Creating New Opera - master

Creating New Opera - master

The Master’s Programme in “Creating New Opera” is aimed at those with a desire to help shape the opera of the future. Through collaboration with students from different disciplines, you will work together with an exploratory approach to develop methods and visions for innovative opera.

Creating New Opera is a collaboration between Stockholm University of the Arts (Departments of Performing arts and Opera) and the Royal College of Music. The programme will bring together students from various disciplines within opera, music and performing arts and is aimed at those with the desire of taking opera into the future. You may be a stage designer, librettist/playwright, costume designer, opera singer, lighting designer, mask and wig designer, instrumentalist, composer or a director, but do not necessarily have to have previous experience working with opera.

Under the supervision of professors and senior lecturers from the various departments and external experts, you will develop collaborative methods and also sharpen your own ability to creatively contribute to the creation of new opera. Throughout the programme, you will work both practically and theoretically with opera through laboratories and seminars. The practical elements will take place in collaborative forms and are characterised by a non-hierarchical approach that emphasises the exchange of knowledge between the various disciplines. The programme aims to broaden the concept of what opera and performing arts can be. As a second-cycle programme, it lays the groundwork for future artistic research.

  • Read more

    The programme consists of four semesters and has both practical and theoretical elements. The education mainly revolves around the opera laboratories which take place during the first three semesters, where all students collaborate on different themes within opera, such as the space, the thought and the feeling, the voice and the body, and the narrative. The laboratory work is collaborative and non-hierarchical, which means that no discipline’s interpretation takes precedence over another. The students will collaboratively develop methods for the creation of opera, thus broadening the concepts of what both opera and performing arts in general can be. The education focuses on the exchange and absorption of knowledge from the different students and their disciplines as a method of developing new, shared knowledge.

    The opera laboratories are supported by the theory and practice courses, where an in-depth analysis of opera’s disciplines and narrative methods is explored and discussed from an expanded performing arts perspective.

    The programme lays the groundwork for research, and throughout the courses in Methods in artistic research, students are introduced to current research, they review research methods, methods for documentation, and the presentation of research-based art.

    Applicants to the programme must, among other things, describe the artistic and exploratory work that they intend to pursue during the programme. With the support of a supervisor and in dialogue with the insights and knowledge you gain throughout the programme, you will develop your research topic. Before the final semester, this topic must be definitively formulated.

    The last semester involves you producing an independent project. This will be presented and examined in three parts. The first part is your exploratory work, presented in an artistic, performative way. The second part consists of a reflection on that work. The third part is collaborative, and here the students will present the results of the laboratories conducted during the programme in a form that has been jointly determined in dialogue with the supervisors.

    The aim of the programme is not to create an entire work of opera. It should develop your methods and knowledge so that you can create new works after completing the education, through the spirit of collaboration and in a way that can develop the operatic art. The idea is for the education to provide you with tools to reshape the field of opera and take opera into the future.

    For further questions about the programme:

    Anders Aare, Assistant professor of Sound design, Department of Performing Arts, Uniarts

    Wilhelm Carlsson, Professor of Musical drama, Department of Opera, Uniarts

    Maria Geber, Assistant professor of Costume design, Department of Performing Arts, Uniarts

    Anders Kilström, Professor of Piano, Department of Classical Music, Royal College of Music

    Karin Rehnqvist, Professor of Composition, Department of Composition, Conducting and Music Theory, Royal College of Music

  • Entry requirements

    You need to fulfil the general entry requirement for studies at the second cycle (a Bachelor's degree), as well as the specific entry requirements for the programme:

    • A bachelor degree in fine arts
    • English 5
    • A grade of Pass in the qualification test within the specification applied to

    Detailed information about the qualification test and the selection process is found here.

    If you don’t fulfil the formal entry requirements for the programme you may apply for recognition of prior learning, in other words that the knowledge and competence you have acquired through other activities are assessed as the equivalent of the formal merits that are required. Submit your application for recognition of prior learning with your application for the programme.

    You may also apply for an exemption/a waiver, that allows you to proceed to the selection process even though you don’t meet the general admission requirements. Submit your application for an exemption/a waiver together with your application.

    Read more about how you can show that you meet the entry requirements (that you are eligible).

