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The International Opera Academy (IOA) provides a programme of postgraduate education for classically schooled singers and pianists, to prepare them for professional careers as opera singers or repetiteurs. The IOA is a bridge between musical education and the professional opera world.

The programme cooperates with different partners from the professional world: national and international opera houses, music theatres and concert organisers. The IOA full-time education programme is unique to Belgium.


To select its talented students, the IOA conducts an international process of audition every other year. The next round of auditions will take place in 2020-2021.

Studying at the IOA

The programme covers two academic years, which run from the beginning of October until the end of June.

During the programme, the IOA organizes several projects and productions, accompanied on piano or with orchestra. During the second academic year, all students participate in the IOA’s final production – a fully-staged opera production with orchestra. Further, students can obtain internships with one of the IOA’s professional partners. Finally, students participate in several masterclasses every year.

The IOA educational programme is structured around four subject pillars, each covering a set of courses: (1) Interpretation and Technique; (2) Acting and Movement; (3) Opera Theory; and (4) Practice.

This last pillar translates the programme’s professional orientation into practice, through the organization of several yearly activities open to the general audience. The repertoire of projects and productions is integrated in the different courses within the programme. Artistic directors of these projects and projections include directors and conductors of international renown. Projects conclude in a professional performance or concert.

Find out more about the programme

IOA projects and productions are part of the institution’s policy to spread the genre of opera, specifically among younger audiences. Different media of communication seek to recruit relatively large audiences. Thus, the IOA bridges education and culture.


Study at the IOA, because…

… you start as a student, and graduate as a professional
… the IOA provides intensive individual training
… the IOA provides you with unique opportunities, aimed to help your future career
… Ghent is a cultural hotspot


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Who's Who

Find out all about the active forces working behind the stage at the IOA (teachers, masters, staff, …)

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Students of the IOA

Meet the current students and alumni of the IOA

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Partners & Artistic Board

Discover the partners and artistic board of the IOA

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