After working in many professional capacities with opera companies and apprentice programs around the country, OperaWorks founder Ann Baltz became aware of a void in singers’ preparation: they were being asked to do things as singer-actors they had not been taught how to do.

From her work with visionary Wesley Balk at the Merola Opera Program, and as music director of his Minnesota Opera Institute, she saw his revolutionary way of teaching singers how to act on stage.


OperaWorks’ curriculum and programs have expanded over the past 30 years as the demands of a singing career have changed. OperaWorks was the first program to offer classes in yoga, Feldenkreis, Aikido, visualization, expressive conducting for singers, marketing, career planning, and social media. The curriculum also includes acting, repertoire coaching, musical improvisation, acting improvisation, and audition techniques. Professional headshot and recording sessions have long been a part of the programs to help prepare singers present themselves professionally.

Our exceptional faculty are professional performers and teachers well-versed in opera traditions, but willing to explore the unique capabilities and artistry of each singer. Learn more about our philosophy.


Productions are an important part of OperaWorks and include more than 30 original Pastiche operas and “Arias In Motion,” improvised recitals and concerts, and annual multi-ethnic “Sing-In the Holidays” concerts designed to bring communities together to promote tolerance and peace.

2015 saw the debut of The Discord Altar, a musically improvised opera about homelessness with text by award-winning playwright Meghan Brown. This production was the first in OperaWorks’ Arts for Social Awareness Project (ASAP), created to bring awareness to current social issues through live theater.

Who We Are

OperaWorks’ leadership includes our staff, Board of Directors and Advisory panel. We also boast a network of over 4,000 alumni worldwide! Read reviews from recent students.

Join Us

Looking forward, there is much to be done to shift the paradigm of singer education to one that is a partnership that values each individual’s input in an encouraging and supportive environment. In this way, authentic artistry can emerge. If you’d like to join us, we welcome you to get involved.