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Lehrer Vocal Institute

Music & Theater / Star-Powered Artistry

Ready for a life-changing summer?

The Lehrer Vocal Institute is the leading source to develop artists of impact and prepare them for a 21st century career. Expert teaching artists collaborate and mentor participants to prepare them for performances — from a fully-staged opera and contemporary projects to competitions and public masterclasses — while providing abundant training and dynamic opportunities to support both the on and off-stage experience.

26 vocal institute fellows & 10 studio artists enrolled per summer

Mirrorflores: Cinematic Opera

Training & Performance Opportunities

2023 Opera: Puccini's La bohème

The fully-staged production will be conducted by Daniela Candillari.

Marilyn Horne Song Competition

Compete for a $5,000 cash award, a Santa Barbara recital featuring a commissioned work, and more.

Private Lessons & Masterclasses

Study one-on-one with pedagogues from our world-class teaching artist roster.

Additional Opportunities

Participate in Chamber Concerts and in Recital.

Directing Fellowship

Prepare for a career as a stage director. Work with teaching artists as Assistant Director of La bohème, in collaboration on a Creative Project, and more.

Industry Day

Singers and pianists will be heard by and receive critical feedback from prominent artist managers and casting directors.

Latin Song Concert & Creative Project

2023 fellows will present a program of Latin song curated and coached by Ana María Martínez and César Cañón, and perform in an innovative, contemporarary production.

New! Studio Artists

Up to 9 additional singers and 1 pianist will be invited for a 3-week residency. Sing in the opera chorus, a curated performance, lessons, plus coachings and classes.

And So Much More...

Wellness Program

Resources include exercise, yoga, counseling, and performance medicine

Community Engagement

Each fellow is matched with community members for social events and more

Innovation Institute

Offering seminars & entrepreneurial competitions

Vocal Institute Teaching Artists

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Sasha Cooke
co-director, Vocal Institute
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John Churchwell
co-director, Vocal Institute, chamber music
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Daniela Candillari
principal opera conductor
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César Cañón
principal coach, studio artists
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James Darrah
co-producer & director, special project
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Marjani Forté-Saunders
movement coach
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Margo Garrett
teaching artist
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Manuel Gutierrez
teaching artist, dancer
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Martin Katz
teaching artist
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Isabel Leonard
guest artist, mezzo-soprano
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William Long
assistant conductor & chorus master, opera
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Ana María Martínez
Mosher guest artist, soprano
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Gerald Martin Moore
vocal pedagogue
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Nino Sanikidze
vocal coach
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Tamar Sanikidze
head of vocal piano
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Bill Schuman
vocal pedagogue
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Craig Terry
co-producer & music director, special project
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Joel Thompson
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Mo Zhou
opera director
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Maureen Zoltek
vocal coach

Application Form, Audition Process & Repertoire Requirements

November 1, 2022 (application season closed)

Pre-Screening Round followed by Invitation-Only Live + Virtual Final Round*
*Each applicant advanced to the Final Round may choose between a live or virtual audition.
Equal consideration is granted to both audition methods.

Visit the Application Link for detailed audition repertoire requirements.

Prescreening Round results released in mid-November. Once advanced to the Final Round, applicants will select their audition time on one of the following days. Schedule is first come, first served:



  • Sunday, December 4 (live plus virtual auditions)
  • Monday, December 5 (live plus virtual auditions)


  • Thursday, December 8 (live auditions only)
  • Friday, December 9                 (live auditions only)
  • Saturday, December 10 (live auditions only) *limited slots available

Pre-screening Round followed by Invitation-Only Virtual Interview Round. Prescreening Round results released by mid-November. Final Round Virtual Interviews will take place in early December (dates TBD).

The Music Academy requires all administration, faculty, fellows, and other constituents on campus to provide proof of COVID vaccination.

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