3. Academy of Vocal Arts – Philadelphia, PA
Notable Faculty: Bill Schuman, William Stone, Danielle Orlando
A music academy offering the degree of artist diploma exclusively to a very select and small group of “resident artist” vocalists, Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts has sent over thirty of its alumni into the Metropolitan Opera Company since the 1980s. Indeed, the instruction at AVA are among the finest in the world. All accepted vocalists are offered tuition-free training and are given real-world experience in five well-attended, fully staged opera performances per year, second only to the number of opera productions that Indiana University puts on per year.
A rare school that currently has only 28 students, the Academy of Vocal Arts consistently produces many of today’s most accomplished opera singers. Acceptance to this college is only on the graduate level, with most students having completed undergraduate degrees from the most renowned music colleges in the country, including the likes of Curtis, Indiana, New England, and others.
2. University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music – Cincinnati, OH
Notable Faculty: Kenneth Shaw, William McGraw, Karen Lykes, David Adams
Like Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music hosts several impressive large-scale operas and performances per year, giving ample stage performance experience to scores of the most talented young vocalists today. Additionally, weekly private lessons, recitals, and academic opera workshops form the foundation of study under the brilliant tutelage of accomplished artist-faculty members.
Students of the program’s chair, David Adams, have won prizes in competitions and auditions sponsored by the Houston Grand Opera as well as the Metropolitan Opera, among others. Musicians Kenneth Shaw, William McGraw, and Karen Lykes, along with the faculty of CCM, lead an impressive and accomplished department of young singers who are well-trained for the rigorous competitive standards in the world of vocal music today.
1. Indiana University Jacobs School of Music – Bloomington, IN
Notable Faculty: Sylvia McNair, Timothy Noble, Mary Ann Hart
There may be only one or two other schools in the country that are able to gather the resources to put together not one, two, or three opera productions per year, but rather, six. Students are allowed an unprecedented and unparalleled opportunity to perform full scale operas to well-attended patronage under the direction of Grammy-winning faculty members as well as musicians who have performed lead roles in the Metropolitan and Chicago Lyric Operas. In addition to being one of the best schools in the country for opera performance, the campus offers an unmatched eleven choral ensembles for students to perform works of past masters as well as those of new, exciting, and emerging young composers. A first choice school for any vocal major, IU Jacobs School of Music has an incredible wealth of resource dedicated to their fine vocal department.
Listen to the Faculty: Check out this album featuring IU faculty member Sylvia McNair performing with Andre Previn
Featured Image By ClubTransatlântico Via Flickr Creative Commons