“I was able to perform with wonderfully talented and dedicated colleagues”
From singing the bass solos in the Beethoven Mass in C, to performing before the U.S. Ambassador and other dignitaries in the Bulgarian premiere of Street Scene, through the closing of an exquisite La Rondine, my time was exciting, rejuvenating, and fulfilling. I was able to perform with wonderfully talented and dedicated colleagues, some of whom are working at the highest levels in the opera world, others fellow faculty members, and still others young students just getting their feet wet.
Dr. Scott LaGraff
Professor of Music, Assistant Dean Stephen F. Austin University
“Lives were enriched by rising to perform at previously unattainable levels”
With a faculty from the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera–Covent Garden in London, and major American universities, I saw young artists from around the world come together as their lives were enriched by rising to perform at previously unattainable levels. Many of them shared with me that they grew and learned more in a single month than they ever had in a year at home. To experience that together in the breath-taking beauty of Varna was more than one could reasonably expect.
Associate Professor of Voice and Opera University of Missouri-Kansas
“If I could manage it, I'd come back every summer”
I had a marvelous experience! The training that the young ones get is fantastic, and the networking afforded to me was extremely useful and helpful. Everyone was so generous with their time for me and my questions. The Cherno More Hotel was luxurious, and Varna was such a beautiful location, and the food was wonderful. If I could manage it, I'd come back every summer.
Dr. Stacey Stofferahn
Opera Singer (Soprano)
“My experience in Bulgaria transcended all my expectations”
My experience in Bulgaria transcended all my expectations. Unlike other more competitive workshops, the Varna International Conducting program cultivates a supportive collaborative environment. As an emerging female conductor, I had the opportunity to work with some extremely talented and inspirational musicians who remain my mentors and dearest friends. With a full orchestra and chorus at the tip of my baton, the experience brought my passion to a whole new level. Words cannot begin to describe how impactful this experience was for me musically and personally.
Class of 2008, Smith College, Massachusetts
“I look forward to future opportunities as do my singers”
Never before have I felt such heartfelt love of music than during the week of rehearsals during the Varna Choral-Orchestral Conducting Workshop. The focus on musical interpretation and technique was of value not only to the participating conductors, but to the singers as well. I look forward to future opportunities as do my singers.
Dr. Douglas Renfroe
Director of Choral Activities Edison College, Florida