Admissions and Auditions

Applicants must submit:

  • Completed application for graduate admission to the College of Fine Arts
  • Non-refundable application fee of $80
  • Artistic résumé
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Personal statement that describes how you will benefit from two years as a member of the BU Opera Institute
  • Headshot
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from music professionals/educators. These may be submitted online using supplied Letter of Recommendation Form.
  • The prescreening recording (video preferred) should include 5 arias (one of which must be in English) of contrasting style, displaying the applicant’s mastery of various languages, musical periods, and styles.

Apply Online

Application deadline: January 1, 2015

Submit application materials to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
College of Fine Arts
855 Commonwealth Avenue
Room 230
Boston, MA 02215


Please submit your prescreening recording (video preferred), headshot, and artistic résumé online through our DecisionDesk drop box. You will need to register and submit your prescreening materials by January 1, 2015. Please note that DecisionDesk is separate from our online Application for Graduate Admission.

DecisionDesk accepts the following file formats:

  • Video (MPEG, MPG, MP4, OGG, MOV, AVI, WMV, M4V, VOB)
  • Image (JPEG, JPG, PNG, GIF)

Individual files can be as large as 5GB, but keep in mind that larger files may take some time to upload. Upload speed is dependent upon both file size and speed of the internet connection. Please be patient, as files larger than 50MB can take some time. Be sure to upload files using a stable internet connection, and make sure the computer does not go into sleep or hibernate mode while a file is uploading. The fee for submitting your audition materials to DecisionDesk is $20 per applicant, but you save the cost of creating a physical recording or portfolio and overnighting it through the mail. For technical support with your DecisionDesk submission, please visit Decision Desk Support or contact

Following prescreening, invited applicants must audition live in Boston.


Applicants who pass prescreening will be invited to audition in person on the following dates:

  • Monday, February 23, 2015
  • Tuesday, February 24, 2015 (call-backs)

In making your travel plans, please note that you may be called back for a final audition on Tuesday morning, February 25th, for coaching and further interviews. Please plan to be available until 1pm. Invited finalists will notified the evening of the 24th.

We ask that you prepare the following for your audition:

  • 5 arias (one of which must be in English) of contrasting style, displaying mastery of various languages, musical periods, and styles. The arias may be the same or different ones used for the prescreening recording.
  • 1 straight theatre monologue in English to be recited at the audition.
  • Please bring 3 resumes, 3 headshots, and 3 repertoire lists to give to the Opera & Voice faculty panel.

Members of the faculty and/or music staff will be playing your audition. There will be a warm-up room available in 10-minute increments prior to your audition. However, we encourage you to warm up before you arrive.

The weekend prior to the auditions (Feb, 20-23) we will perform Daniel Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas. If your travel plans permit, we invite you to be our guest at one of the four performances. Saturday night’s performance is at 7:30; Sunday’s is at 2pm. The Boston University Theater is located at 264 Huntington Avenue, and with advance notice, will be glad to arrange a comp ticket for applicants with a scheduled audition.


Please also note that the Opera Institute is located at 808 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. We are approximately 2 blocks inbound from the College of Fine Arts Building. 808 is on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Essex Street. Though there are 3 doors into the gallery on the first floor, you cannot get to the Opera Institute from the gallery (when it is open). Proceed to the EAST ENTRANCE on ESSEX STREET (the Mass Turnpike and the Boston Skyline will be behind  you). Follow the signs for the Opera Institute to FLOOR 2M, SUITE 204.