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Little Patuxent Opera Institute

LPOI - Little Patuxent Opera Institute

The Little Patuxent Opera Institute (LPOI) Registration Form (PDF)

Please note that this year's program will not be running.  Please check back in the Fall regarding information for LPOI 2020!

The Little Patuxent Opera Institute (LPOI) offers training for moderately advanced young operatic voices in a warm and nurturing collegiate environment. To succeed in the professional opera field, aspiring singers must master many skills. Our program is designed to introduce participants to and enhance the development of their skills, while providing valuable, meaningful performance opportunities and experience.

Students receive group and private instruction on the various elements of operatic performance and classical vocal arts, including character development, technique, stage movement and blocking, and a broad spectrum of classes related to professional development and health. In addition, participants learn from and study under a number of highly respected local, regional, and internationally recognized artists.

To experience the Little Patuxent Opera Institute, look at our photos and videos, which capture the culmination of a summer's worth of learning.

  • Audition repertoire requirements:
    • Apprentice Artists - two selections with one being an Italian Art Song or Aria, the second selection may be in a different language (English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish) and may be part of the classical or lighter musical theatre repertoire.
    • Studio Artists - two selections with one being an Italian Aria, the second selection should also be an aria in a different language (English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish) and may be part of the musical theatre/operatic repertoire of Bernstein, Gershwin, Kern, and Weil.
LPOI - 2017 Production of "Too Many Sorpranos"LPOI - 2017 production of "Too Many Sorpranos"

LPOI's 2017 production of Edwin Penhorwood's Too Many Sopranos

LPOI's 2017 production of Edwin Penhorwood's Too Many Sopranos


  • Repertorie

    Our repertoire is based on the outcome of our auditions but often includes:

    • scenes from musical theatre, operetta, or opera, and/or
    • a fully-staged production of a one-act opera; this year we are considering producing one of the four Rossini one-act buffo operas
    • condensed version of a popular opera, or
    • a complete act of a standard repertoire opera; this year we are considering producing Johann Strauss II's Die Fledermaus

    Participants will be notified of music assignments by May 8, and and are expected to have their roles learned, preferably memorized, by the start of the program.

    In an effort to "go green", music will be made available through the Google Drive. Participants will receive an email with an invitation to where they can retrieve their music. In addition to the invitation, links to YouTube videos for study assistance will also be made available.

    Past Productions have included scenes from:
    Mark Adamo's Little Women
    Leonard Bernstein's Candide, Trouble in Tahiti, and West Side Story
    Georges Bizet's Carmen, Le Docteur Miracle
    Jerry Bock's Fiddler on the Roof
    Benjamin Britten's The Rape of Lucretia,
    Peter Grimes, and A Midsummer Night's Dream
    Léo Delibes' Lakme
    Gaetano Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore
    Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado
    Marvin Hamlisch' A Chorus Line
    Georg Friedrich Händel's Alcina
    Pietro Mascagni's L'Amico Fritz
    Gian Carlo Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief
    Claudio Monteverdi's L'Incoronazion di Poppea
    Douglas Moore's The Ballad of Baby Doe
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Così fan tutte, 
    Die Zauberflöte, and Le Nozze di Figaro
    Jacques Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann
    Giacomo Puccini's La Bohème and Madama Butterfly
    Rodgers & Hammerstein's The Sound of Music
    Lucy Simon's The Secret Garden
    Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods
    Sir Arthur Sullivan, Mikado and Patience
    Richard Strauss' Arabella and Der Rosenkavalier
    Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet
    Ralph Vaughan Williams' Sir John in Love
    Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata and Falstaff
    Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz and Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor
    Complete works performed are: 
    Gaetano Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore (2018)
    Edwin Penhorwood's Too Many Sopranos (2017) 
    Wolfgang Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, abridged (2016) 
    Henry Mollicone's Children of the Sun (2014)
    Ned Rorem's A Childhood Miracle (2013)
    Douglas Moore's Gallantry (2013)
    Engelbert Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel (2012)
    Henry Purcell's Dido & Aeneas (2010)
    Giacomo Puccini's Suor Angelica (2009)
  • The Experience

    At our initial meeting, titled Death by Aria, participants introduce themselves to their colleagues by singing their favorite Aria or Art Song. A typical day at LPOI includes some combination of the following:

    • Music and/or Staging rehearsals,
    • Private vocal lessons and/or coachings,
    • Diction (French, Italian, German, or Russian),
    • Acting, Alexander Technique, Stage Presence class(es), and
    • Special Topic Seminars including but not limited to audition and/or role preparation, vocal health, and career promotion

    Adjustments are made based upon individual and group needs.

  • Performances

    LPOI culminates in a weekend of performances, July 19-21, 2019, in which all participants perform for their family, friends, communities, and the public at large.
    This is when we perform our scene selections and opera works.

    In preparation for our workshop performances, "Tech Week" is scheduled to begin on Saturday, July 13, 2019ALL participants must be available and present during Tech Week - NO EXCEPTIONS.
    We often schedule rehearsals on the Saturday and/or Sunday of Tech Week depending on where we are musically and production-wise. The Thursday before the weekend of performances is "dark" - which means there are no rehearsals - so that our participants can get plenty of rest.

