Centre de Perfeccionament Palau de Les Arts

The OperaVision Podcast

OperaVision next generation podcast series charts the journeys of singers on four young artist programmes across Europe – Oper Frankfurt, Palau de les Arts, the Rossini Opera Festival and Opera for Peace. Every month, stage director and podcaster Nina Brazier, brings you privileged backstage access to masterclasses, rehearsal rooms and dressing rooms. We’ll be throwing open the doors to these programmes to find out first-hand about the application process - what was that audition experience like? And how do the singers negotiate the physical and emotional highs and lows as they explore their unique operatic voice? We’ll also meet experts and coaches such as tenor Larry Brownlee, accompanist Kamal Khan and artistic director Rosetta Cucchi, to hear how they guide young singers and build their confidence – alongside teaching that all-important technique.

Subscribe now, and find out how the opera world is developing and nurturing the next generation of talent. OperaVision: Next Generation series launches on Friday 16 September 2022;  wherever you get your podcasts, come and join us. You can also listen to the OperaVision podcast below.

Our podcast is available on Spotify and Deezer.


This month, we’re back following up with our four young artists at Oper Frankfurt, where juggling roles and dealing with vocal fatigue are part of life at the height of a busy season. Our singers share stories of setting boundaries, juggling repertoire, and how sometimes saying no is essential to protecting both vocal and mental health. Featuring sopranos Nombulelo Yende and Clara Hyoyoung Kim, mezzo-soprano Helene Feldbauer, and baritone Jarrett Porter.


In an industry where self-doubt can be paralysing, Opera for Peace Ambassador and soprano Ailyn Perez shares her techniques for helping emerging artists to trust their voices, how to navigate away from the feeling of continually being judged, and she acknowledges her own vulnerability when approaching a new piece – a reminder that even those at the pinnacle of their careers experience moments of uncertainty.  Meanwhile, young tenor Matteo Ivan Rašic questions whether as a singer you need to be self-centred, and reflects on the significance of success as the son of a refugee family, giving a personal perspective on the stakes involved in pursuing a career in the arts.


With its extensive international travel, sets and costumes created for individual productions, many of which are then disposed of, opera does not have a reputation for being particularly green. However, companies and individuals are now making great strides towards sustainability in the face of the climate crisis and are continuing to find ways to make spaces and performances more environmentally sustainable.

In this episode we find out how activists and individuals are challenging the status quo - working towards sustainability in the face of the climate crisis. Nina speaks to Sebastien Gueze, the French Tenor and activist responsible for publishing the BIOPERA essay, who now also works as a sustainability consultant for the French government, and Italian Stage Director Ilaria Lanzino who has directed a pilot CO2 neutral production at Oper Leipzig.


For many artists there are barriers that go much deeper than the gender binary, but how can we ensure people of every gender have real access and are genuinely welcomed in the opera world? Trailblazing American baritone Lucia Lucas reveals the highs and lows of inhabiting a role close to her heart; Lili Elbe at the Theater St. Gallen, about the eponymous painter who was the first person to have gender confirmation surgery in the 1930s. Meanwhile, Spanish director, designer and visual artist Marta Pazos explores the world of intersexuality through her production of Alexina B at the Gran Teatre del Liceu In Barcelona; she shares how she brought the story of Herculine Barbin vividly to life.


‘Classical opera has a racism problem’ ran a headline in the New York Times in 2019, one of many articles in recent years to discuss the subject. Racism is high on the list of issues the opera world is looking to tackle, and in this episode we’re joined by two artists from different sides of the Atlantic, exploring how they are striving to create an opera and classical music culture that better reflects the communities they serve.


‘Is opera the most misogynistic art form?’ asked Charlotte Higgins in The Guardian back in 2016, noting that the genre itself seems to devour women. In Classical Music Magazine in 2020, Becca Marriott argued that ‘Sexism is preventing women from forging a career in opera’. Over the course of the next episodes, we are looking at how voices in opera are calling for change to make it better for the next generation of operatic talent. In this episode, we explore misogyny in opera both on the stage and behind the scenes, and investigate the lived experience of artists who are striving to make the opera world a place where everyone feels welcome, respected and safe.


Opera has long faced accusations of elitism, racism and misogyny, and over the course of the next few episodes, we are looking at how voices in opera are calling for change to make it better for all our young artists. We begin by looking at the representation of Asian culture on the operatic stage, and investigate the lived experience of three artists who are striving to make the opera world a place where everyone feels welcome.


OperaVision is back in Paris at Opera for Peace’s second academy, with our expert the soprano Sumi Jo sharing her warm yet strict approach to working with emerging artists, and giving us tips on sustaining a long and healthy career. Meanwhile, we explore what it means to come to opera later in life with tenor Raùl Guttierrez, and the importance of protecting your voice and the pursuit of self-improvement with soprano Maria Belén Rivarola.


