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 2023-24 program are now being accepted. Auditions are by special arrangement. You will be contacted when your application is received.

Still time to apply. Applications are due January 25, 2024 by 9 p.m. Spring Auditions are on Saturday January 27, 2024, or by arrangement. The spring semester begins January 29.

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 faculty sitting on a couch on a stage


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 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

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

The 2023-24 Calendar will be posted soon. If you’re curious what happens in Prelude, here is the 2022-23 calendar:

Saturday, September 9, 2023: First day of fall semester! 

Saturday, September 23, 2023: Photoshoot

Friday, September 29: 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 

July 29, 2023: Auditions for 2023-24 year will be Saturday, July 29 beginning at 10am. Application deadline: Friday, July 28

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

teachers and students on a stage making fun gestures

Get Started Today!

Prelude: Singer-Actor Lab is a year-long program, running from September to May. Auditions for the Spring Semester of the 2023-24 school year are now held by special arrangement (you will be contacted when your application is received). 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.  

The application deadline is January 25, 2024 by 9 p.m. Audition information will be sent to students in advance of the auditions on Saturday, January 27. 

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