After 25 years as the general director of Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point in Eureka Springs, Ark., Jim Swiggart is retiring. The Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony (IPFAC) board recently honored Swiggart with the title General Director Emeritus and appointed Stephen Rushing—Opera in the Ozarks alumnus, accomplished baritone, and professor of vocal arts at Southeastern Louisiana University—as his successor. In appreciation of Swiggart’s longtime contributions, a concert is planned for mid-July 2014 featuring Latonia Moore as well as other successful protégés of Swiggart. The upcoming 64th season, which runs from June 20 to July 18, will include productions of Così fan tutte, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, and Into the Woods. For information including national auditions (taking place now),
Arguably the center of the opera universe, Verona is the perfect spot for the summer program Opera Viva! The world flocks to the ancient amphitheater to be transported back in time, viewing opera under the stars. Our students attend weekly performances. Opera Viva! is exclusively limited to 20 students, making access to its distinguished faculty unique to other programs. Rather than presenting a full opera, where only one person stars, we carefully choose our opera scenes to highlight and develop each voice. This individualized approach supports our thesis that on the day you leave, you will sing better than when you arrived!
Rocky Ridge Music Center (Estes Park, Colo.) voice students attend the Central City Opera performances and perform scenes each summer in the Young Artist Seminar (YAS). Singers participate in masterclasses with artist-teachers such as Patrick Mason, Leigh Holman, Anthony Dean Griffey, and Isola Jones. The Rocky Ridge Concerto Competition has seen six singers win concerto performances in six years. YAS vocalists have gone on to excellent graduate programs at CCM, University of Iowa, Manhattan School, and NEC. Although small, the vocal program at Rocky Ridge is flourishing and provides the ideal mix of inspiration, opportunity, and individual attention.
A vocal participant lists the best things about his experience at the 2013 Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute: “The passion and technical knowledge of faculty. A creative, playful, non-ego-driven atmosphere. Participants with diverse skills and experience brought a wealth and breadth of talent and knowledge that was shared amongst all. It not only met my hopes and expectations, but exceeded them—bravo!” We look forward to welcoming back voice faculty members Ann Monoyios, Peter Harvey, Ivars Taurins, and Marshall Pynkoski for another inspiring exploration of Baroque solo, ensemble, choral, and operatic repertoire May 26–June 8, 2014, in Toronto, Canada.
The Fairbanks Summer Art Voice/Opera/Musical Theater Program is a unique opportunity to have hands-on experience in all three categories. The voice and opera faculty collaborate to offer students a variety in an intense two-week program promoting a strong technical and pedagogical foundation. Students receive vocal instruction, coaching, staging and, in addition, participate in a semi-staged production of operatic and musical theater material along with an oratorio. Students have access to a number of performing opportunities including singing with orchestra, opera, recital, vocal solo class, masterclasses, outreach programs, and studio classes.
Specially designed for serious music students, the IES Abroad – Vienna Music History and Performance program explores Music History and Vocal and Instrumental Performance in the world’s leading city of Classical music. This coming summer the Music History component focuses on the music and culture of the Late 19th Century and Fin-de-Siècle (J. Strauss, Brahms, Wolf, Mahler). The Music Performance Workshop allows you to expand your repertoire and chamber performance skills in private lessons, group coachings, and a concert in our 18th-century palace. All participants take a weekend trip and there are constant opportunities to engage in the rich musical surroundings of Vienna.Visit www.IESabroad.org/vienna to learn more.
At Music Theater Bavaria 2014, students in the Opera Studio and the Musical Theater Studio will focus on both intensive training and concert performances, living and working with a team of residential teachers for a full month in the mountain village of Oberaudorf, Germany. This summer’s resident voice faculty, including Barbara Honn, Cynthia Munzer, and MTB’s Director Richard Owens, will be joined by stage director Matthew Lata, German teacher extraordinaire (according to student reviews) Katja Riek, dance teachers Rolann Owens and Austin Eyer, coaches Jo Ann Kulesza, Amanda Johnston, and Dean Wilmington as well as other masterclass teachers. Students will also learn about auditioning and working in the German-speaking countries. New for this year is a section of the program for which up to four advanced opera students may be accepted, designed to help them prepare for an audition tour in Germany.
The summer session 2013 was a great success for Middlebury’s German for Singers and Vocal Coaches. Eleven singers from all over the country came to Vermont to work on their German in an immersion program which also included preparing a voice recital and a production of Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. Of our 11 singers, five came with no German—but within six weeks, we prepared our fun-filled, fast, and witty show in German only that brought the sold-out Middlebury Town Hall Theater to their feet. What a great way to learn German and get your feet wet on a German-speaking stage!
