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

Applications for the 2024-25 program are now being accepted. Auditions are by special arrangement. You will be contacted when your application is received.

Auditions for 2024-25 year will be Thursday, August 8 from 4:00-6:00pm in MacPhail’s Antonello Hall. Application deadline: Wednesday, August 7.

Prelude Components

Young student wearing a velvet suit and bow tie and singing into a microphone

Vocal Ensemble

  • Everything from Renaissance to Musical Theater to Opera to Jazz 
  • Emphasis on a cappella repertoire 
  • Interpretive skills 

Performance Lab:
 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 
Three teenagers sitting around an orange couch
Two people holding microphones and looking at each other


  • 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

“I can confidently say that [Prelude] shaped me into the vocalist I am today. Joining Prelude in high school was not only one of the best music decisions I’ve ever made – but life decisions.”

Alec Waters, Prelude Alumnus, and Pop Singer

“One of the greatest things that Prelude gave me was confidence, even more so than in my acting at school. This helped me succeed when it came time for college BFA auditions.”

Graham Schatz, Prelude Alumnus (’23) and California Institute of the Arts student (class of ’27)

“The skills I learned in Prelude were key to my success as an opera singer. The training and support that I received were second to none and set me up for enormous success.”

Brian Wallin, Prelude Alumnus, and Palm Beach Opera Benenson Young Artist Program Member


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.

Leadership Team

anna Hashizume

Anna Hashizume

Anna Hashizume (she/her) is a Japanese-American singer-actor and voice teacher based in the Twin Cities. After receiving both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in vocal performance, she is equally comfortable on opera and musical theatre stages, as well as onscreen. Learn More…

Bradley Greenwald

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…

Bradley Greenwald headshot

Prelude Faculty

Jon Ferguson

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

Prelude Singer-Actor Performance Lab 2024-25 Calendar

Thursday, August 8, 2024: Prelude Auditions

Saturday, September 7, 2024: First day of Fall Semester

Saturday, January 18, 2025: Prelude Winter Concert 

Saturday, January 25, 2025: Spring Semester Auditions

Saturday, February 1, 2025: First day of spring semester 

Saturday, May 10, 2025: Prelude Spring Concert  

Saturday, May 17, 2025: Last Day of Spring Semester & Recording Day

Prelude: Singer-Actor Lab meets in Minneapolis on Saturdays from 2 to 5 pm, September through May

Tuition, Scholarships, and Financial Aid

Tuition for 2023-24 school year is $905 per semester. Scholarships and financial aid are available to eligible Prelude students.

The Prelude Program offers several merit-based performance scholarships. There are five Prelude scholarships which are awarded as a part of the Prelude auditions in July 2023. Students can choose to be considered for a performance scholarship in the application process. There are named scholarships for the Prelude Program:

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 Summer 2023 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.

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

Get Started Today!

Prelude: Singer-Actor Lab is a year-long program, running from September to May. Auditions for the Fall Term of the 2024-25 school year are Thursday, August 8. 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 parent/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.  

Auditions for 2024-25 year will be Thursday, August 8 from 4:00-6:00pm in MacPhail’s Antonello Hall. Application deadline: Wednesday, August 7th.

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