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The Young Artist program of the Vienna State Opera

Coinciding with the first term of office of Bogdan Roščić and Philippe Jordan in 2020/21, the Vienna State Opera founded a Young Artist Program with the aim to promote outstanding singing talent through targeted and practice oriented experience.

Such a program not only enables the State Opera to have an early, intensive relationship with the elite of the next generation of singers, but also challenges the house to deal with fundamental questions about quality, tradition and comprehensive training of singing performers.

The Young Artist Program of the Vienna State Opera is an indispensable project for young talent at a large repertoire house in order to promote and maintain vocal excellence. 

The second generation of the Young Artist Program of the Vienna State Opera has started with season 2022/23. 12 young singers and two pianists have been selected:

Jenni Hietala → Soprano (Finland)
Scholarship of the Hildegard Zadek Foundation

Nikita Ivasechko → Baritone (Ukraine)
Scholarship of the Czerwenka Privatstiftung

The Young Artist Program under the direction of the baritone Michael Kraus is aimed at artists who have completed their vocal training and whose talent and ability lead us to expect a career on an international level. During the two-year training in the Young Artist Program, the knowledge acquired during the course is deepened and the studio members have the opportunity to work with established artists and benefit from their rich experience. 

The young singers receive a musical and scenic training program tailored to their personal needs and also appear on the stage of the Vienna State Opera in small and medium-sized roles. The members of the Young Artist Program receive a monthly training remuneration.
A cooperation with the Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität Wien (MUK) allows members of the program to attend individual MUK courses free of charge. Master classes, rehearsals, training and workshops as well as participation in concerts of the Young Artist Program in Vienna and all of Austria round off the training. 

The Vienna State Opera has an extensive network of international artists who come to Vienna from time to time or who also live in Vienna. The Young Artist Program of the Vienna State Opera is in the fortunate position to benefit from this network and invites experienced colleagues to pass on their knowledge to the next generation, be it in the form of master classes or individual coaching according to their time. In this way, KS Linda Watson, KS Adrian Eröd, KS Bo Skovhus and Daniela Fally have already been guests at the Young Artist Program. Prof. Helmut Deutsch gave a very successful master class for German Lied. This network will be continuously expanded in the future, as will the cooperation with the two Viennese music universities MDW and MUK.

After completing the program, the young artists should have the necessary prerequisites and skills to be part of a successful new generation of international opera life.

Teachers and Coaches at the Young Artist Program (since 2020)

→ Laura Aikin
→ Louise Alder
→ Benjamin Bernheim
→ Bertrand de Billy
→ Helmut Deutsch
→ Julius Drake 
→ Étienne Dupuis
→ KS Adrian Eröd
→ KS Daniela Fally
→ KS Brigitte Fassbaender 
→ Andrea Giovannini
→ Sir Simon Keenlyside

→ Michael Kraus  
→ Jennifer Larmore
→ Kate Lindsey
→ KS Camilla Nylund
→ Lisette Oropesa
→ John Osborn
→ KS Adrianne Pieczonka
→ KS Michael Schade
→ KS Bo Skovhus
→ Lynette Tapia
→ KS Linda Watson    
→ Rachel Willis-Sørensen

Season 2023/24

30. September 2023, 15:00
Studio Concert 1
Gustav Mahler-Saal | Wiener Staatsoper
→ Tickets

18. November 2023, 15:00
Studio Concert 2
Gustav Mahler-Saal | Wiener Staatsoper
→ Tickets

25. November 2023, 19:30
External Studio Concert
Kasematten Wiener Neustadt
→ Tickets

02. March 2024, 15:00
Studio Concert 3
Gustav Mahler-Saal | Wiener Staatsoper
→ Tickets

16. June 2024, 11:00
Studio Concert 4
Gustav Mahler-Saal | Wiener Staatsoper
→ Tickets

23. June 2024, 17:00
External Studio Concert
Burg Schlaining, Stadtschlaining
→ Tickets



The application deadline for the Young Artist Program of the Vienna State Opera 2024/25 has already expired. The next application phase for the Young Artist Program from the 2026/27 season will begin in spring 2025.

