Graduate Vocal Arts Program

Graduate Vocal Arts Program The students of the Vocal Arts Program in "Candide" at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts.

Graduate Vocal Arts Program

Dawn Upshaw, Artistic Director
(until June 1, 2019) 
Stephanie Blythe, Artistic Director
(beginning July 1, 2019)
Kayo Iwama, Associate Director 

The Graduate Vocal Arts Program is a unique master of music program in the vocal arts. Conceived, designed, and led by American soprano Dawn Upshaw, the program was created to prepare the young singer to meet the special challenges of pursuing a professional life in music in the 21st century. This two-year master of music degree balances a respect for established repertory and expressive techniques with the flexibility and curiosity needed to keep abreast of evolving musical ideas.
 
Students engage with art song, chamber music, contemporary music and operatic repertoire throughout the coursework of the program. Operatic performance includes a fully-staged production at the renowned Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. The program also includes a strong practical component with seminars and classes in Alexander Technique, acting, diction and translation, the development of performance opportunities, and a workshop in career skills which incorporates guest speakers who are leading figures in arts management and administration.

Each class consists of a select group of up to nine singers, chosen through an audition process that includes an audio screening and live audition. The small number of students in each class ensures that each singer receives the individual attention that can help to uncover and nurture his or her unique artistic voice.

Current Artistic Director

Artistic Director, Dawn Upshaw, takes a personal interest in the growth of each student, developing individual relationships to help students realize their full potential. Her inspirational presence in weekly coachings and classes sets the tone for exploration and discovery. 

Current Artistic Director

Incoming Artistic Director

Bard Conservatory is very excited to welcome renowned mezzo-soprano, Stephanie Blythe, as the new Artistic Director of the Vocal Arts Program, beginning in the fall of 2019. About her appointment she says, "I have dreamed of joining the academic world for some time, but assuredly, becoming part of the VAP at Bard is beyond my wildest dreams. I look forward to continuing the legacy created by Dawn Upshaw—to upholding the musical and educational values of the VAP, while looking ahead to the future development of this marvelous and singular program."

Incoming Artistic Director

Guest Artists

The Vocal Arts Program has an exceptional group of master voice teachers, coaches, and instructors. In addition to the impressive resident faculty, a myriad of guest artists drawn from the professional music world supplement the curriculum.