Salzburg Opera Camps
Since 2009, Schloss Arenberg has hosted a series of opera camps for children and young adults from all around the world. The participants are given the opportunity to develop their version of an opera from the program of the annual Salzburg Festival, accompanied by music teachers and members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Each summer children arrive in the company of their parents, siblings, friends, or manage the journey alone. They come from all over the world, although not all bring instruments. Some are singers, dancers, or just love music. Most of them are familiar with concerts and opera, having grown up in an environment where art is important, while some are already familiar with the opera that they will study during the week in Salzburg.
The operas performed at the Salzburg Festival are not particularly “child-friendly”. They are often too long or the subjects too complex for a child. This is where the music teacher plays an important role to help the children understand these great operas. Members of the Vienna Philharmonic and our team make the connection between the world of opera and the children’s world.
During the week, the children attend a dress rehearsal of the opera they are studying. They hear spectacular voices, the best orchestras directed by the top directors, and see world-class stage sets. The children develop their version of the same opera and perform it for the public on the final camp day. The drama, emotions – love and death – of opera is heavy stuff and appeals to all age groups. Each year many camp attendees reapply, which shows that opera is not only appreciated by adults.
Salzburg during festival season and the special atmosphere at Schloss Arenberg round out an ideal program. Thanks to the support from the American Austrian Foundation, 1,400 children were able to participate in 34 camps, covering different operas from 2006 to the present.