OperaFest NJ 2015

June 29 – July 19, 2015

OperaFest New Jersey is an intensive, performance oriented 21 day opera training workshop in Ridgewood, New Jersey.
  • Learn from professional artists who have performed these roles with major opera companies around the world.
  • Work with faculty from The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, The Mannes School of Music.
  • Perform a fully staged complete opera with sets, costumes, and props.

OperaFest 2015 Program:   Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito 

  • Two Performances of a fully staged and costumed opera.
    Final casting is based on each student’s vocal and acting capabilities.
  • Individual voice lessons and repertory coaching, acting classes, and staging rehearsals.
  • Master Classes in vocal technique, vocal projection, diction, IPA and pronunciation of Italian, French, German & English, acting, opera stage technique, improvisation, stage make-up, and career development.
  • Our Art Song Program is a whole new way to look at recital performance.
  • An Evening of Arias is a showcase for each singer to shine in an individual moment.
  • Class size limited to insure individual attention.
  • We videotape all of the students’ performances for further study and analysis.  
    Students receive a copy for their archival purposes and/or for electronic audition submissions.


OperaFest Faculty, a partial list:

  • Founder and Artistic Director Claudette Peterson - Internationally acclaimed leading soprano, has sung over 15 leading roles with New York City Opera.  She has also starred in productions with The Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera, Opera Company of Boston, Virginia Opera, among others.  Internationally, she won rave reviews in Toronto with Canadian Opera, and in Europe at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, and at Opera de Nice as title role in The Merry Widow
  • David Kline - Renowned Columbia Artists Management bass-baritone, has sung over 1,000 performances in 49 states, including 67 operatic roles and 7 world Premieres.  He has sung with Seattle Opera, Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, and opera companies in Indianapolis, Detroit, Orlando, Arizona, Columbus, Syracuse, among others
  • David Maiullo - Music Director, is on the faculty at The Juilliard School, Nyack College, New Jersey City University.  Maestro Maiullo is one of the most active accompanists in the Tri-State area, with over 3,000 performances to his credit.
  • David Ostwald - Stage Director / Acting Teacher literally wrote the book on acting.  He is the author of Acting for Singers, published by Oxford University Press, which is a standard text in colleges and conservatories around the country.  David has directed over 170 productions of plays and operas in the US and abroad. He also specializes in teaching acting to singers of all levels.  His teaching credits include 4 years at Juilliard where he directed all productions for undergrad Opera Program and taught acting for singers, 15 years as head of the Opera Program at SUNY Purchase, The Aspen Music Festival, and UC Berkeley where he taught Directing and Modern Drama.
  • Arlene Shrut - Guest Coach / Collaborative Pianist, was chosen as the inaugural “Coach of the Year” by Classical Singer Magazine.  Dr. Shrut is on the faculty at The Juilliard School, and the Manhattan School of Music. She has performed in major venues in America, Canada and Europe, and recorded for Dorian, Albany, Summit, Centaur and Orion.  She has presented Art Song Master Classes and Residences at festivals and universities across the US and Canada.
  • Mary Pinto - Coach / Accompanist 

Applications / Auditions:

  • Applicants may complete their application online, or download the application, and submit by mail.
  • All applications must include a NON-REFUNDABLE Application Processing Fee of $50.  
    Please make checks payable to OperaFest, LLC.  Mail them to OperaFest, LLC, 325 Ivy Pl, Paramus, NJ  07652
  • All applicants must audition for Miss Peterson in person.
    If a live audition is not possible, applicants may audition by sending a tape, CD, DVD, or YouTube link. 
  • Audition should include 2 contrasting classical pieces showing range, size and vocal ability.
  • Applications & recordings are due by February 15, 2015.
  • Participants will be notified by February 22, 2015.

  • $2,100 includes individual voice lessons and coachings, master classes, and performance costumes and props.
  • $500 NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT, due by March 1, 2015 guarantees your place in OperaFest NJ 2015.
  • $1,600 NON-REFUNDABLE BALANCE is due by April 1, 2015.

  • EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNT - Tuition will be reduced by $100 to $2,000 if you apply to OperaFest NJ, are accepted, and pay your $500 Registration Deposit by January 1, 2015.


Class sizes are limited to
insure individual attention

download an application below



The training and performance opportunities of Operafest far exceeded my expectations year after year. I don’t know how else I could have studied with such accomplished artists all in one beautiful location. Each and every teacher at Operafest became a mentor and friend who came to understand me fully as a young artist, and who worked closely with me in a way unique to my talents and goals

Brianna Meese