Youth Opera Council

Youth Opera Council (YOC) is a select group of Chicagoland high school students, from a broad range of backgrounds, who share a passion for opera and the performing arts. The purpose of the council is to encourage and grow youth interest and participation in the arts by helping students develop critical thinking and advocacy skills through student-led activities. Council members gain a deeper understanding of opera of how it’s produced through exclusive access to Lyric artists, staff, and behind-the-scenes exploration. The Youth Opera Council also hosts youth-focused events throughout the season.

Questions? Contact Lyric Unlimited at  

2021|22 Youth Opera Council Application

The Youth Opera Council provides a community for youth from various backgrounds to discuss and develop their passion for classical performing arts. It aims to find ways for young people to learn about and engage with opera and serves as a safe place for youth to

  • connect surrounding their passion for opera and/or performing arts.

  • help teens develop advocacy and critical analysis skills to give them a larger stake into how opera can and should function in the future.

Through student-led activities and discussions, YOC members will develop leadership and effective communication skills to dissect not only the art they consume but classical systems and companies.

Youth Opera Council will meet bi-weekly on evenings (5pm – 6:30 pm) during the 21-22 season beginning October 4th, 2021 through June 6th, 2022. Ideally on the 1ST and 3RD Monday and/or Wednesday of the month.

Youth Opera Council meetings will be primarily hosted via private Zoom link shared between staff and YOC members.

**HYBRID MEETINGS: If Lyrics administrative offices open to the public, the Youth Opera Council will plan to meet in person in a predetermined conference room at least once a month (usually the second meeting of the month). This determination will be on a case by case situation assisted by the program facilitator’s need and judgement.

YOC members are selected based on their interest in learning more about opera on stage and behind the scenes, as well as their interest in connecting with their peers.

Apply now


If you are interested in joining the 2021/22 Youth Opera Council, please complete and submit this form.

Questions? Contact LaRob Payton at


Student Information

Student Address

Additional Information:

In order for us to get to know you more, please provide 2-3 sentences answering the questions below. Remember, there is no one right answer, so please feel free to answer honestly. We're looking forward to learning more about you!
Are you a returning Youth Opera Council member?*
Have you attended other YOC events?*

Transportation Aid

In the event that we have in-person meetings, they will be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago office located at 20 N Wacker Dr., Chicago.

If selected to join the YOC, would you benefit from getting financial help with transportation?*

Parent/Guardian Contact Information

Parent/Guardian Address (if different than student's)

Youth Opera Council Sponsors

Terry J. Medhurst

Penelope and Robert Steiner

Howard & Howard

Lyric Unlimited - Learning & Creative Engagement Sponsors

The Beaubien Family

The Grainger Foundation

Robert and Evelyn McCullen

Charles and M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Inc.

Rose L. Shure and Sidney N. Shure

Wintrust Community Banks

Anonymous Donor

Photos: Kyle Flubacker, Lyric Opera of Chicago