About the Program

Oberlin in Italy is the conservatory’s annual summer program where you hone your operatic skills in the country where opera was born. This comprehensive training experience prepares you for all aspects of opera performance through voice lessons, vocal coachings, master classes, rehearsals, and performing opportunities in productions and scenes throughout the beautiful city of Arezzo.

You’ll be immersed in Italian language and culture as you study with program faculty from noted conservatories and schools from around the world. You’ll have a chance to participate in two fully staged operas with orchestra, concert performances, and a scenes program.

Arezzo is located in Tuscany, about 50 miles southeast of Florence. Set on a steep hill and abounding with history, the town maintains its medieval appearance with a cathedral, town hall, and Medici Fortress. Guido d’Arezzo, the most notable music theorist of the Middle Ages and inventor of modern music notation; Petrarch, the famous poet; and Piero della Francesca the famous painter—all hail from Arezzo.

Program Features

  • Weekly (4) private lessons
  • Weekly (4) vocal coachings
  • A unique Italian language course designed specifically for the developing opera professional and provides each singer with one full semester’s language credit. This course meets for 15 hours every week. Beginning to advanced levels offered.
  • All singers are given role, chorus, and scene assignments, based on auditions.
  • Master classes and workshops:
    • Singing acting craft
    • Musical and dramatic interpretation
    • Character development in in song and scene
    • Audition techniques
    • Industry expectations and professional preparation
    • Italian lyric diction and dramatic text inflection
    • Musical and staging rehearsals with stage and music directors in preparation for performances
    • Additional music, language and dramatic coaching on role assignment and other repertoire
    • Participation in physical and vocal characterization and movement workshops

Transferable college credits, equivalent to one semester of college language study and two music elective credits, are available at no extra cost aside from the Oberlin College transcript processing fee of $9 for non-Oberlin students.

Program Alumni