Intensive Opera Audition Training Masterclass with Prof. Gerd Uecker

Is it your goal to have a position in a German-speaking opera house where nowadays half of the opera performances world wide occur? Our high-level Masterclasses will prepare young professional opera singers particularly for auditioning and also cover many other important aspects of theatre life such as musical interpretation and insights to the selection-criteria for an agent.

Special application requirements: In addition to the normal application please send us a recent digital audio or video recording (e.g. MP3-File, YouTube or Soundcloud Link) of your work to summer-courses[at]

For the fourth year running, a truly exceptional and experienced Team in the field of Opera are working together again:

  • Professor Gerd Uecker, former Director of the Semper Opera House, Dresden and author of "Opernsanger-Traum Beruf"("Opera singer, your dream profession"), 
  • Professor Jonathan Alder, pianist (former Deutsche Oper Berlin and Berlin Philharmonic, Berlin University of the Arts, accompanist of Christa Ludwig and Cheryl Studer), 
  • together with his wife Janice Alford, Mezzo-Soprano (former Vienna State Opera and now an established voice teacher in Berlin),
  • accompanied by guest lecturers.


This year we have expanded our vision even further, offering yet more in 2017: it will be possible to finish a full 14-days course, or just two separate modules. 

September 23 - 29th: Session with Prof. Gerd Uecker focusing on interpretation and coaching

October 2nd - 8th: Session with Prof. Cheryl Studer focusing on intensive interpretation and technical work


Integral parts of the courses:

  • Coaching sessions with Jonathan Alder - New
  • Working on individual specific technical issues with Janice Alder-Alford - New
  • Stage Craft/ Movement - New 
  • Audition Training with Jonathan & Janice Alder
  • Movement / Fitness / Breath control extended
  • Brain Training - Psyching you up! Positive preparation techniques
  • Personality Training with Janice Alder-Alford
  • Final Concerts as audition presentation with a small selective jury e.g. Berlin Agents (Tact4Art, Boris Orlob, Opera Connection, Cicada), Head of the Komische Opera Studio Peter Tomek and Conductors Stanely Dodds, Adam Benzwi, Stefan Tast and the public
  • In this context prizes will be offered again from Walther Kaminsky Foundation and Komische Oper Berlin


Furthermore, you will have a possibility to discover the great facilities on the premises of the Berlin University of the Arts.

Teaching languages: English, German and/or French as required.


Feedbacks of our participants:

„It was a very good idea to have an Audition Concert at the end of the course to try out what we have learnt.”

„Great detailed work with all the musical aspects and very helpful audition training to enter the professional world of opera.”

„Technical and musical interpretation was something I haven't learn before, the group dynamics were great!”


What some former participants have already achieved:

Gerd Uecker Course 2015

Avigail HavTur – Coloratura Soprano, Israel: The Boris Orlob Agency, on the Jury at the final concert arranged for her to be presented for Queen of the Night for Opera Studio Production - La Scala Milan.

Gerd Uecker Course 2015

Kristin Ebner – Dramatic Soprano, Deutschland: Chosen to participate in the Bayreuth Festival Masterclass, working on Isolde with Michelle Breedt, this was for only 5 Singers and presented to Eva Pasquier-Wagner in the final concert. She won the audition to sing the 4Letzte Lieder. R.Strauss ECO prize winning Detmolder Orchestra 2015, performed last November in Hannover.

Gerd Uecker Course 2014

Natalia Salom, Lyric Soprano, Spain: Engaged by the Teatro la Palma, Majorca 2014/15 and now, 2016, she won the Wagner 1st Prize in Madrid in 2015, and a recital for „Friends of the Opera”, Madrid, 2016.

