Voice & Opera

Degrees Available

  • Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance

Download the 2013-2014 Voice, Opera and Choral Guide & Grid (PDF)

About the Voice and Opera Program

The voice and opera program at Northwestern University has a long and illustrious history. Today, program alumni fill the ranks of opera houses and university faculties worldwide. Recent graduates include Met Grand Finals Winner Paul Corona, (BM06), Tucker Foundation Grant Winner Amanda Majeski, (BM06), and Met Finalist and San Francisco Opera Merola participant, Matt Hanscom (BM07).

The voice and opera faculty collaborates to offer students a variety of course offerings that promote a strong technical and pedagogical foundation. Students receive weekly vocal instruction and, in addition, upperclassmen participate in weekly musical preparation sessions with the coaching staff. 

L'incoronazione di Poppea (2013)Students have access to a number of performing opportunities including opera, recital, vocal solo class, master classes, and studio classes. All students are welcome to audition for the operas, two of which are fully staged, subtitled, and accompanied by full orchestra. The thriving music scene in downtown Chicago, only twelve miles from campus, offers many other performance possibilities.

The Bienen School of Music offers a number of special programs. Undergraduates may pursue double degrees (music plus an outside field) or an ad hoc (self-designed) major.  The faculty encourages and supports students interested in these opportunities. Select students may take advantage throughout the year of the many on-campus auditions offered by visiting opera companies and elite summer programs.

All entering doctoral students receive a full tuition scholarship and a work stipend.

Should you have questions about the voice and opera program, please feel free to contact any faculty member or the Office of Music Admission, Financial Aid and Enrollment.

Campus Visits

To learn more about voice and opera at Northwestern, please schedule a campus visit. Visitors may sit in on voice and opera classes, lessons with various voice teachers and vocal coaches, opera and choral rehearsals, and weekly vocal solo class.


November 22, 23 2013 Sounds and Sweet Airs
An evening of fully staged excerpts from operas based on Shakespeare
dramas, sung in the original language with supertitles
February 27, 28; March 1, 2 2014 Little Women (Mark Adamo)
May 22, 23, 24, 25 2014 Cosi fan tutte (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

Download the 2013-2014 Voice, Opera and Choral Guide & Grid (PDF)

Master Classes

Master classes will be announced throughout the academic year. Previous master clinicians have included: Thomas Hampson, Mignon Dunn, Renée Fleming, Elly Ameling, Regine Crespin, Ricky Ian Gordon, Grace Bumbry, Diana Soviero, Julius Rudel, Renata Scotto, Tito Capobianco, Tony Randall, Richard Pearlman, and Denyce Graves.

The following video of a master class is from our Davee Media Library, a video, audio, and photographic collection of performances, master classes, and documentaries.

Renée Fleming Master Class   Video: Vocal Master Class by Renée Fleming (August 2009)
The incomparable Renée Fleming coaches singers from the Bienen School of Music voice program in front of a full house at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Singers include Ashleigh Semkiw, soprano; Jessica Best, mezzo-soprano; John Eric Rutherford, tenor; and Nikolas Wenzel, bass.

Other Performing Outlets

  • Musical theater productions
  • Vocal solo class
  • Studio classes
  • Concerto competition
  • Oratorio and concert repertoire with various choral, orchestral, and other instrumental organizations who perform frequently
  • Freshman Musicale, organized by the freshman class

Contact for further information: