High School Opera Company Fills the Air with Classical Sound in Outdoor, Socially Distant Performances

CYAPP_Outside1Opera lovers can see performances outdoors August 6th and August 7th

Each year 20 or so exceedingly talented high school vocalists audition and are selected for Cincinnati’s Young Artist Preparatory Program (YAPP).  YAPP  is one of only a handful of High School Opera Programs in the United States.  The company traditionally concludes its training with an Opera Showcase in June.  That could not happen this year.  “But we just could not give up,”  said Lincoln Chapman, the group’s Director.  “These kids have worked too hard, and their sound is too beautiful.”  So, Lincoln, with the support of Karl Resnick and the Musical Arts Center, YAPP’s home conservatory, just kept working.  “We met by Zoom for months. Once we could meet again, and it was allowed, we began meeting outside. We feel incredibly lucky to have found two spaces where we can perform in a responsible and socially distant way for both performers and audience alike.”

Thanks to some innovative choreography and large, outdoor stages, YAPP will present works like Libiamo from LaTraviata and the Sextet from the Marriage of Figaro while at least 6 feet apart on stage to audiences nestled on blankets or in lawn chairs 20 feet away and 6 feet apart.  “Rehearsing in masks is challenging,” said Riley Spatz, a senior member of YAPP. “But it was a blessing in disguise, there has never been a better reminder to lean on your body or perfect your support,” they concluded.   Karl Resnick,  Founder and Executive Director of the Musical Arts Center said,  “Working in these dire conditions, the pandemic, the heat, the masks, the difficulty of summer schedules, etc. –  working through all of this to get an excellent product is so much more difficult. I’m so proud of  Lincoln, our Director,  Sam, our accompanist,  these incredible students, and the endurance of our wonderful parents. It takes a lot to do this.  They have proven their resilience, and work ethic, in addition to their talent.  Artists have to have all three.  I could not be prouder to provide a performance opportunity or to be a part of their development journey,”

If you would like to attend, there will be two performances:  1) August 6th, 7:30PM at the Beech Acers Amphitheater, 6881 Beechmont Ave, Cincinnati, OH and 2) August 7th, 7:30PM Anderson Center Plaza, 7850 Five Mile Road, Anderson, Ohio.  For either performance, please bring a blanket or lawn chairs, masks are required, and you are asked to stay at least 6 feet away from other parties.  Tickets are not necessary, but donations are very appreciated to cover expenses of the performance venues and the program.   The performance is approximately 1 hour long and is weather dependent.  

About The Young Artists Prepatory Program
Yapp is one of the only high school opera programs in the United States.  Members must be between the ages of 15 and 18 and are selected by audition.  YAPP students represent some of the most talented, classically trained high school vocalists in the tri-state.  Each year several go on to attend top 10 music conservatories, including CCM, The University of Michigan, and Oklahoma City University.  YAPP is directed by Lincoln Chapman, who holds a Masters of Music from CCM, and has himself performed with Her Majesty’s Theater (Australia), Charlestown Symphony, and the Cincinnati Symphony, among others. The Accompanist is Sam Kraus, who holds a BM from CCM and performs with the Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble and Coro Volante Recording Choir.  YAPP is part of the unique training opportunity provided by Cincinnati’s Musical Arts Center.   YAPP training includes the vocal style, improvisation, mock auditions, movement, musical preparation, and dramatic interpretation in a small ensemble setting.  Auditions for the 2021 YAPP ensemble will be held in the first week of September.  Please call 513 321-2766 for more information

2020 YAPP MEMBERS 
* Part of the August performance

Ella Bennett*                                    Grant Shields*
Calvin Delay                                     Arielle Smith*
Lauren Dewald                                Danee Spatz*
Natalie Hudepohl*                           Kat Sweeney*
Norah Meisch*                                 Ella Vaughn*
Gabriela Pereda*                             Bretlyn Yetter*
Luke Randazzo*
Jadyn Riggs*
Brett Roebuck

About the Musical Arts Center
Founded in 1978,  the Musical Arts Center has become one of Cincinnati’s most successful private musical education conservatories.   MAC is proud to say It has helped over 150 students be accepted to top tier college conservatories including  Carnegie-Mellon, The University of Michigan, UC College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), Oklahoma City University, Baldwin-Wallace, Baylor, Manhattan School of Music, Miami University, Northwestern, Oberlin, Indiana University, Belmont, Vanderbilt, and Otterbein, among others.  MAC has had 70 finalists and 18 grand prize winners in The Cincinnati Arts Association Regional Overtures competition, winners and finalists in the National Young Arts Competition, Schmidt Competion, and Dayton Opera Guild Competition.

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