410 W Girard Ave | Philadelphia, PA

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BOY- 1ST TIME PERFORMER SINGS IN ITALIAN AT AGE 7: (Now at Harvard). “I first learned Italian from Karen Lauria Saillant in 2007 when I was 7 years old, working on [a new opera based on] Shakespeare’s “Il Racconto D’inverno” (The Winter’s Tale]…..with Karen’s help I was able to learn all my Italian lines in only a week or two, a pretty large feat for a 7 year old. This was my first real time performing, which led me to try out other operas, both with Karen & in school….. Learning lines in a completely new language made learning English lines much easier… Karen first taught me how to trill my r’s, when learning how to pronounce the Italian word for eyebrow (sopracciglia). This was a skill my Puerto Rican mom was unable to teach me & has been very useful in speaking Spanish at home & learning it in school. …..Working with Karen not only introduced me to acting, but started my singing career that has lasted to this day….. I was very impressed by how quickly Karen was able to teach me my lines & make the opera turn out so well. I am thankful for the opportunity she gave me & it has helped me to this day.” Daniel Leonard.




PARENT: “Karen Saillant’s breadth of knowledge on opera, stagecraft, and the mechanics of young voices coupled with her passion and love of children and their capacity to communicate through the performing arts is unlike anything I have ever encountered. I, myself, am a visual artist, a K-12 art teacher, & have taught several college classes to pre-service arts educators. I can tell you beyond a doubt that her techniques far surpass best practices in the field. She begins with high expectations, she watches carefully & learns the nature of each child in order to provide specific guidance & support, always instructing with a mix of rigor and joy. Finally, as the children gain confidence, she begins to peel away the scaffolding she has so carefully constructed, until suddenly the children are flying on their own!” Jenni Desnouee, mom of two children who performed in International Opera Theater Young Company in US and Italy.




FROM DANCER/CHOREOGRAPHER/SINGER SCOT STAMPONE: Performing in ‘Sogno di una Notte di Mezza Estate” (based on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”) in Italy was truly a dream. At such a young age, I had so many fabulous, breathtaking experiences. From mastering an entire role, heart-rendering songs and deliciously melodic prose, all in a new language, to being completely immersed in the historic culture of this mind-blowing and fascinating city while working with a cast of brilliant performers and a team of extraordinarily gifted collaborators, this is one of those events in my lifetime that I will always look back on with the fondest of memories, as I was merely a little boy getting to ride the wave of my dream. to be able to see such far off beauty of the world at such a young age, so intimately, was an unbelievably precious experience.

I proudly got to learn what it takes to really work for something you desire deep in your soul, and that gave me so much of the confidence that has been fueling my journey, my passion, to this very day as an artist. It is so important to take advantage of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences, which force you out of your comfort zone and into the mystery and thrill of the unknown, because they will change you for the better. they will open your eyes and make you realize, “Wow, anything is possible. I can be brilliant too. I am good enough. And I can play a true part in this magical existence we all share.” This is something that has forever left an impression on me and whenever I feel down on myself, when I lose sight of the spark within, I can look back to that time over a decade ago and be re-inspired by the overwhelming joy of LIFE and creative spirit that blossomed while doing this project.

Wow, I was a lucky boy!!!!
Thank you Karen!! XOXO much love


PARENT: Our time [August 2014 & 2015] in Citta della Pieve with Karen changed our lives forever! When Lia started working with Karen, she was a quiet and shy child. But after learning with Karen how to rehearse and perform a professional opera in just one month, Lia blossomed with new friendships, abilities and confidence………..

I will never forget our summers in Italy with Karen. Those summers not only propelled Lia’s musical development, but also gave all of us a wonderful experience in Italy. I highly recommend this experience to any one selected by Karen and the International Opera Theater of Philadelphia.

Kim Covello