Opera/Voice

Close-up of two opera students performing a duet at the Moveable Feast benefit

CCM’s Departments of Opera and Voice provide one of the most comprehensive training programs for singers, opera coaches and opera directors in the United States.

CCM offers an international faculty of dedicated educators who are also celebrated professionals in their own right, widely and currently active in their respective fields.

CCM sends its students out into the profession. Several national opera companies now hold auditions at the conservatory, and the Opera Department also hosts a series of informational talks by nationally renowned artists' managers, opera company managers, artistic directors, program directors, performers and coaches, all of whom are prominent professionals working both in America and in Europe.

one of the continent's major music schools

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Voice Degree Programs

The most important aspect of CCM's voice program is the weekly private lesson with faculty. The low student-to-teacher ratio allows teachers to serve as advisors and mentors. Performance opportunities abound in solo, ensemble and dramatic settings. At least one solo recital is required as the capstone of the program, and students have the option of performing non-required recitals. Frequent studio recitals, master classes and opera scene workshops are scheduled, and CCM houses two audition choirs that perform each semester.

There are two full-length opera productions in CCM's Corbett Auditorium or Patricia Corbett Theater each year, in addition to several opera and/or cabaret productions in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. These annual offerings provide ample stage exposure, plus an additional opera project limited exclusively to undergraduates. Language instruction and elective opportunities are critical aspects of the study.

This four-year program covers a complete range of academic and performance activities. Senior year includes a requirement for six hours a week of Opera Workshop, studying movement, acting and role preparation that culminates in a fully-staged performance of opera scenes. Advanced students audition for roles in CCM's mainstage opera productions and studio and workshop presentations.

Candidates are offered a wide range of practical and academic classes, including foreign languages and diction, oratorio and vocal repertoire. In the first year, six hours per week of opera training is required, which covers movement, acting and work on opera scenes. In the second year, students can continue with classes in opera characterization, opera coaching and opera production. Students audition for major roles in mainstage opera productions, and studio and workshop performances.

The program is designed to promote the development of superior performing musicians and teachers. It offers singers with a high degree of proficiency and artistry a comprehensive selection of classes in music literature, music history and performance practices, with electives covering a broad range of classes in the Opera Department, and numerous opportunities to perform in recital and on the opera stage.

CCM's admissions process begins on August 1 (undergraduate) and September 1 (graduate) for entrance in the following year's fall semester. All application materials must be submitted on or before December 1 to be considered for specific scholarship awards. Visit the CCM Admissions website for additional application instructions.

Pre-screening and Audition Requirements

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 1 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements

  • Two Art Songs (one in English, one in another language).
    • Note: Operatic or oratorio arias written after 1750 are not allowed. All other art songs written after 1750 that are not arias are acceptable.

Audition

Audition Requirements

  • The same repertoire selections may be used for pre-screening and live auditions 
  • A sight-singing assessment will be required for vocal music education applicants

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 1 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements

  • Currently enrolled CCM students applying for a new graduate degree must submit a headshot and resume by December 1.
  • Two art songs (one in English, one in another language)
  • One aria (from an opera or oratorio)
  • Current resume
  • Only DMA applicants must submit two writing samples:
    • One academic paper – papers written during MM academic tenure are acceptable. Topics should be historical and/or theoretical treatments of a musical subject. Papers shall be no less than 10 pages in length. Standard formatting and footnotes are required.
    • One essay – composed on current and future trends in classical vocal music. Submitted essays must be 1-2 pages in length in PDF format. Essays must address: the role of classical singing in contemporary American culture; changes that have occurred and/or should occur; and future possibilities for this art form. Considerations may include: resources of talent, finance, venue and medium; both new and standard repertoire; audience. DMA applicants need not address all of these elements. One or two topics of interest may be chosen and discussed.

Audition

Audition Requirements

  • Four art songs of contrasting styles and periods in English, French, German and Italian
  • Two arias (one may be from an oratorio)
  • DMA applicants will interview with voice faculty at the time of the live audition

Voice Graduate Assistantship

Application Requirements

  • Experience in teaching voiced required
  • Email professional resume including teaching and work experience to Professor Karen Lykes
  • Interviews will take place in conjunction with applicant’s live audition
  • Preference will be given to DMA applicants
Members of the Voice faculty pose for a group picture outside in the CCM Village
Headshot of Quinn  Patrick Ankrum

Quinn Patrick Ankrum

Assistant Professor of Voice

513-556-8229

Headshot of Thomas E. Baresel

Thomas E. Baresel

Professor of Voice

513-556-9557

Headshot of Gwendolyn M. Coleman

Gwendolyn M. Coleman

Professor of Voice

513-556-5381

Headshot of Amy S. Johnson

Amy S. Johnson

Associate Professor of Voice (Soprano)

513-556-9559

Headshot of Patricia M. Linhart

Patricia M. Linhart

Educator; Professor of Musical Theatre (Voice)

513-556-9537

Headshot of Karen S. Lykes

Karen S. Lykes

Professor of Voice; Dieterle Chair of Music in memory of George Andreas and Elsa Fishcher Dieterle

513-556-9516

Headshot of William E. McGraw

William E. McGraw

Professor of Voice

513-556-9513

Headshot of Kenneth B. Shaw

Kenneth B. Shaw

Professor of Voice

513-556-9561

Headshot of Mary Southworth Shaffer

Mary Southworth Shaffer

Adjunct Instructor of Voice

513-556-3442

Headshot of Daniel Weeks

Daniel Weeks

Associate Professor of Voice

513-556-6830


Opera Degree Programs

CCM's artist diploma programs provide training in the art and craft of opera with one of the most comprehensive programs available anywhere in the world. These programs help a singer, coach or director develop the skills necessary to move with confidence onto the professional stage with a full understanding of the demands of the career.