OperaVision heads to the Palau de les Arts and their Centre de Perfeccionament in Valencia, where two of our young artists talk about the challenge of balancing outside opportunities with in-house commitments, the realisation that insecurities as an artist happen at every level, and the difference between being treated like a young artist and a young professional.


This month, OperaVision takes you to the Rossini Opera Festival’s Accademia Rossiniana’s ‘Alberto Zedda’ in Pesaro. Young artists navigate auditions, develop their Rossini style, and find unique ways to make roles their own. Discover what they learned from Rosetta Cucchi's Masterclass, including Stanislavski techniques for character development and avoiding generic performances. Gain insights that will shape their approach to all future operatic roles.


This month, OperaVision takes you from the Studio at Oper Frankfurt to backstage at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. Nombulelo Yende shares her hopes and fears about performing in front of experts and an international audience, while Clara Hyoyoung Kim is honest about the challenges of clashing schedules and saying ‘no’ when it is necessary. Meanwhile the visiting expert Matthias Rexroth sets the bar extremely high for young singers.

Episode 10

One of the leading tenors of his generation, Brian Jagde joins us after his Opera for Peace Masterclass in Paris.  He opens up about vocal technique and mental health. Through his work with tenors Raúl Gutiérrez and Matteo Ivan Rašić, we hear sound advice on vocal interpretation. We learn more about his work ethic, his transition from baritone to tenor and what this has meant for his career.

Episode 9

This month, OperaVision is back with the Rossini Opera Festival’s Accademia Rossiniana ‘Alberto Zedda’ where we hear about alumnus Stefan Astakov’s opera journey and how he has learnt to let go of technique when performing in front of a judging panel. Coach and tenor Luca Canonici shares what he thinks young singers should avoid at all costs. We hear words of wisdom for singers about giving one’s soul to the public, and how it’s important to be kind to yourself and not to get trapped in an ‘emotional cage’.

Episode 8

This month we return to the Palau de les Arts and their Centre de Perfeccionament, where the young Soprano Iria Goti finds her feet in a brand new production of Cendrillon. We discover how she reacts when self-criticism and nerves take hold during a performance. Meanwhile, alumna of the programme soprano Angel Blue gives us an insight into her relationship with comparison and competition, and shares how performances can be affected by something much more serious than the stress of day-to-day life events.

Episode 7

What goes through the mind of the award-winning young soprano Nombulelo Yende as she steps onto the stage at Oper Frankfurt for a major role debut with just a few rehearsals? Nina Brazier chats to her before rehearsals begin. Meanwhile, internationally acclaimed alumna of the Oper Frankfurt Studio, mezzo soprano Paula Murrihy shares her journey as one of the first participants of the Studio programme, and reveals the pivotal moment in her operatic career.

Episode 6

On track to becoming a doctor in Mexico and finding opera as something ‘for old people’, Leonardo Sánchez made an unexpected career pivot and discovered that singing opera really could be a viable career choice. So how have the first steps in opera been for this emerging tenor? How has he squared reality and against his own high expectations?

Episode 5

Join us in Spain to discover the unusual journeys of three young artists at the Centre de Perfeccionament, Palau de les Arts in Valencia. We have conversations on how to perform your best under pressure, ways of getting through feeling deeply overwhelmed and hear about the importance of using the tools at your fingertips and making the most of every single opportunity.

Episode 4

Four young artists from Oper Frankfurt’s Opera Studio share their stories – from their first auditions in front of the Intendant Bernd Loebe, and on to negotiating their way through the early months of the programme and taking on major roles in mainstage productions. Along the way they explore how to filter the very best advice from experts, discover the necessity of dealing with the inner critic, and learn to listen to and trust their own unique voice.

Episode 3

We head to the Rossini Opera Festival to join the Accademia Rossiniana “Alberto Zedda” Young Artist Programme, where we follow the journeys of four singers as they dedicate themselves to the portrayal of Rossini’s works, and fully-stage a production of Il Viaggio a Reims. We hear about their early goals, the challenges they face, and the lessons they are taking with them into their future careers. The singers are joined by the renowned Director, Pianist and Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi, who shares her insight and expertise on how to best nurture the next generation of operatic talent.

Episode 2

OperaVision continues its next generation podcast series, heading to Rome for the inaugural academy of Opera for Peace. This emerging artist programme aims to level the playing field for emerging opera singers from all countries, backgrounds and circumstances. We meet four young artists and hear insights from experts Thomas Hampson, Jenna Wolf and Kamal Khan on the challenges of the programme and how they nurture the next generation of operatic talent.

Episode 1

From one young soprano making audition videos in a shelter in Kyiv while the war swept through Ukraine, to another using an international singing competition to showcase her talent, we meet emerging artists from four leading young artist programmes across Europe.  In this episode, we dip into each programme, from Opera for Peace in Rome, to the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, on to Palau de les Arts in Valencia and Oper Frankfurt.  As well as hearing from the artists about their expectations, we feature insights from experts such as Lawrence Brownlee, and learn how the programmes are nurturing and developing the next generation of talent.