Continuing the pedagogical legacy of Mikael Eliasen, who served for more than three decades as chair of the Curtis vocal studies department and artistic director of the Curtis Opera Theatre.
Do you want to be a professional singer?
Learn what it really takes to embark on an opera career. This program, led by the former artistic director of the Curtis Opera Theatre, Mikael Eliasen, is designed primarily for young singers who are considering entering conservatory, and is open to students of high school and undergraduate age.
Singers in this select program pursue activities focused on vocal artistry:.
Delve more deeply into your existing repertoire, with the space and time to follow your curiosity. Singers in the program are largely self-directed, coming together as a group midday to observe those selected to perform in a daily master class. Faculty offer immense insight in each private session, and are looking for marked improvement between sessions. All participants should bring songs and/or arias you already know as well as music you would like to learn during the program; and should be open to additional repertoire suggestions from faculty.
You’ll have the opportunity for personal instruction through the following:
On the first day, you’ll begin your musical exchange by performing for one another and the faculty in a Sing-In. Prepare at least one song or aria for this introductory performance. (You will have scheduled preparation time with a pianist beforehand.)
Sing in a master class led by Summerfest faculty members or guest artists. All participants attend every master class to benefit from training on a range of repertoire. The faculty will select participants to sing in each master class after the Sing-In. Be prepared to sing in a master class on any given day, since your master class date is determined once the program has started.
On the last day of the program, you’ll perform in a culminating Sing-Out to share your growth and artistry with your fellow students, family, and friends. With guidance from the faculty, each singer selects one song or aria to perform. Please refer to the program schedule for details of time and location.
All performance repertoire, which you select with your private instructor before arrival, must be memorized. Faculty may also suggest additional repertoire for you to learn while at the program.
Enjoy an inspiring faculty recital, an informal private performance just for participants.
Evening panel discussions bring you together with faculty and Curtis alumni in frank conversation. Ask questions and gain exclusive insight on auditions, life as a Curtis student, professional singing careers in voice, and the field of opera today.
In 2019, panelists included:
Join your new friends for two screenings of fully staged productions by the Curtis Opera Theatre in HD video. When not practicing or in lessons, many participants also enjoy watching operas together in Lenfest Hall’s student lounge.
Introductory wellness sessions will expose participants to methods including Alexander technique, yoga, and more, that can improve your sound and help prevent injury.
Application Fee: $90 / $150*
Housing and Dining: $1,560
*Application fee: $90 before January 17, 2020 at noon EST; $150 (January 17–March 6).
Applications close Friday, March 6, 2020 at noon EST.
Acceptance to the Mikael Eliasen Voice Program is need-blind. Limited financial assistance from Curtis Summerfest may be available, but is not guaranteed. Notice of financial assistance awards will be included in the acceptance status e-mail.
Students and parents are also urged to seek financial assistance from local sources: self-organized fundraisers; school music organizations; county, state, or national music education organizations; music clubs; service clubs (Rotary, Kiwanas, etc.); businesses; local churches; and foundations.
Merit-based financial assistance
To apply for merit-based financial assistance, see section 4 (Scholarship) of the online application. Answer “Yes” to the first question in this section (“Are you applying for merit-based financial assistance?”).
No further action is required to be considered for merit-based financial assistance.
Need-based financial assistance
To apply for need-based financial assistance, upload the following to section 4 (Scholarship) of the online application.
The majority of applicants are dependent upon parent or guardians. If you are an older applicant and are financially independent, income documentation should be your own.
My time at Curtis was truly life-changing. The conservatory is a magical place where talented, young artists can come together to create music in a collaborative and encouraging environment. During the program, I had access to incredible coaches who were able to help me grow as a musician and performer. I will also never forget the numerous performance opportunities to sing in Lenfest Hall, and even Philadelphia’s Verizon Hall. My summer at Curtis was definitely one I will remember forever!
Curtis Summerfest not only helps you grow as a musician but exposes you to a sea of other talented artists. From the first day, you are immersed in masterclasses, coachings, and performance opportunities that push you to new levels of artistry. I would tell anyone who is interested in pursuing music that this program is a “must-do” on your musical journey. I will forever be grateful for the experience of a lifetime that is Curtis Summerfest!
“My daughter wrote me an email telling me how her life has changed after only attending the first week. The grueling schedule, the intensity and the quality of the training are second to none. Vocally, she made a quantum leap after the three weeks of training. She loves it so much she created a Facebook Page paying tribute to Curtis Summerfest and she still visits on a regular basis keeping in touch with her vocal teachers.”
“I have made leaps and bounds due to this program and I hope that Curtis Summerfest continues for a great number of years to ensure that young musicians of all generations are able to experience the true essence of Curtis.”
“I am so thankful for all of the staff, participants, and the wonderful lessons with the amazing professors. It was one of the best experiences of my life! Thank you all!”
“Thank you for an amazing two weeks! I thoroughly enjoyed the program.”