Opera houses are closing down, budget are cut, opera ensembles are merged, opera agencies are irritated, and cultural affairs authorities are at a loss. How does opera as an art form develop, and into which direction? What is it's future? Several answers present themselves, but there is no unambiguous sense of direction.


Nevertheless, opera is as fascinating as ever before. Living, sensual operas fascinate through voices, sounds, thoughts, emotions, pictures and stories. It is true that young opera singers have to find their way in the difficult cultural surroundings. Vocal potential, musical skills and a strong acting personality are required. Verena Keller is always on the lookout for young vocalists who emanate a strong passion to be on stage.


The Sigriswil International Opera Festival ("Opernwerkstatt") is giving a very good answer. During ten days, highly talented young vocalists are being fostered by intense musical, scenical and vocal preparation. However, the result will not be presented not in a sterile audition, but in a modern, lively stage concept involving operatic scenes which are presented to an audience that includes musical directors and opera agents. This procedure is highly exceptional; time and again singers from the Internationale Opernwerkstatt thereby found their way directly into professional employment contracts. And the proficiency of these young talents also provides part of the answer