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07.06.2022: Tenor Christopher Hochstuhl is the winner of the first Mildred May Competition for opera singers. The award is meant to support continued training and career development. 

30.03.2022: Soprano Margot Genet has been selected for this year's Verbier Festival Academy. She will be part of the Song and Opera program, with mentors such as Thomas Hampson, Anne Sofie von Otter and Thomas Quasthoff.

30.11.2021: Soprano Mercy Malieloa receives the Alumni Award from North-West University in South Africa for her personal and professional achievements.

04.11.2021: Baritone Oleh Lebedyev was voted the best young singer of the Palau de Les Arts. The prize was awarded by the Amics del Opera of Comunidad Valenciana. Read more.

15.09.2021: Baritone Oleh Lebedyev wins the special prize from the Teatro Real at the 20th Ottavio Ziino International Singing Competition 2021 in Rome, Italy. He will perform in a concert at the Teatro Real in Madrid next year.



State government continues joint initiative of the Dortmund, Essen, Gelsenkirchen and Wuppertal opera houses

The newly founded Opera Studio NRW (North Rhine Westphalia, Germany) is a collaboration between four theatres of international reknown: Oper Dortmund, Aalto-Musiktheater Essen, Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen and Oper Wuppertal all together offer artists a practical programme helping them to start a career in the world of opera.




The newly founded Opera Studio NRW is a collaboration between four independent full-season opera companies: Oper Dortmund, Aalto-Musiktheater Essen, Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen and Oper Wuppertal. The Opera Studio is exclusively designed for young vocal artists and young vocal coaches who have successfully accomplished their Master‘s studies. The regular duration of membership is two years. 

Aim of the Opera Studio NRW is to provide a better transition between studies to the professional world for young singers and coaches. Highly talented young artists will be given the opportunity to participate in professional main-stage productions of even four internationally renowned theatres and to work with excellent stage-directors, coaches, conductors and orchestras. Like that they will acquire a wide repertoire from baroque to modern opera, operette, musical and concert. Apart from roles-studies, the members will receive regular training in stage-movement, stage language, interpretation etc. and will take part in a series of high profile Master Classes with invited guest-artists. In every season there will be one opera-production realized by the members of the Opernstudio. 

All this will be realized by four opera institutions located no further apart than 45 minutes by train. Each opera house will host another aspect of the programme. The Opera Studio NRW can host up to seven singers and one vocal coach. Payment will be according to the German standard contract „Normalvertrag Solo“. We are dedicated to provide extra support for those who are challenged. 

The Opera Studio is founded by the federal state of North Rhine Westphalia and will welcome its first members in September 2019. 


Robin Phillips

Sylvie Gabor

Yisae Choi

Hyejun Kwon

Margot Genet

Oleh Lebedyev

Christopher Hochstuhl

Soyoon Lee

Heejin Kim

Martin Lijauco

Season 2022-2023

Un giorno di Regno


Roberto Rizzi Brignoli

Roman Trekel

Peter Berne

The application phase for the NRW Opera Studio is currently closed.

Culture in NRW


Regional theatre


Opera houses




Ballett compagnies





The cultural landscape of North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the most creative regions of the world. Its unique amount of theatres and concert halls, their high quality and not to forget the Buildings developed by star architects bring international reputation.
With 18 public theatres of the cities, four state theatres and over 139 theatre stages of 17.84 million inhabitants, North Rhine-Westphalia shows the highest theatre concentration of all German states with 15 opera houses, 22 orchestras, 13 ballet companies and 20 straight theatres. About 800 different productions are presented per year, among them 100 new productions in the music theatre. Names like Pina Bausch, Max Ernst, Emil Schumacher, Joseph Beuys or the married couple Becher stand for the artistic avant-garde of world-class, not to mention the names of passed days like van Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann or Heine and Böll associated with North Rhine-Westphalia. Furthermore the varied programme, the experimental character – as part of international festivals like Ruhrtriennale or Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen – and the high acceptance by the audience distinguish the theatre landscape of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Ideal requirements though excellent promoter of culture and partner

The Opera Studio NRW is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia. It cooperates with Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln and Folkwang Universität der Künste Essen.