Sibelius Academy’s vocal music department offers the only opera master’s programme in Finland. The programme, which is conducted in English, provides education in drama subjects and direct work experience within opera productions. The full-scale opera productions are important annual events at Sibelius Academy.
You will graduate with a Master of Music with opera singing as your main subject. Opera coaching is also taught in the opera programme. The teaching will be conducted mostly in English, although Finnish or Swedish can be used depending on the circumstances.
The programme consists of a cycle of teaching modules scheduled in advance. The five modules and related opera productions are the core of the programme. You will participate in four full-scale opera productions with orchestras. Additionally, you will participate in small-scale operas or scenes.
Your demonstration of proficiency will consist of productions and related performances. Each module will last six weeks and will include an intensive rehearsal period and stage performances. Other curriculum as part of the degree requirements has been themed and scheduled so that it supports production participation.
The master’s programme is organized in collaboration with a selection of international partner universities. The international student exchange programme offers you the opportunity to build an international network of professionals while you are still at school. The teacher exchange similarly brings known teachers from abroad to Sibelius Academy, giving the domestic teachers a chance for professional growth and development.
The Sibelius Academy opera programme aims at providing you with the artistic skills necessary for demanding solo roles. The foundation of these skills lies in the mastery of the voice, excellent stage skills, and appreciation of music. After graduating from the opera coaching option, you can work as a versatile vocal music professional.
The Helsinki Music Centre opened in 2011. At the centre, Sibelius Academy has four concert halls and an auditorium. The Sonore Hall is the opera programme’s home stage and primary work space. It is designed for acoustic music, particularly for musical theatre. The stage mechanics and a pit for an orchestra of 30 players offer an ample setting for the new opera class and its productions. Some of the opera education will be hosted on the Nervanderinkatu premises.
Programme in brief
Programme in brief
Productions in the Helsinki Music Centre:
- 2011 Kortekangas & Baran: Yhden yön juttu (first performance)
- 2012 Mozart: The marriage of Figaro, Menotti: Consul
- 2013 Rameau: Les Indes Galantes, Strauss: Fledermaus
- 2014 Mozart: Così fan tutte, Aho: Frida y Diego (first performance)
- 2015 Rossini - Il viaggio - on the way to Brussels, Faces of the Night – a night of French opera, Sempre, sempre! opera scenes and arias
- Spring 2016: Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro
- Fall 2016: Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel, Rautavaara: Tietäjien lahja
- Spring 2017: an opera by Benjamin Britten
- Fall 2017: an Italian opera, Sempre, sempre! - opera scenes and arias
Opera Programme Students
Opera Programme Students
The following students are currently studying in the opera master's degree programme. Click on the student's name to see his/her curriculum vitae (PDF)
Lili Machavariani (vaihto-opiskelija 2015-2016, Georgia)
Giorgi Paikidze (vaihto-opiskelija 2015-16, Georgia)
Elisabet Petsalo (FIN)
|Jenna Ristilä (korrepetitio, FIN)|
Samuli Takkula (FIN)
How to apply
Admission to the opera programme requires passing a proficiency test. New students to the programme are admitted every two years. You are placed by voice type. This will allow the formation of ensembles capable of staging entire opera performances. This way, the opera productions can be carried out using mainly internal recruitment.
The Sibelius Academy’s vocal music and opera training teachers are among the most eminent in the world and many are renowned performing artists. Exchange programmes and master classes regularly introduce international instructors to the programme. In the past, internationally renowned singers from Finland have served as professor of vocal music at the academy, including Monica Groop, Jorma Hynninen, Petteri Salomaa, Seppo Ruohonen and Jaakko Ryhänen. Soprano Soile Isokoski visited the academy as the professor of vocal music in 2015–2016. Vocal music students have also been taught by such established artists as Tom Krause and Karita Mattila.
Attila Kristian, opera coaching
Djupsjöbacka Gustav, lied, accompagniment
Hansen Collin, lied, accompagniment
Hiekkapelto Jari, accompagniment
Kähkönen Outi, voice and vocal pedagogy
Möisnik Kristjan, voice
Niemelä Hannu, voice
Ollinkari Annika, voice
Parviainen Sirkka, department head, voice
Pimiä Liisa, opera coaching
Rajamäki Erkki, voice
Tuomela-Nyman Tuula-Marja, opera coaching
Apajalahti-Jylhä Maikki, voice
Brandt Margareta, voice
Ekman Kaj, accompagniment and piano for singers
Elorinne Jorma, voice
Groop Monica, voice
Hannula Marjut, voice
Hällström Tuula, accompaniment and piano for singers
Järvelä Eija, voice
Karvonen Juha, phonetics
Kaila Hanna, music theatre singing
Kantola Päivi, voice, music theatre singing
Korhonen Ritva-Liisa, voice
Lindeberg Tuuli, oratorio music and barocque singing
Lättilä Jenni, voice
Naumanen-Saarinen Eeva-Liisa, voice
Nuoranne Kaija, voice
Nurminen Susanna, dance expression
Popova-Veltcheva Tamara, dance expression
Riutamaa Lasse, voice
Ruohonen Seppo, voice
Räikkönen Ilmari, accompaniment and piano for singers
Salonen Kimmo, piano for singers
Sevelius Harriet, acting
Suhonen Antti, aria work shops
Tuomi Johanna, voice
Wahlroos-Kaitila Sirkku, voice
Valtonen Tero, opera coaching
Österholm, Rabbe, voice