Master Classes

Opera Grand Rapids offers master classes with prominent and entertaining opera scholars, performers, and directors.


2017-18 Season Master Classes

Mark Rucker  |  January 26, 2:00-4:00 PM

Betty Van Andel Opera Center

Mark Rucker, from the time of his debut as Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera with Luciano Pavarotti for the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the American baritone has been in demand in opera houses and on concert stages throughout the world.

Rucker made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Amonasro in Aida and has since been heard at the Met as Don Carlo in La Forza def Destino, Tonio in Pagliacci, and as Rigoletto for the Met in the Parks and continues to be part of the Met roster. He sang the major baritone roles in Rigoletto,  Macbeth,  Nabucco,  Un Ballo  in Maschera, La Traviata, Stiffellio, II Trovatore,  Cava/leria Rusticana/1 Pagliacci, Samson et Dalila and Die Fliegende Hollander for companies such as: Arena di Verona, Wiener Staatsoper, Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Teatro Comunale, Bologna, Netherlands Opera, Greek Na- tional Opera, Opera de Wallonie, Bregenz, Savonlinna, Santander, Michigan Opera Theater, Florida Grand, L’Opera Montreal and numerous other companies. He has worked with celebrated maestri, including, Richard Bonynge, Riccardo Chailly, Fabio Luisi, Daniele Gatti, Carlo Rizzi, Gianandrea Noseda, Bruno Campanella and Paolo Arrivabeni.

Rucker made his Carnegie Hall debut to great acclaim as Don Carlo in La Forza def Destino. His other concert credits include Linda di Chamounix and Jerusalem with the Concertgebouw, Rigoletto with the Israel and Rotterdam Philharmonics. Last season he sang Jack Rance in La Fanciulla del West for Opera Colorado. In 2018 Rucker sings the title role of Macbeth for Tampa Opera, Balshazzar’s Feast for the Flint Symphony, Elijah for MSU, Amonasro in Aida for Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires and Paolo in Simon Boccanegra for Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Recordings include Mark Rucker Sings Lena Mclin’s Songs for Voice and Piano; Amonasro in Aida for Naxos and Cambro in Opera Ebony’s recording of Fosca by A. Carlos Gomes.

In addition to his performing career, Mark is the Administrative and Artistic and Administrative Director for the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s celebrated Young Artist Program, Prelude to Performance since 2005 and Artistic Director since 2015.

Mark is  Professor of Voice at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI.



More Master Classes to be announced.


Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions
Great Lakes Regional Competition
A Linn Maxwell Keller Celebration

January 27 | 12:00 | St. Cecilia Music Center

The Great Lakes Region is composed of the Michigan District, the Buffalo/
Toronto District, and the Pittsburgh District. Winners of those District competitions will be competing in this regional competition. Auditioners compete for substantial prize money, and the opportunity to advance to the Semi-Finals in New York City.

For additional information contact Glen Peterson at


Opera Grand Rapids is proud to host a master class with legendary baritone and 34-year veteran singer and educator, Mark Rucker. Singers will be pre-selected by Opera Grand Rapids’ Artistic Director, Maestro James Meena, to participate in this public event.

Undergraduate Collegiate Consortium Students are welcome to apply for the opportunity to present at this master class. Undergraduate Students from other Michigan based universities and colleges may also apply, and will be considered based on availability.

Application Requirements:

  • Current Headshot
  • Current Resume
  • The Recommendation of a Music Professional
    • Must include Name & Contact Information
  • At least One Unedited Audio or Video File of an Opera Aria

The above requirements will need to be sent electronically to Opera Grand Rapids’ Operations Manager, Sarah Watson,

Deadline for Applications is Friday, December 1, 2017.

All applicants will receive confirmation upon the receipt of their application and will be informed of their application’s status.