MM - Opera Performance Concentration

This degree program is designed to provide specialized training in opera performance with graduates gaining more experience and training in all phases of opera production. While the MM in performance degree with an emphasis in voice provides for some experience with opera performance, the opera concentration provides greater focus with more specialized coursework, training and experience, which better prepares students who are accepted into the program to succeed in this competitive career field. The degree requires 4 more credit hours (total of 36) than the MM in performance degree with an emphasis in voice.


Prior to scheduling a live audition, applicants must pass a pre-screening audition. Pre-screening materials should be sent directly to Professor Alan Held ( by December 1. Admission to the program is based on the results of a live audition and an interview with the director of the WSU Opera Theatre and voice faculty.

Pre-Screening Materials

  • Headshot and resumé;
  • A statement of academic and career goals; and
  • Four YouTube video recordings showing facility in English, Italian, German and French repertoire of various styles.

Audition Dates

In-person auditions take place in February. Please check with the department regarding live auditions. Applicants should apply to the Wichita State University Graduate School1.

Additional Info

Students admitted to this program must show potential for future success and should have already had some experience with opera. Specific requirements include:

  1. Strong vocal/operatic vocal potential;
  2. Good academic background with a minimum 2.750 GPA;
  3. Some stage experience, including a basic acting class; and
  4. Ability in at least one of the following languages: French, German or Italian.

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Program Requirements

The Master of Music (MM) degree with a concentration in opera performance requires the completion of a minimum of 38 graduate credit hours, including a graduate performance recital, two leading roles in opera productions, and direction and assistance in two productions. Students must complete the coursework listed below:

Course Title Hours
Core Required for all MM Concentrations
MUSC 852Introduction to Bibliography and Research3
MUSC 830Seminar in Music Theory3
Select 6 credit hours from the following in history and theory:6
Topics in Music Analysis
Seminar in Music History pre-1750
Seminar in Music History post-1750
Courses Required for Concentration
Graduate Voice Study—14 credit hours of instruction in major medium 14
Applied Music Instruction for Majors - Voice (repeatable)
Applied Music Instruction for Majors - Voice (repeatable)
Other Requirements10
Opera Literature
Opera Theatre (repeatable)
Acting For Singers
Graduate Recital
MUSP 873Graduate Recital2
Total Credit Hours38


All degree candidates in the School of Music must pass an oral comprehensive examination. The oral comprehensive examination for thesis candidates includes a thesis defense.

Applied Learning

Students in the Masters of Music - opera performance concentration are required to complete an applied learning or research experience to graduate from the program. The requirement must be met by a terminal recital ( MUSP 873) given in their second year.