Hedwig Fassbender


2. August 2023

Summer Holidays – 6 weeks of nothing?

How can I enjoy them and get confidently back in shape?


They are here – the summer holidays!

The exhausting season is finally over, and you can relax. I am not writing this article for the freelancers who have to/can/want to hurry to the next festival right after the end of the season, but rather for those freelancers who don’t sing in festivals and for the ensemble members who have holidays like ordinary people.

With the beginning of the holidays, the evil questions already loom in your mind:

„How do I get back in shape afterwards?“
„What if the voice is completely gone after vacation?“
„How do I get back into singing?“

First, just keep your (singing) mouth shut for two to three weeks and think of something else– that’s the best thing to happen to your voice and mind!
Remember the anecdote in the interview with the smoking diva: the reporter: „But isn’t smoking dangerous for the voice?“ – the star: „My dear, singing is much more dangerous for the voice“. Unfortunately, I don’t remember who the lady was, but she was certainly right!

A good break is essential!

After the holidays

Get back into it slowly:

Warm up properly first, then start with shorter, easy pieces, like songs.

On the first day, sing for only half an hour and not the heavy Wagner/Verdi/Strauss from before the holidays, even if the temptation is great because, after the break, the high notes are usually rather effortless.

On the second day, 45 min; on the third day, one hour, then one and a half, and gradually your voice and body get going again.

Then you can/could benefit from the time when you can practise without running to the next rehearsal.

You have time to dedicate to technical questions:

Trills (whole tone and half tone trills): start with alternating tones, i.e. eighth notes, triplets, sixteenth notes, and then trill. A trill means fixing the larynx on a rather „firm“ breath contact. When it works, it’s a somewhat „freaky“ feeling. You have to try it until it works, just like you did as a child when practising the rolled Rrrrrrrr: keep trying; eventually, it will work.

Messa di voce: crescendo and decrescendo – remember: pianissimo needs more support than forte.

Chromatic scales: (if you have more than 12 notes in an octave, something is wrong 😉 Keep practising, divide into groups of 3, 4 or 6 and check on the piano: there are either three augmented thirds or four minor thirds or six whole notes). Don’t give up:)

Portamento: Sing a note in a healthy mezzo-forte, start a diminuendo and at the very end of the diminuendo, „carry“ your voice to a tone a fifth lower.

You have time to look for new roles and try them out.

The advantage of trying out in your free time: If you make yourself tired singing during the holidays, you can take a break and don’t have to go straight back to the next rehearsal. To find new repertoire, you can search for yourself or check singers‘ information who sang your Fach to see what was on their repertoire list when they were your age – websites, backs of CDs etc.

Some competitions give good repertoire lists where you can get ideas, like Belvedere, Neue Stimmen…

Also, the good old (and newly revised) Kloiber offers an extensive list of roles in the appendix – you don’t have to take the Fach specifications always 100% seriously, but the opera contracts don’t do that either anymore 🙂

here or here

In the meantime, this „piece of gold“ is also available as a pdf, at least at „Weltbild“ – good holiday reading!

And now: have a nice holiday!

– Do things you haven’t done yet
– Eat things you don’t know yet
– Speak a foreign language – if you can’t speak it well – you’ll always learn something.

Or do NOTHING, as long as you can stand it,
whatever you decide – have fun!

See you soon,





22. Juli 2023

New Blogpost: ENVY – a very sensitive subject

10. Mai 2023

Workshops May – June

25. MĂ€rz 2023

Marking or Singing out?

New Blogpost

27. Februar 2023

Newsletter – keinen Blog mehr verpassen – don’t miss a new blogpost:))

Finally we made it - you can automatically receive a message, when a new Blog pops up:)



5. Februar 2023


3 workshops and a new format of masterclass

The workshops in February are with my beloved Opera Studios in the houses of Paris, ZĂŒrich and Frankfurt. AND there will be a new format by exzellenz labor oper: a RETREAT for singers 35+, which I give together with agent and ex-singer RenĂ© Massis and Conductor and rĂ©pĂ©titeur Björn Huestege. Alina Shevchenko will be our course- accompanist.

15. Januar 2023


In January 2023, I can work with three of the Studios which I visit regularly

1. Dezember 2022

Workshops November / December

For the last two months of the year, I have the pleasure to work with those studios which I visit regularly. It is a great pleasure to see the young singers again and continuously help them.

1. Dezember 2022

Wie fest ist „fest“? How fest is „fest“?

The word "fest" can be very misleading. Der Ausdruck "fest" kann irrefĂŒhrend sein.

New Blog: check the German and English version

19. November 2022

Blog Post Update

13. November 2022

New Blog Post


6. Oktober 2022

Workshops in October

OperAvenir Theater Basel
(abgesagt wegen Grippe)

Hochschule fĂŒr Musik und Theater Hamburg

20. September 2022

New Masterclass!

click on the photo for further information!

4. September 2022


Photo: Daniel Blattmann

29. Juli 2022


...some thoughts about the summerholidays - ein paar Gedanken zu den Sommerferien

1. Juni 2022

Vocal Coaching/Korrepetition, das mögliche Dilemma / Vocal Coaching/“Korrepetition“, the possible dilemma

Korrepetition und Gesangsunterricht / Vocal Coaching and Voice lessons

Dieser Blogbeitrag widmet sich der delikaten Situation, in die SÀnger:innen geraten können, wenn sie mit Korrepetitor:innen arbeiten, die nicht nur musikalische Arbeit machen, sondern auch gesangstechnische Hilfestellungen leisten möchten.

This blog post is dedicated to the delicate situation that singers can find themselves in when working with accompanists who not only want to do musical work but also provide technical assistance.  

Read the article:

Artikel lesen: 

24. Mai 2022

Podcast: Coaching, Mentoring…

Was ist eigentlich der Unterschied zwischen Coaching und Mentoring und wie finde ich die richtige Person? Podcast mit den wundervollen Frauen von "Der Marktstand", Susanne Petridis und Frauke Meyer:

6. Mai 2022

WORKSHOPS Mai/June 2022

Neue Einladung: Staatsoper Stuttgart:)

23. MĂ€rz 2022

Workshops March/April 2022

12. Februar 2022

Workshops in February

Februar – Workshops / Workshops in February:

Opernstudio Frankfurt

National Opera Studio Opera Narodowa Warsaw (cancelled due to COVID 19)




30. Januar 2022


Keine Impfung – kein Unterricht

No Vaccination – no Lesson

Ich bitte um VerstĂ€ndnis dafĂŒr, dass ich keine SĂ€nger:innen unterrichte, die nicht vollstĂ€ndig geimpft sind!

Please understand that I will not teach singers who are not completely vaccinated, thank you!

3. Januar 2022

My January

the New Year starts with my favourite professional activities: Coaching to help colleagues into a better situation and Teaching young musicians in Opera Studios

6. Dezember 2021

Workshops in December 2021

4. November 2021


My November is a little bit calmer than the months before. I get to work with the IOS ZĂŒrich before going back to Warsaw in the beginning of December. In the meantime, there is a lot of work to do for krea[K]tiv and for the agencies who have also started to work together for fairer conditions for the artists. Then, there is the preparation for the new edition of exzellenz labor oper . So I won’t be bored:)

4. November 2021

Neuer Blog-Beitrag

Die Sache mit den Agenturen gibt es jetzt auch endlich auf deutsch.
(klick drauf zum Lesen)

The English version is here 

10. September 2021


10. September 2021

exzellenz labor oper 2021

Photo: Daniel Blattmann

2. Juli 2021

PODCAST on Spotify

in German only: zu Gast bei LeĂłn Dreher: ĂŒber Hochschule, SĂ€ngerleben, vieles mehr und die Notwendigkeit der Vernetzung!