Prof. Gerd Uecker, born in 1946 in Munich. Musical studies at the Academy of Music in Munich: Piano, musical pedagogics, conducting. 1969 Music Coach at the opera house Cologne. 1970 Teaching profession at the "Rheinisches Musikkonservatorium Köln" concerning the subject; 1973 Musical Director and head of the opera department at the "Südostbayerisches Städtetheater" in Passau; 1979 Director of the musical department at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich; 1982 Head of the office of the General Director at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich; 1988/89 Artistic Director and representative of the General Director at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich; 1993 Interim artistic head of the Bavarian State Opera; Sept. 1993 Opera Director of the Bavarian State Opera; 2000 Nominated as General Director of the "Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden", Semperoper; 2003 – 2010 General Director of the "Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden", Semperoper; 2005 – 2010 Chairman of the "Deutschsprachige Opernkonferenz"; Since 2007 Chairman of the board of the academy of the "Musikhochschule Lübeck"; 2010 Awarding of the "Dänisches Ritterkreuz des Danneborgordens"; 2011 Honorary president of the "Bundeswettbewerb Gesang Berlin".

Janice Alder-Alford, Mezzo Soprano, A.R.C.M.: Voice Studio, Training in Body Work & Style made her debut at the Vienna State Opera at only 24 years old. Here she performed many comprimario roles being chosen to sing Bersi in the new production of Andre Chenier with Placido Domingo and Gabriella Beneckovacap. Contracts followed for the Salzburg Festival, also for Decca in a recording with Mirella Freni and Renata Scotto (Norma - Bellini). Later her repertoire included Brangaene, Octavian, Amneris and Carmen in theatres eg. Dortmund, Straßbourg, and Paris. She also worked with such producers as John Dew, Phillipo Sanjust and Jean Claude Martinoty and conductors Nello Santi, Horst Stein, and Sir Charles Mackerras. Janice began her studies at the Royal College of Music, London and continued it with a scholarship in Vienna with Christa Ludwig and Erik Werba. Prior to signing her studio contract with the Vienna State Opera, she won prizes at the ARD-Competition in Munich and Concours International de Chant de Paris in France. Participation in the masterclasses gave her contact not only with Herbert von Karajan and Mario del Monaco but also with Janet Baker, Pierre Bernac, Hannelore Kuhse and Giulietta Simionato. Her repertoire has been performed in many major concert halls e.g. the Royal Albert Hall, London, Musik Verein Vienna, and the Philharmonie, Berlin. Due to a serious riding accident, Janice's operatic career was curtailed. Through the understanding of the singer's professional life, she has developed to a sought-after vocal teacher based in Berlin. Together with her husband, Jonathan Alder, she has been giving masterclasses since 1995 (in Walter Kaminsky Stiftung, Munich particularly). She is on the board for the German National Singing Competition.

Jonathan Alder, BA Cambridge, Pianist began his career in music as a boy soprano at Westminster Abbey, London. He studied not only piano, but also horn, singing, later as a counter-tenor, and composition. Having completed his studies at the Kings College, Cambridge, he gained a place for Piano Accompaniment at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London. Here he won the Overseas League Prize for accompaniment. Over the years he has become an accompanist with an international reputation. He has regularly performed with such artists as Christa Ludwig, Lucia Popp, Placido Domingo, Hans Sotin, Francisco Araiza, Gwyneth Jones, Pierre Fournier, and Viktor Tretjakow. Concerts have taken him throughout Europe, Asia, and America. He has been sought after for many Festival appearances such as Baden-Baden, Verona, Cervantino (Mexico) Salzburg and Hohenems. Numerous radio and CD recordings prove his high reputation. In 1989, he was offered a professorship for Lied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and in 1993 at the Universität der Künste, Berlin. Since 1989, Jonathan Alder has been performing regularly with the Berlin members of the philharmonic orchestra – not only with Sir Simon Rattle but also Claudio Abbado.

Run period:
23.09.2017 – 29.09.2017
Course time:
10.00 am – 9.00 pm
Application Deadline:

Course fee:
EUR 850

passive participants (week) à EUR 200
passive participants (daily) à EUR 30
Min. number of participants:
Max. number of participants:

For further information please contact: