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Opera Conductor Masterclass

  • 1-Week of masterclasses with Toby Purser, Head of Conducting at the Royal College of Music, London
  • Study Mozart’s Don Giovanni and the Overture to Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus.
  • One concert performance of Don Giovanni with Vienna Opera Academy soloists and the Wiener Festspiele Orchestra
  • Career advice and discussion with a music agent and industry professionals
  • Minimum 130 minutes podium time
Toby Purser, Conductor and Head of Conducting at Royal College of Music, London, UK.



A one week conductors’ course led by renowned conductor and teacher Toby Purser, focussing on Mozart Don Giovanni and Debussy La Mer. The week culminates in two student-led concerts of highlights from the opera, performed by the Wiener Festspiele and singers of the Vienna Opera Academy.

The course is designed for conductors who already have advanced training, and want to develop their knowledge and experience in opera conducting. Classes take place in Vienna’s iconic Musikverein, with emphasis on working in a mutually supportive group and an interactive atmosphere. There is a maximum of 12 participant conductor places, with the option also of attending as an observer. (Observers are welcome at all sessions, and will also receive a 30 minute private tutorial with Toby Purser).

The participants work together for five hours per day, conducting pianists, singers and the Vienna Sinfonia. Classes will cover aspects of technique and philosophy, musicianship and score preparation, aural awareness, and rehearsal skills, as well as additional discussions including programming, career building, working in opera, working with singers, and coaching recitativo. Toby Purser will also give individual video analysis to each student.

Participating students are expected to have a thorough knowledge of all the scores before arriving, as they will be entrusted with rehearsing the orchestra as well as conducting performances. Students are also encouraged to bring their own video cameras or phone tripods.   During the week, students will receive a minimum of 70 minutes podium time with piano, and 50 minutes with orchestra.

Wiener Musikverein - Rehearsal place. Vienna Opera Academy / Vienna Opera Festival
Wiener Musikverein - Rehearsal place.


Mozart – Cosi fan tutte, Complete.  Two performances with full cast singers. (NB Performances will be in Reduced Orchestration, but participants should learn the original version).

Fledermaus Overture


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

Participant €1,850

Observer €350

Schedule 2022 (subject to change):

Timings of day:

10.00-12.45 Session 1
14.00-16.45 Session 2
17.00-18.00 Themed Discussion

Monday 22nd
2x sessions with piano/singers: Mozart.
5pm Discussion on Coaching Recitative.

Tuesday 23th
2x sessions with piano/singers: Mozart.
5pm Discussion on Career building and working in opera.

Wednesday 24th
Die Fledermaus Overture
5pm Discussion on Programming

Thursday 25th
2 x rehearsal sessions with orchestra and singers: Mozart
5pm Discussion on rehearsal technique, working with singers.

Friday 26th
2 x rehearsal sessions with orchestra: Mozart
5pm Group feedback and general discussion.

Saturday 27th:
1 hours seating rehearsal
1 performance.

Each conductor will have 12-15 minutes each, and 5 minutes seating rehearsal.