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2017-18 Season

PregardienFebruary 24, 2018
Christoph Prégardien
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Hoffman March 20, 2018
Theo Hoffman
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MulliganApril 28, 2018
Brian Mulligan
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NYFOSNovember 5, 2017
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BondarenkoDecember 5, 2017
Andrei Bondarenko
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ErraughtJanuary 9, 2018
Tara Erraught
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RoschmannFebruary 8, 2018
Dorothea Röschmann
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Vocal Arts DC
PO Box 42423
Washington, DC 20015



The George Washington University Department of Music
Goethe-Institut Washington
Levine Music
University of Maryland Opera Studio
Wagner Society DC

"My Favorite Song"

Guest contributors select one song that has a special, personal meaning for them, sharing specific reasons about why they find the music and lyrics irresistible, and choosing a performance that they feel ideally captures the spirit of that song.

Archive of Past Selections


About Vocal Arts DC
Founded as the Vocal Arts Society in 1990 by Dr. Gerald Perman, Vocal Arts DC is regarded as one of the world’s premier presenters of classical voice recitals. It continues to receive glowing reviews and has maintained a loyal and generous subscriber base. Its mission is to present accomplished singers, often in the early stages of their careers, in a full range of repertoire. Since its first season, Vocal Arts DC has tripled its subscriber base, more than doubled its number of recital presentations, and has become a vital force in the cultural life of the Washington, D. C., metropolitan area. View the Roster of Artists >

"Gerald Perman has produced one the great vocal series of the world. We are delighted to bring the VAS to the Kennedy Center which will allow more people to experience the extraordinary quality of these performances."

The Vocal Arts DC has collaborated and co-presented with such local, national, and international institutions as the Marilyn Horne Foundation, the GĂ©rard Souzay Vocal Arts Foundation, the University of Maryland, the Peabody Conservatory, the French Embassy, the Austrian Embassy and the Washington Performing Arts Society.

At its inception, Washington Post critic Joseph McLellan described the Vocal Arts Society as "the most promising new organization on the Washington musical scene."

Summing up his first four years as the Washington Post's chief music critic, Pulitzer Prize winner Tim Page said it all: "If I were to name the most reliably first-rate of all presenting organizations in Washington, I'd have to select Gerald Perman's Vocal Arts Society. The group, which now offers eight concerts a year, most of them in the French Embassy, gave first Washington recitals to soprano Renee Fleming, mezzo-sopranos Lorraine Hunt and Suzanne Mentzer, tenors Stanford Olsen, Ian Bostridge and Rockwell Blake, counter-tenor David Daniels, and baritone Sanford Sylvan long before these estimable artists were generally known."

To this list may be added Susan Graham, Sir Thomas Allen, James Morris, Catherine Malfitano, Benita Valente, Deborah Voigt, Stephanie Blythe, Michelle DeYoung, Eva Podleś, Wolfgang Holzmair, Helen Donath, Olaf Baer, Christoph Prégardien, Marjana Lipovsek, Rodney Gilfry, Nathan Gunn, Roberta Alexander, Anthony Dean Griffey, Christine Goerke, Katerina Karnéus, Elizabeth Futral, Stephan Genz, Gerald Finley, José van Dam, Susan Platts, Edith Wiens, Lisa Saffer, Matthias Goerne, Joyce DiDonato, Bernarda Fink, Measha Brueggergosman, Christopher Maltman, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Soile Isokoski, Joan Rodgers, Frederica Von Stade, Richard Stilwell, Dorothea Rõschmann, Stephen Salters, Lawrence Brownlee, Dame Felicity Lott and Christine Brewer. A complete listing can be found under "Roster."

In 2000, following several years of performances at La Maison Francaise (Embassy of France) and in celebration of the Society's 10th Anniversary, Gerald Perman, Founder and Artistic Director, was made a chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic for his "contribution to the lyric arts." Not long afterwards the VAS was invited to present its programs at the Kennedy Center by its president Michael Kaiser, who said "Gerald Perman has produced one the great vocal series of the world. We are delighted to bring the VAS to the Kennedy Center which will allow more people to experience the extraordinary quality of these performances."

Tim Page wrote that the VAS moved into the Kennedy Center "giving what may be the most distinguished series of vocal recitals in the country" and on another occasion, " there isn't a musical capital in the world that wouldn't envy Washington this venturesome series."

The Society is regarded as the nation's premier presenter of classical voice recitals. It continues to receive glowing reviews and has maintained a loyal and generous subscriber base. In the past five years it has developed the Discovery Series in which two singers are selected by audition and presented in community venues in the Washington metropolitan area. It continues also to bring many local singers into the area schools where they are enthusiastically received.

It must be noted that great singers collaborate with great pianists. We are honored to have had many of the world's best in our recitals, among whom are the celebrated Graham Johnson, Roger Vignoles, Julius Drake, Malcolm Martineau, Craig Rutenberg, Warren Jones, Martin Katz, Dalton Baldwin and Brian Zeger.

The mission of Vocal Arts DC is to nurture and promote the classical voice recital genre and to introduce new audiences to the richness and beauty of the classical art song literature. Today, VADC stands as the leading organization in North America, and one of the few in the world, that presents a full concert season solely devoted to classical voice recitals. As such, it has made Washington DC a magnet for the world's greatest stars of the opera and concert stage. VADC presents a season of six to eight recitals, usually in the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, occasionally in other venues. These generally feature world-renowned singers, although VADC also attempts to introduce to its audience emerging artists whom it considers to be on the threshold of international stardom.

In addition to its main stage performances, VADC operates an in-school educational program for secondary school students in local schools. To foster the careers of young aspiring professional classical singers in the area, VADC holds an annual juried competition and, in addition to substantial prize money, provides significant performance opportunities to the winners. In recent years winners of the competition have performed at the Phillips Collection and as part of the Millennium Stage program of free concerts at the Kennedy Center.

Vocal Arts DC is the grateful recipient of major grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and The Reva and David Logan Foundation, and appreciates generous support from the Howard and Sarah D. Solomon Foundation, The Dallas Morse Coors Foundation and The Nancy Peery Marriot Foundation.

Click here for our current listing of Board and Staff Members.

Please consider a donation to Vocal Arts DC!

Ticket sales provide less than half the revenue needed to support Vocal Arts DC’s main stage recital series. We are grateful for the support of foundations and government agencies. However, the mainstay of our budget is the generosity of individual donors. Your contributions not only make possible great recitals, they also support important activities benefiting the greater Washington DC community. These activities aim to promote the classical song recital by developing new singers and new audiences.

Donations can be made online  >
Or by check to Vocal Arts Society, PO Box 42423, Washington DC  20015
Donations of securities are also welcome. Please request details via email to

















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Education Programs

Take Song to our Schools Classroom programs presenting young professional singers and song to students around the region inspire the singers and audience of the future.

Young artists.
Art Song Discovery Competition
An annual, juried competition for singers in the greater Washington area. Find more information here.