Thursday 12 September 2019

Internationale Opernwerkstatt Waiblingen: 13 young singers working with Melanie Diener & Thomas Hampson

Melanie Diener and Thomas Hampson
Melanie Diener and Thomas Hampson
You may not have heard of the town of Waiblingen, near Stuttgart in Germany but it happens to be the home town of German soprano Melanie Diener. But if you are a young singer then Melanie Diener and baritone Thomas Hampson aim to put the town on the musical map. With the aid of a remarkably supportive city council, Diener and Hampson have created an international opera workshop, the first of which runs from 23 to 28 September 2019, culminating in a grand closing concert with all the soloists and the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Dan Ettinger. And for the 13 young people taking part, it is all free!

Waiblingen in 2007
Waiblingen in 2007
Diener and Hampson have invited 13 young singers from eight countries to be scholarship holders and take part in the workshop. Participation is free to the scholarship holders, travel costs are covered by the city of Waiblingen, and accommodation will be with host families in Waiblingen. The singers will spend the week working with Diener and Hampson, often in public masterclasses, with an emphasis on technique, expression and presentation, things that should be in the foreground of a singer's artistic development and career. And as well as being open to the public, the masterclasses are open to school groups as well.

Melanie Diener points out that Waiblingen is already a cultural city, with many art and music initiatives, and by supporting the International Opera Workshop the city council wishes to further anchor the theme of opera in the city and bring it closer to its citizens. And you don't have to even attend, the events will be streamed live on the workshop's website:

On the initiative, Thomas Hampson commented:
"So much of what happens on stage and inspires the audience has been preceded by a long process of intensive learning and preparation. Young artists first have to develop all the skills they need for a professional career. Today in particular, the expectations of young singers who dare to step onto the opera stage are more complex than ever. I consider it a pleasure, a privilege and a sign of confidence that I can help young colleagues to acquire the skills they need for a long and successful career. For a career in an art form that is constantly evolving and that expresses emotions and human behaviour in a language called 'music' and presented in a place called 'theatre'."

Further information from the workshop website.

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