Welcome to our website! James Madison University’s Summer Music in Germany was created to give singers, pianists and instrumentalists the opportunity to perform and study Opera and Lieder in Saxony, Germany, where they will work with both American and German instructors and colleagues. This year we will also be able to offer a student string quartet the opportunity to perform with the Middle Saxony Opera in a symphonic concert. If you are just starting your collegiate academic career, or are an advanced student who feels the need to expand your musical horizons, this course will help you to understand the cultural norms and differences in musical practices between American and German societies and give you an opportunity to experience living and working in Germany. You’ll have opportunities to observe the German musical theater, operatic and concert systems and to gain insight into professional-level performance attitudes and practices. You’ll have chances to perform, and the journal you’ll keep will be a record of concerts and performances you participate in, as well as excursions to concert and opera performances you will attend.
Freiberg, Germany. Freiberg has a late-medieval city center, with narrow alleyways and cobble-stone streets. The Freiberg Technical University, as well as the intimate 300-seat Mid-Saxony Opera theater provide the educational and artistic base for the former silver mining capital which created the original wealth of near-by Dresden. Points of historical interest include the oldest and most important silver mine of Saxony "Reiche Zeche'' (rich mine), as well as the cathedral St. Marien, where an original Silbermann organ (famous as the organ builder for Bach) is still used regularly for concerts and worship.
Session One: June 2-July 14:
Roles in Im weißen Rößl, Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank (Grigori Frid) and Juditha triumphans devicta Holofernis barbarie (Vivaldi) with the Middle-Saxony Theater
All students enrolled in Session One also participate in Session Two.
Im weißen Rößl (roles in this mainstage production which available for student casting)
All roles can be double cast. Singers who participate in this production will stay one extra week to be in all performances, with the last performance on July 21st.
Chorus (All voice types)
Juditha triumphans devicta Holofernis barbarie (all roles available for student casting)
All roles can be double cast.
Holofernes (Mezzo-Soprano or Countertenor)
Arbas (Soprano or Mezzo-Soprano)
Ozias (Contralto or Countertenor)
Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank (Grigori Frid)
Anne (Soprano) This part may be double and triple cast, with each singer learning a portion of the role. Singers who participate in this project may also be in the operetta Im weißen Rößl.
Session Two, July 1-July 14:
Franz Schubert and Richard Wagner Lieder Course
All students enrolled in Session One also participate in Session Two.
Schubert: Selected Goethe songs, focussing especially on the Mignon and Harper songs from Wilhelm Meister. Otherwise a blend of early Lieder (Schaefers Klagelied; Meeres Stille) and lieder from Schubert's middle years (An Schwager Kronos; Ganymed; Prometheus; both Suleikas).
Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder; Gretchen am Spinnrade (Lied and Melodram); Les deux grenadiers.
For the current projected costs for this program, please click on the following link to the Fees for JMU Study Abroad Programs page.
Students will stay in Residence halls/dormitories for the duration of the program. Participants will be required to cover meals with personal spending money, The first evening meal will be provided as part of the course costs. Other meals provided by German hosts will occassionally be available, but students will be required to provide their own food and learn to do their own shopping.
Students may do a live audition from February 4 – 16, 2013, and/or submit a recorded audition to the director if they cannot come to one of the audition sites. Dates for live auditions at specific locations will be announce soon. Locations will include:
James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia
Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona State University
Florida State University, Tallahassee
For further information about live auditions, contact the director, Dr. Dorothy Maddison
For more detailed instructions and to download the application, please click on the following link to the Applications and Forms section for JMU Short-Term Programs.
In addition to the oIP application form, students are required to submit the following materials:
In addition, all applicants should apply to the director of the program, Dr. Dorothy Maddison with the following information:
1. Do I have to enroll for academic credits? Yes. You will also be enrolled as a short-term Foreign student at the University of Freiberg. Credit is offered on both an undergraduate and graduate level
2. How old should I be to do this course? The course has accommodated students from freshman level college students up through mature adults who are ready to look for professional work in Germany.
3. Will this course get me a job in Germany? Yes if you are ready. No if you are not. Each voice will fit into a particular vocal category which matures at a different time. If you are in your late teens to mid-twenties, the chances of getting a full-time job as a soloist are probably unrealistic. However, if you fall into that category, this summer course gives you a chance to learn what it would be like to work in a professional opera house once you are ready, as well as giving you a chance to make friends and contacts for future visits to the country with the most opera houses in the world. You’ll also have the chance to develop basic conversational skills that will be valuable to you in the future.
4. What music should I prepare? Contact Dr. Dorothy Maddison for further details to discuss what is appropriate for audition and repertoire during the summer course.
