Berlin Part I by Jonathan Pell, TDO Artistic Director

by Megan Meister

I arrived in Berlin at 7:30 this morning on an overnight flight from New York and went straight into a full day of auditions that started at 10:30.  Even with a few cancellations, I still managed to hear 41 singers from 21 countries, only two of whom I had heard before.  The list of places from where these young singers come is fascinating, so in alphabetical order, the singers were from Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Korea, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, the United States and Uruguay !

These auditions were held in a rehearsal room in Berlin’s Komische Oper before a panel of representatives from opera houses and artist managers from around the world looking for exciting new talent.

Roughly 20 of these singers we heard today were selected, and will go on to  sing again on stage of the Komische Oper Theater tomorrow and Tuesday, along with about forty or fifty singers who were already passed on to the final round from screening auditions or industry recommendations.

The only prize awarded, since this is not a competition, is the chance to be heard by so many opera houses at one time, and the possibility of being engaged to sing by some of these theaters.

With a few notable exceptions, today’s group was slightly disappointing, but tomorrow promises to be a better day!

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