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2019 Vocal Institute

Contemporary Focus / Star-Powered Leadership

Faculty & Teaching Artists

The Vocal Institute is the leading source to prepare for a 21st century career in voice and vocal piano. The Music Academy’s expert teaching artists collaborate and mentor participants to prepare them for on-stage opportunities, from a fully-staged opera production to public masterclasses.

Training & Performance Opportunities

Cold Mountain

Cold Mountain

The Academy Festival Orchestra and Vocal fellows will perform the West Coast Premiere of composer-in-residence Jennifer Higdon’s highly-acclaimed opera, conducted by Daniela Candillari. Vocal pianists will train with the singers throughout the process.

OperaFest: Shakespeare Salon

OperaFest: Shakespeare Salon

Inspired by groundbreaking, experimental productions, fellows will present a cutting-edge production based on the texts of Shakespeare. Participants will arrive prepared to bring his stories to life through both song and speech in an entirely new format.

Industry Day

Industry Day

Singers and pianists will be heard by top artist management and opera company administrators in the field today. Most importantly, each fellow will receive critical feedback from these industry leaders, essential to career preparation.

Marilyn Horne Song Competition

Marilyn Horne Song Competition

A singer and vocal pianist are chosen by an esteemed jury panel led by the legendary Marilyn Horne. Winners receive a cash award of $5,000, a four-city tour including London Symphony Orchestra’s St. Luke’s venue, a commissioned song cycle written by Jennifer Higdon to premiere on the tour, radio broadcasts, and more.

Private Lessons & Public Masterclasses

Private Lessons & Public Masterclasses

Study one-on-one weekly with pedagogues including Marilyn Horne, Gerald Martin Moore, and Bill Schuman. Receive intensive coaching in singing technique, diction, interpretation, style, and presentation, along with an exploration of literature from opera, musical theatre, and song.

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Acting Workshop

Acting Workshop

In one of the first intensive and comprehensive acting training programs of its kind, vocal fellows will be immersed in the process of “conscious acting” through group-oriented classes. Creative Director James Darrah and guest instructors will coach singers in the dramatic preparation and presentation of audition repertoire and stagecraft while honing their artistry.

Audition & Repertoire Requirements

Application Deadlines

2019 Applications for voice and vocal piano are now closed.

Voice Program Audition Requirements

Pre-Screening Recording Round followed by Invitation-Only Live Audition Round

Voice Program applicants must first submit a Pre-Screening Round recording as part of the online application, and within the application must indicate preferred audition date/city for the Live Round opportunity (see Audition Schedule for details). Applicants will be notified by email by the first week of November if they have been advanced to the Live Audition Round and will be emailed an audition appointment at that time.

Voice Program International Applicants

Those residing overseas (outside North America) at the time of the auditions may submit a video upload audition in lieu of a live audition, if advanced to the Live Audition Round.

Voice Program Recording Round Requirements

For the pre-screening round, the following two selections must be uploaded as audio or audio/video files within the online application:

  • 1 opera aria
  • 1 art song

Voice Program Live Round Requirements

The invitation-only live audition round requires the following four selections*

  • 2 contrasting opera arias
  • 2 art songs

*At least one of the four Live Audition Round selections must be in English
*At least one of the four Live Audition Round selections must be composed after 1950
*Both requirements above may be met by singing an Opera Aria or Art Song that is both in English and composed after 1950

Singers must demonstrate in their audition a thorough understanding of the character, dramatic situation, and meaning of each aria or song text.

The Music Academy provides the piano partner for the Live Round audition.

Vocal Piano Audition Requirements

Vocal Piano Program applicants must apply online and perform a live audition. Auditions are 15-20 minutes each.

Applicants must use a Music Academy vocal partner. Partners are not available for rehearsal time prior to the auditions.

Vocal Piano International Applicants

Those residing overseas (outside North America) at the time of the auditions may submit a video upload audition in lieu of a live audition. Upload four videos that satisfy the repertoire requirements. Vocal partner must be arranged on your own to meet the fourth repertoire requirement.  No sight-reading is required of international video upload applicants.

Vocal Piano Applicants (North America)

Vocal Piano Program applicants must apply online and perform a live audition. Live auditions are 15-20 minutes each.

Live Audition Applicants must use a Music Academy vocal partner. Partners are not available for rehearsal time prior to the auditions.

Enrolled Vocal Piano fellows arrive several days prior to the start of the festival in order to participate in pre-season training.

Vocal Piano Audition Requirements

Four Selections will be performed at the Live Auditions

1.       Choose ONE of the following arias to play and sing:

  • Mozart, recitative and aria “Temerari…Come scoglio” (from Cosi fan tutte)
  • Mozart, recitative and aria “In quali eccessi…Mi tradì” (from Don Giovanni)
  • Mozart, recitative and aria “Tutto è disposto…Aprite un po quegli occhi” (from Le nozze di Figaro)

2.     Choose ONE of the following arias to play:

  • Wagner, “Du bist der Lenz” (from Die Walküre)
  • Stravinsky, “No word from Tom…I go to Him” (from The Rake’s Progress)
  • Puccini, “Un bel dì” (from Madama Butterfly)

3.       Choose ONE of the following ensembles to play and sing:

  • Bizet, quintet “Nous avons en tete un affaire” (from Carmen)
  • Verdi, quartet “Un dì, se ben rammentomi… Bella figlia dell’amore” (from Rigoletto)

4.       Choose ONE of the following songs to play.  A singer will be provided by Music Academy of the West:

  • Strauss, “Allerseelen” in E flat Major
  • Barber, “St. Ita’s Vision” in high key
  • Fauré, “Clair de lune” in B flat Minor

SIGHT-READING WILL ALSO BE REQUIRED