5. Will there be time on the weekends to travel? No. The weekends will be for excursions to see shows and tour for additional performances. The best alternative is to plan to stay in Europe after the course is completed to take time to visit friends and/or relatives or to tour on your own. 6. Do I have to speak German? Not before you go, but it would be a good idea to study a little if you have time. You will learn basic conversational German while you are there.
7. What will the weather be like? During the first two weeks of the course, it will still be early spring weather in Germany, and you should plan to bring a winter coat, hat, mittens and rain gear, including an umbrella. An equal amount of winter and summer clothing is advised.
8. Should I bring stage make-up and stage shoes? Yes.
9. What should I do about airfare? You are responsible for your airfare, but we will be working with Lincoln Travel in Bridgewater to find a reasonable group rate for a flight that you can purchase individually between Washington and Dresden. This flight will be met at the airport to transport you to Freiberg. If you choose fly into a different airport, it will be your responsibility to arrange transportation to be picked up at the appropriate time.
10. What is the accommodation like? The student housing in Freiberg is NOT luxury hotel living; it is a dormitory living. Students may be expected to share a room. Linens and a few small towels are usually provided. Some bedrooms are single rooms and some are shared with one other student.
11. What do we need to do about health and travel insurance? JMU will purchase health insurance for you as part of your course fee, and you will pay for any trips to doctors and hospitals yourself, keep receipts and apply to the insurance company for a refund. The JMU health insurance is not optional. It is strongly suggested that you take travel insurance to cover the cost of emergency or last-minute changes to your airfare which may occur.
12. How will you get around once in Freiberg? Distances are walk able. On a day-to-day basis the program provides second-hand bicycles for you to ride within the city of Freiberg. For excursions outside of Freiberg, mini-vans and cars are rented. It is advised that you bring appropriate gear for riding bicycles on rainy days as well as good walking shoes!
13. Can my relatives and friends come and stay in the apartment with me? No. If you relatives or friends come you must make separate arrangements for housing with them. JMU will not accept responsibility for housing anyone else in the dormitory during your stay there.
14. What Music should I bring? During the first session, we arrange solo concerts for you as well as the work with the opera company. You should also bring a selection of “party pieces” in American English by American composers, and this can include Musical Theater selections. Contact Dr. Maddison for further ideas.
15. What textbooks will I need? You should plan to purchase
A. A copy of the opera score with the roles you will be assigned.
B. A German Dictionary with International Phonetic Alphabet symbols.
C. A small, portable German Grammar textbook for reference, since the German Language classes will all be taught in German!
Comments from Participants for Germany Courses in 2011
So many master-classes and concerts that we’ve gone too. They were all really cool. I love being able to see how the older singers perform and act during their pieces. I got the opportunity to work with Jana Büchner. It made me feel like I was going somewhere and that I have a chance at being a performer. It’s very helpful to hear other people sing and work with people. The final concert at the Schumann house was awesome. I think I finally understand how much acting I actually need to do if I want to be a professional opera singer.
Arijana Lempke, Undergraduate Soprano
Through this all I have grown as a performer and person, have met wonderful people and made some good connections in the professional world, had the opportunity to perform a duet with the orchestra for the first time, and had the opportunity to be submerged into another culture.
Michelle Monroe, Undergraduate Soprano
This program has given me a new sense of confidence in my vocal and musical abilities, validated my chosen path, and prepared me mentally for the rigors of professional work. Looking ahead to a season of auditions this fall, I don’t think that I could have done anything more personally valuable at this stage in my development as a singer. I end this program with a tremendous sense of gratitude for the instruction and opportunities I have received, and for the relationships I have built with my fellow singers. I am humbled to be a part of the amazing process of creating music.
Leah Hill, Graduate Soprano
Instructors and Directors from the USA and Germany:
Dorothy Maddison, Director, received a BM degree St. Olaf College, her MM and DMA in vocal performance at Arizona State University, and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. During her professional career in Europe as a lyric-coloratura soprano, she was a full-time soloist with the Stadttheater of Döbeln, Germany, where she performed the roles of Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta and Stella in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Euridice in Offenbach's Orphée aux Enfers, and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro. She toured Germany singing Christine in the Yeston-Kopit version of Phantom. Dr. Maddison is co-author of Kein’ Angst Baby!, a book to help singers audition in Germany. Her discography includes the CD Christmas Art Songs and Songs for Brenda and Bertha featuring the song cycles ME(Brenda Ueland) by Libby Larsen and Brautlieder by Peter Cornelius. She is an associate professor of voice and opera at JMU, and recently appeared with the wind symphony under the direction of Patrick Rooney at the Kennedy Center. Off campus, she has performed in concert and oratorio in the USA, England, Germany and in October of 2007 she performed with the Camerati Amici Ensemble in Brazil, singing for Vice-President José Alencar at the Portuguese Embassy Palace in Rio de Janeiro.
