Programs - Classical Voice and Opera Studies

Classical Voice and Opera Studies Master's


The MM in Vocal Performance with a Concentration in Classical Voice is designed for outstanding students interested in intensive performance training within the stimulating academic environment of an internationally acclaimed liberal arts/research university. Students study with renowned faculty through private lessons, studio/workshop classes, lecture classes, master classes, and seminars. They perform in fully staged productions of the highest caliber under the guidance of professional directors, conductors, and designers.

We also offer a 48-credit dual degree that combines an master of music in vocal performance with a post-master's advanced certificate in vocal pedagogy. Learn more about this dual degree.

Mission Statement and Student Learning Objectives

The MM in vocal performance is designed to provide singers with a solid foundation of healthy vocal technique on which they can build a career in whatever area of voice performance they might choose to pursue.

 It is the goal of the program that each student achieve a level of performance excellence that makes it possible for that student to enter the field of professional vocal performance. In order to accomplish that goal, each student must demonstrate a technical foundation in vocal production that will allow that student’s voice to evolve in an efficient and healthy manner throughout the years that follow that student’s training at NYU. In addition, each student must demonstrate a respect for of the value of the text – the words that are sung as well as the sounds that are made – along with an demonstrable understanding that the best singing is an amalgamation of a freely produced sound and a personal need to communicate.

Coursework and Requirements 

Coursework includes classes in opera performance and classical song repertoire as well as training in voice with leading vocalists from New York's professional community. Acting and dance classes are conducted by working professionals in the industry, and classes are offered in foreign language diction, vocal production, and Alexander Technique. Classical Voice majors have the opportunity to cross traditional lines and benefit from the opportunity to participate in music theatre workshops as well as fully staged music theatre productions. The degree requires a total of 36 credits and can be completed in three semesters. All masters candidates perform a graduate recital as their terminal degree experience. Our department's programs in Music Technology, Music Business, and Music Education provide students with elective courses that further prepare them for employment opportunities in the world of professional music performance.

The Foundation for a Career

The Steinhardt School's Program in Vocal Performance offers training that is designed to prepare young singers for professional careers in opera, recitals, and the concert stage.  Our curriculum is designed for the accomplished young singer who seeks a program that integrates the study of voice with the study of acting.  Our goal is to provide singers with a solid foundation of healthy vocal technique on which they can build a career in whatever area of performance they might choose to pursue.

Performance Skills

The classical voice curriculum requires extensive training in private voice, acting, diction for singers, song repertoire, and movement as well as the core courses for the serious study of music – music theory, aural comprehension, keyboard skills, and music history.

Private Voice Study

Our voice faculty is drawn from New York's top professional singers – a community of working professionals from the worlds of opera, recital, and concert singing. In addition to their strong commitment to teaching, our faculty members pursue active professional careers. Their knowledge, combined with their performance experience and exceptional teaching skills, creates a unique learning opportunity for each student.

Performance Opportunities

In addition to work in classrooms and studios, the program offers performance opportunities in fully-staged productions under the guidance of professional directors, choreographers, conductors, musical directors, and designers who count among their credits opera companies and theatre both in and out of New York City.