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Professional Diploma in Opera

The Professional Diploma in Opera program offers singers and pianists of exceptional career promise two years of continued guidance in their development as artists. Participants are given weekly voice lessons, vocal and dramatic coaching, seminars, and performance classes concentrating on audition preparation with CCPA's illustrious faculty, all while receive a 100 percent tuition scholarship.


Location: Chicago
Start Term: Fall
Program Type: Diploma

This Professional Diploma program allows young artists to continue to grow in a conservatory environment on full-tuition scholarship while also receiving the benefit of professional experience with the Chicago Opera Theater.

All participants are guaranteed experience with Chicago Opera Theater, on a contractual basis and is professionally reimbursed. COT Young Artists appear in the ensemble, with the potential of covering and performing roles, and participate in master classes and individual coaching. In addition to this connection, CCPA Diploma students present various outreach and publicity performances for COT, which are professionally reimbursed.

More information may be found on Chicago Opera Theatre's website.

Expectations & Requirements

Standards

  • Weekly lessons and coaching
  • Professional audition preparation
  • Performances at both CCPA and COT

More Opportunities

Performance Opportunities

Roles in CCPA productions, ensemble, cover and performance of roles in COT productions, and professional engagements.

Testimonials

"The voice and opera faculty at CCPA comprises passionate teachers and performers who have been heard on the world's greatest opera stages. Students in the opera program will enhance their musicianship through their participation in both CCPA and COT performances. Plus, if you are a student at CCPA you will get to live in the heart of Chicago, which is one of the most culturally and artistically diverse cities in the world."

Scott Gilmore
Head of the Professional Diploma in Opera Program, and Associate Professor of Opera and Voice, Roosevelt University
Admission

Opera Audition Requirements

  • All applicants must have an undergraduate degree.
  • All applicants must be available to come to Chicago for a live audition on the specified date. 
    Live auditions are granted just to those who pass our pre-screening round of auditions. All final voice auditions will take place on February 3, 2017. All invited applicants must attend this day to be considered for admission. Piano applicants will contacted to arrange a date for final audition, if invited. Do not make any travel arrangements to Chicago until you have received notification of your prescreening decision. 

Pre-Screening Audition Requirements

All applicants must apply to CCPA and submit pre-screening requirements via Acceptd by December 1, 2016.

All materials must be uploaded via Acceptd. DO NOT mail recordings or documents to CCPA.

Singers

  • A recording of three contrasting selections from three different stylistic periods, one of which must be contemporary
    • a minimum of two must be operatic arias
    • all selections to be sung in the original language
    • a minimum of two languages represented, one of which must be English
  • A recent headshot
  • An academic and professional (as appropriate) resumé
  • You will upload your personal statement to your Roosevelt University Performing Arts application. Follow the prompt on the application site. 
  • Three letters of recommendation will be required with your Roosevelt University Performing Arts application. One will be from your current voice teacher assessing your current level of development and career potential. The other two should be from professionals or faculty with whom you have recently worked and that address your musical and dramatic abilities. 

Pianists

  • One complete work for solo piano
  • Two operatic selections of contrasting periods and styles (arias and/or scenes/ensembles) - to be performed with singers.
  • A recent headshot
  • An academic and professional (as appropriate) resume
  • You will upload your personal statement to your Roosevelt University Performing Arts application. Follow the prompt on the application site.
  • Three letters of recommendation will be required with your Roosevelt University Performing Arts application. One will be from your current teacher assessing your current level of development and career potential. The other two will be from professionals or faculty with whom you have recently worked and that address your musical abilities.

Live Audition Requirements

Singers

Do not make any travel arrangements to Chicago unless you receive indication that you have made it through the prescreening round of auditions. All repertoire must be performed from memory. CCPA will provide you an accompanist for your live audition. You may NOT bring your own accompanist. 

Five contrasting selections in the original language, a minimum of four being operatic arias, to be performed from memory. These may include selections from the pre-screening audition if you wish.

  • Four languages must be represented: Italian, French, German and English
  • At least three stylistic periods must be represented: Contemporary (mandatory), Baroque (through Handel), Classical (through Rossini), Romantic/Post-Romantic (through Barber)

Pianists

Do not make travel arrangements to Chicago unless you receive indication that you have made it through the prescreening round of auditions. All excerpts below must be played and sung in the original language. 

  • One complete work for solo piano
  • Mozart, Don Giovanni - Opening of Act I (through Don Ottavio and Donna Anna's duet)
  • Bizet, Carmen - Act I duet between Don Jose and Micaela "Parle-moi de ma mere"
  • Strauss, Ariadne auf Naxos - Composer's aria "sein wir wieder gut" (ending after "die heilige Musik")
  • Adams, The Death of Klinghoffer - Act I scene I ("it was just after one fifteen" through "slightly slower" after "makes intellect an animal")

Live Audition Procedures and Expectations

All applicants must be at an advanced level of technical ability. Singers should have a working knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and a firm grasp on at least one of the basic singing languages (in addition to English). They should also have experience working with directors and be comfortable onstage. Singers must provide three 3 copies of their audition repertoire for the audition panel.

Singers

All singers will present an aria of their choice, and will be prepared to sing addition selections from their list as requested by the audition panel. At the completion of the preliminary auditions, singers may be asked to remain for the final audition process. The final audition process may consist of an individual coaching, lesson, or a dramatic working session. Those selected to join the program will be notified by CCPA within a week after the final auditions.

Proper audition attire is expected for the preliminary audition. Loose clothing and shoes that allow for movement should be worn for the dramatic portion of the finals.