Vienna Opera to grow its own singers

Vienna Opera to grow its own singers


norman lebrecht

June 18, 2019

The incoming director Bogdan Roscic and music director Philippe Jordan have announced a training programme for singers under their regime.

Here’s what they are saying via Bogdan’s personal PR:


The Wiener Staatsoper will found a studio for young opera singers when director Bogdan Roscic and musical director Philippe Jordan take office in autumn 2020. This Young Artist Program will be led by baritone Michael Kraus and is aimed at artists who have completed their education as singers and whose talent and ability promise an international career. They will be given the opportunity to deepen the knowledge they gained in their studies and to benefit from the experience of established artists. Interested young singers can apply from now until 30 September 2019 through the web page of the Wiener Staatsoper.

Bogdan Roscic:
“A repertory house like the Wiener Staatsoper cannot operate successfully without an excellent vocal ensemble. As both Philippe and I see it, this ensemble must be supplemented by a studio for young artists who can become a very real part of the theatre and keep renewing the ensemble from within. A program like this not only enables the theatre to establish an early and intensive relationship with the world’s best talents of the next generation, but it also challenges the house to deal with fundamental questions of quality, tradition and the all-round education of singing actors. The Wiener Staatsoper offers participants ideal conditions, not only because of its artistic standing but also because of the wide range of repertoire presented. I am confident that our program will quickly become one of the most important in the world and will bear spectacular fruit very soon.“

Philippe Jordan:
“For me, working with young singers always was and is a great responsibility and an inspiring challenge. On the one hand it’s a matter of passing on your own experience and being a musical mentor, on the other hand you benefit from the freshness and youthful curiosity of new perspectives. I’m convinced that we will discover and promote a new generation in the Young Artist Program of the Wiener Staatsoper which will shape opera life in the city and help mold the opera world of the future.”

Michael Kraus:
“I am very grateful for the trust Bogdan Roscic and Philippe Jordan have placed in me in letting me work with an international group of coaches and mentors to pass on our combined experience to the next generation of singers. The Young Artist Program of the Wiener Staatsoper will enable the best young singers to launch their professional career at one of the world’s most important opera houses.”


  • Ned Keene says:

    So that the young fledglings will grow up, and never stray from the nest, but instead stay there singing Second Lady, First Armed Man, and Ceprano until they collect their Austrian State pension? Heard it all before. And where has this actually worked? But it certainly Sounds Good At Press-Conferences.

    • This kind of program is highly successful in all opera houses where it is fortunate enough to be implemented, ie Munich, the Met. Michael Kraus is a fantastic addition to Vienna. I had the privilege of meeting him in Munich.

    • Alan says:

      Yes. Indeed. Education? Bad. Helping people in their career? Bad. Providing jobs? Bad.

      Some of the people on this site have serious problems.

      • Ned Keene says:

        Clearly you’ve never worked in an opera theatre. But thanks for the laugh.

        Tell me where all the singers from the ENO Young SIngers Program are working now? Because they’re not on St Martin’s Lane. How many young singers aspire to be singing ‘Ragpicker’ or ‘Countess Ceprano’ when they’re 30? Or to be shunted into B-grade roles in ‘The Wimmin of Whitechapel’ with no choice in the matter?

    • Bogda says:

      Many theaters have similar programs (including another Viennese opera house Theater an der Wien). Artists leave after completing the program, but usually maintain good relationship with the theater and return to sing all kind of roles, including leading ones. Don’t see what’s the problem. These artists while in program are not members of the ensemble, nor automatically become one. So you seem to have misunderstood how it actually works.

    • Bruce says:

      Many singers with international careers are graduates of this kind of program. In the US, the MET and San Francisco opera’s programs are particularly well-known for their graduates.

      Probably many of them also stay in town and become comprimario/ “house” singers, or even — gasp — chorus members. So be it. Most violinists who graduate from Juilliard don’t become touring soloists either.

      • Wladek says:

        Juilliard is vastly overrated cleverly managed
        to give impression as the “it” place. tor the
        unwashed .

  • Petros LInardos says:

    Did the Vienna State Opera really have no system to support young singers so far? How did employment in their ensemble work for young talent?

    • Nik says:

      It definitely used to have an Opernstudio. When I used to attend regularly in the 1990s there were certain singers who were always marked as “Mitglied des Opernstudios” on the Besetzungszettel. I don’t know what happened to it; it must have been abolished at some point.

  • Tamino says:

    Good move to hopefully limit the influence (and related bloated cost overhead) of the agents.

  • says:

    One has to congratulate the World Class opera house for its continued excellence. Which opera house worldwide is capable of presenting Wagner s whole Ring in repertoire