Photo of Opera Academy members

Photo by David Bachman

A stimulating and intensive year-long program, Opera Academy is a unique professional development experience designed to immerse educators from all grades and content areas into the world of opera and arts integration.

Educators receive a full season subscription, attend four full-day workshops, develop lessons to connect the arts to other academic areas, and prepare students to attend an opera performance (tickets provided by Opera Academy). In return, Opera Academy members prepare a portfolio to document how they use opera in their classrooms.

Objectives of Opera Academy

  • To offer interested educators the opportunity to immerse themselves in opera and opera-related programs so they can integrate opera in their classrooms.
  • To form a network among teachers who use opera as an educational tool.
  • To provide elementary, middle, and high school students with first-hand exposure to live performances of opera.
  • To develop a consistent set of rubrics and evaluative tools that will allow Pittsburgh Opera and participating educators to analyze the program’s impact.

Opera Academy Contract
The value of each educator’s participation in Opera Academy for an academic year is more than $2,000—all provided through grants. There is no cost to the teacher. Pittsburgh Opera requires each teacher to sign a contract that details the benefits and responsibilities of the program.


Pittsburgh Opera provides, at no charge, to each participant:

  • Full subscription for the season (four to six performances).
  • Five workshops (Thursday or Saturday), including CDs, books, handouts, and materials.
  • An opportunity to bring 30 students to a special student performance, including bus transportation, OR an Opera Trunk residency and presentation in the classroom.
  • All-inclusive stipend of $100 per workshop attended to cover mileage, parking, and other expenses. (Substitute teacher expenses are the responsibility of the school district for student matinee attendance. A $50 processing fee is deducted from total stipend.)


Opera Academy participants are expected to:

  • Attend five workshops and networking sessions
  • Attend four to six opera performances (choice of performance day)
  • Attend one student performance
  • Attend general meetings
  • Use the provided format to prepare a portfolio with written documentation of classroom work, and examples of student assessment

Portfolio contents:

  1. Anticipated Impact Statement
  2. Opera Infusion Schedule
  3. Opera Lesson Showcase One
  4. Opera Lesson Showcase Two
  5. Opera Lesson Showcase Three
  6. The Ripple Effect

What Opera Academy participants say:

  • "These are the most comprehensive, interesting, and useful workshops I have ever attended. Every topic is fascinating and weaves into the next. You leave us hungry for more!"
  • "Always inspiring. Always well done. The enjoyment the opera has brought to me and my students is immeasurable."

For more information, contact Marilyn Michalka Egan, Ph.D., Director of Education by email or call her at 412-281-0912 x242.