Salbek Opera Festival and Masterclass • Periș, Arad, România

Masterclass 2024

Update • June 2024

Selection 2024

23 young musicians, out of 70 registered candidates, will study with Ruxandra Donose, Ramón Vargas and Leontina Văduva at the International Salbek Opera Masterclass – 2nd edition.

Maestros Ruxandra Donose, Ramón Vargas and Leontina Văduva have selected 23 future students who will participate between 21-25 August in the second edition of the International Salbek Opera Masterclass, which will take place, just like last year, on the Salbek Castle Domain, in Petriș, Arad county.
The list of 23 young people between the ages of 18 and 35, selected from a total of over 70 registered musicians from around the world, who will have the chance to be mentored by the three international lyrical soloists, can be found here.
The participants come from countries such as Chile, France, Canada, Israel, Ukraine, Italy, China, Spain and Romania.
“It was very difficult to select from so many very good candidates who signed up to participate in this masterclass. There were more people signed up than in the first edition, which we are happy about, and we are preparing to offer them premium courses in that perfect space for study and creation of future maestros.” – mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose.

International Salbek Opera Masterclass (21 – 25 August 2024) – call for applications

Until the end of this spring, the Salbek Castle Association will be open to applications to take part in the second Salbek Opera Masterclass (21-25 August), a series of premium classes given by international opera singers: mezzosoprano Ruxandra Donose, tenor Ramón Vargas, and soprano Leontina Văduva. The masterclass is the only one of its kind in Romania and, the same as last year, will be held on the Salbek Castle Estate, in the village of Petriș, Arad County.

The Salbek Opera Masterclass is aimed at young musicians aged between 18 and 35, who are invited to apply by 31 May by filling the form here. From 1 to 10 June, the three teachers will make their final selection of the applicants who will have the opportunity to attend the masterclass.

This year we have raised the age limit for applications to take part in the masterclass from 30 to 35, since we wished to offer the opportunity to study as part of this open-air opera event to as many young people as possible. Ultimately, this is a field where you never stop learning. I can hardly wait to meet this year’s students!‘ says mezzosoprano Ruxandra Donose.

The International Salbek Opera Masterclass will take place from 21 to 24 August 2024 on the Salbek Castle Estate and in a number of places in the surrounding area, and will culminate in a Special Opera Gala in Arad City Hall Plaza on 25 August, featuring the Arad Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by David Crescenzi and opera singers Valentina Naforniță, Ruxandra Donose, Ramón Vargas and Cosmin Ifrim, along with the cream of the crop from the Salbek Opera Masterclass 2024.

All in all, a unique five-day programme of events, in which course attendees will enjoy not only the advice and guidance of the three international opera stars, but also the opportunity to watch or join as stage partners rehearsals for and then the Special Opera Gala itself, to be held in Arad City Hall Plaza and organised in partnership with CMC Arad.

The maestros and team who made a success of the Salbek Opera Masterclass last year were from five European and Latin American countries, and the students taking part were from four European and Asian countries, all of which serves to confirm the international scope and nature of the event. The Salbek Opera Masterclass proved that you can organise a highly sophisticated educational event in a Romanian village and achieve exceptional results. My wish is that the 2024 edition will likewise bring to Romania young people from all over the world who are eager to learn opera from some of the best musicians in a setting ideal for both relaxation and learning. So, let the applications get underway!‘ says Ana Maria Mihăescu, the chairwoman of the Salbek Castle Association.

When students work together in such international groups, it encourages an exchange of cultural traditions, working practices, and personal experiences, which fosters good mutual knowledge within the intercultural dimensions of the project.


Maximum twenty selected participants

The young musicians, aged between eighteen and thirty, will be selected from April to June, following a public call for applicants that will be published on the project’s website and Facebook page and in the online publications of the project’s partners.


Study, recreation, visibility

The location chosen for the event – the village of Petriș, Arad County –provides participants with a setting suitable for study and recreation. The Castel Salbek Association provides accommodation, meals, local transport, and accompanying pianists – more details about the conditions, below.

The musicians will have the opportunity to work with three co-rehearsal teachers on the piano, allowing for complex and continuous study. To ensure the greatest visibility and significant sustainability, representatives of national and international cultural organisations will be invited to attend, as well as two or three specialist journalists.

