A jobs & auditions website for opera singers has moved into providing courses for a group of artists traditionally poorly catered for in skills trainings and courses – dramatic singers.
In early June this year The Opera Stage put on its first Summer Course for Dramatic Voices in Berlin. The one-week course was taught by pianist/coach Caroline Dowdle (Britten Pears School, Verbier International Music Festival, Royal Opera House Jette Parker Programme).
Usually summer and short courses focus on lyric voices, due to the fact that a far greater proportion of young singers fit into these categories. The Opera Stage course allowed larger voiced singers a chance to come together and work intensively on their specific repertoire, without any age limit.
Participant LaToya Lain from the USA had this to say: “This programme was a godsend…finally something that catered to dramatic voices, that didn’t age us out.”
The Opera Stage is now putting together a substantially longer dramatic voices programme for next summer in Berlin, including the production of an opera, which will soon be announced.
The Opera Stage founder Stephen Svanholm says:
“Dramatic singers often get the short end of the stick when it comes to further educational opportunities after music college. For a start they develop somewhat later than other voices, and secondly most of the smaller companies who put on seasonal opera productions don’t have the resources to put on the dramatic operas that these singers will rack up their stage-miles in. We are providing focused advanced trainings for this group and somewhere they can come together and connect with each other too.”