Video Artists International

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Video Artists International (VAI), is an independent American DVD-label specializing in classical music performances founded in 1983, and based in Pleasantville, NY. The company started as one of the first labels to release complete operas and ballets on home video, originally in VHS videocassette format.[1][2] In the early 1990s the label added historical CDs to its video catalogue.[3] VAI's video catalog includes an extensive series of performances from The Bell Telephone Hour. Among the first CDs were performances of arias by Phyllis Curtin, and the 1962 recording of the New Orleans Opera's production of Carlisle Floyd's Susannah (with Curtin and Norman Treigle).[4][5]


  1. ^ Fanfare - Volume 8, 3 Page 73 Joel Flegler - 1985 "Recently I called the VAI offices to find out about this small company and its plans for the future. Video Arts International VAI's founder and president, Ernest Gilbert, has been a dance and opera enthusiast since childhood, and won his spurs ..."
  2. ^ Billboard - 18 Jan 1986 Vol. 98, n° 3 "Ernest Gilbert, president of New York-based Video Arts International (VAI), expects cultural programs to be among the survivors this year in the face of a shakeout in the video software market."
  3. ^ The Gramophone - Volume 69, 2 1991 "VAI CD Launch "While many of the major record labels are turning to home video," says VAI's president, Ernest Gilbert, "one rapidly-growing home video company is reversing thai trend with the addition of audio-only material to its product mix."
  4. ^ Andrew L. Pincus -Musicians with a mission: keeping the classical tradition alive Page 85 2002 "Late in the 1990s, however, Ernest Gilbert, President of Video Artists International, heard that Curtin's husband had preserved tapes of many of her live performances... Compact-disc releases followed on his VAI label, which specializes in historic recordings, mostly from live performances, in both video and audio formats. The debut disc offered a collection of ten arias by Mozart, Charpentier, Verdi, Giordano, Puccini, Floyd and Strauss recorded from 1960 to 1968."
  5. ^ Songwriter's Market: 1,600 Places to Market Your Songs 1999 Page 212 "Video Artists International. President: Ernest Gilbert. Record company, video label and distributor. Estab. 1983. Pays negotiable royalty to artists on contract; other amount to publisher per song on record. How to Contact: Does not accept unsolicited material.... Released Susannah (album by Carlisle Floyd), recorded by New Orleans Opera Orchestra and Chorus, on VAI Audio. Other artists include Jon Vickers, Rosalyn Tureck..."