTrain ($5 - approx. 15 minutes) to the Jamaica Street Station and transfer to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Take the LIRR to Penn Station ($12 - approx. 35 minutes). See Penn Station directions below.
  • LaGuardia - Take the M60 Bus to the Hoyt Ave/31st Street. Get on the or Train and take that to 42nd/Times Square Station. Follow the Times Square Station directions below.
  • Newark - Take the New Jersey Transit train to Penn Station ($15 - approx. 45 min). See the Penn Station Directions below.

From Penn Station/Madison Square Garden:
Leave the station through the 7th Avenue/33rd Street exit and walk south for four blocks. The building is on
the right hand side.

From Grand Central Station:
Take the Train to the 42nd/Times Square station and transfer to the Train.
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

From 42nd Street/Times Square:
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

For more detailed directions, most up-to-date pricing or to specify a different starting location, please visit the
MTA Web site.