The voice and opera program at Northwestern University has a long and illustrious history. Alumni fill the ranks of national and international opera houses and university faculties worldwide.

Recent graduates include Madison Leonard ’16 MMus, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions winner; Paul Corona ’06, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions winner and Lyric Opera of Chicago Ryan Opera Center alumnus; Amanda Majeski ’06, Richard Tucker Foundation Grant Winner and Lyric Opera of Chicago Ryan Opera Center alumna; Matt Hanscom ’05, ’07 MMus, San Francisco Merola Opera Program alumnus and Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions finalist; and David Govertsen ’10 MMus and Evan Boyer ’07, Lyric Opera of Chicago Ryan Opera Center alumni. 

The voice and opera faculty offer students a variety of courses that promote a strong technical and pedagogical foundation. Students receive weekly vocal instruction and have access to a number of performing opportunities including opera workshops, vocal solo classes, master classes, studio classes, and recitals. In addition, advanced undergraduate and graduate students participate in weekly musical preparation sessions with vocal coaches.  

Every year, voice students are invited to audition for the school’s three fully-staged operas. Participation in these operas provides students with invaluable experience and exposure to standard operatic repertoire as well as new operas. The thriving music scene in downtown Chicago, only 12 miles from campus, offers many additional performance possibilities.

The Bienen School of Music offers a number of special programs. Undergraduates may pursue dual degrees or double majors (music plus an outside field) or an ad hoc (self-designed) major. The faculty encourages and supports students interested in these opportunities.

All DMA students receive a full-tuition scholarship, stipend, and fully subsidized health insurance.

Past Opera Productions

Spring 2021

Così fan tutte (Mozart)

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Orfeo Remote

Orfeo Remote is a five-part opera mini-series produced remotely from locations around the world.

Spring 2020

L’Orfeo (Monteverdi)

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Winter 2020

Die Fledermaus (Strauss)

Fall 2019

Dog Days (Little)

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Spring 2019

Béatrice et Bénédict (Berlioz)

Winter 2019

The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)

Fall 2018

The Turn of the Screw (Britten)

Spring 2018

Theodora (Handel)

Winter 2018

Don Giovanni (Mozart)

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Three One-Act Operas

Riders to the Sea (Williams), Le pauvre matelot (Milhaud), Savitri (Holst)

Fall 2017

Moments of Mortality

Spring 2017

The Tender Land (Copland)

Winter 2017

Dialogues of the Carmelites (Poulenc)

Fall 2016

Later the Same Evening (Musto)

Spring 2016

Susannah (Floyd)

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Winter 2016

Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart)

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Three One-Act Operas

The Face on the Barroom Floor (Mollicone), A Hand of Bridge (Barber), Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)

Fall 2015

American Dreams

Spring 2015

Ruddigore (Gilbert and Sullivan)

Winter 2015

Dead Man Walking (Heggie)

Fall 2014

The Impresario (Mozart)

Spring 2014

Cosi Fan Tutte (Mozart)

Winter 2014

Little Women (Adamo)

Fall 2013

Sounds and Sweet Aires: Scenes from Shakespeare

Spring 2013

L'incorinazione di Poppea (Monteverdi)

Winter 2013

The Grapes of Wrath (Gordon)

Videos

Black Art Songs Webinar

Dean Montgomery and Guests

Orfeo Remote: Trailer

Northwestern Opera Theater

Beethoven - Symphony No. 9 in D Minor

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra with combined choirs

Judd Greenstein - My City

Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

The Crossing and BCE

Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble

Brahms - Ein deutsches Requiem

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra with combined choirs

Kile Smith - The Waking Sun

Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and University Chorale

Rachmaninoff - The Bells

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra with combined choirs

Preview: Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah

Northwestern Opera Theater

Nicholas Cline - Watersheds

Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble with soloists

Tichio-Finnie Vocal Master Class Series

The Tichio-Finnie Vocal Master Class Series brings stars of the opera world to the Bienen School to coach top voice and opera students. Previous guest artists include: Renée Fleming, Eric Owens, Frederica von Stade, Lawrence Brownlee, Marilyn Horne, Matthew Polenzani, Isabel Leonard, Jake Heggie, Thomas Hampson, Susanna Phillips, Dwayne Croft, Patricia Racette, and Warren Jones.