    Participants learn from internationally recognized musicians in our Master Class Series with LPOI's Master Teachers.  Last year's teachers were Ms. Ah Hong (Peabody Institute of JHU) and Mrs. Ruth Drucker (Retired-Towson State University and Peabody Institute of JHU).

  • The Cost

    The cost for our Studio Artists program is $1,300.00; for our Apprentice Artists, the cost is $1100.00. That's only $52/day or $44/day respectively! For a five week program with three performance opportunities, plus lessons, master classes, and camaraderie; a real bargain!

    No fee is required to audition, but to hold your spot in our program, a non-refundable deposit (1/3 of tuition) is due with the completed registration form by April 30, 2019. The remaining balance is split into two payments. The first payment is due May 20, 2019 and the balance is due June 14, 2019. All accounts must be paid in full by June 14, 2019, in order for that student to participate in the program. Participants may be able to receive one college credit for an additional fee. Merit scholarships may also be available. Please contact the office with any questions or for more information at (443) 518-4297.  

  • What is the difference between a studio artist and an apprentice artist

    Our program is open to all vocalists, ages 16 and up (ages 14 and 15 by authorization of the LPOI Artistic Director only). Participants in high school are designated as Apprentice Artists while those in or beyond college are Studio Artists.

    The chart below shows which opportunities are available to each type of participant.

    Participation in 2 Master Classes Participation in 1 Master Class
    Participation in at least 2 scenes Participation in at least 1 scene
    Cast in the Opera(s) May be cast in the opera
    as chorus or as needed
  • Testimonials

    The Little Patuxent Opera Institute was one of the biggest factors in pushing me to make my living as a musician. I did the LPOI program when I was transitioning from a 9-5 construction job to becoming a freelance singer/musician. The program was the right push that I needed at that time. I got to meet other motivated singers, learned music that was important to have on my resume, and had the opportunity to be part of a wonderful community of colleagues and mentors.

    I memorized more music in my summer at LPOI than I had in the previous entire year. I learned the role of Guglielmo in Cosí, the duet from Don Pasquale, David in Samuel Barber's Hand of Bridge, and the opening scene from Old Maid and the Thief. This was in addition to preparing selections for the masterclasses with distinguished singers/teachers. That showed me that I had the ability to learn and memorize at a high level when the pressure was on. I was pushed right to the edge of my ability and had to teach myself to dig deep and put in those extra hours. These skills certainly came in handy when I was learning/performing the role of Papageno for my first professional Mozart role (and my first full role in German).

    Another one of the great joys of the program, was getting to work with Braxton Peters and Ron Gretz, from Annapolis Opera. After meeting them I was able to land an ensemble role in AO’s production of South Pacific and more recently, a principal role in their production of La Traviata. I also now work with a few of my teachers from LPOI singing in the Washington National Opera chorus.

    Joseph Baker (LPOI 2016, 2017 Guest Artist)


    "When I came into LPOI, I was having a number of technical problems with my singing, but the teachers here helped me so much, and I was amazed at how much I had improved by the end of the program. Added to that, the classes were so well-rounded, so not only did I improve my voice, but also my acting and staging skills. And having a class about singing as a business and auditioning made me feel like I had a head start in the professional world. I felt so prepared to start school after the program, and my teacher noticed the difference as well!"

    Sarah Nalty (LPOI 2014, 2017)


    I enrolled in the Little Patuxent Opera Institute (LPOI) in both 2016 and 2017, and I can safely say my time in the program has been one of the best educational experiences in my professional development. In 2016, I prepared and performed my first full-role as Ferrando (Così fan tutte) as well as scenes from Le docteur Miracle and L’amico Fritz. In 2017, I performed the role of Nelson Deadly (Too Many Sopranos, by Edwin Penhorwood) plus scenes from La fille du regiment, La bohème, and a musical called A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Each time in the program has been very demanding on me musically, and I have always loved the intensity and diversity in repertoire I had the chance to tackle.

    As I continue my development as a professional singer, I credit much of the foundation I have with my time in the program. I was treated as a young professional, and as a result I learned what is expected of a professional in terms of preparation and professionalism. And since LPOI brings outside professionals currently in the industry, I have had the chance to connect with people such as Braxton Peters and Ronald Gretz from the Annapolis Opera Company. Working with them led to my first opera chorus contract with Annapolis Opera in  their production of La traviata this past spring.

    I was even fortunate enough to connect with my current voice teacher through participating in LPOI. He has been absolutely invaluable in refining my technical foundation as a singer and preparing me for my graduate studies, and I never would have met him without participating in the program. The skills I have honed with him and in the program have definitely had a direct impact on my acceptance to graduate programs such as the Indiana University: Jacobs School of Music, Northwestern University: Bienen School of Music, Texas State University, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC).

    My experiences in LPOI have pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of, but I also always felt safe in being vulnerable and stretching myself as an artist during the program. The faculty and staff foster an immensely supportive environment. Their commitment to vocal health, the well-being of the students, and the learning experience of each participant during the program really led to a tremendous growth in my abilities as singer. I would not be where I am today without the Little Patuxent Opera Institute, and I would highly recommend enrolling  to any aspiring singer.

    Michael Wu
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