The Chamber Opera education at Mälardalen University comprises two separate years of full-time study at advanced level. As a student you need to apply for both study periods.
It is intended for you who have a passion to perform on stage, conveying opera through your singing. If you wish to develop yourself as a singer in this multifaceted art form, this is the perfect course for you!
The Chamber Opera programme has a holistic view of what an opera singer needs in their future profession. This means that, apart from vocal coaching with your voice teacher, you will be given theatrical training and performance practice at the highest level. You will also be given valuable tools to help you shape your music-making and your artistic identity. Apart from voice lessons and vocal coaching you will have lessons in fencing, stage fighting, dance, speech training, opera improvisation, languages, Art Song seminars, audition training , of course opera productions, and much more! You will also get an insight into the codes that apply in the singing profession, for example concert praxis, audition technique, choice of repertoire, dress code – everything to prepare you for your future working life as a professional opera singer.
During your education you will be taught by teachers and visiting lecturers who belong to the highest level of Swedish and international musical life. On a weekly basis you will have Individual voice lessons, individual coaching with pianists and joint lessons every week. You will learn how to portray different characters, convey emotions, thoughts and dramatic events.
The Academy of Music and Opera at Mälardalen University produces around 50 concerts and performances each academic year, where you will be given many opportunities to practise singing in front of an audience, in various venues, in different constellations of instruments and with a repertoire from different musical periods and languages. A few examples are Västmanland Theatre with 400 seats and an orchestra pit, Västerås Great Concert Hall with first-rate acoustics (912 seats), the Grand Hall at Västerås Castle (120 seats) and Västerås Cathedral (1100 seats). The concerts and production includes for example full-size symphonic Gala Concert, soloist with Västerås Sinfonietta and operaproduction at Västmanland Theater.
For examples of earlier productions, visit www.mdu.se/utbildning/omraden/musik-och-opera/kammaropera External link. (in Swedish)
All of this takes place in a creative and inspiring cultural and historical environment with Västerås Castle as a base. During your studies you will have almost unlimited access to specially adapted practice and teaching rooms at the castle, which is located within walking distance to the Central Station.
As a student you will have the opportunity of attending dress rehearsals free of charge with the Västerås Sinfonietta (also concerts), the Royal Opera in Stockholm and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Future and jobs
After the Chamber Opera education you are prepared to work as an opera- and/or concert singer at different sizes of opera- and concert houses and as a freeelancer. Or, if you prefer to continue studying, participating at an advanced level opera studio connected to an opera house.
Top marks from international voices
Chamber opera students at the Academy of Music and Opera at MDU (Mälardalen University) are taught by professional and high-level singers and performers.
Birgitta Svendén is one of the teachers who holds masterclasses at MDU. Previously she was Vice-Chancellor at the Stockholm University of the Arts and now is CEO and Artistic Director at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. Birgitta Svendén is an opera singer and has had a career on stage at many famous opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and Bayreuth amongst others. She is an honorary doctor at MDU. Liz Upchurch has also taught at MDU. She is a pianist and vocal coach at the Toronto opera, one of the world’s leading opera houses. She is very in demand as a vocal coach in Europe and North America.
Birgitta Svendén Opera Director
"I was very impressed with the student singers’ high level of ability on Mälardalen University’s Chamber Opera programme, and really enjoyed listening to these enthusiastic singers perform.
Their singing technique was at a really high level which allowed us to explore various musical ideas together and hone their musical expression both through the text and the colour palette in their vocal resonance. I know their teacher Lena Hellström-Färnlöf previously who I view as one of the best teachers in the country, which these students are the proof of. All the students sang with clear, natural voices and they could quickly adopt that which I suggested. I left the University with an amazing feeling of energy and confidence that there are new rising stars emerging in the opera world here in Sweden and that at Mälardalen University they have the prerequisites to focus on their talents."
Liz Upchurch pianist and vocal coach at the Toronto opera
This select group of gifted young opera singers have clearly benefited from a very high level of training being offered to them at this programme. These singers have had the privilege of working with a world class singing teacher, Lena Hellstrom Farnlof, in a creative, nurturing environment where artistry and vocal training are at the highest level.
This type of training gives singers the necessary tools to enter the professional world of singing.
This group of singers are now poised to enter the professional world of singing as a result of the first class training they have been given.
Opera performances and concerts
At the Academy of Music and Opera you will have the opportunity to perform music and opera in various constellations and on different stages. Here are some examples of previous performances.
Too much to Handel
This performance showcases a mix of arias and ensembles from various operas by Mozart. First year students from the Academy of Chamber Opera at Mälardalen University participate in the performance. It was held at the Västmanland theatre house and at Confidencen, the palace theatre at Ulriksdal in Stockholm.
Look at me!
A festive and entertaining opera performance for children full of opera classics done in a fun way. A co-production with Västerås City, Smålands opera and the Academy of Music and Opera at Mälardalen University.
Riddartornet is a newly composed chamber opera with music by Carl Unander-Scharin, libretto by Magnus Florin and directed by Nils Spangenberg. The opera is based on E. J. Stagnelius’ play with the same name and was especially written for the chamber opera programme at the Academy of Music and Opera at Mälardalen University. The project was carried out in co-production with Vadstena-Akademien opera house and Västmanlands theatre. The opera had its premier at Västmanlands theatre in Västerås and was then performed at Vadstena’s Gamla theatre.
Chamber opera students in an adapted version of Mozart's opera Idomeneo. Performed at Västmanlands theatre.
Contact and more information
Faculty members - Academy of Music and Opera at Mälardalen University
The faculty members have extensive and international experience both as musicians and teachers, as well as a wide network of contacts within the field of Music and Opera.
Application and admission
Great that you are interested in Mälardalen University. One of the first questions are often about how and when to apply. That and more will be answered on this and related pages.
Mälardalen University scholarship programme
Every year Mälardalen University offers a limited numbers of scholarships to students applying for a Master's programme with us as their first choice.