Learning the Ins & Outs of the Opera Business
Charlotte Finnerty ’18
Vocal Performance Major Markets San Fran’s Prestigious Merola Opera Program
As a vocal performance major it goes without saying that Charlotte Finnerty ’18 has a passion for performance arts. Her entire college career has been devoted to exploring this artistic realm, as a member of the Moravian University Choir, Broadway and Opera Ensemble, and Delta Omicron (National Music Honors Fraternity). But for her internship experience, Finnerty was more interested in stepping away from the stage to learn the business side of behind the scenes.
When Moravian University artist-in-residence Sean O’Boyle put a message out to students about a marketing and communications internship at the prestigious Merola Opera Program in San Francisco, Finnerty knew that this was just the place to learn the ins and outs of the opera business.
Known internationally as one of the finest young artist programs for building careers in opera, Merola accepts just 23 singers, five apprentice coaches, and one apprentice stage director every summer to their esteemed training program. “I was drawn to the position as a music major because I would have the opportunity to be around the finest artistry out there,” Finnerty says.
“I was drawn to the position as a music major because I would have the opportunity to be around the finest artistry out there.” –Charlotte Finnerty ’18
Here, Finnerty worked alongside Merola’s Director of Marketing and Communications to assist in program development, event planning, community outreach, and public relations. “I started to gain an appreciation for all that goes on behind the scenes for any production to take place. I also had the most amazing time exploring California and immersing myself in the working world,” she says.
Finnerty says that the skills she’s acquired as a student—deductive reasoning, and general problem solving and communications skills—benefitted her as she tackled administrative tasks and supported colleagues at all levels.
Finnerty may be an artist at heart, but she says that after this experience she’s considering sticking around to earn her MBA at Moravian, and exploring career options in arts administration and marketing.