Melanie Diener & Thomas Hampson Lead the 2024 Waiblingen International Opera Workshop

By Afton Wooten
(Photo credit: Jiyang Chen)

The Waiblingen International Opera Workshop aimed at up-and-coming singers from Germany and abroad has announced its 2024 dates.

This year, the fifth Waiblingen International Opera Workshop takes place Sept. 15-21, 2024. It is led by Waiblingen native, soprano Melanie Diener and American baritone Thomas Hampson, who initiated the program in 2019. The creative team is completed by Vlad Iftinca who serves as pianist.

This year, 10-12 participants will be selected who will work publicly with Diener and Hampson for six days to polish their musicianship. As part of the supporting program participants who opt to stay with host families from the region, are scheduled to make small appearances in public places. Artists will perform with the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Salvatore Percacciolo in the final concert. Applications are open until May 5.

Diener has sung with opera houses at Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Leipzig, Vienna, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Warsaw, London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, New York, Washington, Toronto, Bogotá and Tokyo. Her repertoire includes Wagner heroines like Isolde Elsa, Sieglinde, and Elisabeth, as well as Strauss’ Marschallin in “Der Rosenkavalier” and Chrysothemis in “Elektra.”

Hampson is a multi Grammy Award-winner, with more than 150 recordings. Throughout his carreer he has sung over 80 opera roles and has performed with the Opéra national de Paris, Opernhaus Zürich, at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and many more. Hampsong Foundation which he founded in 2003 he employs the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.

Last year’s cohort included sopranos Chelsea Colic, Marija Salečić, and Xiaofang Zhao, mezzo-sopranos Celine Akcag, Evgenya Kühme, and Annemarie Vergoossen, countertenor Sanele Mwelase, tenors Luis Magallanes and Cheng Li, and baritones Joshua Bernbeck, Joonyeop Kim, and Halidou Nombre.