The OperaWorks Coach Certification Program provides three levels of certification for pianists who work, or desire to work, as vocal coaches or in opera theaters. This program is the vocal coaching counterpart to the OperaWorks Teacher Certification Program.

About the Program

Pianists who work with singers as rehearsal pianists, partners, and coaches have a wonderful opportunity and responsibility to shape the music being made. How we communicate what we know and how we interact with others in the coaching and art-making process is at least as important as what we know, if not more so.

The OperaWorks Coach Training and Certification Program offers specific training which reflects the comprehensive approach that characterizes OperaWorks’ methods. Pianists who complete all three levels will have been trained in all essential aspects of working professionally with classical singers with proven tools that elicit authentic, honest performances and foster creativity and independence.

Dates & Location

Each level of training and certification includes a two-week in-person module.

June 3 – 18, 2018
June 24 – July 8, 2018
July 8 – July 23, 2018

California State University, Northridge
Los Angeles, CA

Who Should Apply?

The program was created for pianists completing a graduate degree in collaborative piano, piano performance or vocal coaching, and for pianists already working as rehearsal pianists and classical vocal coaches who wish to gain and refine the skills needed to effectively work with classical singers in the theatrical and private settings.

Program Components

Pianists may enter at any one of three levels of certification based on their current experience and knowledge. Pianists will prepare materials in advance of the in-person program, under supervision of the faculty. Live hands-on training will take place during OperaWorks’ Summer Performance Programs and will culminate in a demonstration of the skills gained.

Coaches will also have opportunities to participate in group classes with performers and teacher attendees including: Performance Techniques, Improvisation, Alexander Technique, Yoga, and Business and Career classes that focus on entrepreneurial skills and career development.

Certification Levels

  • Level I: Rehearsal Pianist
  • Level II: Repetiteur
  • Level III: Vocal Coach. This level, perhaps more than any other, reflects an approach that is uncommon in the profession, but one which has the potential to profoundly impact the way singers are trained, and then, by extension, the way the art they create becomes relevant and meaningful to a broader audience.​


Our world-class faculty consists of professionals and teachers who have expertise in the operatic traditions and the evolving demands of the 21st century artist. Throughout the programs, they work together to ensure that participants receive well-rounded training that is reinforced program-wide.


OperaWorks programs are intense and challenging, and downtime is built in for practice, reflection, and building a supportive community. Classes run Mondays – Fridays, 9:30a – 6:00p. Performances occur on the final weekend of each program.


Deadline: January 31, 2018   APPLY HERE


Video auditions only, live and unedited. Deadline: January 31, 2018

  • Level I: playing three arias of choice with live singer (one Baroque, one Mozart and one other)
  • Level II: singing and playing one aria in each of the the following languages: French, German, Italian, English
  • Level III: sing and play one aria in French or German; 15 minute mini-coaching with singer


Participants are housed in spacious 2-bedroom apartments on the campus of California State University, Northridge. Each apartment features a living room, dining area, kitchen, private balcony, and swimming pool. Meals are not included.


Attending OperaWorks is an investment in your career and we take this very seriously. Our low participant-faculty ratio gives you unparalleled individualized attention for a successful program.

Each 2-Week Level:
Tuition: $1,800
Housing: $475* (shared bedroom, per person)
*Housing fee based on a 2-bdm apartment, shared bedroom. Private bedroom for an additional fee. Meals not included. ​


​Payment Schedule

  • $600 non-refundable deposit due upon acceptance into the program
  • Remaining tuition and housing costs are split into monthly payments

Apply Now