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About the Washington National Opera

The Program

Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is a leading resident-training program for artists on the verge of international careers. Founded in 2002 by Plácido Domingo, the program offers exceptionally promising young singers and coach/accompanists two years of intensive training, study, and career guidance with a team of world-renowned master teachers and coaches which includes Diana Soviero, William Stone, Carol Vaness, and Kathleen Kelly, among others.


Members of the program are featured prominently in performances at the Kennedy Center and throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. They are cast in principal and comprimario roles, given cover assignments, and perform an annual showcase with full orchestra in the Opera House. They are actively involved in WNO's American Opera Initiative, where they have the opportunity to workshop and premiere newly composed operatic works. Young Artists also perform frequently in other landmark venues around D.C., including the Smithsonian Institution and various embassies, as well as with the National Symphony Orchestra.


The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is dedicated to cultivating successful careers in opera. Graduates of the program have gone on to perform at the world's leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Bayreuth Festival, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Berlin State Opera, LA Opera, New York City Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Opéra de Monte-Carlo, The Glimmerglass Festival, and Santa Fe Opera, among others. Additionally, WNO actively seeks to provide former young artists with the opportunity to return to the company in principal and featured roles upon completion of the program.


Director: Michael Heaston
Principal Coach: Ken Weiss