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Assitant Conductor Training Program

" The great Carlos Kleiber once wrote in a letter about conducting, ‘Opera means Technique, in the broader sense of the word’. Conducting opera is both one of the most rewarding and demanding skills, requiring the widest range of technical ability and musicianship, collaborative leadership, cultural and dramatic insight, and lightening-fast interaction between stage and orchestra. "
Toby Purser
Music Director

Assitant Conductor

About the Program

While an assistant conductor with the VOA you will:

  • work alongside all the singers, assistant conductors, pianists and me in finding our own dramatic truth for our performances.
  • Explore how to achieve those aims through listening, interaction and gesture, and knowing when to lead and when to accompany. 
  • engage with the vocal faculty, learning approaches for coaching and supporting singers.
  • Be part of conducting rehearsals, so you can feel yourself connecting to both the orchestra and the singers. 
  • Work intensively on conducting recitativo accompagnato with both technical clarity and dramatic conviction. 
  • Develop your skills as an assistant conductor, so you know how to give notes to singers and conductors, and how to devise complex rehearsal schedules. 

Above all, it is a process that will engage every part of your talent, knowledge, personality and skill – and we look forward to supporting you as you develop these in Vienna, and our supportive VOA environment.

Toby Purser
Musical Director
Vienna Opera Academy

Toby Purser, Conductor - Vienna Opera Academy 2021


Maximum 3 advanced conductors for each session.

APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED for Conductors, Pianists and Observes:  May 6, 2022. .

Two Sessions
Date: July 4 – 23 | August 1 – 20, 2022

Toby Purser, Head of Conducting at London’s Royal College of Music, is accepting a maximum of THREE advanced conducting and piano students to have the opportunity to join the Vienna Opera Academy. They will be mentored and coached intensively by Mr. Purser and other guest conductors, working with a wide range of singers, and fully immersed in all of the opera repertoire and rehearsals. These places are open to conductors and pianists who already have some experience and training, and who wish to broaden their abilities in operatic repertoire.

Conductor Masterclass - 1 week


(Alternatively, we also warmly recommend the Vienna Conducting Academy, a one week course for up to 12 participants + observers. For more information, CLICK HERE.)

The repertoire for conductors and pianists will be:

  • Così Fan Tutte by W. A. Mozart & Highlights of La Traviata and Rigoletto by G. Verdi

The Conducting Program consists of:

  • Minimum 1.5-hour conducting class each morning.
  • Attend vocal coachings and masterclasses.
  • Develop the essential skills of Assistant Conductor, including collaborating
    on scheduling and casting decisions, and taking notes during rehearsal.
  • Take an active role in ensemble and performance rehearsals every
    afternoon, and when ready, offered the opportunity to conduct parts of
    production rehearsal.
  • Take an active role in ensemble and performance rehearsals every afternoon, by acting as Assistant Conductor to Toby Purser.
  • Conduct part of at least one orchestra rehearsal.
  • At the discretion of the faculty, be offered the possibility to rehearse and conduct an opera scene in concert.
  • Individual feedback and 1:1 tutorial time through the week and after most rehearsals.

Assistant Conductor Training Program: €1,850

Fee can be paid in two installments:
May 15, 2022
June 15, 2022

All our artists get a special rate for accommodation starting at €350 euros for a whole month,  double occupancy, within walking distance of the Musikverein Concert Hall.

Not included:

  • Accommodation, Visa, Airfare, Health insurance, Food, Transportation in the city

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