Talented Singers,
Expert Guidance

The Voice and Opera program at UCLA is widely regarded as the top vocal degree program in the West, and among the top programs nationwide. With a maximum student enrollment of just 35 singers (undergraduate plus graduate), an average of 12 new students are accepted into the program each year from over 300 applicants. This selective, highly specialized environment allows close interaction between students and an internationally renowned voice faculty.

The UCLA Voice and Opera program is dedicated to the success of its graduates. The faculty members continue to expand the program in new ways, ensuring that it constantly evolves to meet the needs of the talented singers who have come here for expert guidance. It is this dedicated, caring environment that has made the Voice and Opera program at UCLA so successful in training the next generation of professional singers, and in playing a significant role in shaping the future of vocal music.

Voice Faculty

James Bass
Professor and Chair of the Department of Music, Director of Choral Studies
Ryan Brown
Lecturer - Voice Performance
John Buffett
Lecturer--Choral Studies, Voice
Wendy Caldwell
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
Vladimir Chernov
Distinguished Professor - Voice Performance
Michael Dean
Professor - Voice Performance
Cheryl Lin Fielding
Lecturer - Vocal Diction and Vocal Coaching
Juliana Gondek
Distinguished Professor - Voice Performance
Rakefet Hak
Lecturer - Music Director of Opera UCLA
Peter Kazaras
Distinguished Professor - Director of Opera UCLA
Victoria Kirsch
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
Iris Malkin
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
Lucy Yates
Lecturer - Vocal Diction and Vocal Coaching


UCLA’s Voice and Opera program attracts highly gifted, intelligent young singers from around the world. Rigorous auditions are held each year to select the most qualified candidates to fill an average of twelve positions.

Students enjoy a nurturing and stimulating atmosphere of mutual encouragement and support among their professors and peers, where the only sense of competition is against the international standard of excellence to which they will be held as professionals entering a challenging job market.

The outstanding achievements of our students in regional, national, and international performing organizations and competitions bear witness to the success of UCLA’s approach to vocal training. UCLA’s current and recently graduated students have appeared with such prestigious institutions as:

  • Metropolitan Opera (and the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program), Metropolitan Opera Council Western Region and National Competitions (Grand Prize Winner, national finalists), New York City Opera, Paris Opera Centre, San Francisco Opera (and the Merola Program), Santa Fe Opera Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Ryan Opera Center, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera (and the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program), Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Colorado Opera, Opera Pacific, Opera San Jose, Tanglewood Festival, Wolf Trap Opera, Center City Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, Aspen Festival, Pittsburgh Opera Center, Boston Opera Institute, Santa Barbara Music Academy of the West, Ojai Festival, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic, just to name a few.


The UCLA voice faculty recognizes that today’s emerging singers must be expertly trained in a healthy vocal technique that will carry them through decades of successful professional singing, as well as a wide spectrum of performance repertoire. Special attention is paid to ensuring all students graduate with the technical and stylistic facility necessary to perform operatic roles and arias, art songs in at least 6 languages, and oratorio, early music, and symphonic solo repertoire. UCLA’s Voice program also offers training and performance experience in musical theater repertoire, and occasionally accepts exceptionally gifted “legit Broadway” singers as Voice Performance majors with an emphasis in Musical Theater.