Sylvia Anderson, Founder - Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute


"What a wonderful time I had at BASOTI this summer. When I came back to school, I had a director tell me that I had "made it to the next level." And it made me think, Thank You, BASOTI!! Coming up in November, I will sing the role of one of the Female Voices in Janacek's The Diary of the One Who Disappeared with UNT opera in Brno, Czech Republic. I will also sing as Cherubino in the UNT scenes program in January. I feel lucky that I got to work with so many great people this summer, and I think it helped me to expand my approach to singing. "

Julie Silva - 2012
"The past month has been  incredible and eye-opening, working with the teachers, conductors, directors, pianists and fellow has truly helped me grow as a singer, actress, colleague, and business person, and has been immensely useful in helping me figure out where to go from here.  Thank you!"
Mariya  2011
"Thank you for this amazing experience. ...Your belief in me has helped me strive for, continuously, the next level of musicianship.... I will cherish these memories as I go forth to find more opportunities to sing and grow."
Joyce,  2011
"BASOTI has been the most positive experience I have ever had with singing!...All of the faculty's hard work and dedication to the students is admirable!"
Shanna, 2011
"What a musically fulfilling month this has been...rooted in an idea that has helped myself and other singers in their artistic journeys."
S. Kalbasi 2011
"(BASOTI) has been a great learning experience, with challenges and rewards, and it helped me grow as an artist."
Y. Sanchez 2011
"I am so thankful to have been a part of this year's BASOTI program.  I have learned so much and gained invaluable experience from the scenes and opera performances and rehearsal process.  ...All the faculty were so welscoming and approachable, creating a very supportive environment."
E.G. Dunbar 2011
"I have gained so much confidence in myself....Thank you for helping me find my first handful of treasures for my knapsack.  I will certainly carry them with me wherever I go, and I will never forget when, where, and with whom I discovered them."
A. Dezii, 2011
"It was wonderful working with such masters and talented singers.  I especially enjoyed performing in my first opera!  Thank you for this wonderful opportunity."
S. Breslin, 2011
"Thank you for the truly fantastic program.  I feel positively high from all the growth I've gone through in the past four weeks (and all the fun I had along the way), and am charged up to continue on this thrilling and fulfilling path.  I had thought I would need a vacation ...but instead find myself eager to ride this inertia that BASOTI has fueled."
Z. di Bartolo, 2011
" This was the most difficult and also the most rewarding program I have ever done.  I was challenged every step of the way and I needed to be.  I am deeply grateful.  You have created a very special program, and I only wish I had had this opportunity earlier in my career.

Carol Mersey,

I wanted to express my deepest gratitude to all of the BASOTI faculty, especially to Sylvia Anderson and Matthias Kuntzsch, for giving me the opportunity to participate this summer.  "...The experience of working with such masters...opened new avenues of awareness and commitment...and made me want to work hard to achieve the best performance I could deliver."- 
The experience was a turning point in my life, in that it cemented in a very concrete way my determination to pursue opera as a career.  ...I feel the the BASOTI experience really helped me to find my passion and direction.  Thanks to everyone!!

Gabriel Henriques, Baltimore

News from our former BASOTI - ites!
Robert Crowe, BASOTI, 1999 writes: 
Will give a concert in Frankfurt, Germany, at the Nicolai Kirche am Roemer, of "Songs to Maria" - 
Robert Crowe, counter-tenor, Frankfurt, Germany
Elza van den Heever, BASOTI, 2001
Recent Metropolitan Opera debut as Queen Elizabeth I in "Maria Stuarda" 2012

Roles in Europe have included Elsa in Lohengrin for Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper; Agathe in Der Freischütz at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien; Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte for Opéra National de Paris; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at Hamburgische Staatsoper; and Elettra in Idomeneo, the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos, Leonora in Il Trovatore and, most recently, the title role in Alcina at Opéra National de Bordeaux. Critically acclaimed performances in the United States include Fiordiligi with Dallas Opera and Armida for Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

Elza sang Richard Strauss' "Four Last Songs"  in the 2010 season with the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.  the San Francisco Examiner wrote: ...the soprano shaded the performance with an apt blend of wonder and resignation. In the first song, “Fruhling” (Spring), she sounded agile, lifting the voice with apparent ease to the phrase “Duft und Vogelgesang” (scents and birdsong) over the orchestra’s sheer, shimmering sound.  Just one week later Elza gave a recital sponsored by San Francisco Performances at the Conservatory of Music to a sold-out house.  Elza sang the Handel "Serse" at BASOTI in 2001 and the "Dido" in the same season.  Elza is a member of the Frankfurt Opera ensemble, sings such roles as Elizabetta in "Don Carlo," Giorgietta in "Il Tabarro," Elza in "Lohengrin," "Elizabeth in "Tannhaueser" and many others.  She is a regular guest in Frankfurt, Munich, Chicago Lyric Opera,  Bordeaux and many others.
Elena Bocharova -International mezzo-soprano 
 She has added the roles of Amneris, Azucena, and Dalila to her long repertoire of mezzo-roles, recently, the Amneris in Warsaw with the Philharmonic.  Elena made her NY debut with Carmen at the New York City Center Opera.  Since then she has been in demand internationally. Recently she sang "Carmen" at the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow and Eboli in 'Don Carlo" also at the Bolshoi.  She sang the Verdi Requiem in Helsinki, the Santuzza at the Richard Tucker celebration in New York in 2014.
"Thank you for the strong framework that BASOTI provided me with - coaching Olympia and many other roles that I am now performing and the wonderful staff over that summer. Now that I am beginning an opera apprenticeship with these demanding roles I want to thank you for [the] personal attention and continued support and nurturing of budding careers and talent."-
 Nili Riemer, Chautauqua Opera, Milwaukee Opera Apprentice Program
"I had a fantastic time. I performed in the full opera of Le Nozze di Figaro with orchestra, one scene from Magic Flute and one mock audition...The most helpful person in the program was Maestro Matthias Kuntzsch.- 
Katherine Edwards, Manhattan School , New York City"

I learned so much and had such a great experience working with all the excellent faculty and talented singers."- 
 Nicole Lamm, Baltimore"
I can't tell how much I enjoyed BASOTI this summer. It was a wonderful and caring environment. I will never forget what Sylvia, Matthias and David have done for my artistry, technique and confidence."- 
 Sara Greeson, soprano, New York City
"...directors, teachers and coaches are top-notch, patient, and give 100 percent—you can request coaching and people are happy to accommodate you. It is truly a program that cares about singers."
 Hyördis Thebault, France
"...The individual coaching, master classes, Alexander Technique instruction, and acting sessions enabled me to grow as a singer, musician, and performer. What began as a musical journey became a wonderful life experience."- 
Melissa Sumner, soprano, New York City
"Each year of my participation in this unique program, BASOTI has challenged me to rise to the next level of my commitment and integrity as an artist. The faculty and staff focus their attention on providing an atmosphere whereby a singer can discover the artist within and develop the necessary tools for a professional career in opera."- 
 Kathleen Sisco, soprano, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
"This program was an amazing experience for me, and I am very proud to be a part of the great BASOTI family!  Thank you!"
 Maria Evdokimova, 2006
New York City

The Faculty Adds...
"BASOTI brings a unique opera program packed with opportunities to learn and perform. No other program I know offers so much at such an affordable price."- Patricia Wise
"Every summer a new wave of highly talented young singers come to BASOTI. What a delight for me to encourage them, push them and guide them, and watch them blossom in enthusiastic and sparkling performances! Opera will never die!"- Matthias Kuntzsch