Many students who enter Peabody to pursue a Vocal Studies major will be at the very beginning of their journey in opera. Whether or not you want to become an opera singer, the skills you will gain in training your mind and body for the stage can be applied to a variety of disciplines. The undergraduate opera sequence at Peabody focuses on developing the individual singer-actor in the context of a supportive ensemble.
Freshman are required to take a semester-long Movement course in their first year, and Sophomores have a year-long required Acting in Opera class. Beyond the sophomore year, all opera courses are elective for undergraduates. Opera in Action is one popular option, available by audition only. Juniors and seniors may also enroll in Opera Workshop, which is offered both semesters. Depending on the year, Opera Workshop may focus on scenes from popular operas, crossover repertoire, new work development, or more. Students may enroll in both Opera in Action and Opera Workshop multiple times, if they choose.
Although our major productions are cast by open audition, it is not typical for undergraduates to receive large roles in full productions during their first year or so. We encourage students to use this time to explore various interests, both within our department and further afield. Students may benefit from working backstage on opera productions, singing in Vocal Ensembles, preparing repertoire for Departmental Recitals, and so much more – a variety of experiences will help strengthen multiple skills required to excel in the faster-paced environment of opera rehearsals and public performance. Above all, we recommend that undergraduate students pursue their interests under the guidance of their primary vocal teacher.