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Opera Camps at the Salzburg Festival

Children and young people between the ages of 9 and 17 who are interested in music have a chance at the Opera Camps to deepen their understanding the world of opera and to spend time with artists and experienced teachers during a week at the Arenberg Palace. In a manner appropriate to their respective age groups, they deal with the themes of great operas and, together with members of the Vienna Philharmonic, present their own new interpretations in a final public performance.

For many children and young people, the experiences with musical theater and the interpersonal encounters that the camps provide represent a highlight of their summer vacation. At the same time, the fundament is laid for an enduring love of musical theater.

Detailed Information for the Camps 2020


Based on the drama Jedermann by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
For young people from 10 to 15 years of age
Camp language: German

Sunday, July 12 (morning arrival) until Saturday, July 18, 2020
Costs: € 475,- per person (siblings beginning with the 2nd child € 455,- each)

Public Performance:
Saturday, July 18, 3 PM · SZENE Salzburg
Duration: circa 50 minutes · Free admission · Entry passes available beginning July 4 at the Salzburg Festival SHOP (no advance reservations possible)

Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Jedermann (Everyman) lies at the very heart of the Salzburg Festival. ‘The entire city holds its breath for this play’, wrote Max Reinhardt during the 1930s, ‘even the children act out Jedermann’. Indeed, the children back then did perform Hofmannsthal’s ‘Play of the Rich Man’s Death’ for their own amusement.

Just as in the 1930s, the children and young people who take part in the Jedermann camp will experience the original version and present their own play after an intensive week of preparation. The alternation between choral singing, instrumental music, acting and stage design will enable participants to slip in and out of different roles and rise to the various tasks that are vital in putting on your own theatre production.


Based on the opera Elektra by Richard Strauss 
Für young people from 13 to 15 years of age
Camp language: German, English

Monday, July 20 (morning arrival) until Sunday, July 26, 2020
Costs: € 475.- per person (siblings beginning with the 2nd child € 455,- each)

Public Performance:
Sunday, July 26, 4 PM
Duration: circa 50 minutes · Free admission · Entry passes not required

Richard Strauss’ Elektra tells the tragic story of a family in crisis. More than a decade ago, head of the family Agamemnon set out as military leader of the Greeks to do battle with the Trojans. He now returns home – but as a victor? His family has disintegrated in the meantime: his wife hates him; she and her lover will soon kill him; and Elektra will try to avenge her father. However, this act of retaliation ultimately destroys the avenger herself. Richard Strauss’s opera is a revelatory experience. Musically and psychologically, we’re taken on a rollercoaster of emotions: what makes Elektra tick? What drives her? What relationship does she have with her mother and with her brother Orestes? This all raises the question: what can we forgive our parents for, and what not?


Based on the opera Die Zauberflöte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
For children from 9 to 12 years of age
Camp languages: German, English

Monday, July 27 (morning arrival) until Sunday, August 2, 2020
Costs € 475.- per person (siblings beginning with the 2nd child € 455,- each)

Public Performance:
Sunday, August 2, 4 PM
Duration: circa 50 minutes · Free admission · Entry passes not required

Mozart’s Zauberflöte is the most famous Singspiel ever composed and has long cast a magical spell over young people and adults alike. The children will accompany the brave Prince Tamino on a journey into Sarastro’s mysterious realm, where he plans to free his Pamina. On this quest they encounter wondrous creatures and enchanting melodies, which help Tamino to withstand all his dangerous trials. The children will hit the high notes as Queen of the Night, help Papageno to catch his birds, or play the magic flute in the camp orchestra.


Based on the opera Intolleranza 1960 by Luigi Nono
For young people from 15 to 17 years of age
Camp languages: German, English

Monday, August 3 (morning arrival) until Sunday, August 9, 2020
Costs € 475.- per person (siblings beginning with the 2nd child € 455,- each)

Public Performance:
Sunday, August 9, 4 PM
Duration: circa 50 minutes · Free admission · Entry passes not required

Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza 1960 sounds like an outcry – a manifesto, composed in sound, against intolerance and oppression. On the one hand it is a plea for peace and freedom, on the other a moving story about life, love and death. What does it feel like to be alone in a foreign place? How can fanaticism, state impunity and social inequality be dealt with? Aren’t these questions that affect our society, young and older people alike, just as much today as when the work was composed in 1960? Nono’s sophisticated musical language will be explored in the opera camp. Together we will develop our own way of engaging with this 20th century masterpiece, using the elements of music, dance and staging.


Registration for the 2020 camps is now closed.

  • The number of places is limited.
  • Information about acceptance and participation in the camps will be sent by the end of February 2020.
  • Registration for the opera camps is only possible using the online registration form. Registrations submitted by any other means will not be considered.
  • The fees for the camps include workshops, rehearsal visits, room and board, supervised free-time activities.
  • Subsidies are available for young people from lower income families.
  • Accomodations: Schloss Arenberg, Arenbergstraße 10, 5020 Salzburg

Openings for Instrumentalists in the Jedermann Camp!

There are still openings in the Jedermann Camp for talented instrumentalists. The composer Guido Mancusi has been commissioned to compose an entirely new and anmbitious musical score for this play. Young instrumentalists between 10 and 16 years of age can still apply by mail.

The instruments particularly needed are viola, cello, flute, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, horn, trombone and percussion.

More Information

Galleries | Opera Camps 2019

Opera Camp Medea

Due to great demand, the Medea Camp for 12- to 15-year-olds, with the opera Médée by Luigi Cherubini as its focus, was held twice in two consecutive weeks.

Opera Camp Oedipus

In changing roles, with terse text passages and strong body language, the young people worked on the figures of Oedipus, Tirésias and Jocasta and studied demanding choral parts.

Opera Camp Orpheus

Director Wolfgang Nägele moved the plot to a classroom that transformed into the underworld in the pupils' dream.

Opera Camps Review 2019 (PDF)

Organised by the Vienna Philharmonic and the Salzburg Festival, the 2019 Opera Camps were attended by 165 children and young people from 23 nations. Twenty members of the Vienna Philharmonic, the stage orchestra of the Wiener Staatsoper and the Angelika Prokopp Summer Academy participated as ensembles in the four final performances at the SZENE Salzburg and Mozarteum University and supported the participants’ camp orchestra. The young opera fans were also able to attend dress rehearsals, experience guided tours of the Festival Hall and talk to directors and stage managers.



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