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 21, 2016
Applications will be accepted beginning September 15, 2016

Application Fee

$25 if you apply by October 1, 2016
$60 if you apply between October 2 and October 21, 2016

Audition Dates

Houston (Rice University)
October 28
Los Angeles (University of Southern California)
October 30
Cincinnati (Cincinnati Conservatory of Music)
November 4
Chicago (Northwestern University)
November 5-6
New York City (NOLA Studios)
November 9-14
Rochester (Eastman School of Music)
November 15

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. If schedule permits, 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. Since 1999, Buccheri has mentored collaborative pianists at Northwestern University, many of whom now work in opera companies and universities in the United States and Canada.

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
  • 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:

  • PUCCINI: La boheme: "Mi chiamano Mimi"
  • STRAVINSKY: The Rake's Progress: Act I, Scene 3 Complete

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