Sommer Oper Bamberg
Dear friends of Sommer Oper Bamberg!
When young musicians and singers met for the first time in Bamberg in the summer of 2005 to stage an opera production nobody expected this endeavor to become one of Europe’s leading opera and orchestra workshop within a few years. Now, in June and July 2015, we are happy to celebrate Sommer Oper Bamberg’s 10th anniversary – with a staging of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s ›Die Zauberflöte‹ (The Magic Flute).
SOB – a success story
Since ist beginnings SOB has constantly gained attractiveness and developed into a veritable career booster. The success we achieved doesn’t only manifest in great opera productions loved by the audience and the press. First and foremost it’s the further success of our former participants that shows us, that we have done many things the right way: orchestra participants of our former projects have found permanent positions in good orchestras and opera houses. Singers of the SOB by now perform at opera productions of the Berlin Philharmonic or have found permanent positions at prestigious houses like e.g. the Staatstheater Stuttgart, Nationaltheater Mannheim, at Theater Koblenz, Staatstheater Oldenburg or as an engagement at Landestheater Coburg, SOB’s project partner in 2013 and 2015.
Europe visiting Bamberg
Participants of SOB spend some great as well as formative time in the world cultural heritage city of Bamberg. Accommodation in holiday apartments in the heart of the historic city center and the close proximity to the theatre create a unique working atmosphere. Within a few weeks ensemble and orchestra not only grow together to one entity but furthermore stage a high level opera production. The workshop starts on June 22nd for the singers and on July 3rd for the orchestra.
The vocal ensemble of the SOB is cast internationally and in several auditions. The members of our ensemble represent nations from all over the word, the crucial part being that they have residency within a european country.
SOB’s orchestra is made up of students of orchestra music. Besides students from Germany we expect to welcome students from Spain, Austria and the Netherlands especially. Our resources force us to focus our auditions in a couple of selected countries. Nevertheless applications from all over Europe are more than welcome.
Our project partner, the gorgeous E.T.A.-Hoffmann-Theatre, offers everything an opera house needs: an up-to-date orchestra pit and modern stage machinery, in order to becharm the audience sitting in the historical auditorium.
The Orchestra Workshop
For the upcoming SOB we were able to assemble a great team of mentors and coaches. Thus John Holloway, among other things concertmaster with many years of experience with the London Classical Players, will rehearse with the strings’ group along the lines of historical informed performance practice again. For the third time we are glad to have Claire Genewein (Linz/Zürich) again. She is a specialist for early music performed on the German flute and a much sought after musician. Ulrich Hübner, Hannes Rux, Harry Ries and Robert Cürlis round off the team for brass instruments and timpani.
The workshop is aimed at students of orchestra music, who intent to broaden their stylistic repertoire. With exemption of brass instruments and timpani we perform on modern instruments. Especially today’s symphonic orchestras often use this combination.
On two afternoons audition coaching – meaning round-table-discussions with musicians of the Bamberg Symphony – are supposed to give insights into the perception of auditions from the perspective of the pros. A simulation with up to 16 volunteers in front of the collective will round off the coaching.
In the meantime the chamber concert at the Villa Concordia at the international artists’ house has become a part of our tradition and takes place right before the end of the project, setting a brilliant focus on the orchestra of the SOB and its members.
A special place within the workshop is held by by one répétiteur / Korrepetitor. For the duration of the entire workshop, meaning from 23.6.–26.07., they are part of the vocal ensemble. Besides being coached by Beat Roux (e.g. Weimar Opera) they get to accompany the master class of Angelika Kirchschlager, alternating with Beate Roux doing the correpetition during the rehearsals, stand in for the conductor in scenic rehearsals and play the pianoforte and the keyboard Glockenspiel in the orchestra during shows.
Master Class with Angelika Kirchschlager
Before the scenic rehearsals begin, this master class, which is thematically embedded within the context of the production, offers the unique opportunity to work with Angelika Kirchschlager in a practically relevant and application-oriented way and to put the newly acquired skills into practice on the opera stage right away. By the express wish of Mrs Kirchschlager it is possible for interested members of the public to passively attend the master class (by appointment only).
We are glad that Rainer Lewandowski, the director of the E.T.A.-Hoffmann-Theatre (project partner of the SOB15), invited SOB to his theatre ten years ago and supported our great endeavour by cooperation and also taking the position of stage director and helping young singers to bring their best to the stage. For helath reasons he had to cancel his participation in SOB 2015.
We are very happy to have Doris Sophia Heinrichsen fill in for him and direct SOB’s ›Zauberflöte‹. She has proven to be a great and experienced partner especially for young singers, e.g. at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich and with numerous productions with Bayerischen Theaterakademie. The Bamberg audience will recognize ger fro her accomplished semi staged productions of – among others – Wagner’s ›Ring des Nibelungen‹ or ›Falstaff‹ with Bamberger Symphoniker.
During rehearsals and in on-to-one sessions singers get to work with répétiteur Beate Roux, language coach Claudia Schojan and choreographer Peter Leung. Questions and the corresponding answers concerning e.g. the topics of career and application process will be provided by Bodo Busse (director of the Landestheater Coburg) and Franziska Hunke (head of the agency artistainternational, Berlin).
With this comprehensive overview, which will surely prompt new questions about this comprehensive and varied workshop concept, I invite all of you to take a closer look at our website.
My team and I are available for any questions you might have.
Till Fabian Weser
(conductor & artistic direction)