Prelude: Singer-Actor Lab
Prelude gives students a stage to develop the skills, language, and confidence needed to prepare for the challenges of the performing arts.
Prelude helps students prepare for a career in the performing arts. Students are guided and supported as they develop skills, gain confidence, learn to collaborate, tell their stories, and learn to trust themselves.
Prelude values process over product–vocal technique, text interpretation, emotional communication, physical control and agility, knowledge of music and theatre genres, and the ability to perform them vocally and theatrically.
Prelude meets on Saturdays, September through May, 2 – 5 pm at MacPhail Minneapolis
Deadlines for spring applications is January 27, 2023. Auditions are January 28.
Is Prelude Right for You?
Are you curious, imaginative, and guided by your passions?
Do you have a basic intuitive ability to communicate a sung text?
Do you appreciate a variety of musical styles including musical theater, art song, opera, and contemporary music?
Are you looking to build your performance skills and stage acting; interested in becoming a versatile, well-rounded singer-actor?
Yes? Prelude may be the perfect place to pursue your creative path.
- Everything from Renaissance to Musical Theater to Opera to Jazz
- Emphasis on a cappella repertoire and ear training
- Sight-singing, theory, rhythmic and interpretive skills
Voice Work, Acting, Movement for Singers
- Addressing unique challenges of singer actors
- Incorporating gestures, facial expressions, and focus into performance, while addressing points of tension
- Applying performance techniques to solo repertoire and scenes from musical theater and opera
- Collaborative improvisation work in creative storytelling
- Polishing solo repertoire to be audition ready
- Coaching with collaborative pianists
- Foster a strong community of student musicians and a supportive collaborative environment for individual growth
- Complement the musical instruction being offered in private studios and to support and facilitate performance skills for high school choral and musical theater programs
- Nurture talent at an exceptional level through all disciplines of the singing actor
Prelude’s faculty are professional singer-actors, performers, and gigging musicians. These teaching artists value a holistic approach and understand that music brings richer understanding and a deeper meaning to all areas of a student’s life.
Anna Hashizume is a Japanese-American singer-actor, equally comfortable on opera and musical theatre stages, as well as onscreen. She’s performed with companies such as Theater Latté Da, Artistry Theater, Minnesota Opera, and Fargo-Moorhead Opera. Learn More…
Bradley Greenwald has performed opera, theater, music-theater, concert, and recital repertoire with Jungle Theater, Theater Latté Da, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Guthrie Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, Minnesota Dance Theatre, James Sewell Ballet, VocalEssence, and more. Learn More…
Welcome New Faculty!
Jon Ferguson is from Durham in the Northeast of England. He trained at Middlesex University in London with leading physical theater practitioner John Wright. He has worked with some of the leading theater companies and practitioners in the UK and US including Hoipolloi (UK), The John Wright Company, Told by an Idiot, Mary Zimmerman, Mark Rylance and The Guthrie Theater. He is currently based in Minneapolis, MN. Jon’s work has been profiled in American Theater Magazine, published by Samuel French/Concord Theatricals, and received critical recognition and numerous awards. Jon was named “2005 City Pages Artist of the Year”, and his production Please Don’t Blow Up Mr. Boban, with Live Action Set, was chosen by the Minneapolis Star Tribune as the “Outstanding Experimental Theater Production of 2005” and named “Best Stage Production” by the Minneapolis City Pages – Best of the Twin Cities 2006. Learn More…
Important Dates & Information
Saturday, September 10, 2022: First day of fall semester!
Saturday, September 17: Group photo shoot
Friday, September 30: Last day for fall applications
January 2023: Prelude Cabaret concert
January 21: Last day of fall semester
January 27: Last day for spring applications
January 28: Spring auditions
February 11, 2023: First day of spring semester
May 2023: Spring concert
May 20: Last day of spring semester
August 2023: Auditions for 2023-24 year
Prelude: Singer-Actor Lab meets in Minneapolis on Saturdays from 2 to 5 pm, September through May
Tuition, Scholarships, and Financial Aid
Tuition for 2022-23 is $840 per semester. Scholarships and financial aid are available to eligible Prelude students.
The Prelude Program offers several merit-based performance scholarships. There are three Prelude-specific scholarships which are awarded as a part of the Prelude auditions in August 2022. Students can choose to be considered for a performance scholarship in the application process. There are three named scholarships for the Prelude Program:
- Elinor Watson Bell Preparatory Program Endowment, created in 1991 by MacPhail board member Elinor Watson Bell (1911-2002). A gifted pianist and lifelong advocate of the arts, Elinor served on the boards of the Minnesota Orchestral Association, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and MacPhail. The first student to receive a scholarship in her honor was MacPhail Preparatory Program and violin student Emilia Mettenbrink in 1995.
- Lillian Vail Scholarship, created in 1989 by Robin Withington in honor of her aunt, Lillian Vail, who taught dance at MacPhail for 43 years. She was a former vaudeville dancer who performed on Broadway and was friends with the actor Rudolph Valentino, comic George Burns and actor Archibald Leach (aka Cary Grant).
- Henry H. Wade Scholarship, created in 1992 by Henry H. Wade at his death based on his long love of music and his desire to encourage students who are wishing to pursue a career in music.
Additionally, Prelude students who take individual instruction lessons at MacPhail are also able to audition for two other scholarships. These scholarship auditions take place in June 2022 and awards are applied to individual instruction lessons only, evenly split between the fall and spring term. More information about these scholarships can be found here.
- Edith B. Norberg Religious Studies Scholarship is for student who use their music in a place of worship. This scholarship is available to students of all religious faiths, beliefs, and practices.
- The Elizabeth Dreuding Vocal Scholarship is for high school students who intend to pursue either a career in music or a degree music performance. This is a hybrid performance scholarship for students demonstrating financial need.
Students may also apply for Financial Aid. Financial aid awards are based on demonstrated financial need, with the amounts determined by a sliding scale. Financial aid applications are accepted on an ongoing basis while funds remain available. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. More information can be found here.
Prelude: Singer-Actor Lab is a year-long program, running from September to May. Auditions for the spring semester of the 2022-23 school year will be held in-person on Saturday, January 28, 2022, starting at 9:30am. Students who are unable to audition in-person will be allowed to submit a pre-recorded video audition as a part of their application.
There is no cost to apply or audition for the Prelude Program. Simply submit the online application with the following:
- Contact information
- Parent/guardian information
- School information
- Music and/or theater experience (helpful, not required)
- Voice teacher contact information (if applicable, not required)
- Contact information for a recommendation from an adult other than parnet/guardian (e.g., teacher, employer, etc)
Applicants submitting a pre-recorded video audition should upload their video to YouTube (setting it as ‘unlisted’) and submit the video link in the application.
The application deadline for spring auditions is January 27, 2023. Audition information will be sent to students in advance of the auditions on Saturday, January 28.