The Vocal Performance Major

As a vocal performance major you will receive thorough technical training, comprehensive in repertoire and styles from the early Baroque to the present. Your training will be brought to fruition through combined work in the studio, outstanding diction classes, and diverse repertoire classes.

Through studio classes and recitals, faculty will assist you in developing the preparedness and poise requisite for professional public performances. Your class work is augmented with masterclasses taught by such renowned visiting artists as Jane Eaglen, Gerald Finley, Renee Fleming, Hakan Hagegard, Ben Heppner, Warren Jones, Matthew Polenzani, Thomas Quasthoff, and Pierre Vallet.

Through the efforts of all members of the vocal performance faculty, from studio faculty to the combined forces of NEC’s Opera Studies program, you will leave the Conservatory with an education that enables you to meet and exceed the demands placed on you, a young artist in the 21st century.

Vocal Pedagogy

NEC’s Vocal Pedagogy program, led by Ian Howell, creates a valuable space at the Conservatory in which students may study the history of their art form, consider the wisdom that comes down to us from the past, and think about the way in which they carry on the practice of classical singing in the present.

Vocal Pedagogy students at NEC may choose from two possible courses of study:

  • Master of Music in Vocal Performance, vocal pedagogy concentration
  • Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy

The NEC Voice and Sound Analysis Laboratory is the first of its kind in Boston. Students are able to use this facility for real-time biofeedback, research projects, and to hone their ability to hear—first with, and later without computer assistance—the characteristic timbres of both successful and unsuccessful vocal registration.

Read more about these degree programs on the NEC Vocal Pedagogy Blog.

Opera Studies

NEC's Opera Studies faculty offer a comprehensive program for the aspiring singer-actor, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. The two-year graduate course of study includes regularly scheduled classes in stage movement, diction, stage techniques, and Alexander technique as well as coaching in arias, scenes, and roles.

A training-oriented program, its goals are long-term. Work in the program is intended to provide you with the tools necessary for development that will continue beyond the prescribed course of study. Besides work in the classes, you are encouraged to develop self-reliance in your work, a code of professional behavior, and a sense of professional ethics.

Undergraduate Opera Studies

Graduate Opera Studies

Some Graduates of the Program

Death and the PowersDean Anthony, Jennifer Ayres, Suzanne Balaes, Benjamin Brecher, Janice Creswell, John Fanning, Andrew Funk, Denyce Graves, Theodore Green, Jill Grove, Kathryn Honan-Carter, Claudia Huckle, Michelle Johnson, Julia Kierstine, Andrew Krikawa, Marquita Lister, Lester Lynch, James Maddalena, Wright Moore, Samuel Mungo, Paula Murrihy, Rod Nelman, Christopheren Nomura, Ann Panagulias, Keith Phares, Jessie Raven, Lisa Saffer, Linda Watson, Ji-Young Yang

In photo: James Maddalena '76 creates the title role in Todd Machover's high-tech opera Death and the Powers, at Boston's Cutler Majestic Theatre, March 18–25, 2011, and at Chicago Opera Theater, April 2–10, 2011. More on this.

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