Vocal Studies

The Curtis vocal studies department integrates new students into the full musical life of the school from the moment they arrive.

Working with distinguished artist-faculty members under the direction of Eric Owens, singers study opera and song literature as well as chamber music.

Curtis aims to educate and train musicians for 21st-century careers as performers on the highest professional level, through a unique “learn by doing” approach. Students can expect to perform often on the Student Recital Series and in Curtis Opera Theatre productions from the beginning of their Curtis careers.

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How to Apply

Curriculum

Applicants who are admitted enter the Bachelor of Music program in voice, the Master of Music program in opera, or the diploma program. Those who already hold bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees or other certificates or diplomas are welcome to apply.

Audition Requirements

  • All applicants in voice are required to submit a screening recording with application materials. Applicants must possess a high school diploma or equivalent by the time they enroll at Curtis.

    The following format types are accepted:

    • Video (.asf, .avi, .flv, .mov, .m4v, .mp4, .mpg, .mvb, .swf, .wmv)
    • Images (.bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tiff)
    • Documents (.doc, .pdf, .xls)

    Total portfolio size needs to be under 900MB, with a maximum file size of 500 MB. Please upload each piece as its own file.

    Screening Repertoire:

    Three repertoire selections – one selection in English, one aria, and one selection from German Lieder, Italian, or French art songs from any period. Video recordings should include accompaniment and should show contrast in musical styles and tempos. Please make the best quality recording with the equipment available to you. Pre-recorded accompaniment is acceptable. Applicants will be notified of decisions regarding live auditions after January 5, 2022.

    Live Audition Repertoire:

    updated 10/15/21

    First Round : Live Virtual auditions via Zoom will be January 19-23. Pre-recorded accompaniment is acceptable.

    Notification of Final Round LIVE IN-PERSON audition: February 1

    Final Round: Live In-Person auditions will happen on March 16-17.


    Vocalists who audition live will be asked to perform up to four selections from memory, showing the character and quality of voice and musicianship:

    1. one selection in English (not a translation)
    2. three selections from the standard repertoire, German lieder, classic Italian songs, or French and English songs of any period
    3. an aria from an opera or oratorio
  • updated 10/15/21

    All applicants in voice are required to submit screening video recordings with application materials. Please see the Curtis website for all relevant deadlines.

    The following format types are accepted:

    • Video (.asf, .avi, .flv, .mov, .m4v, .mp4, .mpg, .mvb, .swf, .wmv)
    • Images (.bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tiff)
    • Documents (.doc, .pdf, .xls)

    Total portfolio size needs to be under 900MB, with a maximum file size of 500 MB. Please upload each piece as its own file.

    Screening repertoire:

    Three contrasting opera arias. Videos should include accompaniment and should show contrast in musical styles and tempos. Please make the best quality recording with the equipment available to you. Pre-recorded accompaniment is acceptable. Applicants will be notified of decisions regarding live auditions after January 5, 2022.

    Live Audition

    First Round : Live Virtual auditions via Zoom will be January 19-23. Pre-recorded accompaniment is acceptable.

    Notification of Final Round LIVE IN-PERSON audition: February 1

    Final Round: Live In-Person auditions will happen on March 16-17.

     

    Vocalists who audition live will be asked to perform from memory:

    1. up to five contrasting arias from the standard operatic repertoire

We encourage applicants to explore the repertoire from composers underrepresented in the canon when selecting their audition material. The two links below are for reference.

Substitutions or exceptions to the audition repertoire are not permitted. While the choice of composition is important, audition performance carries the greater weight. Audition candidates may be asked to demonstrate their sight-reading ability. A knowledge of piano and music theory is desirable. Please reach out to a member of the admissions team at admissions@curtis.edu with any questions about specific repertoire and audition requirements.