The program is limited to 12 singers who will perform at least four major roles in fully-staged productions. Students receive private coaching, intensive actor training and role preparation together with movement, period dance, language, audition and career management classes, and master classes with some of the finest artists in the world of opera.

In one of the few programs of its type in the nation, students develop linguistic, pianistic and coaching skills in the context of fully prepared original language productions. Opportunities are available to study conducting and take a wide range of vocal, stylistic and interpretative classes.

Candidates of proven ability and experience have a program tailored to their individual developmental needs, covering directing theory and practice, as well as acting, musical and foreign language skills, and areas of design and technical theater production. Students work as Assistant Directors on major productions and direct three productions of their own.

CCM's graduate admissions process begins on September 1 for entrance in the following year's fall semester. All application materials must be submitted on or before December 1 to be considered for specific scholarship awards. Visit the CCM Admissions website for additional application instructions.

Pre-screening and Audition Requirements

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 1 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements

  • CV or resume in demonstration of their experience working with singers, playing for opera, experience with languages, etc. 
  • Please note that recordings are not required at the prescreening stage 

Audition

Audition Requirements

Applicants must prepare one selection from each of the following categories (at least one selection must be played and sung simultaneously)

  1. One Mozart aria, with recitative, from the following list: 
    • “In quali eccessi, o numi... Mi tradi” from Don Giovanni 
    • “Crudele, ah no, mio bene... Non mir dir” from Don Giovanni 
    • “Hai già vinta la causa” from Le nozze di Figaro
    • “Temerari, sortite fuori di questo loco... Come scoglio” from Cosi fan tutte
    • “E Susanna non vien... Dove sono” from Le nozze di Figaro
  2. One Puccini aria from the following list: 
    • “Si, mi chiamano Mimì” from La bohème 
    • “Che gelida manina” from La bohème 
    • “Donde lieta” from La bohème
  3. One 20th Century aria from the following list:*
    • “No word from Tom” from Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress (complete)
    • “Here I stand” from Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress 
    • “Sein wir wieder gut” from Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos 
    • “Grossmächtige Prinzessin” from Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos
    • *In exceptional situations, with approval of the Opera Coaching faculty, this selection could be substituted for a solo work demonstrating technical abilities.
  4. One ensemble from the following list: 
    • Sextet from Don Giovanni “Sola, sola in buio loco” 
    • Quartet from Rigoletto
  5. Prepare an aria that you will coach in your audition. We ask that you send us a list of possibilities to Professor Marie-France Lefebvre (short arias are welcome – “Ach ich fuhl’s, Di Provenza”...). A singer will be provided at the audition.
  6. Sight-reading

Additional Information

  • Applicants should already have earned a bachelor’s degree with college-level proficiency in two languages from French, German or Italian 
  • The program is extremely competitive with no more than four students enrolled in any given year

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 1 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements

  • Five operatic arias (video with high quality sound fidelity). Examples should not be sound enhanced. Videos may be from live performances (not split) of opera in which the student has recently appeared (please only send a five-minute clip cued to your specific excerpt), as well as the solo presentation of five operatic arias.

Audition/Interview

Audition/Interview Requirements

  • Coaching session with members of the opera faculty 
  • Interview 
  • A music and linguistic diagnostic exam 
  • On-stage vocal audition before the combined opera and voice faculties
  • The CCM faculty will be looking for superior vocal quality and dramatic commitment

To be considered for the Opera Scholarship Competition, you must submit a separate Opera Scholarship Competition Application form.

Applicants must also prepare the following for the preliminary round audition (the preliminary round audition occurs on the same date as your assigned degree audition date):

  • Five arias (if applying for MM or DMA, the two required for the degree program plus three others; if applying for the AD, the same five arias required for the degree program).
  • Four art songs (MM and DMA applicants only), including contrasting styles and periods in English, French, German and Italian. 

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 1 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements

  • A 3 to 5-page artistic statement 
  • A portfolio containing visual representation (video, photographs) of your directing work
  • Biography 
  • CV

Audition

Once the application and pre-screening materials are submitted, selected applicants will be scheduled by the Opera Department for a phone interview.

Additional Information

  • The Stage-Directing program is extremely competitive with no more than two students enrolled per year
  • Applicants should already have earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree or have equivalent professional experience as a stage director in the field
  • Proficiency in French, German and Italian and Music literacy is preferred
  • Applicants are expected to have already directed fully-staged theatre, music theatre and/or opera productions either with piano or orchestra
Headshot of Vincent DeGeorge

Vincent DeGeorge

Associate Professor, Joseph Weinberger Chair of Acting for the Lyric Stage

513-556-4030

Headshot of Gregory S. Eldridge

Gregory S. Eldridge

Associate Professor of Opera Directing

513-556-5803

Headshot of Robin A. Guarino

Robin A. Guarino

Professor of Opera

513-556-9450

Headshot of Lisa Sarah Hasson

Lisa Sarah Hasson

Instructor - Adj

513-556-5803

Headshot of Kathleen A. Kelly

Kathleen A. Kelly

Associate Professor of Opera Coaching

713-425-9539

Headshot of Marie-France Lefebvre

Marie-France Lefebvre

Professor of Opera/Voice Coaching

513-556-9518


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