Degree studies in Opera are a part of the Classical Music Performance programme. Opera can be the main subject only in the 2.5-year programme leading to a master’s degree.
The 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 2023 will participate in the programme between 1 August 2023 and 31 December 2025 in accordance with a programme and schedule defined by the Sibelius Academy. If the student is unable to participate (due to health or other acceptable 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 music.
Next application period
Attention! The next application period for this programme is scheduled for 2025. The admissions guide will be updated on this page in October-November 2024.
- Applicants demonstrating their language skills with a language skills certificate: Submit your test result certificate at latest 26 March 2024 3 pm EEST
- Sibelius Academy publishes admissions results 5 April 2024
- Confirm your study place at latest 11 July 2024 3 pm EEST:
- Officially accept your study place
- Register for the academic year
- Conditionally admitted applicants: Submit the required degree certificate
- Students who are required to pay tuition fees: Pay your tuition fee
- Waiting list procedure ends 30 July 2024 3 pm EEST
- New students’ studies begin in August 2024
Who can apply?
A person with the background education required for the degree programme in question and sufficient language skills may apply for studies.
In addition, a person who completes the required background education after the end of the application period, but no later than 11 July 2024 at 3 pm EEST is eligible to apply. In that case, the admission decision is conditional until the applicant submits a certificate of the completed degree or other studies required for eligibility. If the applicant fails to submit the certificate by said deadline, the study place will be cancelled.
The Sibelius Academy may, at its discretion, also accept a temporary certificate issued by the educational institution if it indicates that the applicant has completed all studies required for the degree and will receive the degree certificate later.
Sibelius Academy will check every applicant’s eligibility before the entrance examination.
Students are admitted to the Sibelius Academy based on their performance in the entrance examination. Certificate-based admissions or quotas for first-time applicants are not in place.
Master’s degree (2.5 years)
A person who has completed at least one of the following is eligible to apply:
- A lower university degree in music (Bachelor)
- A university of applied sciences degree in music
- A foreign degree or qualification in music that provides eligibility for corresponding higher education studies in the awarding country
- A lower university degree in another field and, additionally, higher education studies in music.
The Sibelius Academy may require that a person admitted to study towards a master’s degree complete complementary studies of a scope equivalent to a maximum of one year of studies in addition to the minimum number of ECTS credits required by the degree programme in order for them to attain the skills required in the training. In principle, complementary studies must be completed in the first year of study, and they must be included in the student’s personal study plan. The applicant is informed of the complementary studies required of them in connection with the admission decision. Such complementary studies must be mentioned in the programme’s admissions proposal.
Exceptions to eligibility
The applicant cannot apply for both 5.5-year and 2.5-year programmes of a single major subject or main instrument in the same year. However, if the applicant submits an application to both programmes, the Sibelius Academy will
- take account of the application for the 2.5-year programme if the applicant is eligible for it, or
- take account of the application for the 5.5-year programme if the applicant is not eligible for the 2.5-year programme.
If the applicant has completed a higher education degree at the Sibelius Academy, they cannot apply for the same degree programme, major subject or main instrument again.
The student admission for bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes applies to applicants who do not have a valid right to study at Uniarts Helsinki at the beginning of the applied right to study, with the exception of persons who have the vice rector’s permission to complete two degrees simultaneously. A degree student registered at Uniarts Helsinki may apply for a change of right to study within the Sibelius Academy or between academies. There are separate instructions for applying for a change of the right to study and for applying for a permission to complete two degrees simultaneously. More information on the rule of one study right can be found here.
The language of tuition in the Opera programme is English. You must demonstrate your language proficiency in English by the given deadline.
How to apply
Submit your application in the spring’s first joint application period from 3 to 17 January 2024 by 3pm EET in the Studyinfo portal.
Click here to read instruction on how to fill the application form. Please note that you do not need to register in Studyinfo portal before completing the application form.
Submit the supporting documents and any advance assignments in accordance with the instructions provided.
Submit the supporting documents via the Studyinfo portal as PDF files by 3pm EET on 24 January 2024. If the documents are not in Finnish, Swedish, or English, append a translation by an authorised translator into one of these languages.
