Seventy opera coaches, vocalists, and musicians from across the globe will present two weeks of performances and masterclasses in Blacksburg as part of the Vocal Arts and Music Festival at Virginia Tech.

Presented by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, the festival, which was known last year as Viva Virginia, is one of the three International Vocal Arts Institute (IVAI) programs; the other two are in Tel Aviv, Israel, and Montreal.

The festival’s opening night will feature special guest soprano Danielle Talamantes. Talamantes received a bachelor’s degree in music education and vocal performance from the Department of Music at Virginia Tech in 1998. “Danielle now resides in the Washington, D.C., area, and has become one of the region’s most popular soloists,” said Center for the Arts Executive Director Ruth Waalkes. “She appears before sold out houses and works with a number of classical music organizations, symphonies, and opera companies.”

The following is the Vocal Arts and Music Festival performance and events schedule. Please note that specific repertoire is subject to change.

Performance and events schedule

Vocal Arts and Music Festival Opening Night

  • The festival launches with a blend of instrumental and vocal music from Chausson, Dohnányi, and others featuring guest instrumentalists, select institute singers, and special guest Virginia Tech alumna Danielle Talamantes.
  • Saturday, June 18, 8 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 adults/$10 students, children under 18

Film “La Boheme"

  • Joan Dornemann provides a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this 1982 film of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of “La Boheme,” to accompany the screening of the movie.
  • Monday, June 20, 7:30 p.m.
  • The Lyric Theatre
  • $5 for everyone

Masterclass with Sherrill Milnes

  • Join legendary baritone Sherrill Milnes as he coaches the next generation of opera stars, sharing wisdom and wit gained throughout his extensive international career.
  • Tuesday, June 21, 7 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $5 adults/$3 students, children under 18

Masterclass with Joan Dornemann

  • Join Joan Dornemann, assistant conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and co-founder of the International Vocal Arts Institute, as she leads an insightful masterclass with IVAI singers.
  • Wednesday, June 22, 7 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $5 adults/$3 students, children under 18

Music of Dvořák

  • The program features instrumental and vocal music of Antonin Leopold Dvořák (Czech, 1841-1904) including “Romantic Pieces for Violin and Piano” and Selections from the “Cypress” love songs.
  • Thursday, June 23, 8 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 adults/$10 students, children under 18

Music of Mozart and Strauss

  • Selections from the most famous operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Austrian, 1756-1791) and Richard Strauss (German, 1864-1949) provide rich textures and showcase the diverse range of the IVAI singers.
  • Friday, June 24, 8 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 adults/$10 students, children under 18

Music of Poulenc and Ravel

  • This evening is devoted to the works of Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc (French, 1899-1963) and Joseph-Maurice Ravel (French, 1875-1937), including Poulenc’s short operatic pieces, “Le Bal Masque” and “Le Bestiaire.”
  • Saturday, June 25, 8 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 adults/$10 students, children under 18

Instrumental Program

  • The program features acclaimed musicians from across the globe and highlighted vocalists performing Barber’s “Dover Beach,” music from Benjamin Britten, Antonin Dvořák, and others.
  • Sunday, June 26, 7 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 adults/$10 students, children under 18

American Songbook: The American Musical

  • The American Songbook program features the best American songs of the 20th century, principally from Broadway theatre and musical theatre of the past 100 years.
  • Monday, June 27, 8 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 adults/$10 students, children under 18

Latin Days, American Nights

  • Featuring Steven Blier, New York Festival of Song's Artistic Director 
  • An evening of songs by American composers ranging from Samuel Barber, George Gershwin, and Cole Porter to Tom Waits and Thelonious Monk, paired with their Latin counterparts from Argentina and Cuba. 
  • Tuesday, June 28, 8 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 adults/$10 students, children under 18

Music of Schubert

  • Franz Peter Schubert (Austrian, 1797-1828) is celebrated in this program that includes lieder, vocal quartets, “Shepherd on the Rock,” and cello quintet.
  • Wednesday, June 29, 8 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 adults/$10 students, children under 18

Instrumental Program II

  • This program features instrumental and vocal selections of works from the early 20th century by Schoenberg, Respighi, and Prokofiev.
  • Thursday, June 30, 8 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 adults/$10 students, children under 18

Closing Celebration: Italian Opera

  • The program includes selections from Puccini, Verdi, Rossini, and all the best-loved Italian operas.
  • Friday, July 1, 8 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 adults/$10 students, children under 18

The festival will feature opera legends Mignon Dunn, Ruth Falcon, and Sherrill Milnes, who, along with a team of vocal coaches, will spend two weeks working closely with a group of up-and-coming vocal stars. The coaches will help the vocalists fine-tune their craft, providing instruction on how to improve technique, nurture voice development, and properly prepare for performances. The coaches and singers will be joined by piano accompanists and instrumentalists who have performed with orchestras and chamber music ensembles throughout the world.

The vocalists were handpicked by International Vocal Arts Institute  founders Joan Dornemann and Paul Nadler, both of the Metropolitan Opera, to participate in the Vocal Arts and Music Festival. They will be immersed in rigorous training sessions and rehearsals with the opera legends and coaches during the day and perform in special performances accompanied by the instrumentalists and pianists each night of the festival. The instrumentalists will also mentor three student chamber ensembles and will be featured throughout performances during the festival. 

Tickets

Tickets are available online, at the information desk in Squires Student Center, at 540-231-3466 or 540-231-5615, and at the door.  Tickets may be purchased individually; discounted Vocal Arts and Music Festival Passports are also available. Passports are $170 for adults and $90 for students and children under 18; to purchase passports, please call 540-231-5615.

Media sponsors for the Vocal Arts and Music Festival are WDBJ7 and Virginia Living Magazine.