William Reber, Conductor, and Accompanist-Coach (Session One), earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Opera and Conducting at The University of Texas at Austin. He is the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Lyric Opera Theatre and Professor of Music at Arizona State University. From 1993 through 2004, he was head of the vocal coaching program for AIMS (American Institute of Musical Studies), in Graz, Austria. In addition to conducting symphony and chamber orchestra concerts in the United States and Europe, he has served as Music Director/Conductor for more than 125 productions of operas, musicals and ballets. Former Music Director of the Minnesota Opera Studio and conductor for the Minnesota Opera, he also served as conductor and vocal coach for the Altenburger Musiktheater Akademie in Altenburg, Germany. He was Music Advisor to the StaatsOperette Dresden, Assistant Conductor for Arizona Opera's two productions of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, and a member of the music staff for the Minnesota Dance Theatre. Dr. Reber also served as Music Director for both the Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre at California State University, Fullerton, and was a member of the conducting faculty of The University of Texas at Austin where he founded the Chamber Orchestra and conducted productions of the Opera Theatre. As a recital accompanist, he has performed with singers and instrumentalists in Germany, Austria, Macedonia and throughout the United States. A frequent lecturer on opera and symphonic repertory, he has presented lectures to audiences and classes in Macedonia, Austria, Germany and several U. S. cities. For Arizona Opera, he created and presented introductory lectures for more than twenty different productions and well as a series of special topic lectures for their two productions of Wagner’s Ring.
Eckart Sellheim (Session One Collaborative Artist Coach) . received his musical training in Germany and Switzerland; Adolf Drescher and Jakob Gimpel were among his teachers. He was appointed to the faculty of the two major conservatories in Cologne and continued his academic career as an Assistant Professor of Piano and Chamber Music at the University of Michigan. From 1989 until 2008 he was Professor and Director of Collaborative Piano at Arizona State University. He also served as a Guest Lecturer of Fortepiano and Performance Practice at various music academies in Germany (most notably at the Musikhochschule in Trossingen) and taught numerous master classes in the United States and in several European countries. Sellheim maintains an active performance schedule, having made concert tours in the USA, Latin America and the Carribean, the Middle East, Africa, and throughout Europe. He appears regularly on radio programs in the USA and abroad and has made more than 20 recordings as piano and fortepiano soloist and collaborative pianist, among them a great number with his late brother, celebrated German cellist Friedrich-Juergen Sellheim.
Jan Horstmann, (Session One Conductor) is currently the General Music Director, Freiberg Opera House. He studied at the Music Conservatory in Hamburg, Germany. His first employment was as a repetiteur and conductor at the Wuppertaler Theater. He also conducts regularly for the Dance theater company of Pina Bausch. In 1996 he became the first conductor of the Magdeburg Theater and is now the General Music Director of the Middle-Saxony theater. He has also been a guest conductor in Hamburg and Bonn and conducted in Amsterdam, Bonn, Brasilia, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, as well as leading the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra. He also has a secret passion for Cabaret/Street Music and has a one-person Cabaret act which he performs regularly.
Anne Elgar Kopta, (Guest Lecturer) is a soprano and associate professor of Music in voice, at Arizona State University Herberger College School of Music. Under the stage name of Anne Elgar, she regularly appeared in leading roles with the New York City Opera and the opera companies of San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Wichita.Her credits include Violetta in La Traviata, Gilda in Rigoletto, Mimi in La Boheme, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Blonde in The Abduction from the Seraglio, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Rosina in Barber of Seville, Baby Doe in The Ballad of Baby Doe, Abigail in The Crucible, and Sister Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, among many others. She created the role of Margaret in the world premier of Lizzie Borden by Jack Beeson, a work commissioned by the New York City Opera. The original cast album released on Desto Records has recently been reissued on CDs by Composers Recordings, Inc./CRI. Miss Anne Elgar has also recorded opera by Rossini and Meyerbeer on the Vanguard (reissued on CDs) and the HRE labels. Under the sponsorship of Columbia Artists' Community Concerts Series, she was a popular recitalist. There were also many guest appearances at Tanglewood, Chautauqua, Caramoor, Newport, Saratoga and other summer music festivals.For more than 20 years, she has taught at major universities during the academic year and devoted the other months to summer music schools in Austria, Italy, Israel, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Formerly, Professor Kopta was a regular faculty member of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Her master classes at Mexico's National Conservatory of Music have become an annual event, and have resulted in special appreciation of ASU’s School of Music among students and faculty there.
Dr. Dorothy Maddison, Program Director
James Madison University School of Music
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807