Admissions Guide, Separate Application: Master's programme in Classical Music Performance (Opera)

2.5-year education



Fill in the application here: [link to the application in Studyinfo service]

Entrance examination date: Preliminary dates are 11-13 March 2019

For more information about the programme, see: Opera



Admissions requirements 2019


Please read also the general admissions requirements before applying!


Opera programme is arranged as a 2.5-year course, and the students are required to commit to the course. Opera majors who are accepted to the Sibelius Academy in the spring of 2019 will participate in the programme between 1 August 2019 and 31 December 2021 in accordance with a programme and schedule defined by the Sibelius Academy. If you are unable to participate (due to health or other reasons) in the course or any part of it, supplementary attainments must be agreed upon with the Vocal Music department. The supplementary studies can include general Master’s studies in Vocal Arts.

Applicants are selected based on the entrance examination. Selection is based on your general eligibility for university studies and your educability in this profession. The main instrument audition includes the Entrance Examination Board's assessment of your skills, knowledge, proficiency, and educability. An important criterion for your educability is your voice material.

The Opera programme selection appreciates applicants with all types of voices and ranks them according to skill, proficiency, and educability. The selection process aims at assembling a versatile musical theatre ensemble.

All parts of the main instrument examination assess your demonstrated skill, educability, and suitability for the profession. The main instrument examination includes an interview. The interview assesses your educability and suitability for the profession, motivation to study, and verbal skills. The Opera programme interview will be conducted in English.

The language of tuition in the programme is English. All applicants to the Opera programme must demonstrate their language proficiency in English. Tuition in Finnish or in Swedish is possible, if necessary.

The entrance examination includes several parts. All parts of the examination are compulsory. You will be rejected is you fail to perform any single part of the examination.

During the audition, the arias should be sung from memory in the original language and key. A choice indicating versatility is recommended. All pieces must be sung with accompaniment, and you must use the Academy’s own pianist.


Pre-examination assignments

In addition to filling the online application form, you must submit following pre-examination assignments to the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office via the electronic Embark system so that they arrive no later than 30 January 2019 at 3 pm (Finnish time):

  • CV in English (N.B! maximum length of two A4 pages!), answering only the following questions:
    • Your name
    • List your previous music training (subject, teacher, when the subject(s) were studied, and school)
    • List your previous experience in opera, theatre, and musical theatre productions
    • List your level examinations (subject, level, date attained, grade, and school)
    • List your previous courses and qualifications in music theory or other relevant subjects (subjects, grade, teacher, and school)
    • Describe any other musical activities or practices in which you have been involved (e.g. teaching, participation in orchestras, choirs, operatic societies etc.)
    • Previous language studies
    • Details of other degrees, qualifications, and studies
  • Motivation essay in English (N.B! maximum length of two A4 pages!): “Why do I want to commit to the Sibelius Academy Opera programme and its productions for the years 2019–2021?”
    N.B.! If you are applying for more than one main subject in 2.5-year education in Classical Music Performance, voice as a main subject (Opera, Vocal Arts, Opera Coaching), please note that you must write a separate motivation essay for each main subject!
  • A video recording of your rendering of three (3) arias with piano accompaniment. One of the arias must be by Mozart, Haydn, Cimarosa, or Gluck. One of the arias must be sung in Italian, one in German. The arias must be sung in the original language and in the original key. The video recording must be equivalent to an ordinary audition or recital so that you sing facing the camera and your entire body is visible on the screen. The video must not be edited: in other words, each of the arias must be recorded in one shot. The material must include information about the arias and the recording date.
  • A list of three (3) other arias that you are prepared to perform in the entrance examination in March 2019. Once you submit the list, it is not possible to change it. The arias must be sung in the original language and in the original key. One of the arias can be from an operetta but not from a musical. The Entrance Examination Board will choose the three (3) arias to be performed in the entrance examination in March 2019. from the six (6) arias you have mentioned in your application (the three recorded arias and the three listed arias).

Further instructions for use of the Embark system will be published in November 2018 on Uniarts Helsinki admissions website.

Acceptance to participate in the entrance examination

On Friday 15 February 2019, Sibelius Academy will announce the applicants who have been accepted to participate in the entrance examination held in Helsinki, Finland. At the same time, Sibelius Academy will inform the applicants of the three (3) arias they shall be required to perform in the entrance examination in March 2019.

Submittal of sheet music

If you are invited to the entrance examination, you must submit sheet music for the three (3) arias you are required to perform in the entrance examination no later than Friday 1 March 2019. The music must be of high quality, and the sheets must be taped together. Your name and all possible leaps, cadenzas, or other deviations from the original notation must be clearly marked on the sheets. You should also inform Sibelius Academy of the street and e-mail addresses for the following four weeks.

Postal address: Sibelius Academy / Vocal music admissions, P.O. Box 35, FI-00097 UNIARTS
Visiting address / address for the courier mail: Nervanderinkatu 13, 00100 Helsinki, FINLAND


Entrance examination

Audition programme:

  • Three (3) arias that the Entrance Examination Board has chosen in advance from the list sent by the applicant
  • A free-choice monologue or other text prepared in advance and presented from memory (2–3 minutes) (the choice of the language of performance is free)
  • An ensemble assignment (link to the sheet music will be sent to applicants in advance)
  • A rehearsal simulation on one of the three arias that you have performed in the entrance examination
  • Stage expression assignments (in English)
  • Interview (in English)



The results of the selection procedure are based on an assessment of you as a whole.


Demonstrating your language skills for the Opera programme

Some of Sibelius Academy’s degree programmes do not require English language certificates with the application form. Instead, the English skills of the successful applicants to these degree programmes will be tested in a placement test at the beginning of the first year of study.

If you are admitted to study at Sibelius Academy's 2.5-year Opera programme and cannot deliver the required language certificate mentioned in the general admissions requirements by 31 May 2019 at 3 pm (Finnish time), you must take a proficiency test in English at the beginning of the studies to determine the level of your language skills. The test will measure your language skills at Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, in accordance with the Sibelius Academy’s language skills requirements.

If you fail the proficiency test, you will need to complete English courses at the Sibelius Academy, which lead to Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference (a minimum of 5 ECTS credits). If your language skills are not sufficient for these courses, you will need to include preparatory studies in English in your degree. These courses will be included in the compulsory studies of your minimum standard Master’s degree. N.B.! To be eligible for completing a Master’s degree, you are required to complete these courses and to reach Level B2 in English during the first year of study.

Sibelius Academy strongly recommends all applicants to demonstrate their language skills by submitting the necessary certificates in advance. The only way to avoid having to partake in the proficiency test in English at the beginning of the studies and the compulsory language studies included in the Master’s degree (if you do not pass the proficiency test) is for you to submit a language certificate in advance. Having language studies included in your degree reduces the amount of optional studies available for you.

If you wish to take the language proficiency test organised at the beginning of the studies, you must state this on your application form.