Irish Vocal Masterclasses first began running short courses for Irish Singers in the early 1990's. Their success and the perceived need for a longer course offering a broader range of subjects and experience led to the first eight-day Summer School in July 2000.
IVM events are designed to provide for the artistic development of music students, young professionals, professional musicians and experienced amateurs. Initially concentrating on solo singers, IVM now offers masterclasses and courses for instrumentalists and choral singers.
From 2000 to 2009, IVM ran a highly successful annual Summer Course at the Church of Ireland College of Education in Rathmines and latterly at NUI Maynooth. Increasingly broadening the perfomance scope of the masterclasses, the Summer Courses began to take the form of mini-festivals offering real-life, valuable performing experience to students while providing a Summer Festival of music to local audiences.
A series of happy coincidences, therefore, led to the founding of the Zêzerearts Festival in the central region of Portugal. Simultaneous, opera, choral and orchestral courses provide a full Summer Festival of Music including Opera Productions, Orchestral and Choral Concerts along with Song and Chamber Music Recitals. Under the guidance of internationally experienced professional musicians and directors, professional and experienced amateur students have the opportunity to challenge themselves and gain invaluable experience. All this in the convivial, sunny environment of spectacular venues such as the village of Dornes on the River Zêzere, the Convento de Cristo in Tomar, the Monastery in Batalha, Almourol Castle and many more.
IVM continues its association with Ireland and other venues, running courses and educational events. 2016 has seen choral workshops in Dublin, the south of England, in collaboration with Brighton Singing Workshops and the Algarve in Portugal.
The Zêzerearts Festival 2016 promises to be the best ever with events in our traditional venues and the opportunity to take some of our performances to the Convento dos Capuchos in Almada, Lisbon.