In 1987, the then Mayor of Tel Aviv, Shlomo (“Chich”) Lahat and Joan Dornemann of the Metropolitan Opera House - supported by a loyal group of opera fans - joined forces to found the ISRAEL VOCAL ARTS INSTITUTE (IVAI)in Tel Aviv-Yafo. Over the following years, close to 15,000 students, Israelis and foreigners, have profited from this musical institution’s activities. Countless music professionals from around the world have provided their expertise to enhance the vocal music scene in Israel, providing invaluable opportunities for young Israeli singers and turning Tel Aviv into a Mecca for the education and training of opera singers worldwide.

The singers who enroll in The Summer Opera Program receive hands-on training during our intensive course, which engages them daily with individual coaching, classes and performance seminars. The Program conducts master classes, concerts and opera productions where students have the opportunity to experience stage performances before a live audience. The Program culminates in a festive Gala concert by our singers, supported by a full orchestra.

To the delight of the audiences, the Summer Opera Program enhances the musical scene in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, inviting opera lovers to enjoy full opera performances and concerts at affordable, subsidized prices. Local opera lovers now plan their summer vacations around the workshop’s schedule, as IVAIprovides them with an internationally-ranked vocal festival right in their own back yard.

Graduates of the Summer Opera Program have gone on to represent Israel and the program with great honor, as they received engagements from all the major musical organizations in Israel and on stages worldwide. The most veteran IVAI crop of graduates, Susanna Poretsky, Denis Sedov, Chen Reis, Hadar Halevy, Noach Brieger, Anna Skibinsky, Sharon Rostorf-Zamir and Larissa Tetuev, have represented IVAI with great distinction as their careers blossomed internationally, including engagements with the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, La Scala, The Bastillea and other places as Sweden, Spain, South America, South Africa and Japan. These first-crop laureates loyally return to IVAI to guest-perform and teach.