Programs for Singers

Winter Weekend Workshop               


Memorial Day Weekend Workshop         


Amherst Early Music Festival

Baroque Academy
July 9-16, 2017 

Vocal Faculty:
Julianne Baird, soprano
Aaron Sheehan, tenor

This high-level program for advanced solo singers offers the opportunity to gain valuable pre-professional experience in Baroque repertoire and historical performance practice. There are two options for singers within the Baroque Academy:




The Baroque Academy Vocal Soloist Program
Cavalli's L'Erismena
Opera scenes with chamber ensemble. Directed by Julianne Baird and Richard Stone, staged by David Morris

Vocal Soloist singers performing Cavalli scenes

The Baroque Academy Vocal Soloist Program includes daily masterclasses with Baroque specialist Julianne Baird; chamber music coachings on repertoire for solo voice with period instruments; specialized classes that delve deep into solo repertoire, style, and ornamentation of the Baroque era. Audition deadline April 1, 2017.

Baroque Academy Opera Project
Purcell's King Arthur
Fully-staged opera with Baroque orchestra. Directed by Drew Minter, conducted by Adam Pearl.

The Baroque Academy Opera Project offers the experience of performing a role in a fully-staged Baroque opera. Emphasis on Baroque gesture, historical singing style and pronunciation, rhetoric, and acting. Audition deadline April 1, 2017.


esiEnsemble Singing Intensive

July 16-23, 2017
Directed by Michael Barrett

The Ensemble Singing Intensive is a unique program that offers advanced singers the opportunity to sing one-on-a-part ensemble repertoire from the Medieval and Renaissance eras. Students will work on skills essential to the modern singer of early music by participating in daily ensemble coachings, presenting in ensemble masterclasses, and performing.

Audition deadline: April 1, 2017


Beggar's Opera
July 16-23, 2017
Staged and directed by Grant Herreid
with pit band. Audition deadline April 1, 2017

Amherst Early Music is excited to present a semi-staged performance of John Gay's Beggar's Opera as a featured work of our 2017 festival. This witty, satirical, and wonderfully vibrant work was a smash sensation in 1728, filled with beggars and highwaymen of the London underworld, satire against politicians and aristocrats, spoofs of Italian opera, and, above all, great songs. Drawing from English ballad repertory, opera arias, and hymns, the music of The Beggar's Opera offers singers and singing actors unique opportunities to shine, and to experience a different side of historical performance practice. AEM's adaptation will drawn on the strengths of the participant performers and our faculty to bring The Beggar's Opera to life for a contemporary audience. With inventive direction by Grant Herreid and new dialogue and narration by Lawrence Rosenwald, our production will retain the great songs but condense, sharpen, and play with the spoken text; we look forward to charming, challenging, and perhaps even shocking our audience!

Central Program

Whether you are a soloist or an ensemble singer, the Amherst Early Music Festival has a diverse range of offerings to suit many levels and areas of interest. During the 2017 Festival, singers will explore vocal topics on Music from England and Spain, from the Medieval to the Baroque. Sing in a vocal ensemble or an ensemble with voices and instruments, or take a class on vocal technique in early music. The Central Program runs both weeks of the Festival, and no audition is required.


Choral Workshop

July 16-23, 2017
Directed by Kent Tritle

The Choral Workshop at the Amherst Music Festival, in New London CT is designed to give the serious amateur choral singer an opportunity to learn and perform masterworks of the Renaissance, within the context of the largest early music festival in the United States.

Participants will spend the week singing in an ensemble with highly acclaimed choral conductor Kent Tritle. He will be assisted by five professional section leaders, SATTB, and an accompanist. The week will conclude with a festival performance. Audition required; see Choral Workshop page. No due date but program may fill.