At the end of the series of courses, the teachers will highlight the strengths of the participants and the improved areas. They will choose a few participants for the Opera Gala.


Present and future opportunities

The masterclasses will cover various topics, including subjects concerning Romanian and East-European traditional music and the influence of traditional themes on classical and contemporary music, combining modern techniques of interpretation with musical methodology. The project will therefore be both innovative and attractive, thanks to its interdisciplinary and multicultural approach. The masterclasses will give rise to collaborative projects between the young musicians and teachers, which will also be able to be presented before audiences on other occasions. Likewise, musicians taking part will be able to return to the counties of Arad, Hunedoara, Alba, and Timiș as part of other projects.

The Association will continue the Masterclass in the years to come and aims to expand it with opera performances and galas at prestigious European venues.

The young musicians will be able both to specialise and to benefit from the project’s exposure in their future careers. In addition, the project will be able to guide audiences attending the concerts towards music of the highest quality, and likewise to create national interest in the Arad, Hunedoara, Alba, and Timiș regions, as well as greater international interest in the Romanian cultural space.

The Salbek International Opera Masterclass wishes to offer young musicians the chance to meet outstanding teachers who will contribute to their artistic and personal development and create future opportunities for them.

See images from the 2023 Edition Read the 2024 welcome message


Masterclass 2023: 21–25 August

Final date for applications: 31 May

Selection and results: 1–10 June


1500 RON – Romanian nationals

500 EUR – Other nationalities


Participants must be
between 18 and 35 years old.

The maximum number of selected participants is 20.


The Castel Salbek Association provides the following for 20 students:

• accommodation in “twin” room at a 4* hotel;
• 3 meals daily;
• coach transport Bucharest-Deva-Arad-return on August 20 and 26;
• transportation from the hotel to the place where the course takes place every day;
• accompanying pianists;

• 20 course participants will be selected on the basis of the materials submitted in their applications.
• The selection process will take place from 1 to 10 June and successful applicants will be contacted by telephone or e-mail with further details. 
• The courses will take place between 21–24 August in Salbek-Petris, and will continue on 25 August in Arad.
• Initial travel from the participant’s home to Bucharest and back is not included in the price.



The best of the twenty selected students will have the opportunity to sing in the Gala on August 25, 2024 at ARAD, together with the master-teachers and guests.

If you have questions, please contact us by email at [email protected]

Salbek Opera Festival and Masterclass • Periș, Arad, România


You can register your interest for the Masterclass – 2024 edition – using the dedicated form.
Salbek Opera Festival and Masterclass • Periș, Arad, România


Ruxandra Donose

Mezzo-Soprano, Austria/Romania


Ramón Vargas

Tenor, Mexico/Austria


Leontina Văduva

Soprano, Switzerland/Romania


Salbek Opera Festival and Masterclass • Periș, Arad, România

The extraordinary gala Salbek Opera Masterclass 2024

Arad – Extraordinary Opera Gala • 25 August, 

Piața Primăriei / City Hall Square • open air


Arad Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: David Crescenzi

Soloists: Valentina Naforniță, Ruxandra Donose, Ramón Vargas and Cosmin Ifrim
…and the best of the Salbek Opera Masterclass 2024 students

See images from the 2023 Edition

City Hall Square • Arad, România


Salbek Opera Festival and Masterclass • Periș, Arad, România

2025 & 2026

From 2025, the Salbek Opera Festival will, for the first time in Romania, hold an opera picnic event. It will also be the first festival to invite institutions with the status of national operas from Romania and neighbouring countries to present productions before an élite audience and in an original format.

The programme will include productions staged by leading opera theatres from Romania and Central and Eastern Europe—Czechia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Austria—to be staged in August 2025 and 2026.

From 2025, the gardens of Salbek Castle will every summer host a festival featuring three operas and a gala, produced by theatres from Romania and other countries.

The festival will give audiences the direct experience of operatic performances by internationally renowned Romanian theatres, stages alongside productions by their counterparts from neighbouring countries. It has the potential to become an annual event which, within three to five years, will increase in scope, as we move in the direction of models such as the United Kingdom’s Glyndebourne and Grange Park festivals. 

Salbek Opera Festival • Castel Salbek, Petriș, Arad

Aerial view of the Salbek castle and estate, as well as the beautiful surroundings • Periș, Arad, România

If you have questions, please contact us by email at [email protected]