My graduate school audition season has been winding down (though I still have one last audition, for Curtis Institute, which I will certainly detail in a blog post!) and my last audition in February was for the Yale School of Music opera program. This has been one of my top programs since the beginning of my application process. Only about sixteen singers are in the program at any given time, and it is tuition-free. I attended a virtual information session with current Yale Opera students the week of the audition, and I was very impressed by their answers to prospective students’ questions, their drive to make music safely during COVID, and their overall friendliness.
I also learned about the many advantages the program offers. Students receive two faculty lessons each week along with many coachings and rehearsals, they do not need to audition for roles because the program is so small and productions are chosen with casts in mind, and the campus’ proximity to New York City and Boston positions singers in an ideal location to jumpstart an operatic career. These many attributes of the program made me increasingly excited for my audition weekend.
The live audition round for this program was very unique. The faculty decided that live zoom auditions may not be the best measure of a singer’s potential, so apart from our pre-screening recordings, they provided sample lessons and an interview for applicants in order to truly see how students would operate in the Yale Opera environment. I very much enjoyed this audition format. I enjoyed working with faculty members in a way that showed my identity as a student and allowed me to express my goals for these next two years. These lessons showed me that I would be excited to study with either professor (there are only two due to the program’s intimate size!) if I got into Yale, and both professors gave me valuable goals to work on throughout the rest of my senior year, and into graduate school. I am so excited to hear the results of these auditions, and I am also so grateful for how much this process has taught me as a singer moving into this next phase.