Making music in Mendocino


Aria Night

On Thursday evening during the week at the workshop each participant will be performing arias at the well known resort in town: The Stanford Inn. The arias are of the singers choice and selected before coming to the workshop. Master classes are conducted each evening where each singer will work individually on his/her aria musically and dramatically . The individual work is intensive and includes addressing personal habits, character development, presentation of the aria for audition and performance, music and linguistic aspects and style of performance.

This evening has become a popular event for many people in Mendocino, who appreciate and support each young singer. Contrary to the casual dress for the rest of the workshop, this one is formal and gives the singer a chance to dress up to the max!

Workshop Performances

The first evening of the workshop is a performance at Chez Vrenios before a packed house which includes the hosts and neighbors of the students. We encourage the singer to present the aria he/she will be using for the aria evening.

The focus of the workshop is to provide performing experience to all the participants in front of an appreciative audience to solidify the techniques acquired in the 10 days of focused classes.

We present scenes during the final evening of the workshop, which are fully staged and costumed. The performances are in the Preston Hall of the famous Presbyterian Church, which is on the historical register as one of the oldest churches on the coast. The scenes are chosen with the abilities of the singer in mind, and with consideration of requests solicited from those chosen to be in the workshop.

The town of Mendocino has come to enjoy the performances of the participants and turns out to give its enthusiastic support to the singers each year. Many participants have made lifelong friends among the residents and some have returned to perform in the Mendocino opera productions, which are given during the Spring. The workshop performances have proven to be a venue which is eagerly anticipated by everyone, performers and townspeople alike.

Photo of fancy hairdos for the scenes program. Elaborate buns, braided hair, and similar styles.

Fancy hairdos for the scenes program

Master Classes

Each evening after dinner, the participants participate in a master class given by the faculty of the workshop. Each workshop participant works on a specific aria they have chosen as an audition or a performance piece. Individual problems are addressed as well as how to present the work in audition – physically, musically and physically. Specific areas that are addressed are: the character, the specifics of the situation, the character’s intentions, point of view, style, era, use of gesture that will enhance the ideas and thoughts of the character and finding ease and charisma in performing. The final result will be presented in the Thursday evening performance of arias at the Stanford Inn resort in Mendocino.


The Performance is photographed by a professional photographer who also offers head shots to the participants for no cost. All pictures are available for use by the singers.


The final communication from the workshop is a full evaluation in written form on all aspects of each singer, given by the entire faculty. Many aspects of the singer are addressed:

  • Appropriateness of repertoire
  • Repertoire suggestions
  • Musical needs
  • Specific areas to work on
  • Specific areas of strength
  • Potential for career
  • Suggestions for the next step in the singers development
  • Physical work to be continued
  • Help in communicating, networking and building a career.