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GPD in Opera

Pre-Screening. So that we can spend adequate time with you when you come, we require applicants to go through a pre-screening process by submitting the following items by the advertised due date:

  • Submit¬†the online¬†application form¬†with the appropriate¬†application fee.
  • Upload to the Peabody application,¬†a¬†performance resume¬†showing evidence of having performed five complete opera roles (at least two of which should be substantial in size) and/or professional experience in comprimario roles, apprentice programs, or chorus with a significant company.
  • Upload to the Peabody application, a¬†video¬†containing three arias, in English and two other languages. At least two of the arias should be simply staged, but not necessarily with costumes, furniture, or props. The three excerpts may either be taken from stage productions or recorded in the studio.

Repertoire Requirements. All applicants in Opera are simultaneously considered for the GPD in voice. Due to the highly selective nature of the Opera GPD, we anticipate welcoming talented applicants into the voice program even when their current level of experience is not judged to meet the specific requirements of the GPD in Opera. Such students, if accepted, will still have access to all the activities of the Opera Department. Even when an applicant is invited to audition specifically for the Opera GPD, we still ask to hear non-operatic material in addition to opera arias. This requirement enables us to test for the musicianship and interpretive skills expected at the GPD level, while keeping open the possibility of acceptance into the Voice GPD if the opera audition should be unsuccessful. If invited to Peabody, therefore, applicants for the Opera GPD should expect to be auditioned in each of the following categories:

  • To sing from a program of¬†five opera arias¬†in four different languages, including English. At least three of these arias should be simply staged.
  • To sing from a program of¬†five art-songs¬†and/or¬†oratorio arias, similarly varied in language.
  • To take a short test in¬†language diction¬†and¬†sight-reading.

The Audition Process. Applicants for the Opera GPD will be scheduled for two separate auditions, typically spread over two consecutive days. At the general audition, applicants will sing an operatic aria of their choice, after which the Voice faculty may ask for further arias and/or non-operatic material at their discretion. At the opera audition, applicants will perform additional opera arias and interview with the Opera faculty.

In certain cases, students who have been admitted into the Voice GPD program may apply for transfer to the Opera GPD at a later date. With the concurrence of the Opera and Voice faculties, auditions for this purpose may be set up at any time, but the standards for acceptance remain the same as those for external applications.

Auditions for the Opera Program

Admission to all Peabody Opera Theatre Program activities is by means of the Diagnostic Auditions, which are generally held in the afternoons and evenings of the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday following Labor Day. Together with individual interviews with the Chair of the department which start in the previous week, these enable to faculty to begin to get to know the individual students, their accomplishments, and their needs. Freshmen will be heard together at one or more of these times, since it is not so usual that they will be cast in productions. All other singers will be assigned times in a block which includes other members of their studio, so that the voice teachers can also hear their students, and help advise the opera faculty.

For the diagnostic auditions, singers should be prepared to offer two arias. One of these must be in English. One or both of the arias should be simply staged, so that we can see how the performer creates a character in a dramatic context; do not use any but the simplest of props. [These requirements will be interpreted liberally for underclassmen, who may audition with one or more songs rather than arias if they wish, and/or perform a musical-theater excerpt, whether staged or not.] Graduate students who wish to be considered for the Dramatic Text class are also asked to prepare a one-minute spoken monologue.

Callbacks for both Opera Theatre productions will be held in the afternoon and evening of the Friday before classes begin. Some of the Chamber Opera productions may also be cast from these callbacks; others may have separate auditions within the next week or so. Roles in the first-semester productions of the Opera Workshop and Opera Outreach will be assigned from the diagnostic auditions without further callback. Since most roles for the year will thus be cast at this time, singers who do not make themselves available for the auditions and callbacks may not get cast unless they have obtained a special dispensation in advance. Also note that singers may not sign a binding contract with a professional chorus affecting their second-semester availability until the casting has been completed.