  • Valuable prior knowledge

    In addition to the entry requirements for the programme, it is valuable if you have other prior knowledge, such as a good ability to cooperate with other people and professional groups. You are to feel secure in your own artistry and maintain a high artistic and technical level within your discipline. You have an ambition to develop and contribute with your creative ability with the goal of creating new opera. The programme does not involve any skill training within your own discipline, which means that you, for example, as a singer or musician, will not receive voice lessons or lessons on your instrument.

  • How to apply

    When the programme is open for application you apply through our web-based application system by clicking on the "Apply here"-button on this page.

    Start your application early! Don’t delay in submitting your application! You may run into trouble if you wait until the last day and your internet connection happens to be down, or you find that your files are in the wrong format. You will not be able to apply once the last date for applications has passed. Keep in mind that your application has to be turned in by 23.59 (Swedish time).

    When you have entered the application system:

    1. Register by stating your name and e-mail address.
    2. Fill in your personal data (including your Swedish civic registration number if you have one).
    3. Fill in the application form and upload the required documents.

    Before uploading your documents, they must be prepared as follows:

    • You must scan your original documents. If the document is in colour, scan it in colour.
    • Be sure to scan ALL pages in the document, even those that just contain instructions or other information that is not necessarily information about your grades. It must be the complete document and all the pages should be in the same file.
    • If you upload copies of original documents, (degree certificates, transcript of records etc.) they must be certified/attested! This means that another person must sign their name, write their name in block letters and provide their telephone number on each document copy you submit. This person, by signing, is certifying that the copy you submit is an exact copy of the original.
    • All documents must be in PDF-format unless otherwise stated.
    • Please name the file with content and your name for example: cv_ first name_ family name


    The following documents have to be uploaded for your application to be complete:

    1. A copy of your passport or national identity card (unless you are a Swedish citizen)
    Applicants from non-EU, EEA-country, or Switzerland, need to pay application fee for higher education in Sweden, and if admitted a tuition fee. If you are a citizen in an EU, EEA-country, or Switzerland, you do not have to pay application or tuition fees. Please upload a copy of your passport/valid national identity card as we need to check your nationality. If you have a Swedish civic registration number, or Swedish citizenship, you do not need to upload a copy of your passport. Remember to state your Swedish civic registration number when you fill in your personal data.

    2. Documentation showing that you meet the general entry requirements for studies at second cycle/advanced level

    • An official and verifiable certificate of a Bachelor's degree including the transcript of records.
    • If you are in your last year of studies, please upload an official and verifiable certificate that shows completed and current courses
    • If you do not have the required courses from university studies you can apply for recognition of prior learning (see below).

    We only accept documents in English, Swedish, Danish or Norwegian. Regarding documents issued in another language, you must upload the original document along with a translation made by an authorized translator.

    Please note that we do not accept print outs from We do not accept e-mails as certificates

    3. Documentation showing that you meet the specific entry requirements of Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts and English 5

    • An official and verifiable certificate of a Degree of a Bachelor of fine arts including the transcript of records.
      If you do not have the required courses from university studies you can apply for recognition of prior learning (see below).
    • Documentation that shows that you meet the English language requirement of English 5 (in a Swedish high school). You will find more information about the language requirement here.
      If you don't meet this entry requirement in any of the ways listed on the linked page, you can register to take a local language test at Uniarts.

    4. Your cv
    Outline your education and other activities relevant to the application. Use PDF.

    5. Letter of Motivation
    A cover letter explaining why you are applying to the programme. Max 1/2 A4 (about 2000 characters including blanks). Use PDF.

    6. Your departure point/topic
    A description of a departure point or topic within your own artistic practice that you want to develop and work with during the programme. We therefore are not asking for a fully formulated project but rather material that will be further developed. Max 1 A4 (about 4000 characters including blanks). Use PDF.

    You are also required to supply work samples for the specialisation you are applying to:

    7. Sing 3 arias that are different in character and demonstrate your ability in terms of dramatic musical interpretation. One of these arias should be composed after 1980. Record and send the arias as both an audio file and a video file.

    The music should be recorded in such a way that your voice is clearly audible, for example, not in an overly acoustic room with the microphone at a distance, or in a stage performance where you are positioned far away from the microphone.

    Upload one compressed video file (mov, mp4) and one non-compressed audio file (Wav, Aiff), max 150 Mb/file. Here are instructions on how to convert the film.

