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About Smith Young Artist Program

The CRO Smith Young Artist Program is made possible by the generosity of John and Dyan Smith. Their endowed gift will prepare singers for work on the world’s opera stages, giving financial stipends to singers honing their craft through professional performance opportunities.

Young Artists come to Cedar Rapids at the undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate level. Members of the program understudy mainstage production roles, as well as perform in comprimario roles, the opera chorus, and in the company's annual outreach operas for elementary students. Young Artists who come to Cedar Rapids in the summers sing in a fully staged operetta comprised solely of Young Artists in order to build their repertory and command of the stage.

In addition to working with renowned stage directors and seasoned professional singers, Young Artists participate in master classes, perform in promotional concerts, and engage the community through special events.

The Young Artist Program has been in existence since 2003, and Cedar Rapids Opera thanks John and Dyan Smith for their support of opera education for emerging artists.