Opera/Voice

A male voice student sings an aria accompanied by a female pianist during the Moveable Feast event

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.

a college every singer should have on their radar

Backstage Magazine


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.

Voice - BM

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 3 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).
    • While not technically art song, arias from the 24/26 Italian Songs and Arias books are examples of permissible repertoire.
    • Oratorio arias written before 1750 are permissible. 

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

Voice - MM, DMA

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 3 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements
  • 2 operatic arias of differing styles
  • 4 art songs
  • Language requirements: English and at least 2 languages chosen from Italian/Spanish, German, and French must be presented
  • 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 voice 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

Voice Faculty

Headshot of Quinn  Patrick Ankrum

Quinn Patrick Ankrum

Associate Professor of Voice

513-556-8229

Headshot of Thomas E. Baresel

Thomas E. Baresel

Professor Emeritus of Voice

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 Karen S. Lykes

Karen S. Lykes

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

513-556-9516

Headshot of Elliot Madore

Elliot Madore

Associate Professor of Voice

513-556-5532

Headshot of Kenneth B. Shaw

Kenneth B. Shaw

Professor of Voice

513-556-9561

Headshot of Stuart L. Skelton

Stuart L. Skelton

J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair of Opera; Professor of Voice

513-556-9557

Headshot of Mary Henderson Stucky

Mary Henderson Stucky

Professor Emerita of Voice

513-221-1896

Headshot of Daniel Weeks

Daniel Weeks

Associate Professor of Voice

513-556-6830


Performance Studies Division Head and Staff

Headshot of James Bunte

James Bunte

Division Head of Performances Studies; Professor of Saxophone

513-556-0825

Headshot of Claudia C. Penn

Claudia C. Penn

Executive Staff Assistant

513-556-3442


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.

one of the continent's major music schools

The Toronto Star

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.

Opera AD - Coaching Track

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 3 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. 
  • Recordings are NOT required during 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 Kathleen Kelly (short arias are welcome – “Ach ich fuhl’s, Di Provenza”...). A singer will be provided at the audition.
  6. Sight-reading
Audition Requirements
  • 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

Opera AD - Vocal Track

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 3 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 3.
  • Four 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 four operatic arias.

Audition/Interview

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

Opera Scholarship Competition: MM, DMA, AD Opera (Vocal Track) Applicants Only

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 four required for the degree program plus one other).
  • Four art songs (MM and DMA applicants only), including contrasting styles and periods in English, French, German and Italian. 

Opera AD - Stage Directing

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 3 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

Opera Faculty

Headshot of Andrew Crooks

Andrew Crooks

Adjunct Instructor of Opera

513-556-5803

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

513-888-1636

Headshot of Robin A. Guarino

Robin A. Guarino

Professor of Opera

513-556-9450

Headshot of Lisa Sarah Hasson

Lisa Sarah Hasson

Instructor - Adjunct

513-556-5803

Headshot of Marie-France Lefebvre

Marie-France Lefebvre

Professor of Opera/Voice Coaching

513-556-9518

Headshot of Susan Moser

Susan Moser

Instructor - Adjunct

513-858-1996


Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration Division Head and Staff

Headshot of Rebecca Bromels

Rebecca Bromels

Interim Division Head of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration (TAPAA); Chair and Associate Professor of Arts Administration

513-556-5803

Headshot of Jen Lampson

Jen Lampson

TAPAA Production Manager

Headshot of Deborah Neiheisel-DeZarn

Deborah Neiheisel-DeZarn

TAPAA Program Manager

513-556-5803


Opera Fusion: New Works

Opera Fusion: New Works (OF:NW) is a dynamic partnership between CCM and Cincinnati Opera. Created in 2011 to foster the development of new American operas, OF:NW has grown into a nationally recognized collaboration which is not only advancing in repertoire, but also serving as an inspiring example of a successful joint venture between an educational institution and a professional performing arts organization.

OF:NW offers composers or composer/librettist teams the opportunity to workshop an opera during a 10-day residency in Cincinnati. Residencies utilize the facilities, personnel, and talent of both CCM and Cincinnati Opera. The workshops are cast with a combination of CCM students and professional artists, and each workshop concludes with a free public presentation of excerpts followed by an audience Q&A session, all of which is streamed online.


News and Events

1

WATCH: CCM presents 'A Voice Like Mine' mini documentary

September 30, 2022

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at CCM's acclaimed Voice and Opera programs courtesy of the new Backstage at CCM documentary series. Titled "A Voice Like Mine," this mini documentary spotlights bass-baritone John Mburu, who is pursuing his Master of Music degree in Voice Performance at CCM. Declared a "top college vocal program" by Backstage Magazine and described as “one of the continent’s major music schools” by the Toronto Star, CCM's Departments of Opera and Voice provide one of the most comprehensive training programs for opera singers, coaches and directors in the United States.

2

View digital programs for upcoming CCM performances

August 17, 2022

During the 2022-23 performance season, the UC College-Conservatory of Music will continue to offer digital programs for all of its free and ticketed events in place of printed programs. These paperless programs will be available on CCM's website, and they can also be accessed via smartphone/mobile device by scanning the Quick Response (QR) code displayed outside of each CCM performance venue.

3

CCM shares fall 2022 schedule of performances and public events

August 12, 2022

Audiences are invited to return to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s (CCM) concert halls and theaters to experience world-class performances and presentations by the next generation of performing and media artists! The college’s fall 2022 schedule of free and ticketed events is now available. Tickets go on sale beginning on Monday, Aug. 22, through the CCM Box Office website.

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