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Mary Ragland Young Artist Program

In 1995, Nashville Opera established the Mary Ragland Young Artist Program, named for Nashville Opera’s founder Mary Cortner Ragland, a Juilliard-trained soprano.  The program provides four or more developing professional singers and one coach/accompanist valuable performances opportunities.

Selected from some 100 applicants that audition each season, the Mary Ragland Young Artists are in residence for four months.  During this time they receive coachings, participate in master classes, and attend workshops that explore the business side of opera.

Singers gain valuable performance experience by appearing in leading roles for the spring education tour production and various recital and concert appearances, as well as performing comprimario roles in the main stage productions.  The coach/accompanist serves as the music director for the education tour production, performs at various recitals and concert appearances, and provides coaching for singers during the residency.

All artists are provided with weekly salary, round-trip transportation from their city of origin, and housing during the residence.

Auditions for the Mary Ragland Young Artist Program

Click here for an application for the Winter 2016 Mary Ragland Young Artists Program. 

Application Deadline:  November 19, 2014

Applicants will be asked to mail the following materials:

  1.    Completed application

  2.    Headshot, 8 x 10”

  3.    Resume

  4.    $25 Non-refundable application fee (money order ONLY)

All materials should be mailed to:

Mary Ragland Young Artist Program

Nashville Opera

3622 Redmon Street

Nashville, TN 37209

Please do not send recordings or other materials not listed above.  All applicants must be US residents or provide proof of right to work in the United States.

Nashville Opera Fellows Program

In 2006, Nashville Opera established the Nashville Opera Fellows program in conjunction with Belmont University.  This program is designed to provide singers who are pursuing master’s degrees in vocal performance valuable experience with a professional opera company.


Fellows gain performance experience by performing in Nashville Opera’s chorus and covering roles in the touring production, as well as being part of the University’s opera productions.  They also participate in masterclasses and career development workshops alongside the Mary Ragland Young Artists.


Fellows will receive scholarship funds with the possibility of further compensation for additional performances.


Interested candidates should fill out the 2013-14 application (download form) and send to Chandra McKern, director of education and outreach, at Nashville Opera.  Auditions will be held at Belmont University on February 14, 2014


For more information, please email Chandra McKern at:


Be part of the largest opera company in Tennessee and look behind the scenes at a non-profit arts organization by exploring the internship opportunities at Nashville Opera.  Our program challenges students both personally and professionally.  The staff strives to ensure that an internship serves to enhance the student’s educational experience and career development.  All interns become integral members of the department(s) they work in and gain valuable experience while making professional contacts.

We offer internships in the following areas:

  1.    Arts Administration

  2.    Development

  3.    Education

  4.    Hospitality/Event Management

  5.    Public Relations/Marketing

All internships are unpaid positions, although all interns will receive two season tickets to Nashville Opera.  Housing is not included.

Applicants will be asked to mail the following materials:

  1.    Letter indicating your desired internship, why you are interested in working in the arts, and when you’d like to do the internship

  2.    Resume including present and permanent addresses, education, and work experience

  3.    Writing sample of up to three pages (class paper, newspaper article, etc.) that you believe well represents your writing ability

  4.    Two letters of recommendation from professors, past intern supervisors, or other persons with knowledge of your work ethic

All materials should be mailed to:

Internship Program

Nashville Opera

3622 Redmon Street

Nashville, TN 37209



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