The Institute is open to singers at all stages of vocal development. Students are categorized into program levels to ensure their needs are met. Please see the descriptions below to find the appropriate division for your age and vocal development.
This program is geared for the special needs of the very young student. We take rank beginners a well as those with considerable training. Care is taken to help the young singer receive the most experience possible within the framework of a nurturing and protective but stimulating environment. ONE letter of recommendation is required.
This program is designed for the novice musician. No musical training is required, and no experience is necessary. Candidates may be asked to take an aptitude test to determine musicality. No letter of recommendation is required.
The emphasis in the Intermediate Program is on raising the awareness of what conservatory students need to address in order to prepare themselves for their first apprentice and studio experiences. ONE letter of recommendation is required.
The intent of the Emerging Artist level is to help bridge the gap between apprentice and professional, both in skill level and professional connections. We have VERY limited openings at this level. To be considered for this program, applicants should already be at the level of a young artist program. Applicants are required to submit TWO strong letters of recommendation, one of which is from a recognized professional in the opera industry.
The Young Professional Program is designed to meet the needs of singers who already have management and/or professional contracts. We have VERY limited openings at this level. Applicants are required to submit ONE strong letter of recommendation from a recognized professional in the opera industry.
In 2013 the Institute, in collaboration with the Wagner Society of Washington DC, created a partnership to ensure the ongoing training of future Wagnerian singers: the American Wagner Project. Singers who participate in this project will receive instruction in the German language, specialized coaching and study roles to prepare them for participation in concerts presented by the Wagner Society of Washington, DC. Applicants are required to submit TWO letters of recommendation, one of which is from a recognized professional in the opera industry.
*Funded by the Wagner Society of Washington, D.C., (www.wagner-dc.org)
We are introducing an Apprentice Coach program. Apprentice coaches will receive instruction from world class coaches. accompany lessons and coachings and receive room/board and free tuition.
Please send your resume to Office Administrator.
Exceptions will be granted up to two years on age deadlines under the following conditions:
Peace Corps or comparable voluntary missions
Unusual hardship with extenuating circumstances to be determined by the Institute.
Rank beginners at the Intermediate level will have a two year grace period to catch up to the next level.
Room and Board*
If you are selected for this program, the Wagner Society of Washington DC will cover your tuition, but you will be responsible for room and board
American Wagner Project
* Singers who live in the area and therefore commute to the Institute are welcome to join the group for meals by purchasing meal cards at the cafeteria.
** Those paying with PayPal please add 3% to the amount to cover PayPal Fees (4% for international payments)
It is our strong belief that admittance to the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices be based solely on merit and musical potential – regardless of ability to pay. Generous contributions from sponsors, donors, and foundations allow us to offer the summer program free of tuition to participants except for the Discovery and Introductory programs, which have a $300 tuition fee.
The following is the breakdown of the 2018 fees and intended only as a guideline.
Applications for the 2018 Institute for Young Dramatic Voices now available!
The Institute is a training program for singers who are seriously interested in pursuing an international career in opera. IYDV is open to all levels of development with preference given to large or unusual voices. We look for singers with musical and voice potential, and communicative instincts. We are interested in beginners with no experience as well as those who have had considerable training.
Applying to the Institute involves 4 steps:
Step 1 – complete the application form, DEADLINE DECEMBER 1, 2017
Step 2 – All applicants will be notified by the end of January, whether or not you are considered for live audition
Step 3 – live auditions will be held in select cities across the US. Locations for live auditions will be determined by who is selected and where they live. We will notify you of the locations available if you are selected for a live audition.
Step 4 – singers selected to participate in the Institute will be notified, usually by mid-March
All new students who wish to apply to the Institute must fill out an application form and send supporting materials.
Please follow the link below to complete and submit your application to the 2018 IYDV
APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY DECEMBER 1, 2017
The audition committee listens to the recordings submitted by each applicant (by December 1st) and makes a short list selection of those they wish to hear in a live audition. Live auditions will take place typically in February - March. Singers selected for a live audition will be contacted about potential audition dates and cities.
Occasionally, a singer is accepted on the basis of the recording alone, if the applicant is unable to attend a live audition. But this is the exception rather than the rule.
After the live auditions, applicants will be notified about their acceptance status by the beginning of April.
The Audition Committee: The audition committee is comprised of Dolora Zajick and members from the Board of Directors, from which two to four members will be present at any one live audition.
How long is the audition: The audition will take anywhere from five to fifteen minutes. A pianist will be provided, however, singers may also bring their own pianist should they wish.
The Institute welcomes a select number of auditors to the program each summer for a limited portion of the 3-week period. If you are interested in auditing, please read the information below and contact us to inquire about openings.
- Auditors will receive no personal instruction, but are allowed to fully participate in the daily warm up with Ms. Zajick. The daily exercise class and the acting classes are also open for participation if invited by the instructor.
- The Institute presents two masterclasses on Saturdays to which auditors are welcome. The masterclasses are open and free to the public.
- There is no charge for auditing on Saturdays.
- Our concert is held on the final afternoon of the program. We hope as many auditors as possible are able to attend this celebration of intensive work.
- Auditors will be responsible for their own transportation, room, and board.
- To begin the registration process, please contact Administrator at email@example.com
- All days of the program are open for weekday auditing with a fee of $35 per day payable in advance. Details below.*
- Teachers who have a student participating in the program may audit free of charge.
- Auditing teachers may observe weekday classes and lessons as posted each day and observe the daily warm-up with Ms. Zajick
- There are 10 days open for weekday auditing with a fee of $100 per day payable in advance. The dates this year are July 12 - 25. Details below.*
- There will also be a class scheduled solely for auditors during which they can sing for Ms. Zajick and any other faculty available at the time and receive feedback. The date of this class will be scheduled according to the availability of the majority of auditors. The class will take place on July 19
- Auditors may observe weekday classes and lessons as posted each day and participate in the daily warm-up with Ms. Zajick.
- We limit the number of auditors to no more than 10 per day, so please send your requested days as soon as possible to reserve a place.
* Checks will be payable to: Institute for Young Dramatic Voices.
Mail to: Institute for Young Dramatic Voices 5892 Soledad Rd. La Jolla, CA 92037
Below is a sample day at the Institute. Although every day starts with body movement for all participants, the classes, coaching, private and group sessions are different each day. Individual programs are posted each day.
9:00 — Body movement
10:00–12:00 — Group classes of acting, Italian, German and English diction, and musicianship
12:00 — Lunch
1:00 — Group warm-up with Dolora Zajick
2:00–6:00 — Private and small group sessions for voice lessons, coachings, scene work, acting, Italian, German, and English diction, and musicianship
Throughout the period of the Institute, the public is offered several opportunities to hear and see the students perform.
Generously hosted by the Steinway Store, this concert features students from the IYDV program performing a selection of arias.
IYDV Faculty offer the public a glimpse into the inner workings of the Institute through three masterclasses.
Three weeks of intense work culminates in a concert of opera highlights presented to the public on the closing Saturday (July 28 at 6 PM). This is an occasion for family and friends to hear what the students have been doing.
Commuters pay a $300 fee to cover costs