<p>Still hoping for recommendations for great undergrad voice programs where a bass-barritone would find opportunities to sing opera. We are thinking of McGill, Lawrence, Ithaca, Cincinnati and Oberlin. We have heard that schools with large grad programs might not offer many roles to undergrads (Indiana, Michigan, Rice, Maryland). Might there also be some LAC's where a good singer could make progress and apply to grad programs later?</p>
<p>Cincinnati is a great place but if you are trying to avoid schools with dominating grad programs that should be #1 on your list (or at least #2 behind IU). The others on your list are great options! What you must realize though is that in almost all cases if the school has any kind of grad program, chances are that it will be rare to get a main role as an undergrad. What you really want is a good faculty/student ratio because as an undergrad nothing matters more than the interaction between you and your teacher.</p>
<p>Don't obsess with being in the operas. There are many other performance opportunities. Voices take a long time to develop and it is the relationship with the studio professor and a good education that are the most important things for an undergraduate. That said, there are smaller programs where you can get both. When DD was a freshman a masters student in her studio had done her undergraduate work at Webster University. She went on to win the Met National competition and was admitted to their Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. We tend to see the same names mentioned but those are not the only paths to success. As has been mentioned, you don't even need to major in music to be successful in voice. I know that there are several entering masters students at Rice this year who did not get a BM as an undergrad.</p>
<p>Forgot to add - there are many paths, but all require a great teacher. Focus on finding the teachers that are right for your S.</p>
<p>Performance as an undergrad VOICE major is really not that important and is in most cases, harmful. This is something that a lot of high schoolers find out as they look into and audition at schools. Especially with a bass-baritone you really should not be performing roles until grad school. </p>
<p>If you are really worried about your son not getting sufficient attention as an undergrad, simply make sure that the size of the programs he applies to isn't TOO big (although you can still get wonderful attention at big programs) and that the teacher he studies with works for him and won't just focus on his GRAD students. Indiana and Michigan are tough for undergrads attention-wise but Maryland does great work with undergrads and Rice would be a fantastic option given the size of the program, and quality of the students and faculty there.</p>
<p>Vanderbilt's voice program to some degree is still a work in progress but it might be worth taking a look at just because it is undergrad only (like Oberlin). Another great option for undergrad would be Northwestern. The grad and undergrad programs are well balanced there.</p>
<p>@nycm- you have been given some excellent advice re. the importance of the proper teacher and of not rushing the "opera" roles. There is a reason why younger singers are not given large roles, if any at all, and that's because the voice takes longer to mature and if damaged, is difficult (and sometimes impossible) to repair.
It's hard for youngsters to go from being the "best" in their high school/area to having to wait their turn, but it's for the best. Keep in mind that at the "great" programs, all of their classmates were also the "best" in their home towns, and it's back to square one.
Guys are rarer in VP programs, no denying it, but beware of promises that can't be kept and always be alert to the danger of overuse. Far better to spend the next few years in gaining a good foundation in Bel Canto singing and solid technique. The roles will come later!</p>