Academy of Vocal Arts : Helping Singers Succeed!

90% Success for AVA Voice Grads

Amazingly, since 2000, more than 90% of AVA (Academy of Vocal Arts) alumni continue active singing careers. Many singers agree with Bryan Hymel, a renown tenor and AVA grad, “AVA is the premier postgraduate opera training school in the world and is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year producing the world’s future opera stars.” Founded in 1934 by Helen Corning Warden in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square, AVA provides four years of tuition-free training, dedicated exclusively to the study of voice.

 With no more than 30 total Resident Artists, students of this limited enrollment school are quickly immersed in a uniquely intensive and highly personalized program with AVA’s world-renowned faculty. They receive training in voice, vocal repertoire, acting, stage combat, opera history, several languages, and each year are presented in fully-staged opera productions accompanied by the professional AVA Opera Orchestra. They are cast in leading roles that they can continue to perform for the rest of their careers.

States Scott Guzielek, the new Vice President and General Manager of AVA, “No other opera training program in the world rivals AVA’s success in developing individual artists whose extraordinary voices inspire millions on international stages.”

He continues, “The quality of training can be demonstrated by the fact AVA alumni have received five of the past eight Richard Tucker Awards and five of the eleven Beverly Sills Artist Awards presented by The Metropolitan Opera.”  

AVA proudly counts among its alumni such distinguished international stars as:  Stephen Costello, Ellie Dehn, Joyce DiDonato, Joyce El-Khoury, Michael Fabiano, Nancy Fabiola, Herrera Bryan Hymel, Luis Ledesma, Angela Meade, Latonia Moore, James Morris, Corinne Winters, Stuart Neill, Ailyn Pérez, Ruth Ann Swenson, Taylor Stayton, Richard Troxell.

Currently making their mark in the opera world are recent graduates:  Dominick Chenes, Scott Conner, Marina Costa-Jackson, André Courville, Othalie Graham, Alasdair Kent, Zachary Nelson, Musa Ngqungwana, Nicole Piccolomini.

 For the 2019/2020 season, AVA will present:

  • Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro
  • Donizetti’s La favorite
  • Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera

Also this season, AVA invites Philadelphia’s Young Professionals (ages 40 and under) to exclusive, one-night only performances at special prices. The evenings include premium seating in AVA’s historic Helen Corning Warden Theater, an intermission reception with wine and light bites and an exclusive post-performance Champagne toast with the AVA Artists. More details to be announced soon; the 2019/2020 Young Professionals performances will take place on:

  • November 14, 2019Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)
  • April 30, 2020Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball)

AVA’s award-winning Resident Artists will perform at AVA’s Giargiari Bel Canto Competition at the Kimmel Center (now in its 40th year), visit local churches around the area for the Jubilate! concerts of sacred music, and sing in the return of the AVA Recital Series. 

AVA also proudly announces six new incoming Resident Artists including Emily Margevich, Cody Müller, Zachary Rioux, Sahel Salam, Anne Marie Stanley and Griffen Hogan Tracy. Audiences can meet these singers at the New Artists Recital on September 18 and 19, 2019 at AVA’s Helen Corning Warden Theater.

Subscriptions to AVA are available now, and single tickets go on sale September 3, 2019. More information may be found at 

CS Music Staff

CS Music is THE community for singers, teachers, and pianists. CS began in 1986 with the first issue of The New York Opera Newsletter and later to the award-winning magazine Classical Singer. Since 2003 CS has expanded to included articles, audition listings, and events for both classical and musical theatre singers worldwide! Free online articles and listings are available at