Opera Institute

2020 Mainstage productions

Music by Igor Stravinsky
Libretto by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman
William Lumpkin, conductor
Jim Petosa, stage director

Thursday, February 27, 7:30 pm
Friday, February 28, 7:30 pm
Saturday, February 29, 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 1, 2:00 pm

Boston University Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre


Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Caterino Mazzolà
William Lumpkin, conductor
Omer Ben Seadia, stage director

Monday, April 27, 7:30 pm
Tuesday, April 28, 7:30 pm
Wednesday, April 29, 7:30 pm
Thursday, April 30, 7:30 pm

Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre


Find more details about the 2020 season.

About the Opera Institute

The Opera Institute is an intensive, highly selective two-year performance-based training program for emerging operatic artists. Each Institute member receives full tuition and stipend, and graduates from Boston University College of Fine Arts with a Performance Diploma in Opera.

Up to 12 individuals are accepted into the program each year through a process of national audition and recruitment. The Institute also serves as the Center of Opera Training for Vocal Performance degree candidates, where students share training and casting opportunities.

Through our professional curriculum model, the Opera Institute provides a performance-based curriculum taught by full-time and adjunct faculty members along with guest professionals who are currently in the business or have had significant operatic careers. The program includes voice lessons, repertoire coaching, Italian Conversation, Acting, Movement (Stage Combat, Ballet, Period Styles, Commedia, Alexander Technique), Business Strategies, Social Protocols for the Artist, Auditions, and Networking. During their studies, singers have the opportunity to participate in two large-scale productions with a full orchestra per year, a Fringe Festival of significant one-act operas, and outreach programs.

Admissions Requirements

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Graduate Programs

We believe that successful artists are:

  • Fine ensemble musicians, with the confidence to assert themselves as solo artists, but with the humility to follow the guidance of coaches, music directors, and conductors
  • Credible actors, with a serviceable acting technique, including the mental flexibility to take direction from various stage directors
  • Prepared, punctual, and collaborative in attitude
  • Professional colleagues who clearly understand their responsibility to their employers, the rehearsal process, and other artists, including the technical and creative team, stage and music directors, and stage management
  • Confident in their particular talents, including operatic fach
  • Able to move well, possessing physical stamina and graceful, healthy bodies

In addition, they have:

  • Extensive training in period style, gesture, and stage combat
  • Integrated vocal technique, acting, language, movement, musicianship, and style, and are comfortable on stage in a variety of genres, musical styles, and foreign languages
  • The ability to market themselves and properly conduct themselves in formal social environments
  • Training in performance and audition techniques, dealing with stress management, and peak performance strategies

These attributes are at the core of our professional curriculum model for all aspects of training.

To be eligible for Opera Institute training, singers must demonstrate a readiness that is potentially two years from career entry. Such readiness includes an unusual voice of a timbre and appropriate size for opera; a high level of preparedness in terms of artistry, musical style, and vocal technique; an individual articulation of the need for our particular program; and an attitude of professionalism, humility, and willingness to learn.