This program was established with the Boheme Opera NJ’s first main stage season in 1989 as a targeted initiative for high school students, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Apprenticeship has given selected students the opportunity to become directly involved in the production of professionally staged opera.  Those who wanted to work backstage or sing/act on stage were sought out by or joined the Company through interview or audition, depending upon their area of participation.

Apprenticeship has built skill, character, self-esteem, experience, endurance, discipline, trust, knowledge, patience, team capacity and sensitivity into the lives of countless young people, many of whom have returned several times to work with Boheme.  High school apprentices witness the talent of accomplished artists and take directives from professional designers and stage directors.  Most compelling has been the depth, scope and impact of their interaction with professional cast members, choristers and orchestra.  Several have gone on to pursue careers in the field of theater and music as a result of their collaboration with Boheme.

Student Invited Dress Rehearsals are core to BONJ's educational outreach.

Student Invited Dress Rehearsal of BONJ’s Hansel and Gretel, December 2011. Kendall Main Stage Theatre. Photo by Edward Kedzierski