If you have any other questions that are not covered in the FAQs, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.
1. Is VAO Bodrum the right fit for me?
VAO Bodrum accepts singers, student directors, and student pianists at many stages of development. We do not expect anyone to arrive as a “finished product.” We have had undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate participants. The beauty of a boutique opera festival program with limited numbers is that we are able to tailor the educational experience to meet your individual needs. Our primary goal is to help each participant on their own journey by giving them necessary tools to succeed in a music career.
2. What does a typical day look like at VAO Bodrum?
Masterclasses, Round Table Discussions, Language Classes, and Workshops are offered on various mornings. Opportunities for Individual Coaching Sessions run through the morning and early afternoon with the late afternoon and evenings reserved for rehearsals. VAO Bodrum also offers the opportunity for Role Study and polishing your audition package of up to 5 arias by coaching with our faculty. Role Study is an option for singers to prepare an additional role to include on their resume. This does not include participation in a production or performance but is a chance to enhance your professional skills and experience in learning a role. As with an assigned role, any Role Study should be prepared before arrival, will be coached during Individual Coaching Sessions at the academy, and will be tested for accuracy and presentation at the end of the academy to then be listed on a singer’s resume.
3. What is expected from the students in the program?
Arrive with your music memorized. Whether you have been assigned a role or arias/duets as a concert artist, your music needs to be memorized before arrival. VAO Bodrum is here to polish what you bring, memorized. If you do not arrive memorized, your role or part in a concert may be replaced by another participant. Additionally, if you do not arrive memorized, you will not get as much out of your Individual Coaching Sessions, needing to waste time on memorization in those sessions instead of polishing.
4. Do I need to speak Turkish?
No. All instruction will be conducted in English and most of the people of Bodrum can communicate in English as it is a popular tourist destination for the British and home to many British ex-pats. If you do manage to learn some Turkish phrases, you’ll get more out of your Bodrum experience as the locals are appreciative of the effort.
5. Is there an age limit to the program?
Participants are typically between the ages of 18-37 but there are no age limits. We accept applicants on the basis of potential and based on their stage of musical development.
6. How many casts are there?
For the larger opera, there are 2 casts. For the smaller operas, there are single casts.
7. Will students perform with an orchestra?
Our larger opera is performed with a chamber ensemble and our smaller operas typically involve a string quartet and piano.
8. Are meals included in the tuition price?
Yes! We are unlike other programs you may have encountered in that we provide 5 meals a week and the hotel provides breakfast. We want to provide an opportunity for participant bonding over meals while still offering opportunities to explore local cuisines on your own for any remaining meals.
9. What are the academy accommodations like?
Accommodations are double occupancy in a hotel that is walking distance from rehearsal locations. The hotel includes a Turkish breakfast from 6-10am, daily.
10. How do I get to the academy accommodations?
By taxi: This is the more expensive option, which will cost around 250 lira, and you will be brought directly to the door of the hotel.
By bus: When exiting from the airport doors, you will see 'The Center/Bodrum Center' shuttles. They look like regular big buses. According to local contacts, these buses are both comfortable and safe and all people use them. A one-way ticket is less than 50 Turkish lira, which is around $5USD. Bring cash in Turkish lira. These buses will drop you off at the city center and you can either walk to hail a taxi to the hotel from there.
11. What do I need to know for arrival and departure?
We would suggest arriving at least 1 day early in order to settle in and make sure you’re there for the welcome dinner. This is the day that your hotel accommodations begin. If you have never been to Turkey, you have a wonderful opportunity to arrive even earlier and explore on your own, familiarizing yourself with the local area. After breakfast on the morning of the Welcome Dinner day, a faculty member will lead a walking tour to help orient students to various locations needed for the program. Room and board ends the morning after the final opera is complete.
12 How should I pack?
For everyday clothing, pack casual wear appropriate for a beach climate, comfortable walking shoes, and a swimsuit. Our central location is walking distance from the marina and all rehearsal spaces are designed to be reached by foot. There will be one formal concert (think suit/gown) and cocktail attire concerts. Those with roles will be contacted with what to bring for your opera role costuming. If you have a favorite sunscreen, pack it. For local currency, ordering Turkish lira from your home bank will be cheaper than an airport or local exchange because your home bank will take a smaller forex spread in the exchange rate.