Despite the pandemic, 2020 is turning out to be one of the most fruitful years for the Solway Music Camp Fellowship project, now run as a part of the Salzburg Festival’s jung&jede*r program. 55 applicants were admitted to the first stage of the program, and 39 completed the challenge.

In order to deliver on promises made to the applicants, the organizers had to rethink the educational possibilities it could offer those lucky individuals who took the chance and continued participating in the introductory English course before submitting their audition videos to the international jury. The project’s e-learning team redesigned the course to meet the realities of a global lockdown to ensure it was able to provide tailored solutions for the young adults studying online from home.

“It turned out to be extremely difficult to select this year’s winners. All of the applicants not only showed exceptional dedication to learning English, but most of them also followed all the video application guidelines and delivered outstanding auditions. Therefore, the usual criteria could not be applied, as it was such a strong group of applicants! Everyone had attended classes, all the candidates greatly improved their language skills, and the videos were sent in on time. They showcased the young talents at their best. The jury wanted to accept them all, but ultimately selected those candidates who best fit this year’s concept”, explained Dan Bronstein, a Solway Music Camp Fellowship juror and chairman of the board of Solway Investment Group.

The 2020 list of winners includes Bogdan Manita and Denis Lopushanskiy (Ukraine), Tamara Velkova and Dragan Petrov (North Macedonia), Rochelle Ramos Perez and Guerty Enoe Leal (Guatemala). Veronika Perepelitsa (Ukraine), Mila Angelova (North Macedonia) and Abigel Perez (Guatemala) were awarded a free, intensive English language course as recognition of their impressive efforts.

In the year of the 100th anniversary of the Salzburg Festival, the program organizers had to determine how best to proceed with fulfilling their scholarship obligations, as the opera camps are not able to take place due to the lockdown restrictions. This challenge resulted in a special, introductory course developed to expose the culturally curious young adults to the wide variety of professions offered by opera houses worldwide. During their visit to Salzburg, in addition to visiting rehearsals and lessons, the winners will be presented the Festival’s workshops in which professional theatrical craftsmen will open a window to the production side of opera magic for the young adults. The winners’ trip to Salzburg is currently planned for January 2021.

“Opera houses simultaneously manage over 1,000 people and not all of them are on the performing side of the stage. We are happy to show young people that art has a place for everyone. There is always high demand for engineers, electricians, costume designers, and hundreds of other key professions that bring shows to life. The young adults simply have to know what to choose from,” explained Helga Rabl-Stadler, president of the Salzburg Festival.