Aspen Music Festival And School

Aspen Opera Center – Opera CoachingBack To Programs of Study

Important Information
  • Program offered full-session only
  • All students receive fellowships
  • A live audition is required
  • Online applications must be complete before scheduling live audition
Fees & Deadlines
Deadline: October 29, 2017
Applications will be accepted beginning September 15, 2017

Application Fee

$25 if you apply by October 1, 2017
$60 if you apply between October 2 and October 29, 2017

Audition Dates

Houston (Rice University)
November 6-7
Los Angeles (University of Southern California)
November 8
Chicago (Northwestern University)
November 10-11
New York City (NOLA Studios)
November 13-18

The Aspen Opera Center provides an opportunity for seven collaborative pianists to play for opera and class scene preparation, offer individual coachings, and perform with AOC singers in the weekly Opera Scenes Master Classes. Candidates will be auditioned by Edward Berkeley, director, and Elizabeth Buccheri, head of music, for the AOC. Fellowship pianists may request private lessons with a Senior Coach.

Pianist/Coach Elizabeth Buccheri, Head of Music for the Aspen Opera Center, has enjoyed a decades-long career in opera. She has worked at the highest international level in her long associations with Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, having had the privilege of working closely with conductors Sir Georg Solti, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Sir Andrew Davis, Zubin Mehta, and Sir Antonio Pappano.  In recent years, Buccheri has served as Chair of the Artistic and Awards Committee of the Solti Foundation U.S. which provides monetary support for the careers of young American conductors. A dedicated teacher, Ms. Buccheri has given master classes at the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Lawrence Conservatory, and the music academies of Lithuania and Latvia. As a faculty member at Northwestern University, Ms. Buccheri supervised the collaborative piano program in the Bienen School of Music from 2000-2013.

All student-coaches receive fellowships. If you are interested in having a private lesson, these can be arranged with the AOC program administrator after arrival in Aspen. Lessons will be instructed by the coaching faculty.

How to Apply


  • Resume required
  • Operatic Repertoire List
  • Two letters of recommendation encouraged but not required

Applicants who are interested in also applying for the Collaborative Piano program must submit a second application. Please contact the Office of Student Services for an application fee waiver.

LIVE Audition Repertoire

Pianists will be required to play and sing the following excerpts:

  • STRAVINSKY: The Rake's Progress (Boosey & Hawkes piano/vocal score)
    • Tom’s Recitative and Aria, pp. 11-15 (sung in English)
    • Ann’s Recitative and Aria, pp. 60-64 (sung in English)
    • No Cabaletta
  • PUCCINI: Tosca Vissi d’arte (sung in Italian)

The following excerpt will require playing only and does not require singing:

  • MOZART: Le nozze di Figaro: Act II Finale

Note: One of the excerpts above will be conducted by an audition adjudicator. Sight reading will be required.


Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO