Charming beginnings: Patricia Nolz

The young Austrian mezzo-soprano Patricia Nolz is the winner of the Casinos Austria Rising Star Award 2019 and was awarded at competitions such as the ÖJAB Music Competition Vienna and the Osaka Music Competition in Japan. In 2019 she was an Anny Felbermayer scholarship holder. She is right now a student at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Since 2019 she has been studying for a Master’s degree in Lied and Oratorio with Florian Boesch and Claudia Visca. On the opera stage Patricia has so far performed at the Schönbrunn Palace Theatre (Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Filipjewna in Eugene Onegin, title role in Oreste, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia), among others, at the Arnold Schönberg Center, at the Clairmont Concert Hall Tel Aviv, at Schloss Perchtoldsdorf (Dido in Dido and Aeneas), in Soligen and Remscheid (Bradamante in Alcina), as well as at the Herbsttage Blindenmarkt (Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus). In autumn 2020 she was highly acclaimed for her excellent debut as Cherubino in a new production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at the Theater an der Wien, conducted by Stefan Gottfried and directed by Alfred Dorfer. Patricia Nolz was a member of the Opera Studio of the Vienna State Opera for 2 years.

Dear Patricia, thank you for accepting our invitation! It’s always a pleasure to chat with young and talented opera singers. You just announce on your Instagram account that you will be an ensemble member of Wiener Staatsoper in the season 2022/2023. What does this step mean to your career? How do you think it will change from this point on?

After 2 seasons in the Opera Studio (Young Artist Programme) of Wiener Staatsoper, it is a big honor to continue my journey in this house in the ensemble. I am looking forward to expanding my repertoire further, refining my craft and artistry and working together with all the lovely people in Wiener Staatsoper I got to know in the past years. Interestingly, my every-day-worklife will not change dramatically, since all of us studio-members were involved in nearly every production of the past 2 years, and therefore I have a good idea already about how the life in the ensemble looks like. But of course I am happy to announce that I will be singing several bigger roles next season, such as Rosina in Barbiere di Siviglia, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro

Speaking of Wiener Staatsoper, since the season 2020/2021 you are a member of the Opera Studio of the Wiener Staatsoper. What do these Opera Studios look for in a young singer at the audition? What can you tell us about your experience there?

We recently had our Opernstudio-farewell-concert and I would like to quote the head of our Opernstudio, Michael Kraus: “When I first became head of the Opera Studio I started to look for singers who are the full package: talent, intelligence, diligence and a vision for themselves.” I respect Michael Kraus tremendously for the work he did and is still doing, particularly when it comes to the casting process. He takes the time to listen to hundreds of recordings by himself and invites the singers he wants to listen to live for a so-called “Arbeitsprobe”. The difference to a regular audition is that he is not only listening and requesting to listen to certain arias, but he actually works with the applicants to see how a person behaves in a collaborative situation, responds to criticism, musical suggestions and general feedback. My personal experience in the Opera Studio has been nothing, but wonderful. The whole program was really tailored to benefit all of us singers individually as much as possible. I got the opportunity to audition for several different conductors and casting directors, I participated in numerous masterclasses, and of course, probably most importantly, I got the opportunity to perform on the stage of Wiener Staatsoper dozens of times over the past 2 years, next to the most renowned singers in the world. Nothing can really inspire growth as much as these experiences. 

Read the entire interview here, in the 4th/2022 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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