Opera Theatre’s Artists-in-Training Program continues with the partnership of Bayer Fund

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ Monsanto Artists-in-Training Program, recognized as a flagship arts education program in the U.S. for more than 29 years, will be renamed the Bayer Fund Artists-in-Training Program in recognition of the company’s generous investment.

Since its inception in 1990, Monsanto Fund has provided support for the Artists-in-Training Program, with more than $500,000 in scholarships awarded to over 240 students. It has helped launch the careers of celebrated singers, including Julia Bullock, Jermaine Smith, and Derrell Acon.

Opera Theatre gratefully acknowledges Monsanto Fund for its visionary and steadfast investment in the Artists-in-Training Program and is honored to now partner with Bayer Fund, which has provided leadership support to continue this important work.

“Bayer Fund is honored to continue the many years of ongoing support for the Artists-inTraining Program,” said Al Mitchell, Bayer’s Vice President of Community Engagement. “This program has positively impacted the lives of a large number of St. Louis students, and we look forward to seeing this success continue.”

“We are so grateful for the support Monsanto Fund has provided over the past 29 years,” said Opera Theatre of Saint Louis General Director Andrew Jorgensen. “I look forward to continuing the work of identifying and nurturing rising artists in the St. Louis community in partnership with Bayer Fund.”

The Annual Spring Recital for Bayer Fund Artists-in-Training will be held on Sunday, April 14 at 3 p.m. at the Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Boulevard. This event is the culmination program of a year’s study for these talented young singers, and approximately $12,000 in scholarships will be awarded based on their performances.

The 2019 Bayer Fund Artists-in-Training Program provides year-long college-level vocal training to 24 high school students from across the St. Louis region, as well as week-long master classes with major artists from across the country.

In the week leading up to the recital, these students will train with internationally renowned bass Morris Robinson. Morris Robinson is considered one of the most interesting and sought-after basses performing today. Mr. Robinson regularly appears at the Metropolitan Opera, where he is a graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Program. He made his debut there in a production of Fidelio and has since appeared as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Ferrando in Il Trovatore, the King in Aida, and in roles in Nabucco, Tannhäuser, Les Troyens, and Salome. He has also appeared at such prestigious venues as the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Teatro alla Scala, among others.

Established in 1990, Opera Theatre’s Bayer Fund Artists-in-Training Program sets out to identify, coach, and encourage talented students from high schools across the St. Louis area with weekly voice lessons by opera professionals at one of the four area universities.

The year-long program also offers master classes with visiting artists, awards more than $25,000 annually in scholarships, provides college tours of vocal programs from select universities and conservatories, and offers college guidance to high school graduates.

The Bayer Fund Artists-inTraining Program has been recognized by the President’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities as one of ten model U.S. programs for at-risk youth. About Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is a spring festival featuring casts of the opera world’s most exciting singers accompanied by the acclaimed St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Each season, OTSL presents four inventive new productions in English during the months of May and June. In addition to presenting innovative interpretation of classics, OTSL is also committed to premiering new and relevant operas by prominent composers; since its inaugural season in 1976, 27 operas have premiered at Opera Theatre. Andrew Jorgensen began his tenure as general director in 2018, and James Robinson serves as artistic director.

Opera Theatre’s competitive young artist programs foster the next generation of emerging American singers; these programs have been a springboard for an exceptional number of extraordinary artists in launching international careers.

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is funded in part by the Regional Arts Commission, Arts and Education Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Missouri Arts Council, with audience-building programs supported by The Wallace Foundation. Opera Theatre gratefully acknowledges Webster University for its sustaining partnership.

About Bayer Fund Bayer Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where Bayer customers and employees live and work by providing funding for food and nutrition, education and community development projects.