Recent research indicates that youth are engaging in the arts in both new and established ways. San Diego Opera’s new MY VOICE IN THE ARTS program asks students to share their stories, interests, and perspectives by submitting written descriptions of their own personal artistic experiences. Student submissions will be read by San Diego Opera staff and reviewed by a committee consisting of local arts and civic leaders. This new program provides San Diego’s students an opportunity to communicate directly with San Diego Opera and the arts community.

To continue the conversation about arts engagement and to introduce students to the world of opera, San Diego Opera’s MY VOICE IN THE ARTS program will award up to two participating students in each of the nine city council districts a subscription ticket package for three operas of the 2016-2017 season. The subscription package will include a second ticket for the student’s chaperone (e.g. a parent, family member over 18, or legal guardian). Students and their chaperones will be invited to attend, free of charge, Falstaff, The Tragedy of Carmen, La traviata, and special behind-the-scenes opportunities.

This program is supported by the following San Diego City Councilmembers.

  • District 2 Councilmember — Lorie Zapf
  • District 5 Councilmember — Mark Kersey
  • District 6 Councilmember — Chris Cate
  • District 7 Councilmember — Scott Sherman
  • District 9 Councilmember — Marti Emerald


A committee will review the applications and determine which students will participate in the MY VOICE IN THE ARTS program. The committee will include a San Diego student in grades 10-12; Serafin Parades, Memorial Preparatory Academy music teacher; Gill Sotu, award-winning spoken word artist; David Bennett, San Diego Opera General Director; and Cassandra Weinlein, Policy Advisor for San Diego City Councilmember Scott Sherman.


Students who live or attend school within the city of San Diego and who are in grades 6-12 may apply to participate in the program. Awarded subscription packages are non-transferable and may only be used by the selected students and their chaperones.


Students may apply by completing an online form which includes this prompt: “Describe a time when you were affected by the arts.” Responses should be between 150 and 400 words. Students are encouraged to compose responses in a separate document and then copy and paste it into the online form.


Application period opens Monday, September 12; Last Day to submit application Friday, January 13, 2017; Student participants announced Wednesday, January 18; Program Welcome Event Wednesday, February 15.

Performances: FalstaffSaturday February 18, Tuesday February 21, Friday February 24; The Tragedy of Carmen Friday, March 10; La traviata Friday, April 28.

All performances will be at the San Diego Civic Theatre in downtown San Diego, except for The Tragedy of Carmen, which will be presented at the Balboa Theatre.

In addition to scheduled events and performances, participating students and their chaperones will be invited to enjoy discussion forums with artists, backstage tours, pre-opera lectures, red carpet photo opportunities, opportunities to meet civic leaders, arts leaders and supporters, post-performance Talk-Backs and social media opportunities.


If you have any questions about the program, the application, or the submission process, please contact myvoice@sdopera.org or call (619) 533-7087.

Si usted tiene alguna pregunta sobre el programa, la aplicación, o el proceso de envío, por favor mande correo electronico a myvoice@sdopera.org o llame (619) 533-7019.

This new program is supported by Offices of the San Diego City Council.


Application period opens opens Monday, October 3, 2016.

Last Day to submit application Friday, January 13, 2017.

Student participants announced Wednesday, January 18, 2017.

Program Welcome Event is Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

Falstaff : Friday, February 24
The Tragedy of Carmen : Friday, March 10
La traviata: Friday, April 28