Documents required from all applicants:
- Degree certificate of the background education and a transcript of study records
If you complete your degree after the end of the application period, it is adequate to submit the degree certificate by 3pm EEST on 11 July 2024. However, all applicants must submit a transcript of records during the application period.
In case of a foreign degree, the Sibelius Academy may request clarification on the degree’s status within the awarding country’s education system.
- Certificate demonstrating language proficiency
If you demonstrate your language proficiency based on your previous studies, the degree certificate or its appendix must clearly indicate the language in which the degree was completed. The degree demonstrating language proficiency must be completed by 3pm EEST on 11 July 2024.
You will NOT need to submit a certificate of your prior education (degree certificate, transcript of records) or language proficiency if they are based on one of the following:
- You have completed the Finnish matriculation examination in 1990 or later.
- You have completed a Finnish vocational upper secondary qualification in 2017 or later.
- You have completed a Finnish further vocational qualification or specialist vocational qualification in 2018 or later.
In the above cases, we will receive your information from the electronic qualification register. If necessary, the Sibelius Academy will ask you for further information by e-mail.
Applicants applying for an entrance examination which includes sections that are organized remotely or by video recording shall also be required to:
- Official proof of identity
Append a copy of your passport, EU identity card or Finnish driving licence to your application.
Applicants to programmes organised in English are also required to submit:
- A document exempting from tuition fees
If you apply to study in English, you will be liable to pay tuition fees unless you submit a document indicating that you are exempt. For more information on tuition fees, see Tuition fees and scholarships.
Refugees, persons in a refugee-like situation and asylum seekers:
If you are unable to submit documentary evidence of your degree, you may still be deemed eligible to apply. Submit a reliable report on the completed degree that grants you eligibility to apply and an additional report explaining why the documents are not available. In addition, submit an official decision on your refugee status (asylum decision or residence permit based on protection, or a proof that such an application is pending). Submit the required documents by email to the Admissions Office by 24 January 2024 3pm EET. The Sibelius Academy will make a decision on your eligibility based on the submitted report. Applicants with refugee status must provide proof of their language skills required for the studies in one of the ways specified in the selection criteria (in Language requirements).
Any advance assignments are mentioned in the target programme’s admissions criteria. The advance assignments must be submitted as attachments to the application.
The advance assignments must clearly state the applicant’s name and the programme to which they relate. Do not submit any other advance assignments than the ones requested. Upload the materials to the Studyinfo portal as early as possible. Large files may take several hours to upload.
You can be invited to the entrance examinations if:
- you have submitted an electronic application form and the required attachments at Studyinfo portal, and
- Sibelius Academy deems you eligible based on the submitted documents.
The implementation of the entrance examinations for each programme is described in the programme’s admission criteria. The entrance examination schedules of separate programmes may overlap. If the applicant has applied for multiple programmes, they must choose which examinations they attend in case of overlaps.
A programme’s entrance examination may consist of several phases and contain multiple sub-tests. If the applicant fails to pass all the compulsory sub-tests for the entrance examination or the applicant’s entrance examinations do not meet the requirements set for them, they cannot be admitted as a student.
The Sibelius Academy will send applicants instructions for participation in entrance examinations in the entrance examination invitation. The exact times for individual entrance examinations are confirmed at the latest in the morning of the entrance examination day. Individual examination times cannot be changed except for compelling reasons not attributable to the applicant. Such reasons include the matriculation examination (or a corresponding event) and an accident or sudden illness (a medical certificate is required). In such cases, the examination time can only be rescheduled within the limits of the Entrance Examination Board’s working timetables.
The entrance examination is a closed event attended by the applicant, the Entrance Examination Board and the agreed assistants (for example, an accompanist, a training choir, a board assistant or the applicant’s assistant). Entrance examinations may not be recorded.
If you wish to cancel your participation in the entrance examination, notify the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office by email as soon as possible.
Individual arrangements in the entrance examination
If you require individual arrangements in the entrance examination because of a sensory or physical disability or other corresponding reason, more information on individual arrangements can be found here.
