Rising Stars in...Presenting
Director for Artistic Administration and Casting, Theater an der Wien
No fortune teller could have predicted the career path of Sebastian Schwarz, born in 1974 in Rostock, East Germany. Now 38, Schwarz has been director for artistic administration and casting at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien since 2006.
As a teenager, Schwarz was interested in medicine, and thanks to high grades, could have studied it in depth at East Germany’s best schools. But he was also interested in the arts. Possessing a naturally beautiful instrument, he decided to become a singer. Schwarz studied voice in Italy, took courses in arts administration, and worked for Walter Beloch, an artist manager based in Milan. When a reflux ailment cut his performing career short in 2004, he decided to concentrate on arts administration full time.
Since then, he has become passionately devoted to teaching talented young singers to move well on stage.
In 2010 Schwarz co-founded the Pietro Antonio Cesti International Voice Competition for Baroque Opera in Innsbruck, Austria. In addition to prize money, winners participate in a staged production at Innsbruck’s Festival of Early Music. And this month he launches a program within the Vienna Chamber Opera (which is affiliated with Theater an der Wien) that will focus on developing young talent.
“It’s important that this is not just another competition that hands out money,” Schwarz said of the Cesti competition. “It’s more important for the long-term development of these young singers that they are given the experience of working with a conductor, with a director in developing a character, and being onstage.”
With the Vienna Chamber Opera, he hopes to offer similar opportunities.
“There’s nothing being done for young singers in Vienna,’’ said Schwarz. “There are schools, but there is no young artists program, nothing to help singers get into the career, the daily life of being an opera singer.”
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