Last year’s festival marked 10 years of Project Canción Española. Singers, guitarists, and pianists from countries such as Cuba, Japan, Scotland, Spain, and the U.S. gathered in Madrid at the Escuela Superior de Canto to improve their singing in Spanish and learn new repertoire. Faculty (Julio Alexis Muñoz and Jorge Robaina, repertoire; Nan Maro Babakhanian, diction and voice; Juan Miguel Giménez, guitar and flamenco; Antonio Vallejo Anaya, flamenco dance) performed an inaugural concert including flamenco and participants performed in a glamorous final concert as part of Madrid’s “Clásicos en Verano” Chamber Festival.
Now entering its 10th summer, Canta in Italia (Sing in Italy) offer singers the experience of living and studying in Lucca. From June 2 through June 27, students receive daily language instruction, daily voice lesson and/or coaching sessions, and weekly masterclasses. Music and staging rehearsals fill the afternoon hours. Included in the program fees are accommodations, welcome and farewell festas, tickets and travel to an opera performance at Arena di Verona, and passes and excursions to the state museums in Florence. Staged concerts of opera scenes and arias bring the program to a grand finale. Optional college credit is offered through Wichita State University.
The Walnut Hill Summer Opera Program provides young artists with intensive training in vocal and opera performance. Students spend two weeks on Walnut Hill’s campus rehearsing, making new friends who share their artistic passion, and attending coaching sessions and masterclasses with renowned performers and teachers. Next, they travel to Italy to spend a week experiencing opera culture, exploring La Scala, visiting the Verona Opera Festival, performing at Casa Verdi in Milan, and more. The culmination of the program is a final performance given by the Summer Opera Program participants back on the Walnut Hill campus.
The Wesley Balk Opera/Music-Theater Institute builds upon the basic skills of singing, acting, and moving, and unifies these essential musical and theatrical components into integrated performance. The intensive three-week session features an outstanding staff of instructors who create a stimulating and challenging environment, providing respectful observation, support, and instruction by focusing on individual growth instead of competition or comparison. Now in its 38th year, the Institute has had a profound impact upon hundreds of participants who have found its concepts applicable to all styles of performance, ranging from traditional opera to Broadway musicals to new and experimental music-theater.
Here’s what singers had to say when asked about favorite moments at the Redwoods Opera Workshop:
• When we realized we were in the California Redwoods Forest, singing beautiful opera, with some of the best friends we will make in a lifetime . . .
• The evening masterclasses were my favorite part of the day . . .
• The opera aria night at a lovely local hotel in Mendocino . . .
• I’ve never been so immersed in a character in such a short amount of time . . .
• The amount of growth I experienced in 10 days is incomparable to any other musical experience I’ve ever had. Six months later, ROW’s lessons still resonate with me in my daily vocal activities . . .
The 2013 Opera Institute at Washington National Opera continued and enhanced some of the most exciting aspects of its program. Highlights included students’ rare opportunity to sing on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage and the new opportunity to compete in a Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition for feedback and cash prizes through our collaboration with the Schmidt Foundation. Although we continued to have wonderful masterclass presenters, we added a three-day residency with renowned artists Harolyn Blackwell and Richard Stilwell. “My lesson with Ms. Blackwell was the most valuable 40 minutes I had at the Opera Institute,” one student said. Administrators hope to make 2014 even better!
Although 2013 was Seagle Music Colony’s 98th anniversary season, we produced our first-ever Russian language production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Lyric Russian diction specialist Anton Belov was in residence for a week to work with our young artists. Choreographer Susan Thiel helped our artists learn the tap dancing moves necessary to pull off our spectacular production of 42nd Street. Representatives from Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Saratoga, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions all visited the Seagle Music Colony campus in 2013 to hear our participating singers.
In 2013, Russian Opera Workshop performed a Philadelphia premiere of Francesca da Rimini by Sergei Rachmaninoff and also Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet scene of a planned but never realized opera. The upcoming 2014 summer program presents two Tchaikovsky operas: in June a Philadelphia premiere of The Maid of Orleans, the story of Joan of Arc, and in July Eugene Onegin. Russian Opera Workshop is an independent program in summer residency at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. Housing option is available by special arrangement with Curtis Institute of Music’s Lenfest Hall, only a few city blocks from AVA.
