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The Opera Stage Summer Program
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The Opera Stage Summer Program
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The Opera Stage Summer Program
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The Opera Stage Summer Program


General Information


The Opera Stage is thrilled to announce the inaugural season of its



led by 


(Royal Opera House, Samling Foundation, Estonian National Opera, Verbier Festival)


June 4-10, 2018

Berlin, Germany

The program will accept and welcome 8 singers and 2 pianists for a week-long highly intensive program focusing on arias and scenes from the German, French, Italian, Russian and English dramatic opera repertoire. The week-intensive program will culminate in a concert performance.

During the program Caroline Dowdle will guide each artist through:

  • searching for the simplest way to communicate text through music honestly and creatively, with practical tips and tools that can help to achieve this;
  • how to cohesively merge musical expression and healthy vocal technique, unimpeded by tension, so that the artists can express themselves freely;
  • discovering every artist's essential and unique beauty of sound and tonal colour through the sentiments being expressed;
  • a process exploring the music together – there is never only one angle from which to view or approach a work of art;
  • merging the creative process of music making and practical process of auditioning.

During the program, singers will also:

  • work with Bernd Hendricks on how to linguistically work on a role from the Germanic repertoire as well as how to prepare for auditions in the German theatre system.
  • participate in a masterclass on how to find representation with a top German Agent


Program schedule:

* All participants are expected to be present for the full days of the programme.


Venue: The program will be held at Knutson Studios in Berlin, Germany. In addition to the main hall, there are two practice rooms with pianos which will be available to participants for warm-up | practice | rehearsal.



Caroline Dowdle was born in South Africa and studied music at the University of Cape Town, where she was taught by the eminent chamber musician Lamar Crowson. There she qualified with a Masters in Music before moving to England to study at the Royal Northern College of Music as a solo pianist, under Renna Kellaway. She was awarded a fellowship in accompaniment at the college, a post which she held for 2 years, before moving to London to begin her career as a freelance pianist. For many years she was a staff pianist at the Britten Pears School in Aldeburgh, where she worked alongside many of the most eminent singers and instrumentalists of their generation, and studied many of the Britten operas.

Since then she has performed widely in Britain and in Europe, giving recitals with singers and instrumentalists at the South Bank and Wigmore Hall, London, in Paris for Radio France, in Vienna and in Moscow.

Since the summer of 2008 she has run the Opera Academy at the Verbier International Music Festival. She has also performed in the Festival itself.

Recently she has appeared in numerous recitals with the esteemed baritone, Sir Thomas Allen.

She has worked for Opera de Rouen in 2009 and 2011 as “chef de chant” and as pianist in performances of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and Albert Herring, both in Rouen and at the Theatre Comique, in Paris.

She works regularly as a coach with the singers on the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and was appointed as a professor to the faculty of the Royal College of Music in 2015. She is the Musical Director of both the Samling Academy for young singers in the North-east of England, and the Academy of French Song and Opera, a course run in France each summer.

In 2016 Caroline worked as a vocal coach in Beijing with students from the Central Conservatoire there, and was also appointed as a regular guest.





writer, researcher and language consultant for singers in German opera repertoire

Born in the industrial town of Duisburg, now based in Berlin, Mr. Hendricks consults opera singers from around the world to meet their German language needs. He gives workshops about the linguistics of German operas with singers and casts of opera productions throughout Europe, mostly in Berlin and most recently in Vienna and in London.

His work is based on his book Ach ich fühl's – German for Opera Singers in Three Acts: Studying, Speaking, Singing, published in the US in 2015. Between 1996 and 2010, Mr. Hendricks acquired his international experience as a foreign correspondent for German media in New York where he met many people from the opera world, mostly opera singers, music teachers, stage directors, and stage hands, who were interested in the German language. When Mr. Hendricks returned to Berlin, he began working on his book as a homage to the art of opera. In his blog 'Ach ich fühl’s – German for Opera Singers,' he analyses the language of arias and Lieder, lays out the insights won in his workshops, and profiles young international singers who pursue a career in the German-speaking countries.

As language trainer he collaborates with the British language institute Marcus Evans Linguarama. He gives private classes and language courses to people from around the world, from online entrepreneurs, artists, and scientists to producers of electronic music. He speaks German (native language), English (fluently) and Spanish (advanced). Taking place in Berlin, Vienna, and London, his workshop series German for Opera Singers draws singers from all around the world who want to better understand the linguistics of the German repertoire, or want to sing in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland.

These are some of the themes:

  • Ich komme. Haben Sie Zeit? How to write an audition request to agencies in German
  • Siehen wir wieder gut - The Linguistics of Ariadne auf Naxos
  • O namenlose Freude - The Linguistics of Fidelio
  • Die Frist ist um - Common Traits in Wagner's Libretti

Application Process

Application deadline:  April 20, 2018

Cost: €785 active participant; €250 inactive participant

Note: The Opera Stage does not provide housing for participants coming from out of town but can assist in finding reasonably-priced accommodations.

Application: The application process is through our online application form found on the bottom of this page. Please be prepared to attach you resume/CV, photo, video recording, repertoire list and motivation/cover letter, detailing how the program will be benefitial to you as an artist at this stage of your career development. 

Results:  The program will select eight singers and two pianists. Application results will be emailed by April 25, 2018. You will have until May 15, 2018 to confirm your participation and submit the participating fee.

Final concert:  The program will culminate in a final concert. The concert will be open to the public and professionally recorded. Recordings will be provided to participants free of charge.

Please email us at education@theoperastage.com with any questions.

Anastasia Nikolova, Artistic Director


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