Voice & Opera

Degrees Available

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

  • For more information on degrees, ensembles, summer session, study abroad, and complete curricular handbooks, visit our Academics Page.
  • To apply to the Bienen School of Music, visit our Admission Page.

Voice and Opera at the Bienen School of Music

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 (BM05, MM07).

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 dual degrees or double majors (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 and Financial Aid.

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 21, 22 2014 Mozart Magic: The Impresario and Scenes from Great Mozart Operas
February 20, 22, 26, and 28 2015 Dead Man Walking (Jake Heggie)
May 21, 22, and 23 2015 Ruddigore (Gilbert & Sullivan)

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.

Through the Robert M. and Maya L. Tichio Vocal Master Class Series, established in 2014, students have worked directly with master clinicians Renée Fleming, Eric Owens, and Frederica von Stade.

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

Experience music from the Voice and Opera program by searching our Davee Media Library for performances, master classes, and much more!


Request information from the Bienen School of Music.