Opera NEO’s Summer Opera Festival and Workshop will be July 18 to August 17. Participants will perform two fully staged opera productions and receive instruction on recitativo, stage movement, acting, and audition technique. They will also receive private lessons and music coachings, daily masterclasses and seminars, and participate in roundtable discussions about role preparation, business, and career.
Emerald City Opera will produce Falstaff and Dido and Aeneas for its 12th season festival in August 2014. For information, see our website at www.emeraldcityopera.org. To apply to our Opera Artist Institute, see
A select group of high school, college, and professional actors/singers gathered in Denver for a five-day summer intensive with Tony Award winner and Theater Hall of Fame inductee Betty Buckley at her second Song Interpretation and Monologue Workshop in Colorado. Buckley has been teaching this workshop at professional acting studios in New York and Los Angeles for over 40 years. Students came prepared with vocal selections of their choosing and worked with Buckley through a series of exercises to enhance their storytelling, acting, and communications techniques with their singing. Information about upcoming programs can be found on bettybuckley.com or students can send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request information.
The NAPA Music Festival, June 15–July 7, in the heart of California wine country, is a new teaching festival with renowned faculty (Founder/Artistic Director Juliana Gondek, Brian Asawa, Rufus Müller, Richard Zeller, Robert Chafin, Daniel Beckwith, William Lumpkin, Heather Mathews, Rick Harrell, Peter Grunberg, Gerry Sternbach, Robert Tannenbaum, Andrew Eggert, and more). Performing opportunities include concerts, recitals, and three staged operas with orchestra. Participants can select from the Absolute Artist Program (broad-ranging experience in opera, art song, oratorio, and cabaret), Baroque Opera Boot Camp (training in vocalism, style, historic performance practice, stagecraft, and repertoire), Cabaret Conservatory (creating, perfecting, producing, and performing your own solo cabaret act), the Vocal Technique Intensive (transformative work with outstanding faculty), and the Napa Teen Vocal Track (NTVT, a day program for Bay Area high school singers). See www.napamusic.org for more information.
A highlight of SongFest 2013 was the Celebration of Leonard Bernstein concert which had 2,000 in the audience. Jamie Bernstein (Bernstein’s daughter) narrated the program which included the Bernstein work “Songfest” originally for six soloists and orchestra which John Musto arranged for two pianos and soloists. The second half included selections from Candide and West Side Story. The concert got rave reviews by Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times.
In 2014 SongFest takes a newly curated collection of popular sheet music, “Songs in the Key of LA” to site-specific concert venues around Los Angeles where singers and pianists will be the first to interpret these forgotten gems. Consisting of music that ranges from the 1840s through the 1950s, the collection offers a singular portrait of Los Angeles history and culture.
Opera is changing! Are you ready? Join Metropolitan Opera singers bass-baritone Keith Miller and mezzo-soprano Megan Marino along with conductor Nathan Brock of L’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal for the inaugural year of the Boulder Music Institute.
• International standard vocal training with Metropolitan Opera singers
• Weekly concerts with Nathan Brock and orchestra
• Updated marketing materials with world-class photographers and videographers
• Stage and film acting training with LA directors and NY actors
• Experiential concert with orchestra and cutting-edge technology
• Psychological tools to manage stress
Si parla, si canta is a cost-effective Italian-immersion program for young singers and pianist/coach-accompanists in Urbania, Italy, including intensive language study, exciting performance opportunities, and coaching in Italian repertoire with internationally known faculty led by Artistic Director Benton Hess, Hugh Murphy, Ksenia Lelëtkina, and Wilson Southerland. Artists-in-residence are Nicholas Clapton, Eric Halfvarson, and Federico Sacchi. Masterclass clinicians include Maestro Alberto Zedda and Enza Ferrari. Participants range in age and experience from recent high school grads to acclaimed professionals. Applications accepted until March 1, 2014. See www.siparlasicanta.org for more information.
Announcing the Fourth Season of the Up North Vocal Institute, a unique training program based on Lake Charlevoix in northern Michigan. Our 2014 season runs from June 21 – July 20. UNVI focuses on training the voice in a rigorous four week “mind-body-voice” environment. The program is limited to 20 participants with a 2:1 student to faculty ratio. We employ a team-teaching method with all students interacting with all 10 world class faculty members during the four week program. Highlights include: daily lessons, morning exercise and nutrition, coaching, weekly masterclasses and performances, and a final scenes gala program.