Here is the latest podcast of @careers of classical musicians on spotify:

19. Juni 2021

Noch ein Meisterkurs:

25. Mai 2021

New Blog-Post

Have you also started to drink too much during COVID?

9. Mai 2021

Workshops May/June

I feel very privileged to continue my workshops/masterclasses and offering help to young operasingers in „my“ Opera Studios, being finally able to go back to Warsaw, and start a new adventure in Brixen with the www.brixenclassics.com.

9. April 2021

Workshops im April

There was the Easter Break, so only two Opera-Studio-Workshops this month:

IOS and OperAvenir

28. MĂ€rz 2021

New Blog Post / Neuer Blog-Beitrag:

The end of the Corona-tunnel in sight, I dare write about career. Das Ende des Corona-Tunnels ist in Sicht, deshalb wage ich jetzt einen Blog-Beitrag zum Thema Karriere.



8. MĂ€rz 2021

MARCH 2021

24. Februar 2021

Meisterkurs Landestheater Detmold

23.-26. Februar 2021

Im schönen grĂŒnen Detmold fĂŒhlt sich Arbeiten wie Urlaub an. Und die Arbeit mit dem Opernstudio und den Ensemble-Mitgliedern ist eine Freude!

18. Februar 2021

krea[K]tiv geht online! (einfach aufs Bild klicken)

6. Februar 2021

Meisterkurs Opernstudio Frankfurt

9./10. Februar 2021

Der erste workshop mit dem Opernstudio Frankfurt 2021. Danke an die Oper Frankfurt, dass sie den workshop live ermöglicht und den jungen SĂ€ngern damit ein wenig NormalitĂ€t zurĂŒckgibt!


3. Februar 2021

online-workshop IOS ZĂŒrich

February 1 – 3

This month’s workshop has to be held online – we sure hope to meet in person soon again. Thank you Opernhaus ZĂŒrich, for making it possible!

28. Januar 2021

Masterclass Académie Opéra de Paris

January 25 – 28, 2021

Happy to be able to work with the wonderful singers of l’AcadĂ©mie and very grateful for the Bastille-Opera to make it possible to work during this pandemic. This gives back a little bit of normality to the life of the young artists.

28. Januar 2021

Meisterkurs OperAvenir Basel

14./15. Januar 2021

Schön, das Jahr mit einem geschÀtzten Musiker-Kollegen zu beginnen!

Danke an Helio Vida fĂŒr die Einladung zum kleinen aber feinen Opernstudio am Theater Basel.

13. Dezember 2020

Neuer Blog-Beitrag / New Blog-Post


11. Dezember 2020

Meisterkurs Opernstudio Frankfurt

Last workshop of the year went to the Frankfurt Opera Studio

Ich bin sehr dankbar, dass die Oper Frankfurt den Workshop ermöglicht hat. Der ehemalige Ballettsaal ist riesig, so dass wir trotz der intensiven Arbeit genug Abstand zueinander halten konnten.

I’m very thankful to the Frankfurt Opera that we could do this workshop. The Ballet-room is huge so that we could work intensely and still keep the necessary distance to each other.


3. November 2020

Opernstudio Landestheater Detmold

9.-12. November

Zum zweiten Mal darf ich mit dem Studio und einigen Ensemble-Mitgliedern arbeiten. Ich freue mich sehr ĂŒber die Einladung ins schöne, grĂŒne und ruhige Detmold!

3. November 2020

Oct. 27/28 IOS ZĂŒrich

The second Masterclass this season for the IOS – now I know all the new singers and pianists – what a fabulous bunch of personalities!

24. September 2020

Meisterkurs Opernstudio Frankfurt

Neue Spielzeit - neue SĂ€nger; new season - new singers

21./22. September: 

24. September 2020

Masterclass IOS ZĂŒrich

September 15/16: Meeting the new members of Internationales Opernstudio ZĂŒrich - exciting!


11. September 2020

Exzellenz-Labor Gesang 2020

Many hygiene-measures had to be taken and finally we got the "GO".

