The Barber of Seville, 2012, Steven LaBrie

Course Descriptions

The Academy of Vocal Arts’ Resident Artists are expected to be available for a full daytime schedule consisting of, but not limited to…

Voice Lessons

One lesson per week or equivalent is offered with the student’s major voice instructor.

Coaching & Repertoire

A faculty of conductors and coaches works with singers, individually and in ensembles, to prepare not only operatic roles, but also arias, song and oratorio literature. Elements of coaching include: pitch and tuning, rhythm, language and style, harmony and expression.


French 1 · German 1 · Italian 1
Introduction to French, German and Italian with emphasis on basic pronunciation leading towards conversation, and correct stage pronunciation of spoken dialogue. Basic vocabulary and fundamental grammatical concepts are studied as well as the ability to translate using a dictionary and supplemental resource materials which examine phonetics and phonemics, open and closed vowels, and special poetic constructions.

French 2 · German 2 · Italian 2
Enhance the skills attained in the first year of language study by increasing the level of language sophistication through added complexity of grammar and vocabulary.

Spanish & Russian
An introduction to basic grammar; the study of phonetic diction, pronunciation and vocabulary; the translation of specific operatic and song repertoire as needed for the performance season.

English as a Second Language
Classes are offered to those international resident artists requiring greater proficiency in English with emphasis on individual needs for AVA course work and a career in performing arts. Listening and speaking skills are the primary focus. Lessons are structured to teach basic and intermediate grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation to develop conversation skills. As resident artists progress, the content of reading, composition, and conversation is drawn increasingly from materials related to professional training and performance contexts. Extensive individual attention is a key element of this class.

Eugene Onegin, 2013, Stephen Barchi, Wes Mason, Patrick Guetti, and John Viscardi
L’elisir d’amore, 2012, Scott Conner and Chloe Moore

Performance Studies

Stage Combat
Weekly classes are held for Year 1 and 2 students by a recognized master of the field. This course is designed to teach freedom of movement, self-defense and facility of motion. Students study stage combat technique, postures, correct use of knives, swords and other weaponry.

Movement and Dance
Weekly classes are held for Year 1 and 2 students designed to express a wide range of characters and emotions, to improve body image, physical exterity and health, and to develop relaxation technique. Specific dance styles appropriate to the operatic repertoire are studied, such as the waltz, gavotte, polonaise and minuet.

Teaching the technique of acting by a thorough study of text and music, and applying them toward clarity of communication. Emphasis is placed on exploring the singer’s own response and interpretation of the materials studied.

Other Related Studies

History of Opera
A study of the growth of the operatic form from the Camerata of 1597 to the mid-20th century, divided into three periods: 1) Pre-Mozart and Mozart, 2)The Italians–Verdi, Puccini, et. al., and 3) French, German and Contemporary styles.

History of Singers
A study of the great singers of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries; singers who premiered the important roles of these periods and famous lieder singers.

Oratorio Seminar
In individual and group rehearsals, artists are instructed in the proper musical style and technique for oratorio performance.

Care of the Professional Voice
Detailed lectures in the science of the singing and speaking voice are presented by physicians and clinical specialists.

Professional Development Seminars
Throughout the year, AVA’s singers work with famed, internationally recognized artists and managers.

Opera Appreciation
In order to develop skills in artistic appreciation, AVA encourages artists to attend all performances presented by The Academy, and provides the following opportunity: