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Detroit Public Schools Master Classes

Each year the Michigan district sponsors a masterclass for Detroit high school students conducted by nationally-known opera singers. This master class is arranged to expose high school students to the art of opera singing and to assist them in their ongoing pursuit of vocal expertise in music. Such Nationally renowned artists such as Denise Graves, Jennifer Rowley, and Kisma Jordan have been celebrity instructor  participants. Other instructors range from international to up-and-coming national singers, from District or Regional MET winners, to those artists in the Michigan Opera Theatre Studio training program.

The impact has been significant as noted by the participation of some of these young singers in our auditions once they reach the age of 21. The satisfaction of seeing this art form carried on by those students who attend the master classes, is particularly satisfying for those who have worked tirelessly to assure it occurs annually.  The Michigan District creates opportunities for high school vocal students within the Detroit Public Schools to be part of a “master class” with professional singers. .

Past clinicians have included:

  • Mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, a  star at the Metropolitan Opera star who has performed on opera stages around the world, including a turn at the Detroit Opera House in Michigan Opera Theatre's Margaret Garner production.

  • Soprano Kisma Jordan, 2010 Great Lakes Regional Winner and a National Semi-finalist

  • Tenor Noah Stewart, up-and-coming artist who sang Lt. Pinkerton in the 2014 Michigan Opera Theatre's production of Madama Butterfly

  • Jennifer Rowley, recent Metropolitan Opera debut as Roxane in Alfano's Cyrano de Bergera

Hundreds of students attend the class, but only a handful is coached on stage, the result of an inter-school competition.

The Michigan District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions has a strong commitment to an educational component, and sponsors Master Classes for promising high school and college students who have not yet met the age requirement (age 20) to compete in the Met Auditions.


Friday, January 26, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. the Michigan District will sponsor a Master Class in cooperation with Opera Grand Rapids. Mark Rucker, internationally acclaimed baritone and music teacher will work with several students at the OGR Betty Van Andel Opera Center  at 1320 East Fulton Street in Grand Rapids. Music students, are encouraged to attend, and the public is welcome.

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