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The CVAI is celebrating its 20th anniversary!

We are proud to present in 2024 the 20th edition of the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute.

Thank you for supporting us and allowing us to continue this magnificent tradition that is so close to our hearts. We will soon reveal our 2024 program, stay tuned!

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Canadian vocal
art institute

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An artistic direction signed by Nicole Car & Étienne Dupuis

2023 was a year of great change for the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute, as singers Nicole Car and Étienne Dupuis were appointed Co-Artistic Directors. They joined General Director Marc-Antoine d'Aragon in developing a unique springboard for operatic careers. The production of Puccini's opera La Bohème, directed by French conductor Victorien Vanoosten and staged by Marc Hervieux and François Racine, was a resounding success thanks to the collaboration of the Orchestre classique de Montréal and the Choeur de la montagne. Our young stars, led by New Zealand tenor Zachary McCulloch (Rodolfo) and Canadian soprano Sydney Baedke (Mimi), delighted audiences at the sumptuous Salle Pierre-Mercure. The program for the Festival d'art vocal 2024 will be announced shortly.


Nicole Car, soprano 
& Étienne Dupuis, baritone
Co-Artistic Directors

This year, two internationally acclaimed artists, who are also married and parents of a little boy, join the team of the Canadian Institute of Vocal Art as co-artistic directors in order to share their knowledge and their love of opera with our students.

   NICOLE CAR is one of the world's most renowned sopranos, performing at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera, Dallas Opera, Deutsche oper Berlin, Opera Australia and Opéra de Paris in leading roles, such as that Tatjana in Eugene Onegin, Mimi in La Bohème, Marguerite in Faust, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni or also, Micaelan in Carmen.

Her concert repertoire includes Brahms' Deutsches Requiem, Das Klagende Lied, Mozart's Requiem and Bach's St. John Passion.

Nicole was a 2013 Neue Stimmen winner and nominated for Best Young Singer at the International Opera Awards in 2015. She won Best Female Performer in the Opera category at the 2018 Helpmann Awards. In 2021, she was made a Chevalier de l'ordre des arts et des lettres de la république de France.

Her discography includes in particular The KissHeroines and Passionately.

    Born in Montreal, ÉTIENNE DUPUIS completed his studies at McGill University and at the Atelier Lyrique of the Opéra de Montréal.

Etienne is an internationally renowned singer who has performed several times at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, but also at the Metropolitan Opera, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Opéra de Montréal, the Opéra de Paris, the Opéra National du Rhin, at the Bayerische Staatsoper, at the Zurich Opernhaus and at the Opéra de Nantes, at the Calgary Opera, the Orchester symphonique de Montréal and the Glyndebourne Festival.

He embodies major roles in the repertoire such as Posa in Don Carlo, Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de perles, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Germont in La Traviata, Marcello in La Bohème, Silvio in Pagliacci, Renato in Un ballo in maschera, the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro and the title role in Eugene Onegin.



Co-founder and director emeritus
Coach and Assistant Conductor
The Metropolitan Opera, New York

Joan Dornemann is one of the most respected opera coaches in the world today. In her role as Assistant Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, she prepares the world's leading artists for their performances at the Met. She has worked with singers such as Pavarotti, Domingo, Caballé, Freni, Carreras, Milnes, Te Kanawa, Nucci, Fleming, Millo, Voigt, Shicoff, Flórez and Netrebko. At the Metropolitan Opera, she has collaborated with conductors such as James Levine, James Conlon and Carlos Kleiber. 

A great supporter of young singers, Ms. Dornemann gives master classes around the world. She is also the author of Complete Preparation: A Guide to Auditioning for the Opera, and is the founder and artistic director of the International Vocal Arts Institute and co-founder of ICAV with Paul Nadler.

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Artistic coordinator

Artistic director and director of Productions du 10 April, she produced and directed, among others, Albertine en cinq temps, L'opéra according to the work of Michel Tremblay set to music by Catherine Major where she signed the libretto as member of the Red Moon Collective. This world premiere of the first joual opera is currently on tour across Quebec and Ontario. A grant holder from the Conseil des arts de Montréal as well as the Canada Council for the Arts, Nathalie Deschamps' career has been actively developing for more than 30 years as artistic director, producer, director, teacher, author, translator and coordinator. She has directed more than sixty-five productions for several organizations, including world creations for the ECM: Des Hommes useles by Francis Caron and Élia by Silvio Palmieri. In 2017, she signed the adaptation and staging of Nelligan by Tremblay/Gagnon presented in France. In 2018, she produced a Quebec-Cameroon musical review with Sainte-Carmen de la Main de Tremblay/Cyr/Bélanger in Cameroon. Recipient of several awards, Nathalie Deschamps is directing this summer's JMC production at the Quebec Festival produced across Canada.

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Co-fondeur and director emeritus

First guest-condutor at the Metropolitan Opera, New York

Maestro Paul Nadler has distinguished himself as an exciting and highly respected symphonic and operatic conductor. Since his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1989 he has led the company in more than 60 performances. He also directed many operas at Opéra de Montréal, the Bucharest Philharmonic and Iasi Philharmonic Orchestras in Romania, at the Jacobs School of Music and also directed symphony concerts. 


Paul Nadler is Conductor Emeritus of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Filarmonica de Stat Iasi (Romania). Early in his career he won the Jerusalem Symphony Competition. In 1974, Maestro Nadler founded the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, where he remained as Music Director and Conductor through 1983. He returned to the Chamber Orchestra in 2008 to lead a celebration in honor of its 35th season.

Artistic D
irector Emeritus

January 2023, Richard stepped down as Artistic Director of the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute and was elevated to Artistic Director Emeritus of the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute alongside Joan Dornemann and Paul Nadler.


Canadian tenor Richard Margison is one of the most renowned singers on the international scene. He has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, the Canadian Opera Company, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Sydney Opera House and the Grand Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona.


He is also a skilled educator, making it his mission to ensure the education of the next generation of opera singers. Taking over from Joan Dornemann and Paul Nadler, co-founders of the ICAV, Richard Margison became Artistic Director of the ICAV in November 2020.



Each year, the Canadian Vocal Art Institute welcomes the best singers of the next generation of Canadian and international opera singers. We offer high-calibre training and present a captivating selection of concerts at the Montreal Festival of Vocal Art.


"We were able to explore themes and questions that I have not yet had the chance to address during my school career."

"It was busy, varied and everyone had their opportunity."

"I loved the working atmosphere this year, we were in kindness and work."

"Meeting and working with all the different professors from different experience backgrounds. It was such an amazing experience that I've never had in my singing life before. I'm so thankful"

"Joshua Major was a “coup de coeur” for many reasons. I like his approach to scenes and operas and character work. He really kept my drive going but also made me realize when I am not being 100% authentic or hiding behind what is comfortable."

"Hemdi is marvelous, she was able to give me so much time and diction information and make it relatable to my bilingual brain."

"Anthony Manoli is amazing, with active listening even at a distance he was able to make me realize things and made me solve them just by addressing it."

"I enjoyed Richard's balance of technical approach as well as musicality."

"The recording sessions were amazing!! Marc Antoine d'Aragon is so devoted and professional; his honesty and attention to detail are unmatched."

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Our major Sponsors

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Merle and Bernard Stotland Family Foundation

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Stay tuned


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