We were very lucky to be able to hold EXZELLENZ-LABOR 2020.

Thank you, Jeunesses Musicales Deutschland, and thanks to my fabulous team of instructors (from left to right):

Rebecca Meitlis (Feldenkrais), AmĂ©lie Sator (style of clothing), RenĂ© Massis (French bel canto and singing technique), me (German repertoire and singing technique), Mathias Hermann (Audition training), Enrico Maria Cacciari (Italian bel canto and piano technique), Fausto Nardi (Baroque, Mozart, Recitativi and conducting), not on the photo: Petra Keßler (Mental training), Nadja Akra (Make-up style). See you all in 2021!


31. Juli 2020

Neuer Blog-Beitrag/New Blog-Post

12. Juni 2020

Meisterkurs Opernstudio Landestheater Detmold

15. – 18. Juni 2020

Der fĂŒr Mai vorgesehene Kurs kann nun nĂ€chste Woche stattfinden. Ich freue mich sehr auf die Arbeit mit den jungen SĂ€nger*innen und SĂ€ngern des Opernstudios und des Ensembles des Detmolder Landestheaters

16. Mai 2020

Meisterkurs Schloss BĂŒckeburg abgesagt

Leider musste der Meisterkurs auf Schloss BĂŒckeburg abgesagt werden. Das Exzellenz-Labor wird stattfinden.

13. Mai 2020

Masterclass Académie Opéra de Paris

Mai 19/20/21, 2020

We will have a masterclass respecting the rules of social distancing –  I am grateful that the OpĂ©ra de Paris makes the workshop possible, and I can work with this group of talented young musicians.


10. Mai 2020

Exzellenz-Labor Gesang 2020

Despite of the CORONA-Pandemic, Exzellenz-Labor Gesang 2020 can be held as planned. Besides the founding artists Hedwig Fassbender, Fausto Nardi und René Massis (Photo), the other instructors will also be there, of course! The participants have been chosen and we are looking forward to 11 days of most intense work.


25. April 2020

ABGESAGT Meisterkurs Opernstudio Detmold

11.-14. Mai

Leider musste der Workshop mit dem Detmolder Opernstudio abgesagt werden. Wir arbeiten an einem Ersatz-Termin

25. April 2020

CANCELLED Masterclass Polish National Opera-Studio

May 5-10

Unfortunately, also the second masterclass with the Warsaw Opera Academy had to be cancelled due to COVID19. We hope for better times!


24. MĂ€rz 2020

NEW Blogpost: CORONA

20. MĂ€rz 2020

CANCELLED: Masterclass Académie Opéra national de Paris

April 20-22

The Academy is trying to find another date.

It has been quite some time ago since I had the honour to prepare the singers from the – at the time „Atelier lyrique“ for „CosĂŹ fan tutte“ during a workshop in Villecroze. I’m happy to be re-invited and eager to work with this talented group of young musicians. 2 of them came to Exzellenz-Labor Gesang before they joined the Academy: Andrea Cueva Molnar and Alexander York.

Read more:


7. MĂ€rz 2020

CANCELLED: Masterclass Opera Academy Warsaw

April 2-6

It’s been almost a year that I have not been to Warsaw and I am grateful to have been re-invited. This week, Rebecca Meitlis (Feldenkrais) and RenĂ© Massis (French Repertoire) will be there with me, so it will feel like a Mini-Exzellenz-Labor.

Read more:

7. MĂ€rz 2020

CANCELLED: Workshop International Operastudio ZĂŒrich (IOS)

March 30/31

Read more

7. MĂ€rz 2020

CANCELLED: Meisterkurs Opernstudio Frankfurt

23./24. MĂ€rz 2020

Mehr erfahren

19. Februar 2020

Meisterkurs Hochschule der KĂŒnste Bern

6./7./8. MĂ€rz

Ein dreitĂ€giger Kurs fĂŒr die Studierenden der Gesangsabteilung der Hochschule der KĂŒnste in Bern. Ich freue mich auf spannende Begegnungen!

