PART 2: Classical Voice Summer Programs
There are a large number of classical voice summer programs that exist; in fact, all of the aforementioned programs, excepting NYO and Castleman, have a classical voice program that is excellent and competitive.
That said, here are an additional two programs that are deserving of special mention in this article as well.
Bel Canto Institute (Florence, Italy)
The one option on this list not held in the United States, the Bel Canto Institute has two programs, an adult program as well as a program for classical singers aged 15-17.
One reason this program is so appealing is its setting; Italy is where many of the greatest works for classical voice were composed. It is fitting that this workshop is based in the country whose language is considered a “starter” language for the vocalist seriously interested in pursuing classical voice.
However, the real draw for this program is the faculty. Students at the program are provided an opportunity to work with some of the best names in classical voice performance and pedagogy.
One of these faculty members is Stephen West, a bass-baritone whose distinguished ability has been featured at the Metropolitan Opera, many major opera houses in Europe, and a current faculty appointment at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, one of the leading schools for classical voice performance.
Other faculty members include assistant conductors of the Metropolitan Opera in Roger Malouf, Robert Morrison, and Robert Myers.
Studies at the program culminate in a public performance in Florence.
Boston Conservatory Vocal/Choral Intensive (Boston, MA)
A few dozen students with a wide range of technique and ability enter this program every summer for 12-hour workshops that redefine a student’s musical ability.
The faculty in this program, directed by seasoned Boston Conservatory teachers Patty Thom & William Cutter, have a unique method of getting the best technique out of a young musician.
I have had quite a few students go through this program, and all of them not only loved their experience at the school, they all came out with refined techniques preparing them for college auditions at the highest level.
I can’t stress enough how impressed I am with the improvement my students have experienced with their musicianship here.
Classes are every day from 9am to 9pm, which just a little bit of time left over for lunch. The singers in the program are both classical as well as musical theatre.
Training with Patty Thom has a strong emphasis on technique, including breathing, posture, creating sound properly, jaw positioning, and more.
Alumni of the program gain admission to the top college programs in the country for voice.
On the next page, I outline part 3 of this list, music production and technology summer programs…