First stage: Advance assignments
Submit the following advance assignments to the Sibelius Academy via Studyinfo portal no later than 25 January 2023 (3 pm EET):
1) CV in English (max. two A4 pages), answering only the following questions:
- Your name
- Your previous music training (subject, teacher, when the subject(s) were studied, and school)
- Your previous experience in opera, theatre, and musical theatre productions
- Your level examinations (subject, level, date attained, grade, and school)
- 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.)
- Your previous language studies
- Details of other degrees, qualifications, and studies
2) Motivation essay in English (max. two A4 pages): “Why do I want to commit to the Sibelius Academy Opera programme and its productions for the years 2023–2025?”
NOTE: 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), please note that you must write a separate motivation essay for each main subject.
3) A video recording of your rendering of three (3) arias. 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. A choice indicating versatility is recommended. All arias must be sung with accompaniment.
Each individual aria must be recorded in one take (as in a live performance), and the recordings of individual arias must not be edited. However, the video can be recorded in several takes and more than one space. The material must include information about the arias and the recording date, preferably as a separate PDF-file.
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 shot from too far away
The instructions for completing and submitting electronic entrance examinations assignments are published at latest 8 December 2023.
4) A list of three (3) other arias that you are prepared to perform for the second stage of the entrance examination in March 2023. Once you submit the list of arias, it is not possible to change it. In March on the second stage of the examination you should be prepared to sing these arias in the original language, in the original key and from memory. One of the arias can be from an operetta but not from a musical. The Entrance Examination Board will choose the three (3) arias from the list of six (6) arias you have mentioned in your application to be performed in the second stage. [Updated 5 January 2023]
Based on the scores given for the first stage, the Board will invite a part of the applicants to the second stage of the entrance examination. All applicants will be informed of the first stage results by email.
On Friday 10 February 2023, Sibelius Academy will announce the applicants who have been accepted to participate in the second stage of the entrance examination to be held on 2 and 3 March 2023 in Helsinki, Finland. [Exact dates updated on 17 February 2023.] Together with the announcement Sibelius Academy will inform the applicants of the three (3) arias they are required to perform in the second stage of the entrance examination.
The second stage consists of the following sub-tests:
1) Performance of three (3) arias that the Entrance Examination Board has chosen in advance from the list sent by the applicant. The arias must be sung in the original language and in the original key. The arias should be presented from memory.
2) A free-choice monologue or other text prepared in advance and presented from memory, duration of 2–3 minutes (the choice of the language of performance is free).
3) An ensemble assignment (link to the sheet music will be sent to applicants in advance, latest on Friday 17 February 2023). The musical entity with other singers of the ensemble will be sung through only once.
4) A rehearsal simulation on one of the three arias that you have performed in the second stage of the entrance examination. The aria will be announced in advance with the applicant.
The rehearsal situation includes work on musical, vocal, stylistic, and phonetic elements. The rehearsal situation might also include text analysis, exploring the concrete context, and other assignments derived from the material in the aria.
The sub-test will last about 15 to 20 minutes.
5) Stage expression assignments (in English)
The sub-test is held in small groups, and it lasts for about 15 to 25 minutes.
6) Interview (in English)
The interview will last 5-15 minutes.
Submitting the sheet music:
Submit sheet music for the three (3) arias you are required to perform in the second stage of the entrance examination by email no later than Friday 25 February 2023 (email@example.com). The sheet music must be submitted as PDF files of good quality, the entire song as a single file.
Bring the same sheet music to the entrance examination as either originals or copies.
The music must be of high quality, and the sheets must be taped together. The applicant’s name and all possible leaps, cadenzas, or other deviations from the original notation must be clearly marked on the sheets.
Entrance examination assessment
Applicants’ performance in the entrance examinations is assessed by programme-specifically appointed Entrance Examination Boards. The boards assess the knowledge, skills and capabilities of each applicant and their capacity to complete the degree studies within the normative duration for the completion of a degree. The assessment takes account of how the applicant’s previous education and experience reflects in their competence and assesses their competence in relation to the objectives set in the curriculum.
