About the Program

The objective of the Academy of Vocal Arts is to ensure that a student will be a thinking artist who is both self-sufficient musically and dramatically, knowledgeable about the field of opera and voice, well-prepared in foreign languages, and able to pursue a career in the world’s great opera houses. Performances of opera, art song and oratorio give each student the opportunity to learn masterworks under the supervision of an outstanding faculty, and to perform them in venues open to the public and reviewed by music critics.

The full course of study at the Academy of Vocal Arts is four years. It should be emphasized that all training is directed towards preparation for a career in singing rather than toward the fulfillment of set academic requirements or a career as a teacher. As in a professional opera theatre, the actual ability and diligence of a singer is often given more weight than seniority when casting decisions are made. Further, the assignment and performance of specific roles must be considered within the context of AVA’s overall instructional program, the foundation of which is the detailed study of operatic literature. Each role assigned to a singer is a significant portion of this learning process. However, no guarantee is made that a singer will necessarily perform a role which he/she has been assigned or has prepared.

AVA’s Resident Artists have incredible talent. It’s an inspiring experience to get to know tomorrow’s opera greats as students and to follow their careers.

George and Isabelle Bourrie, AVA Subscribers

At this time, no degrees are granted, but Artist Diplomas are awarded to those whom the AVA believes are ready for operatic and concert careers, and have completed the minimum required classes. AVA is an accredited, non-degree-granting member of the National Association of Schools of Music. Course work completed at AVA does not compile credit-hours, and is not transferable to other institutions.

AVA admits students of any race, color, sex, religion, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, employment policies, admissions policies and school-administered programs.

Campus Security

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires all institutions of Higher Education to publish a report every year disclosing all incidents under its jurisdiction. No incidence of any of the crimes and misdemeanors reportable under the Clery Act occurred or was reported in the campus of the Academy of Vocal Arts during the period included within July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, inclusive.

AVA has in operation a 24-hour alarm monitoring system covering all active areas in its campus, which will directly summon the Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments when needed. All entrances and exits to the buildings are actively monitored during hours of operation.