The Stratford Summer Music Vocal Academy was co-founded in 2015 by Phillip Addis, Emily Hamper, Michael Schade, and John Miller, and launches its eightth season in 2023. Our internationally recognized faculty focuses on furthering our participants’ musicianship, language skills, and technique within a friendly, supportive and creative atmosphere. Ideally, applicants should be in or have recently completed a degree/training program with a university, conservatory or opera company, or be in the early years of a career. Singers with large or exceptional voices are encouraged to apply. We welcome applicants from all countries, but applicants from outside Canada are responsible for their own travel and document requirements, including all COVID-19 travel and quarantine regulations.

2023 General Information

This year we offer two courses; Opera (TBD), and Art Song (TBD). Opera applicants may apply as individuals. Art Song participants should apply as singer-pianist duos; individual applicants to Art Song will be considered as space permits.  As usual, we do not charge an application fee. Classes and lessons are planned to take place in-person at The Avondale, and each session includes public performance. Participants are expected to be in attendance on every day of their course. Opera participants will have the option to record in the beautiful Avondale Sanctuary for future audition/application purposes. Additionally, a paid performance opportunity is available on Stratford Summer Music’s MusicBarge.

Participants may choose to commute daily if they live within a reasonable distance, but otherwise will be responsible for their own accommodation in Stratford. Thanks to our generous supporters, we are able to offer some tuition reduction in order to offset this additional expense. Applicants should indicate on their application form whether they would like to apply for this assistance.

STRATFORD SUMMER MUSIC RESERVES THE RIGHT TO ADJUST COURSE DATES AND CONTENT IF NECESSITATED BY THE PANDEMIC. PARTICIPANTS WILL BE NOTIFIED IMMEDIATELY OF ANY CHANGES. IN THE EVENT OF A COMPLETE COURSE CANCELLATION BY STRATFORD SUMMER MUSIC, PARTICIPANTS WILL RECEIVE A FULL REFUND.

Testimonials:

“I can’t tell you the wonders your program did for my singing, outlook and most of all my confidence in pursuing this career.” -Sarah Schabas, 2017

“Thank you again for a wonderful experience – I would highly recommend the Vocal Academy to any young singer.” Sarah Parkin, 2017

I really appreciated working on oratorio arias at the Stratford VA as I have had the opportunity to be the soloist in various oratorios including Haydn’s Creation, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Gounod’s St Cecilia Mass and Handel’s Messiah.” – Anna Boyes, 2018

Your program really stretched me and made me grow as a musician and as a person. I was able to quickly learn the scores based on the knowledge I gained while at the Stratford Summer Music Vocal Academy. “ – Aude Urbancic (pianist), 2018

Opera

(Vocal Academy 2019, Anastasia Pogorelova. Photographer Scott Wishart)

Dates: July TBD, optional recording dates TBD

Faculty:

General Information:

Individual repertoire will be determined with each participant once attendance has been confirmed, and may include audition repertoire, operatic roles and scenes, and a survey or complete study of an oratorio. Instruction takes place in masterclasses and private/small-group sessions. All participants receive equal time with each faculty member. Instruction will take place from TBD to TBD at Avondale United Church, Stratford. Participants should be prepared for several instructional opportunities on each day of the course (masterclass, private sessions, acting, etc). Stratford Summer Music’s Opening Night Gala with all participants will be on TBD. Concert repertoire will be chosen by the Directors in consultation with the participants.

Application Requirements and Information:

  • Completed Application Form
  • Current CV
  • Current headshot
  • Singers – Two recent video recordings of operatic arias from the standard repertoire, in two different languages with piano or instrumental accompaniment. Videos must be uploaded to YouTube, with the links e-mailed as part of your application.
  • Pianists – Two recent video recordings of operatic repertoire, as follows (applicants must sing as much of the vocal part as possible while playing):
    • 1) accompanied recit: choose one of “E Susanna non vien” or “Hai già vinta la causa” from Le nozze di Figaro.
    • 2) aria (own choice): one operatic aria from the standard repertoire
    • Videos must be uploaded to YouTube, with the links e-mailed as part of your application.

Costs &  Acceptance: 

Tuition is $1200 CDN payable upon acceptance into the Academy. Closing date for applications is XXX.

A 30% non-refundable deposit is to be paid within one week of acceptance, with the balance to be paid no later than XXX.

Opera applicants can seek funding from the Canada Council for the Arts for this course www.canadacouncil.ca

APPLY NOW!

Art Song

(Vocal Academy 2019, L to R Mark Fewer, Emily Hamper, Sydney Baedke, Ben Bolt-Martin. Photographer Scott Wishart)

Dates:  July TBD, Optional recording dates arranged individually.

Faculty:

General information:

Applicants may apply as duos or as individuals. In the case of duos, each applicant should submit a separate application form. With the assistance of the faculty, participants will create a sample Art Song recital programme, which will form their basis of study in the course. This program must include at least one French mélodie. Instruction takes place in masterclasses and private/small-group sessions. All participants receive equal time with each faculty member. Instruction begins TBD. Participants should be prepared for several instructional opportunities in each day of the course (masterclass, private sessions, text work, etc). Finale Concert with all participants will be TBD. Concert repertoire will be chosen by the Directors in consultation with the participants.

Application Requirements and Information:

  • Completed Application Form
  • Current CV
  • Current headshot
  • Each duo must submit a recent video recording of two selections from the Art Song repertoire, including one French mélodie and one selection in either German or English. Videos must be uploaded to YouTube, with the links e-mailed as part of your application.

Individual applications will be considered as space permits, with the same recorded requirements.

Costs & Acceptance:                                           

Tuition is $800 CDN per participant, payable upon acceptance into the Academy. Closing date for applications is XXX.

A 30% non-refundable deposit is to be paid within one week of acceptance. with the balance to be paid no later than XXX.

Art Song applicants can seek funding from the Art Song Foundation of Canada for this course www.artsongfoundation.ca

APPLY NOW!

Program Sponsors

Jim MacDougall, in memory of Connie MacDougall

The Neil F. Crory Endowment Fund

Barbara Steed Young

  • Safety and Protocols

    The Stratford Summer Music Vocal Academy is committed to ensuring a comfortable and safe environment for all participants, staff, and faculty. Physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional harassment or abuse of any kind will not be tolerated. This includes racist, sexist, or gender-intolerant speech and messaging. Anyone engaging in such behaviour, whether against those involved with Stratford Summer Music and the Vocal Academy or in the broader community while in Stratford, will be ejected from the program.

    2023 COVID 19 – Protocols

About Our Directors

Phillip Addis and Emily Hamper are Co-Founders of the program. Together they have logged a cumulative 44 years in the classical voice profession at home and internationally; together as recitalists, and separately as operatic baritone and collaborative pianist/music director.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced performing artists around the world to find alternative ways to connect with audiences and supporters. Both Phillip and Emily were involved in groundbreaking projects, made necessary by the sudden disappearance of live performance opportunities. Not only did they have to suddenly become experts in broadcasting performances from their home, but they became quickly involved with the digital productions of other organizations. These include a fully digital Don Giovanni (Brott Opera), one of the first of such productions in Canada, a livestreamed performance of the new opera As One (Montreal Chamber Orchestra) and filmed versions of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (Teatro Regio Parma) and Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites (Wilfrid Laurier University).

Phillip and Emily are fully committed to keeping classical voice performance and training viable and accessible, whatever the circumstances, believing that the foundation of vocal performance in any medium is a sound, reliable technique, excellent linguistic and interpretive skills, and the full development of every singer’s individual artistry.