In addition, the Opera programme Entrance Examination Board will assess the applicants’
- abilities as a soloist and musical talent
- technical and expressive capabilities
- Stage expression capabilities (including capacity to take direction, team working skills, individual presence, memorization skills, physical creativity and overall physicality, ability to connect with a text, alertness and reactivity, and willingness to improvise)
- stage, acting, communication and ensemble skills
- ability to follow verbal instructions and learn new things
- artistic development potential
- material in CV
Based on the applicant’s motivational letter and interview, the Board will assess the applicant’s written and oral expression skills, ability to express their motivation and goals, and realistic conceptions related to the profession.
An important criterion for your educability is your voice material.
The Opera programme Entrance Examination Board appreciates applicants with all types of voices and ranks the applicants according to skill, proficiency, and educability. The admission process aims at assembling a versatile musical theatre ensemble.
Scoring of the entrance examination
The Board will assess the applicants’ performances in the first stage as a whole on a scale of 0 to 3 points.
The Board will assess the applicants’ performances in the second stage on a scale of 0 to 25 points. The points in the second stage are based on an overall assessment of the applicant’s entrance examination performances as a whole in both stages.
The score for the second stage will remain the applicant’s final score.
The Entrance Examination boards rank the applicants of each programme based on their entrance examination score. The final decision on students admitted to the programmes and those placed on the waiting list is made by the dean of the Sibelius Academy.
A study place is offered to highest scoring applicants who meet the selection criteria. Applicants ranked behind the admitted students may be placed on a waiting list in the order of their score. The waiting lists are either programme-specific or group-specific if there are several groups in a single programme. A study place will become vacant and can be offered to an applicant on a waiting list only if one of the applicants admitted to the same degree programme (or group) chooses not to accept the study place, or if someone who has been conditionally admitted fails to submit the necessary documents by the end of the deadline.
If there are no applicants who meet the admissions criteria, some programmes may choose not to admit new students. If a specific degree programme does not admit any new students, applicants to that programme cannot be placed on a waiting list.
Announcement of results
Admission results, including the names of the applicants who have given the permission to have their names published online, will be published on the Uniarts Helsinki website. In addition, each applicant can view their situation in the Studyinfo portal. Admitted applicants and those placed on the waiting list are informed of the results by email.
Applicants may request feedback on their entrance examination performance. The feedback provides the applicant with information on how the evaluation criteria stated in the admission criteria were applied in the assessment of their entrance examination. Instructions for requesting feedback will be published on the Uniarts Helsinki website in connection with the publication of the admission decision.
If you believe that the Sibelius Academy has acted contrary to its admission criteria, you can request for rectification to the student admission decision from the Sibelius Academy in writing within 14 days of the publication of the admission results.
The rectification procedure is not intended as a means for receiving feedback, asking for further information about the admission or requesting unjustified re-evaluation.
Accepting the offered study place and starting your studies
An offer of admission can be accepted either via the Studyinfo system or by filling in the confirmation form attached to the letter of acceptance and by delivering it to the admissions office. You must accept your study place by the given deadline. If the confirmation arrives late, it will not be considered.
Accepting an offer of admission is a binding choice, which cannot be changed or cancelled later on.
You must also register as attending at the Sibelius Academy before the academic year begins – more information will be sent to you along with your acceptance letter.
First-year studies begin in mid-August with an orientation period that is compulsory for all new students.
Questions or comments?
You can contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions, please check first if your question has been already answered on our frequently asked questions page. This page will be updated constantly. Please check it regularly to see if new questions have been answered. Please note that in principle we do not explain the entrance examination assignments. The instructions are in the admissions guide.
If you have any questions regarding student life at the Sibelius Academy or in Helsinki, you can contact our Student Ambassadors at email@example.com.
The Sibelius Academy Admissions Chat
What is it like to study at the Sibelius Academy and live in Helsinki? How do you apply to the Sibelius Academy? To find out answers to these questions by watching our Admissions chat event live on Sibelius Academy’s Instagram account on 21 November 2023. Welcome!