I was recently in residence at the 2015 Salzburg Festival to teach three days of classes for the Festival’s renowned Young Singers Project. Two days of intensive of private classes–in which I worked individually with the entire class of singers–culminated in a public masterclass on August 12, 2015. Before a large crowd of enthusiastic onlookers, I worked with Christina Gansch, Goran Cah, Catriona Morison, Claire de Sévigné, and Matthias Winckhler on matters of imagination, interpretation, release of tension, posture, placement, and finding physical and expressive freedom–whatever came up, really. It was a joyous afternoon, and I know I learned as much as the students did, if not more.
Created in 2008, the Young Singers Project at the Salzburg Festival is now considered a benchmark among young artist programs worldwide. Young singers are selected through international auditions and work with Festival Artists as part of their scholarship in Salzburg. Instruction includes not only musical development and repertoire expansion, but also scenic rehearsals, diction coaching, and song interpretation. Students perform secondary and comprimario roles in the Festival’s mainstage operas as part of their studies. The Masterclasses, led by Festival Artists, are open to the public. Previous instructors have included Thomas Hampson, Christa Ludwig, and Thomas Quasthoff. I was thrilled to have been invited, and to join their company.
Images: © Salzburger Festspiele / Marco Borrelli