Bogdan Roščić, Direktor Wiener Staatsoper:

»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, Musikdirektor Wiener Staatsoper:

»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, Leitung Opernstudio: 

»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.«

From over 1000 applications for the new opera studio, thirteen young singers were selected for the training program:

© Peter Mayr

Anna Nekhames → soprano (Russia)
* Scholarship Hildegard Zadek Foundation

Ilja Kazakov* → bass (Russia)
* Scholarship Czerwenka Private Foundation

The Young Artist program of the Vienna State Opera 2020-22 in figures

→ 1018 applicants

→ 100 working sessions

→ 20 finalists

→ 13 members

→ 2 pianists

→ 646 appearances of studio members on stage

→ 52 works

→ 234 studied roles

→ 126 sung roles

→ 11 masterclasses

→ 13 concerts

→ 1 radio show

→ 3 special projecs (7 performances)

→ 13 events for the circle of friends

Michael Kraus →  Artistic director

Michael Kraus was born in Vienna. He studied at the conservatories of Vienna and Munich. After engagements in Aachen and Ulm, as well as at the Vienna Volksoper, a busy international guest career developed, which has taken Michael Kraus to many stages, including the opera houses of Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, Munich and Vienna, Teatro alla Scala, the Royal Opera House London, Opéra Bastille Paris and the opera houses of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Helsinki, Palermo, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Turin and Zurich. Other guest appearances, including recitals and concerts (e.g. at the Salzburg and Bregenz Festivals, the Schubertiade Feldkirch, the Glyndebourne Festival and the Baden-Baden Festival), have taken Michael Kraus to France, Italy, Spain, England, Hungary, Sweden, Greece, Portugal, Israel, Brazil, Chile, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Japan. Michael Kraus' repertoire covers a broad spectrum from Mozart (Don Giovanni and Leporello, Conte, Gugliemo and Don Alfonso, Papageno and Sprecher) to the French and Italian repertoire (Valentin, Lescaut, Conte di Luna, Don Carlos di Vargas, Iago, Marcello, Sharpless), to Strauss (Faninal, Orest, Musiklehrer) and Wagner (Beckmesser, Kothner, Alberich, Heerrufer), from baroque (Ottone in L'incoronazione di Poppea) to modern (among others. Stolzius in Die Soldaten by Bernd Alois Zimmermann, among others, as well as numerous world premieres). Michael Kraus has also appeared in operettas and musicals (Eisenstein, Danilo, Sweeney Todd). Since the 2020/21 season, Michael Kraus has been artistic director of the Young Artist Program of the Vienna State Opera. In 2022/23 he will be heard at the Opéra Bastille Paris and the Royal Opera House London, among others.

Mag. Uta Sander, MAS  →  Management

Uta Sander pursues a dual career as a pianist and arts manager. In 2020 she was appointed Manager of the newly founded Opera Studio of the Vienna State Opera, a program that finds, promotes and prepares the best young international opera talent for the stage profession. As a dedicated manager and artist, the promotion of young musical talent is particularly important to her. Previously, in her role as Head of Digital Marketing, Uta Sander was responsible for setting up and developing the digital strategy of the Vienna State Opera and thus made a significant contribution to the digital opening of the opera house. 

Before joining the Vienna State Opera in 2012, Uta Sander worked for the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Bregenz Festival, the Wilhelm Kempff Cultural Foundation, ORF Radio Österreich 1, the Herbert von Karajan Centrum Vienna and the Austrian Federal Theatres Holding and can look back at 25 years of achievements and experience in this field.

Her performance career as a pianist and Lied accompanist has taken her all over Europe and to South America. A number of her CDs have been awarded international prizes, such as “Die Schöne Müllerin” (with her husband, baritone Klemens Sander) and “Das Lyrische Intermezzo” (with Klemens Sander and actor Cornelius Obonya). 

Uta Sander completed a master's degree in arts management at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and received her artistic diploma as a pianist and Lied accompanist with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Rolf Plagge and Hartmut Höll at the Mozarteum Salzburg.

Young Artists Program
Wiener Staatsoper GmbH
Opernring 2, 1010 Vienna


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