19. Februar 2020

Masterclass IOS ZĂŒrich

February 25/26

Meeting the 13 singers and 3 pianists, young and highly motivated musicians from 13 different nations of the ZĂŒrich Opera Studio – always a pleasure and a great privilege!

Read more:

11. Februar 2020

New Blogpost!

The difficult task of dealing with agencies…read more


3. Januar 2020

Meisterkurs Opernstudio Frankfurt

27./28. Januar 2020

I will be happy to work with the 8 young singers of the Frankfurt Opera Studio and their pianist Michal Golawski. Knowing each other enables working efficiently on what everybody needs at this specific point of her/his career. It is particularly nice to meet again two singers who attended the „Exzellenz-Labor Gesang“: Julia Moorman and Karolina Makula.

Mehr erfahren: 

3. Januar 2020

Masterclass IOS ZĂŒrich

January 22/23  2020

The first masterclass of the new decade will be with the 13 singers and 3 pianists of the ZĂŒrich Opera Studio. I feel very privileged to be able to do regular work with this highly talented and motivated group of musicians.

Mehr erfahren: 


8. Dezember 2019

Masterclasses 2020

3. November 2019

Meisterkurs Musikhochschule Dresden

4.-6. Dezember

Hochschul-Öffentlicher Meisterkurs fĂŒr Studierende der Fachrichtung Gesang


3. November 2019

Masterclass Opera Studio Frankfurt

December 2/3

Masterclass with the 8 singers of the Frankfurt-Opera Studio



3. November 2019

Masterclass IOS ZĂŒrich

27./28. November 2019

Meisterkurs mit den 12 SĂ€nger*Innen und 3 Pianisten des Opernstudios der ZĂŒricher Oper.


16. September 2019

Lied und Lyrik im Goethehaus Frankfurt / Hugo v. Hofmannsthal (Rezitation)

13. November 2019

mehr erfahren

16. September 2019

Meisterklasse International Opera Studio (IOS) ZĂŒrich

15./16. Oktober 2019

mehr erfahren

16. September 2019

Paula-Salomon-Lindberg-Wettbewerb, Berlin / Jury

9. - 12. Oktober 2019

mehr erfahren

16. September 2019

Lied und Lyrik im Goethehaus Frankfurt / KĂŒnstlerische Leitung

25. September 2019

mehr erfahren

16. August 2019

Meisterklasse Opernstudio Oper Frankfurt

25./26. September 2019

mehr erfahren

16. August 2019

Meisterklasse International Opera Studio (IOS) ZĂŒrich

5./6. September 2019

mehr erfahren

16. August 2019

Exzellenz-Labor Gesang //Opera

24. August – 3. September 2019

mehr erfahren

9. August 2019

Meisterklasse Internationale Sommerakademie Salzburg

20.-27. Juli 2019

mehr erfahren

8. August 2019


18. und 20. Juni im Titania Frankfurt

Vier KĂŒnstlerinnen, drei Sparten, drei Generationen, eine Familie.

Eine OpernsĂ€ngerin, eine Schauspielerin, eine TĂ€nzerin und eine SchĂŒlerin begegnen einander. Sie sind Großmutter, MĂŒtter, Töchter und Enkelin. Anhand ihrer Lebensgeschichten und Beziehungen verhandeln sie Spannungen, Konflikte, Konkurrenzsituationen und Machtkonstellationen, diskutieren den eigenen Umgang als weibliche KĂŒnstlerinnen mit der Hierarchie am Theater und fragen sich, ob KreativitĂ€t eher vererbbar oder ansteckend sei. Die Frage nach dem Kunst-Gen wird zur Basis einer Performance, in der das Publikum an Schaffen, Leben und an der Konstellation von vier Frauen aus einer kreativen Familie teilhaben kann.

mehr erfahren


7. Juli 2019

Meisterklasse Internationales Opernstudio ZĂŒrich (IOS)

3./4. und 24./25. Juni 2019

hedwig fassbender
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