Professor Horst Gunter and Keiko Clark
Mezzo Soprano Frederica von Stade and President Shigemi Matsumoto
Soprano Elizabeth Futral and Eric Castro
Maestro Kent Nagano and Board Member Peter Somogyi
Maestro Julius Rudel and President Shigemi Matsumoto
Mezzo Soprano Dolora Zajick and Nathan Stark

Description of Events

The CSA season runs concurrently with that of the school year, namely from September through May.  During the season, the CSA presents between 9 and 11 events (master classes, seminars, lecture demonstrations, staged opera scenes, an annual Christmas party and an annual Spring Concert).  Many of these events allow for participation by singer-members of the Association.

Internationally respected professionals, from the world of music, are invited to give master classes, seminars and lecture demonstrations.  These include internationally known singers, voice coaches, stage directors, conductors, opera company administrators and artist management executives.  Additionally, other guests include laryngologists, dieticians, Alexander Technique instructors and language specialists.

Well known singers, who have appeared, include mezzo soprano Frederica von Stade ( 3 times), soprano Elizabeth Futral (2 times), mezzo soprano Dolora Zajick (2 times), soprano Barbara Hendricks, soprano Leona Mitchell, baritone Rodney Gilfrey (2 times) and tenor Jerry Hadley.  The list of voice coaches appearing is very distinguished and includes Ken Noda (Metropolitan Opera) (3 times), William Vendice (Los Angeles Opera) (9 times), Henri Venanzi (Opera Pacific and Cincinnati Opera) (4 times), Dr. Alan Smith (USC and Tanglewood) (4 times) and Horst Gunter (Germany) (11 times).

Conductors appearing, coming from both opera and oratorio, have included Maestro Julius Rudel (New York City Opera and countless US and International opera companies), Maestro Kent Nagano (Los Angeles Opera and European opera companies), both Maestro Paul Salamunovich and Maestro Grant Gershon (Los Angeles Master Chorale), Maestro Randall Behr (Many US and International opera companies) (3 times), Maestro Valerie Ryvkin (Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera), Maestro John Alexander (Pacific Chorale) and Maestro Donald Nuen (Angeles Chorale).  Opera company administrators have included such notables as the late Peter Hemmings as well as Christopher Hahn (Both from the Los Angeles Opera), John DeMain (Opera Pacific), Ian Campbell (San Diego Opera) and Michael Milenski (Long Beach Opera).  The appearance of noted stage directors include the noted Ken Cazan (numerous US and European Opera Companies and Universities) (5 times), Richard Pearlman (Lyric Opera of Chicago) (3 times), Daniel Helfgot (Opera San Jose) (4 times) and Christopher Harlan (Los Angeles Opera) (2 times).

One of the most popular annual programs is entitled "The Audition", in which several CSA singer-members are "adjudicated" in audition technique.  Three qualified and experienced judges discuss openly, with the singers and the audience, the various aspects of the singer's audition including weaknesses and strengths.  Other programs include how to write a professional resume; how to have publicity photos taken; how to put together an audition tape; what foods are best to be avoided prior to singing; how to understand the vocal apparatus and how to care for it, especially when one is sick; how to dress and act during an audition; what a singer can do to maximize their audition's outcome; and how to self manage a career (before a professional manager is required).

The CSA helps its members to learn, first hand, various aspects of the requirements to become a professional singer. Every event features a trained and qualified expert in their field of music.  Working with and meeting first hand these professionals, allows for a wonderful exchange of ideas and information. Each event is expressly tailored to expose the CSA members to this invaluable information, which is not readily available through any other single organization or school/university.

Many CSA alumni are now professional singers and have been singing throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera.  They credit much of their knowledge in their careers, to the valuable and enlightening information they received as members of the Classical Singers Association.