Rising stars of opera and chamber music return to the Virginia Tech campus on June 11-28 for the Vocal Arts and Music Festival. The event brings together developing and established artists from around the world, where they work to refine their craft and present two and half weeks of performances and master classes.

Tickets are now available for the event, which is presented by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech in partnership with the International Vocal Arts Institute. The festival is one of only three of the institute’s programs in the world; the other two are in Tel Aviv, Israel, and Montreal.

International Vocal Arts Institute founders Joan Dornemann and Paul Nadler, both of the Metropolitan Opera, audition the opera world’s young professionals and handpick the best to come to Virginia Tech for three weeks of unparalleled access to top opera teachers. Outstanding string ensembles are recruited from the nation’s top conservatories and are coached by leading performers and teachers from the chamber music world.

These young artists and the festival’s renowned guest musicians perform concerts, solo and ensemble performances, and master classes nearly every evening of the festival.

Performances will be held in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall; or in the Squires Recital Salon, located within the Squires Student Center at 290 College Ave. in Blacksburg.

Performance and events schedule

Master Class with Joan Dornemann

  • International Vocal Arts Institute co-founder and lead coach of the Metropolitan Opera Joan Dornemann brings her extensive experience and insights to festival singers, giving a glimpse inside language, style, and presentation variations that color and bring meaning to a performance.
  • Wednesday, June 11, 7:30 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • Free

Master Class with Sherrill Milnes

  • Legendary American baritone Sherrill Milnes inspires singers to see themselves as artists from fresh perspectives by sharing insights from his rich background on how a career is born, nurtured, and sustained. Singers and audience members have a chance to share the experience of an extraordinary artist passing the torch.
  • Thursday, June 12, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • Free

Opera Idol Competition

  • A fun evening that will introduce many of the 2014 festival singers as they perform a wide range of songs and arias. In addition to festival faculty judges, the audience also gets to vote and choose their favorites
  • Friday, June 13, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 general; $10 for students/youth

Festival Welcome Concert

  • World renowned chamber musicians and festival faculty, including violinist Shmuel Askenasi, pianist Meng-Chieh Liu, and select festival singers are featured in an opening concert celebration. Repertoire to include the Brahms Sextet, Dochnany’s Piano Quintet in C, and other classical repertoire.
  • Saturday, June 14, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
  • Anne Ellen Fife Theatre, Street and Davis Performance Hall
  • $20 general; $10 for students/youth

Chamber Concert

  • Guest artists perform Dvořák’s Piano Quartet Op. 87, Brahms, and more.
  • Sunday, June 15, 2014, 2 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 general; $10 for students/youth

Celebration of Poetry in Song

  • Festival singers bring to life a rich array of music based on American and English language poetry, from Shakespeare to Whitman, and more. This program will include repertoire that takes its cue from many styles, including blues, folk, and jazz themes.
  • Monday, June 16, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 general; $10 for students/youth

Master Class with Josh Major

  • Josh Major, chair of opera studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, presents a master class from the viewpoint of a stage director. Major will share his perspective on how the field is shifting and demonstrate with the singers the different approaches to staging and directing that determine what is seen in a performance.
  • Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • Free

From Asia to the Americans

  • Festival singers take us on a unique journey around the world through song, visiting an intriguing array of cultures outside the typical classical music experience. Audience members will hear music from China, South America, and Scandinavia; and experience the sensuality and comedy of French melodies.
  • Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 general; $10 for students/youth

Singers with Strings

  • The festival’s dynamic young string quartets take center stage alongside the festival singers to perform beautiful works for string quartet and voice, from time-honored classics to more recent discoveries.
  • Thursday, June 19, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
  • Anne Ellen Fife Theatre, Street and Davis Performance Hall
  • $20 general; $10 for students/youth

Opera Divas and Heroines

  • An evening featuring the iconic women of opera that reveals the insight composers such as from Rossini, Puccini, Verdi, and Mozart brought to the female characters of their operas. Festival singers will show why the women of opera have more dimensions to their characters and complexity to their stories.
  • Friday, June 20, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 general; $10 for students/youth

A Night on Broadway

  • An audience favorite, the festival’s ode to Broadway returns. Director Shane Schag from the Manhattan School of Music directs festival singers in solos, duets, and ensemble numbers culled from decades of musical theatre greats. With staging by David. M. Beris, the event features pieces from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Jerome Kern, Stephen Sondheim, and more. 
  • Saturday, June 21, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
  • Anne Ellen Fife Theatre, Street and Davis Performance Hall
  • $40 general; $10 for students/youth

Chamber Concert

  • Festival string faculty and special guest pianist Elizabeth Schumann perform Fauré, Mozart, and the Schumann Piano Quintet, Op. 44.
  • Sunday, June 22, 2014, 2 p.m.
  • Anne Ellen Fife Theatre, Street and Davis Performance Hall
  • $20 general; $10 for students/youth

An Evening with Mozart

  • Mozart’s most famous and beloved operas such as “Figaro,” “Don Giovanni,” and “The Magic Flute” will be featured, alongside other lesser-known pieces from the composer.
  • Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 general; $10 for students/youth

Chamber Concert

  • Festival string faculty and special guest Alexander Fiterstein, clarinet, perform a high energy program including new Klezmer music from Ljova Zhurbin, Piazzolla’s Tango, and Boccherini’s Fandango.
  • Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
  • Squires Recital Salon
  • $20 general; $10 for students/youth

Bizet’s “Doctor Miracle” and “Carmen”

  • This evening of opera features two contrasting works by Bizet directed by Josh Major. His very first opera, “Doctor Miracle,” is a hilarious one-act opera about a young man’s quest for the mayor’s daughter and includes disguises, intrigue, and high jinks, all for the sake of true love. In contrast, an adaptation of Peter Brook’s acclaimed one-act version of “Carmen” zeroes in on the central characters and key dramatic moments of Bizet’s most famous opera.
  • Thursday, June 26, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
  • Anne Ellen Fife Theatre, Street and Davis Performance Hall
  • $40 general; $10 for students/youth

Guest Artist Recital

  • American lyric tenor Matthew Polenzani performs an intimate recital program accompanied by pianist Howard Watkins. Now a regular featured singer with the Metropolitan Opera, including the spring 2014 production of “Cosi Fan Tutte,” Polenzani received the 2004 Richard Tucker Award and the Metropolitan Opera’s 2008 Beverly Sills Artist Award.
  • Friday, June 27, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
  • Anne Ellen Fife Theatre, Street and Davis Performance Hall
  • $40 general; $10 for students/youth

Opera Gala Closing Concert

  • This year’s festival closes with an evening of opera that mixes styles, voices, and composers. Highlights will include the great ensembles of opera, bringing all of the festival singers together for one last bow.
  • Saturday, June 28, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
  • Anne Ellen Fife Theatre, Street and Davis Performance Hall
  • $20 general; $10 for students/youth

Tickets

Two packages are available for the Vocal Arts and Music Festival: the Premier Package includes all performances at a 20 percent discount, and the Build Your Own Package allows for a 10 percent discount for five performances or more. Tickets to individual performances are also available. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, noon to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300. Free events will not be ticketed. All performances are general admission.

 

 

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