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 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions winner Madison Leonard (MM16), 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.

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 three annual operas, which are fully staged with 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.

All DMA students receive a full-tuition scholarship, stipend, and fully subsidized health insurance.

Voice and Opera Faculty

Richard Boldrey

Senior Lecturer, Vocal Coach, Voice and Opera

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Karen Brunssen

Associate Professor, Voice and Opera

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Alan Darling

Senior Lecturer, Vocal Coach, Voice and Opera

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Nancy Gustafson

Artist-in-Residence, Voice and Opera

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Kurt R. Hansen

Senior Lecturer, Voice and Opera

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Pamela Hinchman

Associate Professor, Voice and Opera

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Sunny Joy Langton

Assistant Professor, Voice and Opera

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Opera: Béatrice et Bénédict

May 23-26, 2019

Hector Berlioz’s comic opera is based on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Upon returning home from battle with his friend Bénédict and commander Don Pedro, officer Claudio proposes to the governor’s daughter Hero. Meanwhile, Bénédict and the governor’s niece Béatrice trade merry insults, and Bénédict declares himself a bachelor for life. Don Pedro, up for a challenge, resolves to unite Béatrice and Bénédict in marriage with the help of Claudio, Hero, her father, and their housekeeper. Will their matchmaking succeed?

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Tichio Vocal Master Class Series

Established in 2014, the Robert M. and Maya L. Tichio Vocal Master Class Series brings stars of the opera world to the Bienen School to coach top voice and opera students. Previous guest artists include: Renée Fleming, Eric Owens, Frederica von Stade, Lawrence Brownlee, Marilyn Horne, Matthew Polenzani, Jake Heggie, and Thomas Hampson, among others. 

2018-19 Tichio Vocal Master Class Series

Matthew Polenzani
Thomas Hampson
Warren Jones