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Location: Chicago
Start Term: Fall
Program Type: Diploma

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

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

The Fall 2019 application is now open!

Amanda Horvath-Adair
, Assistant Director of Admission

Expectations & Requirements

Standards

This program is a unique opportunity for the developing artist who has acquired basic skills to focus on all areas of their artistic growth, affording them professional experience, particularly in the development and performance of innovative new work, while supporting them with weekly voice lessons, vocal coaching and dramatic training.

Young Artists receive voice lessons, coachings, and text work on a weekly basis through the faculty at Roosevelt/CCPA. The scholarship award for the Professional Diploma in Opera grants full tuition with the exception of the Graduate General Fee, Student Activity Fee, and CTA Ventra U-Pass Fee​.

Outcomes

See gainful employment disclosures mandated by the Department of Education.

More Opportunities

  • Targeted coachings and networking with composers, librettists, conductors and directors from outside of Chicago who are brought in for COT activities
  • Regular mentorship with the COT leadership in artistic and professional development opportunities
  • Participation in the evolution of the ‘Living Opera Series’, the development of new works including direct involvement in workshops, and engagement with the Emerging Opera Composer in Residence through COT’s Vanguard Initiative
  • Possible additional classes (through CCPA or COT) for the Young Artists in addition to their vocal training, including languages, movement, acrobatics, puppetry, and other theatrical skill trainings that are present in Chicago.
  • 2-3 annual sessions on ‘business/life’ topics, like taxes, engagement with donors, managers/agents, industry experts, websites/resumes, personal marketing, etc.
  • Occasional donor-focused events (possibly the Holiday Soiree and Gala, but could be others) where YAs are coached on how to engage a room of donors
  • Occasional participation as speakers and performers in COT’s Education programs in Chicago Public Schools throughout the year
  • Provided attendance at all COT and Lyric opera dress rehearsals, and at select opera events throughout the city
  • Awareness and engagement as a group in other free or low cost opportunities for developing singers in the Chicago area
Performance Opportunities

Performance Opportunities

  • Regular performance opportunities at Chicago Opera Theater, including covering roles, chorus participation, and consideration for principal roles
  • At least one individual coaching and one group session with Music Director Lidiya Yankovskaya per year
  • At least one master class with artists from each mainstage production

Testimonials

Scott Gilmore

"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
Associate Professor of Opera and Voice, Roosevelt University
Admission Info

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 recorded auditions. All final auditions will take place on February 7, 2020. All invited applicants must attend this day to be considered for admission. No exceptions will be made. Do not make any travel arrangements to Chicago until you have received notification of your pre-screening decision.

Pre-Screening Audition Requirements

All applicants must apply to CCPA and submit pre-screening requirements via GetAcceptd: Sunday, November 24, 2019.

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

Singers

  • A recording of three operatic arias (no art song or oratorio)
    • a minimum of two languages represented, one of which MUST be English
    • one aria must be contemporary
    • all recordings must have been made within the last 6 months, one of which must be a video
  • A recent headshot
  • An academic and professional résumé
  • Two letters of recommendation will be required within your Roosevelt University Performing Arts application. One should be from your current voice teacher assessing your current level of development and career potential. The other should be from a professional or faculty with whom you have recently worked and that address your professionalism and musical and dramatic abilities.
  • A statement by the applicant as to why they are applying specifically to this particular program.

Pianists

    Recordings (video or audio) of the following (one of which must be a video):
    • One complete work for solo piano
    • Two operatic selections (arias and/or scenes/ensembles) of contrasting periods and styles (one of which must be Contemporary) performed with singers.
    • All recordings must have been made within the last 6 months.
  • A recent headshot
  • An academic and professional résumé
  • Two 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 will be from a professional or faculty with whom you have recently worked and that address your musical abilities and professionalism.
  • A statement by the applicant as to why they are applying specifically to this particular program.

Live Audition Requirements

Singers

Do not make any travel arrangements to Chicago unless you receive indication that you have made it through the pre-screening round of recorded 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.

Four contrasting operatic arias in the original language (no oratorio), to be performed from memory. These may include selections from the pre-screening audition if you wish.

  • A minimum of three languages represented, one of which MUST be English
  • At least three stylistic periods must be represented, including Contemporary which is 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 pre-screening round of auditions. All excerpts below must be played and sung in the original language.

  • One relatively brief work for solo piano
  • Mozart, Don Giovanni - Opening of Act I (through Don Ottavio and Donna Anna's duet)
  • 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")
  • It is expected that all pianist applicants have a working knowledge of English, Italian, German and French diction for singers.

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 and pianists must provide 3 copies of their repertoire list and 3 copies of their résumé to their live audition.

All applicants invited to a live audition MUST be available the entire day on February 7, 2020. No exceptions shall be made.

All singers will present an aria of their choice, and will be prepared to sing additional selections from their list as requested by the audition panel. Pianists will be scheduled for a session to go through the required audition material. In addition to this, those auditioning may be asked for a working session with members of the audition panel.

Proper audition attire is expected for the audition.