Belle Ensemble Announces Auditions

The Belle Ensemble is a collective of singers based in Racine, Wisconsin.  Our diverse programming is centered around our work as an ensemble in two or three major productions per season.  Each season also includes numerous engagements with other constellations of performers (such as small groups recitals, quartet singing and salon performances) through which ensemble members receive opportunities to perform.  Programs are very often developed collaboratively in consultation between the director and involved performers.

Drawing upon the strength of our singers, our production schedules are isolated and relatively brief, with most rehearsals on weekends.  Singer involvement for all major productions – and most smaller engagements – is compensated.  More detailed information is available upon request.


For our 2019-2020, season we are preparing two major concerts and recruiting members of all voice categories for this series of performances.  They are:

1) Echoes from the Abbey, a musical exploration of the opulent era of late-Victorian and turn-of-the-20th century England.  Featured will be works of Holst, Elgar, Vaughn Williams, Stanford, Parry, and others.

Rehearsal date-range: Aug. 23-25, Sept. 6-19

Performance date-range: Sept. 20-29

2) Miserere will be focused on the story of the passion of Christ, as told through Heinrich Schütz’s Johannes Passion.  This highly seasonal program is completed by Lenten works of modern masters such as James MacMillan, whose setting of Psalm 51 provides the title of our program.

Rehearsal date-range: Feb. 21 – Mar. 12

Performance date-range: Mar. 13 - 29

More complete production schedules will be available by the time of the call-back audition (or earlier), and detailed schedule are provided with any invitations to perform (contracts.)

Other performances in development for the 2019-2020 season:

  • Monsters and Meanies: a very family-friendly performance of our scariest stuff.  Several Racine-area performances are being planned for this performance of the things that spook us, from the raging arias of our favorite operatic villains to the rhymes children sing of ghosts and ghouls.  Anticipated production timeline, October 5-27.  Four-to-eight singers.
  • Amahl and the Night Visitors: anticipated production timeline: Dec. 16-20; Jan. 3-10.  Four singers, plus possibility of chorus leadership.
  • Schubertiade: a staged musical-drama depicting the party at Schubert’s home, awaiting his arrival to one of the many “Schubertiade” salons he hosted.  Schubert lieder comprises the totality of the music.  The target production timeline is late-April/early-May; the program is in development and may move to our 2020-2021 season.  Eight-to-ten singers.

First-Round Audition Requirements

Performance Repertoire: Applicants must provide performance of two pieces, one aria demonstrating facility as a soloist, and one other piece that demonstrates your particular interests or the unique characteristics of your musicianship.  (This second piece may be a second aria, or an art song, from musical theatre, etc.)  One of the two pieces must be in a language other than English.

How to audition: You may provide these performances in either of two ways:

1) Preferred method: Send video files or links to videos stored online (and access, if necessary) to  Please include a vocal resume.

2) Alternative method: Email to request a screening appointment.  Please include vocal resume and a note about your general availability for a screening.  In-person first-round auditions will be arranged on an individual basis for accepted candidates.

Successful candidates of this first-round audition will be invited to a call-back audition on April 7.  Candidates must attend this call-back audition in order to perform.

Deadline to request in-person audition: 11:59pm Sunday, March 24

Deadline to submit video for audition: 11:59pm Sunday, March 31

Call-back Audition: Sunday, April 7, 5pm – in Racine.  Details will be provided to successful first-round candidates.

Please address any questions to Nick at the email or phone listed below.

General Director: Nicholas Barootian

Associate Director: Edson Melendez



phone: 608-514-3695

P.O. Box 81365

Racine, WI 53408

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