    Playwright/Libretto writer
    7. Write a synopsis of a short drama and justify why the drama would benefit from being set to music and sung. Max 1 A4 (about 4000 characters including blanks). Use PDF.

    8. Write a short monologue that expresses a clear emotion that the person embodies. For example, longing, loss, happiness, anger, rage, vindictiveness, hate, sorrow, fear or jealousy. Max 1 A4 (about 4000 characters including blanks). Use PDF.

    7. Describe as accurately as possible how you would like to direct Scenes 2 and 3 of Act III from Verdi’s Otello. Draw and use text to describe settings, how you interpret the settings and what drives the people to act as they do under your direction. Base it on both libretto and music. If you need notes (reduction), then e-mail and we will send them. Maximum of 5 pages, including text and image descriptions. Use PDF.

    8. Write a text where you reflect on your direction of the scenes above and about the work as a whole. Max 1 A4 (about 4000 characters including blanks). Use PDF.

    Mask and wig design, Costume design, Light design and Scenography
    7. Submit ten images from your previous stage design work. Use PDF.

    8. Use an element of Verdi’s Otello which you feel passionately about and submit six inspirational images based on the specialisation you are applying to. Here are links to libretto and one of many recordings of the music. Use PDF.

    9. Write a text that reflects on the work and the images you have selected. Max 1 A4 (about 4000 characters including blanks). Use PDF.

    Composers and instrumentalists
    You apply to the specialisation Composing or Instrumentalist via the web site of the Royal College of Music. The application is open December 2, 2019 - January 15, 2020.

    Applying for recognition of prior learning

    If you do not meet the general requirements and/or specific requirements you can apply for recognition of prior learning. When you apply for recognition of prior learning you should upload:

    • a letter explaining why you think that you will manage the studies even though you do not fulfil the general entry requirements and/or specific entry requirements.
    • signed documents/certificates that confirm your merits/experiences that you refer to in your letter and CV. The documents you upload need to be signed and dated by the person/s that wrote them. We only accept documents on in English, Swedish, Danish or Norwegian. We do not accept e-mails as certificates.

    Here you can find more information regarding prior learning/exemption.

    Please note that we only accept applications and certificates through the application system, not by means of regular post or e-mail.

    Confirmation of your application

    When you’ve submitted your application you will receive a confirmation to the e-mail address that you’ve stated. If you don’t receive an confirmation e-mail, you should firstly check your spam filter. If the confirmation e-mail is not there, contact the technical support for the application system by e-mail:

    Technical difficulties with your application?

    Phone: +46 520 580 050 (weekdays at the following times: 08:30–12:00 and 13:00–16:30).

  • When you have applied

    Read about the qualification test and the selection process on the page Admission process for Creating New Opera - master.

  • Application and tuition fees

    If you are a Swedish citizen or a citizen of another EU or EEA country you are not required to pay application or tuition fees. Some other groups are also exempt from the requirement to pay application and study fees.

    A few years ago Sweden introduced application and tuition fees for higher education. The level of the study fees depends on which course/programme they are for, and the level is set in order to cover the actual costs of the course/programme in question. Uniarts has some possibilities of offering scholarships that cover the whole study fee or that subsidise it.

    If you are required to pay an application fee, we need to have received your payment by the last date for applications. The application fee is SEK 900. If you are required to pay the application fee and we have not received your payment by the last date for applications, we will not process your application.

    The tuition fee for specialisations in playwright/libretto writing, directing, mask and wig design, costume design, light design and scenography:

    For the whole programme: 1 177 300 SEK

    The fee for the first term is 288 700 SEK and for term 2-4 it is 296 200 SEK/term.

    The tuition fee for specialisation in singing:

    For the whole programme: 1 080 200 SEK

    The fee for term 1 and 4 is 266 300 SEK/term. For term 2-3 it is 273 800 SEK/term.

    Application and tuition fees for specialisations in composition and instrumentalists are found on the web site of the programme at the Royal College of Music.

    Scholarships to Cover the Tuition Fee

    If you are obliged to pay a tuition fee you can apply for a scholarship which covers the tuition fee. The scholarship does not cover any private costs during your studies. Please note that you still need to pay an application fee (900 SEK). The application fee is non-refundable.

    Read more about application and study fees, how to pay to Uniarts and tuition fee scholarships.


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