If you've figured out your way around the landscape of YAP opportunities, you may want to skip this post. But if you're looking for a place to start, read on.
We're finding that more and more singers are using YAP Tracker: https://www.yaptracker.com/. There is a $50 annual fee for the service, but as far as I can tell, it's worth it for the couple of years during which young artist opportunities may consume you. If you're handy with your email inbox and a spreadsheet, you may not need its audition tracking features. But at least for the first year, this is a straight-forward way to orient yourself to the range of programs out there.
If you're a singer who uses YAP Tracker regularly, and you'd like to help your colleagues by weighing in on its benefits and caveats, please do so by submitting a comment.
By all means, become an Opera America Member ($75) and subscribe to the Opera Source (an additional $25 for students; this is where all of the YAP info resides on their website.) I know that this all adds up, but if you're serious about your career, you can find a way to pay for it. http://www.operaamerica.org/content/about/membership/index.aspx
In addition to having access to Opera America's website resources, you can also participate in events like this one coming up in a few weeks (particularly useful if you're New York-based): Making Connections: Audition Advice for Singers
And if you're not in New York, Opera America has begun archiving audio from such sessions so that you can listen to it online. Check out this podcast: Choosing a Training Program
By subscribing to Classical Singer, you get the monthly magazine and access to premium content on their website. They have listings of summer training and pay-to-sing programs (http://www.classicalsinger.com/directories/summer_program/list.php) and a young artist program database (http://www.classicalsinger.com/directories/young_artists/show1.php?id=171)
I will say that in checking out these resources, I discovered that our WTOC information on the Classical Singer website is woefully out of date and incomplete. No mention at all of our Studio program, and some basic factual errors in what information is there. From the company perspective, I'm not sure if it's incumbent on us to submit new info to Classical Singer, or if they are culling info from companies. If it's the former, then we're lax. (Although I can't imagine that this wouldn't be the norm for most companies.) Either way, I'm not sure I'd trust all of the details, but rather use the URLs to go to the home web pages for the programs themselves.
That's a start. If you're an experience YAPper, feel free to amend/embellish via commenting below.
Tomorrow, a discussion of application fees. Get the flame throwers ready.