Philadelphia’s prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts announces 2022-2023 Opera Season

June 16, 2022

La traviataDon Pasquale and Don Giovanni make their triumphant return to the AVA stage
Jonas Hacker (AVA ’17) and Vanessa Vasquez (AVA ’18) in AVA’s 2015 production of Don Giovanni. Photo credit Paul Sirochman

Philadelphia, PA (June 2022) – After their first, full, in-person season in over a year, AVA is thrilled to announce their 2022/23 opera season! With last season’s productions being called a “complete triumph from its start to its finish” (Chestnut Hill Local), AVA’s 88th season is sure to delight opera audiences. 

The season opens with Verdi’s La traviata, followed by Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Annual favorites such as the Giargiari Bel Canto Competition and Jubilate! A concert of sacred music, will also take place this season. 

Twenty-five Resident Artists will be attending the academy this season, and hail from Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Mexico, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, and across the United States. 

“If there’s anything we learned after the return of live performances, is that audiences are hungry for opera,” said Scott Guzielek, Vice President and General Manager. “We are proud to continue offer high-level operatic performances, all while training operas future stars. It’s an exciting time for AVA!”

Subscriptions for the 2022/23 opera season will go on sale to the public on June 27, 2022, and single tickets will go on sale to the public on September 6, 2022. 

AVA will also be participating in Opera Philadelphia’s Festival O22, and will present Afternoons at AVA. Afternoons at AVA will take place on Saturday, September 24 and Saturday, October 1, and will be held at AVA’s Helen Corning Warden Theater. The recital series will feature AVA alumna Latonia Moore (’04), and another alumni who will be announced at a later date. 

Located in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square, AVA’s student body is intentionally small and admission is highly competitive. More than 200 singers from across the globe audition each year for the fewer than eight spots available in each class. The program is limited to fewer than 30 total Resident Artists, who are immersed in a uniquely intensive and highly personalized program where they learn from 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 will in all likelihood continue to perform for the rest of their careers. 

No other opera training program in the world rivals AVA’s success in developing individual artists whose extraordinary voices inspire millions on international stages. Numerous AVA alumni the Richard Tucker Award, five of the thirteen Beverly Sills Artist Awards presented by The Metropolitan Opera, and multiple alumni are Grammy Award winners.



La traviataGiuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

AVA opens its 88th opera season with Verdi’s La traviata. Plagued by sickness, Violetta finds love in Alfredo, but before long they are torn apart by betrayal. A “fallen woman”, she is forced to abandon her lover, until the truth comes out and they are reunited, if only for a moment. One of opera’s enduringly popular classics, Verdi’s La traviata has thrilled Philadelphia audiences with the tragic love story of Alfredo and Violetta for over 160 years.

Don PasqualeGaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)

The venerable Don Pasquale has chosen a wealthy wife for his nephew Ernesto, who wants to marry Norina. The elderly Don disapproves, and decides to find a wealthy bride of his own. With Norina in disguise and a fake wedding, the couple and their friend Dr. Malatesta make Don Pasquale rue the day he ever considered marriage! This production is generously sponsored by The Gray Charitable Trust

February 16, 18, 21, and 23 2023 – All performances at the Helen Corning Warden Theater at AVA at 7:30 PM

Don GiovanniWolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Mozart’s sublime tragic comedy Don Giovanni is widely regarded as the first Grand Opera ever performed in Philadelphia, debuting at The Chestnut Street Theater in 1818. The devilish Don pursues women all over Europe, leaving a trail of broken hearts and shattered lives. A ghostly encounter ensures that this devil gets his due! AVA first presented Don Giovanni in 1986-87 and continued with performances in 2000, 2005, 2011 and 2015 which featured many alumni who have gone on to significant professional careers.

This year’s roster of Resident Artists includes (in voice order):


AVA proudly counts among its alumni such distinguished international stars as Stephen Costello, Ellie Dehn, Joyce DiDonato, Joyce El-Khoury, Michael Fabiano, Othalie Graham, Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Bryan Hymel, Luis Ledesma, Angela Meade, Latonia Moore, James Morris, Corinne Winters, Stuart Neill, Ailyn Pérez, Ruth Ann Swenson, Taylor Stayton and Richard Troxell, and currently making their mark in the opera world, recent graduates Piotr Buszewski, Dominick Chenes, Scott Conner, Marina Costa-Jackson, André Courville, Othalie Graham, Alasdair Kent, Zachary Nelson, Alexandra Nowakowski Musa Ngqungwana, and Vanessa Vasquez.

Ryan Kuster (AVA ’11) and Corinne Winters (AVA ’11) in AVA’s 2009 production of Don Pasquale

The mission of the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) is to be the world’s premier institution for training young artists as international opera soloists. Through rigorous instruction and coaching, and by presentations of Resident Artists from around the world in concerts, oratorios, public programs and fully staged professional opera productions, AVA will train artists with the high potential for career success while enriching lives in Philadelphia and beyond. Gifted singers come from throughout the world to seek the exceptional guidance and training that AVA offers. Admission is determined by competitive annual auditions. AVA is distinguished by its reputation for high quality performances that are acclaimed by critics locally, nationally and internationally. Each year AVA Resident Artists are presented in four or five fully-staged opera productions accompanied by orchestra. Resident Artists are cast in leading roles that they will in all likelihood continue to perform for the rest of their careers.
Press Contact: Camille Mola
AVA Phone: 215-735-1685