Fisher Center

Graduate Vocal Arts Program


Opera Workshop

This course focuses on character development and the expression of text through the close study, and performance of, works from the operatic repertoire. Three semesters of work on arias, small ensembles and scenes culminate in a fully staged production in the fourth semester. The fully staged opera production combines a work drawn from the standard repertoire with a new opera specially commissioned, and written for, the singers in the program. The opportunity to work closely with a living composer in the premiere performance helps the young singer to see opera as a "living art" and to understand more deeply the process of creating new dramatic work. It also inspires fresh thinking in the interpretation of the standard operatic repertoire.

Acting Workshop

The Acting Workshop meets weekly and is led by actor Lynn Hawley. This course is designed to give students an opportunity to focus solely on the acting component of performing. In a studio setting, students will work on a variety of theatrical texts selected to address the particular needs of each individual performer.

Movement Workshop

The Movement Workshop, which meets weekly for 90 minutes with dancer and choreographer Amii LeGendre, is a survey of improvisation, thinking in action, and embodiment, supported by a range of movement practices that attune performers to efficient, intentional and supple action. The class includes work with breath as the physiological support for all life processes, somatic work (working with images of anatomy and neuro-muscular connections), contact improvisation, and some yoga/stretch partner work. Students also study group improvisation structures that build group responsiveness and fearlessness in performing.

Diction and Phonetics Workshop

The workshop in phonetics and diction, which meets twice each week, offers advanced study of the diction of the languages most commonly used by singers. German, Italian and French diction are studied, with additional units on other languges, such as Russian, Spanish or English, offered as time permits.This workshop includes some attention to the physiology of the voice in order to create a better understanding of how diction relates to the production of sound.  For those students needing knowledge in the basics of diction additional remedial instruction is required.

Language Translation Workshop

This workshop, taught by Bard College language professors, meets for two hours weekly in three of the four semesters of the Vocal Arts Program curriculum. The class develops translation skills, reading facility and general cultural awareness of the three main languages used by singers: French, German and Italian.

Professional Development Workshop

This workshop meets weekly in the spring semester. Topics include the art of collaboration, identification and creation of performance opportunities, engagement with a broader community, and the development of a life in music. Special guests from the professional artistic and business world are also brought in to speak on their various areas of expertise.

Vocal Chamber Music Workshop

Vocal Chamber Music Workshop is offered in connection with the chamber music component of the Conservatory program. Students are encouraged to include at least one chamber work as part of their graduation recital.
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