the danis wilson

Apprentice Program

The Danis Wilson Apprentice Artist Program at Sugar Creek Opera is a valuable summer intensive course that provides experience and training to talented, degreed artists who are beginning professional careers.

Since it began in 2007, the program has expanded each year, increasing both the number of participants and offerings. All Apprentice Artists gain valuable knowledge through vocal coaching (with a concentration on style, technique, breath support, languages, and dramatic interpretation), acting courses, lessons on the business of singing, and career counseling from the mainstage artists, directors, and producers who have decades of experience in the industry.  Alumni from our program performed roles in The Magic Flute production, including Leila Bowie and Reuben Lillie. For the 2020 season, apprentices will particpate in The Pirates of Penzance. There is a two week rehearsal period only.

How Apprentice Artists Benefit

  • Intense personal coaching on audition arias
  • Perform a supporting role or cover a role in the MainStage production.
  • Participation in master classes with guest faculty, mainstage singers and conductors
  • Performance opportunities at community outreach and donor events
  • Private coaching and voice lessons with staff.
  • Career potential feedback.

Audition Information

Auditions for the 2020 Apprentice Program will be by video submission only. The due date is April 15, 2020. Auditions for the 2020 apprentice program will be handled through Apprentice artists’ previous training represent some of the most prestigious music schools in the nation. Most Apprentice Artists were between 22 and 32 years of age and had already received their bachelors or masters degree in voice performance. However, there is no age limit. Each of them display an exceptional level of talent and skill, bringing tremendous energy and vitality to the productions. Sugar Creek normally sees 250-300 applicants and hears 80-100 live auditions for 15-20 positions. If you have questions, please email General Director, Helen Todd at

Travel & Housing

For 2020, Apprentices are given on campus housing at Olivet Nazarene University during their stay.