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Patrick Berger / Artcompress


Festival d’Aix-en-Provence

Festival d’Aix-en-Provence

Mentorship for Women Conductors

Workshop open to early-career women conductors preparing for a profession in opera

24 June - 07 July 2021

Festival d’Aix-en-Provence

This Mentorship for Women Conductors is a new training programme for career development, and a veritable professional springboard.

The programme is intended to teach the young conductors new professional skills in singers and opera conducting and add an international dimension to their careers. It will be structured around an innovative educational content, and will include diverse and high-quality contributors (international artists, experts and professionals), the unique professional and artistic environment of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and the active participation of strong European networks. Its purpose is to help make gender equality in the field of conducting a driving force to strengthen and promote a competitive, varied and thriving opera sector in Europe.


For over two weeks, the young conductors will benefit from the artistic, technical and professional experience and advice of great artists who have been invited to the Festival d’Aix. During the vocal residency, they will participate in master classes led by Edith Wiens, with whom they can exchange views in order to hone their vocal skills.


They will also receive advice from Duncan Ward  on how to undertake a concert programme, and observe him as he works with young artists in the residency and with the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble. Duncan Ward will also address all their practical and technical questions about working on musical scores. Moreover, the women conductors in the mentorship will have an opportunity to meet with conductors present at the 2022 edition of the Festival d’Aix and will also benefit from a coaching with the musical career development specialist Christiane Louis.


In addition, the Académie will be offering the participants the chance to conduct one of the great orchestras invited to the Festival this year, the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble, during a rehearsal, while benefiting from advice and instruction from an experienced conductor, Thomas Hengelbrock.



Thomas Hengelbrock — Conductor
Edith Wiens — Vocal professor at the Juilliard School of Music & Artistic director at the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie
Duncan Ward — Conductor
Christiane Louis — Instructor in artistic entrepreneurship at the Philharmonie de Paris



3 women conductors



— Observing Edith Wiens’s master classes in advanced vocal training for young singers of the vocal residency
— Observing Duncan Ward’s preparatory work for the vocal residency’s final concert with the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble
— Meeting and discussing with the artist-tutors of the vocal residency and the guest conductors directing operas for the 2021 edition of the Festival d’Aix
— Attending a master class on orchestra conducting with the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble, under the aegis of Thomas Hengelbrock


 Application process

- the artist must be connected to one of the 12 enoa member institutions*
- the artist must contact her sending institution, which decides if they recommend her application
- the artist must fill in the online form on the Academie du Festival d'Aix's website
- the hosting institution confirms the list of participants by the end of February 2021
- the network assumes the responsibility for the training fees, the costs of accommodation and travel

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration without regard to their personal situation.


The enoa network is actively seeking to support artists currently under-represented in the opera world for historical, cultural or social reasons.

More information on enoa’s commitments


*artists not connected to the network yet can also apply to this specific workshop, further details on the Académie du Festival d'Aix's website.


 Artistic requirements



— 1 or 2 video recording(s) of the applicant conducting an orchestra
— A video (in French or English), of a maximum of three minutes, expressing your desire to develop your operatic repertoire and detailing your interest in singing. If such a video is impossible, you may send a letter (a maximum of 2 pages) answering the same questions.