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What Our Students Say

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Tatiana Hope-Mills United States

I can say with confidence that the work done in Payerbach is unlike the work done at any other vocal program that I’ve attended. Each member of the faculty approaches teaching with incredible passion and care, fostering a deep understanding of vocal, acting, and movement techniques.


The atmosphere at Payerbach feels very much like an apprenticeship where one lives with their teachers and works intensively with them every day. Both Maestro Chernov and Maestra Toporkova care deeply about helping their students understand their voices to achieve their full artistic potential. They devote themselves to their students on an individual level, producing distinctive results without ever compromising the health of the voice. Furthermore, the other members of the faculty that they invite are always of a very high caliber, and provide students with the tools to continue growing as performers long after the program ends.


I have attended IVAAP every year for the past few years, and each year I gain something new, vocally, artistically, spiritually, and personally. There is an inherent camaraderie amongst students, old and new, creating an almost family-like environment. Between the intense vocal development, movement coaching, stagecraft, spiritual work, and welcoming atmosphere, Payerbach is a second home to me, and I look forward to returning each summer.

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Igor Mostovoi Ukraine

IVAA in Payerbach is a life changing experience for many people including myself. You wouldn't find a better place to meet wonderful people who are real professionals at what they are doing. The founders of this program, Maestri Vladimir Chernov and Olga Toporkova, provide world-class training and research that brings every young singer as close as possible to their artistic and vocal nature. The highly professional content of the program brings a deep insight into the profession and stage craft that is necessary to nurture a high-profile artist. I recommend it to everybody who is interested in opening up their full potential as a singer-artist, and who is courageous enough to welcome changes into their life. I am very thankful to this program and people who make it happen for my personal and artistic achievements and progress.

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Diane Foures France

Payerbach helped me grow as an artist and as a person. It is an immersive experience where every student gets to work on vocal technique, style, repertoire, stage presence, body movement and acting. It is a comprehensive program that goes beyond what most summer academies provide. The staff, the students, the village itself as well as the mountains and landscape contribute to your growth, as you are kept busy while exploring this picturesque location.

The staff is very competent and uses different approaches to help you on your journey towards excellence. You always leave with concrete tools you can easily apply to your day to day practice. The teachers also inspire you to become better with their support and positive attitude. Everyone works hard to make sure students have a good time, and make visible progress before they leave.You are immediately at ease in the hands of Olga Toporkova and Vladimir Chernov, who are at the helm of this Summer Program. Their passion for singing and the stage is truly contagious, and I love how they respectfully push you to explore your talent outside of your comfort zone. Most of my artistic breakthroughs happened during my time here, and I am forever grateful to this Program for molding me into the artist and singer I am today.

I have very fond memories of my time here in Payerbach and have been given the opportunity to perform and study amongst and with remarkable people. The atmosphere is light and fun, and it is common for a session to create strong friendships that endure through time. The program is international, and I loved meeting different people and discovering their approaches of singing and performing, as well as who they are.

All in all, if you are looking for an ambitious program that combines the benefits of fresh air, personal growth and artistic accomplishment, then this program is for you!

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Anastasia Sinkevich Russia

As soon as I met Vladimir Chernov and Olga Toporkova, I realized that for them, a student is everything.

In the very first moments of a lesson, you understand that their whole being is focused on you and on helping you succeed in what you love – singing.

IVAAP is an absolutely unique program that has changed my life, my vocal tastes, and my vocal technical abilities for the better. It was in this program that I received answers to all my questions! IVAAP provides singers with very intensive training to be successful in the profession. The program covers all aspects of training – from stage movement to acting, vocal technique, music coaching. Mr. Chernov and Ms. Toporkova bring in the world's best acting and body movement experts to complement the lessons, and provide a truly versatile experience and maximize growth as a performer. Be sure that IVAAP professors find their individual approach to each student in the most convenient and comfortable way for them. The professors also give students the tools to continue to grow outside of the program. I highly recommend this summer program to singers of all levels – from amateurs to professionals. Working in the mountains of Austria, combined with intensive individual and group training, has allowed me to grow not only as a musician and singer, but as a person.

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Rachel Payne United States

I was no longer needing to prove something. Olga could hear the slightest bit of tongue tension or muscle manipulation or imitation and, lovingly, didn't let me get away with anything. Sounding pretty is not the goal. Being vocally free is. With these teachers, I needed to explore and remind myself what I already knew, what my body naturally knew. If I wasn't amazing, it was okay. The next day we'd try again because we could. I can not stress enough how invaluable this structure of learning is – and how rare. 


The determination, desire, compassion and dedication of this faculty is as it should be, but not as you usually find. They live through teaching, what we hope to convey as artists. A passionate honesty that elevates everyday experience. 


If you are thinking about doing a program, you want to know the voice, and you are open, but you aren't sure if this is for you, do it. Just do it. You will learn more about yourself, and how you can affect the world as a performer more than you ever have before. I finally understand technique. I have spent many years crafting and honing this voice of mine, but never have I worked in such a safe, accepting and magnifying environment with teachers that listen, and after listening, really know what to do to strengthen your strengths. Seriously, just do it.

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