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Department of Voice


The Voice Department is dedicated to the thorough training and preparation of highly talented singers for professional careers. Students receive outstanding vocal training and coaching by a distinguished resident faculty and are encouraged and mentored to develop their highest levels of artistry, creativity, and musicianship, while benefitting from a wide array of performance opportunities and academic programs in theory, history, languages, acting, dance, and pedagogy.


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All roles in regularly scheduled opera, choral, chamber music, and musical theatre performances are performed by students. The Jessye Norman Master Class Series sponsors master classes and visits by distinguished artists, which further enrich the curriculum.




Stanford Olsen (Chair)

Kay Castaldo (opera)

Timothy Cheek (diction)

David Daniels

Caroline Helton

Freda Herseth

Martin Katz (voice literature)

Kathleen Kelly (opera)

Stephen Lusmann



Associated Faculty

Kristin Eder

Matthew Thompson

Carmen Pelton

Scott Piper

Melody Lynn Racine (Senior Associate Director for Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs)

George I. Shirley (Emeritus)

Robert Swedberg (opera)

Daniel Washington

Stephen West



Nadine Washington


The Koinonia Trio (Hye-Jin Cho, piano; Christine Harada Li, violin; Nathaniel Pierce, cello)
The New Entrepreneurs

EXCEL program prepares students for thriving careers in the performing arts more

JFK, composed by David T. Little; Les Feluettes (Lilles), composed by Kevin March
A Tale of Two Operas

As a composer, there are few achievements more prestigious than having a grand opera commissioned and performed by a celebrated company. Yet in the short span of four weeks this spring, two School of Music, Theatre & Dance alums-who earned degrees the same year-have seen this dream realized.     more

See more department news

image for U-M Presents Così fan tutte (VIDEO)
U-M Presents Così fan tutte (VIDEO)

The University Opera Theatre takes us behind-the-scenes of their upcoming production of Mozart's comic opera Così fan tutti. more

Photo by Marc Royce
Grammy-winning soprano Hila Plitmann to perform and record with University Symphony Band

Plitmann will sing Prof. Michael Daugherty's Labyrinth of Love on March 11 and will lead a master class on March 10.  more

image for Students perform workshop production of new opera by Prof. Bright Sheng
Students perform workshop production of new opera by Prof. Bright Sheng

Prior to its world premiere by the San Francisco Opera in September, students will workshop Dream of the Red Chamber by Sheng, with libretto by Sheng and David Henry Hwang, who will attend along with SFO creative team and administrators.  more



SMTD logo for eventMPulse Final Institute Performance: Harp and Vocal Arts

Saturday, July 30 - 10:30am
Walgreen Drama Center, Stamps Auditorium
Free - no tickets required

Voice Study at U-M: Meet our students
soloist at the annual Scholarship Showcase<em>Eugene Onegin</em>Chamber Choir, conducted by Professor Jerry Blackstone<em>La Boheme</em>soloist at the annual Collage concertChamber Choir and University Symphony Orchestra in Hill Auditorium<em>Marriage of Figaro</em>
"The U-M Voice program is designed to offer our students a nurturing environment for the development of their singing and acting skills, as well as numerous performance opportunities where they can also spread their wings with experience that builds careers in a healthy way."
Robert Swedberg, Associate Professor of Opera

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower