For 60 years, the International Opera Studio, the combination of theater and training for young singers, has been an institution known far beyond the country's borders, and in that time has developed into one of the leading training centers for highly talented young singers. For 60 years the students have received practical training, a realistic insight into theatre life, musical and scenic role study, lessons in vocal and speech technique, dramatic instruction, improvisation, physical training, ballet and language instruction. In addition, the International Opera Studio offers master classes and workshops with distinguished soloists, directors and conductors. The institution is supported by the Friends of the Opera, which was also founded 60 years ago to promote the training of these young talents.
For the 60th anniversary, unfortunately everything is now different this season. The young talents had to do without a lot in the course of the Corona measures. We are therefore all the more pleased that the Opera House, with the financial support of the Friends of Zurich Opera, was nevertheless able to offer the members of this year's cohort performance opportunities and special formats:
With Curtain Call, the Opera House presented a series of unique concert evenings last December, in which prominent singer personalities performed key works of the vocal repertoire on the big stage together with the young talents from the International Opera Studio. The masters of their craft, Diana Damrau, Anna Bonitatibus, Thomas Hampson and Benjamin Bernheim, and the young artists developed the concert program during a three-day workshop. The workshops, as well as the concerts, were recorded by a camera team and presented as short documentary films. The digital broadcast of the Curtain Call-concerts and documentaries took place over Christmas and New Year's Eve.
Then in May of this year came the happy news that the annual new production with the International Opera Studio at Theater Winterthur, Gaetano Donizetti's Viva la Mamma, could be presented to a live audience of 50 after all. We are very happy that the young artists were able to show their skills in front of a small but nice audience and to receive the applause live.
The grand IOS Gala Concert is the brilliant finale of the season. The highly talented young singers present themselves at this final concert with a colorful program of arias and duets with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. We are confident and hope that the gala concert can take place as planned.