June 27–August 14, 2020

The Chautauqua Institution Voice Program is a seven-week intensive educational program that seeks to offer the highest caliber of training for the young singer, 18 and older. Under the leadership of Marlena Kleinman Malas, a select group of singers study, coach and perform in an idyllic setting on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution in western New York State. Voice lessons, role preparation, vocal coachings and masterclasses are guided by a full-time staff of voice teachers, coaches and a resident stage director, along with numerous guest artists. Students also have the opportunity to work with and perform the pieces of contemporary composers like Ben Moore and Ricky Ian Gordon.  

At the start of the summer we gather in one of our newly renovated recital halls for the annual sing-in. Each singer presents one aria or song. Choose something you feel best showcases your voice. At the end of the summer, we have the sing-out where students typically perform whatever they like. Pieces have included arias, art songs, music theater, ensembles, comedy or sentimental favorites.

We perform two operas each summer. The first opera is multi-cast and performed in either Fletcher Music Hall or McKnight Hall with reduced instrumental ensemble and piano, full costumes, props and lighting. The second opera (single cast) is performed in the 4,000-seat Chautauqua Amphitheater with the Music School Festival Orchestra, full staging, costumes and props. The operas presented in 2019 were "Midsummer Night’s Dream" and "I Capuleti e i Montecchi" with the student orchestra. We also present a fully staged musical with piano at the very end of the summer. In 2019 it was “The Fantasticks”. Many roles are decided in advance of the summer but some are not finalized until after the sing-in at the very beginning of the program.

Students are also involved in numerous masterclasses, recitals and concerts, led by our guest artists and resident faculty. They also have the chance to be involved in Chamber Music with our Instrumental and Piano Programs in the beginning of the summer.

Chautauqua Institution offers large scholarships, most covering tuition and many covering the full cost.


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Resident Faculty

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Kleinman Malas

Jonathan Beyer
Elizabeth Bishop
Maxine Davis
Mikael Eliasen
John Giampietro
mikhaela mahony RhoslynJones
Mikhaela Mahony Rhoslyn Jones

Guest Faculty

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Susan Graham
Claudia Catania
Ben Moore
Craig Rutenberg
Brian Zeger


julius abrahams Michael Biel TravisBloom 080319 Martin Dube DonnaGill joel harder
Julius Abrahams

Michal Biel
Travis Bloom
Martin Dube
Donna Gill
Joel Harder
kanae bio Jinny terrell katelan new primary
Kanae Matsumoto
Jinhee Park Katelan Tran Terrell


Cost Estimates

Living Costs
Residence Hall $750
Security Deposit $100 (refundable)

Meal Plan
All meals (3 meals/day for length of program) $1,150

Instructional Costs
(includes full instruction costs, fitness center membership, registration fee and gate pass)
Voice Program $3,175

TOTAL: $5,075

*These costs are official as of September 1, 2019 but are subject to change.


Two deposits are required within seven days of admission into one of Chautauqua’s programs. Upon admission to the program, a non-refundable placeholder or tuition deposit of $500 guarantees the student’s scholarship award, if any, and a place in the program. An additional security/music deposit of $100 is required of all students, including those on full scholarships. This deposit guarantees a student’s housing and is used to defray the cost of damage to dormitories or loss of or damage to other property and is refunded after September 15 upon inspection of room and returned music, etc.

Chautauqua welcomes applications from talented students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin or religious background. Admission is by application and audition for full-term students. Be sure to indicate your preference as to audition site.

Download 2020 Voice Audition Poster


2020 Productions: 

Xerxes by Handel: July 21–24, 2020 (Double Cast)

Cunning Little Vixen by Janáček: August 10, 2020 with the Music School Festival Orchestra

110 in the Shade by Schmidt, Jones & Nash: August 12 & 13, 2020

Applications have closed for the 2020 season.

Admission decisions and scholarship awards are made by December 1 for the Voice Program. Admission results will be emailed to the address on the student's application. No decision will be released until the applicant’s file is complete and the non-refundable application fee of $55 is paid.

General Instructions

Please complete the online application, financial aid application, instructor recommendation forms and read the specific requirements for the Voice Program carefully.

Live and recorded auditions are accepted for the voice program. A confirmation will be emailed to you along with your audition time when you select an audition location. Videos must include the repertoire requirements listed below and uploaded with your application on Slideroom. Ms. Malas personally evaluates all of the live and recorded auditions and makes all of the admissions and scholarship decisions.

Scholarships are awarded only to students enrolled for, and who will participate fully in, the entire term of any program in the Chautauqua Music Festival.

Applicants for the voice program must be enrolled in or recently graduated from music studies (undergraduate, graduate or doctoral) at the time of application. Professional musicians and high school students are not eligible for admission or financial aid.

Instructions for auditions

Listed below are the repertoire requirements for voice auditions. Please keep your total for all three pieces around ten minutes maximum.

  • Aria from an oratorio or opera
  • Song in English (Art Song preferred)
  • Song in German, French or Italian

**An accompanist is provided at each audition site 

Live auditions by city

New York, NY
October 26
10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Opera America
Placido Domingo Hall

New York, NY
October 27
12–6 p.m. 
Opera America
Charles Mackay Studio

Chicago, IL 
November 16
10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Roosevelt University 
Chicago College of Performing Arts
Ganz Hall

Online Video also Accepted by November 1. Accompanist is provided at each live audition.

CHQ offers large scholarships, most covering tuition and many covering the full cost. In 2019 we awarded scholarship to 95% of the students enrolled in the voice program.