Salbek Opera Festival and Masterclass • Periș, Arad, România

Masterclass 2024

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

The Salbek Castle Association is calling for applications for the International Salbek Opera Masterclass – 2nd edition (21-25 August) – a series of premium courses given by internationally renowned opera soloists: mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose, tenor Ramón Vargas and soprano Leontina Văduva. It is the only masterclass of its kind in Romania and will be held, as last year, on the Salbek Castle Estate, in Petriș, Arad county.

The International Salbek Opera Masterclass is aimed at young musicians between 18 and 35 years of age, who can register until 31 May by filling the form here. The final selection of students who will have the chance to participate in this masterclass will be made by the three teachers between 1 and 10 June.

“This year we have increased the age limit for masterclass enrolments from 30 to 35, because we wanted to give as many young people as possible the opportunity to study in this outdoor camp. After all, in this field you never stop learning. I can’t wait to meet this year’s students!” says mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose.

The International Salbek Opera Masterclass will take place from August 21-24, 2024, on the Salbek Castle Estate and in several places around the estate and will end with an Extraordinary Opera Gala in the Town Hall Square in Arad, outdoors, on August 25, with the Arad Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor David Crescenzi, soloists Valentina Naforniță, Ruxandra Donose, Ramón Vargas and Cosmin Ifrim, together with the best of the Salbek Opera Masterclass 2024 students.

So, a unique five-day programme in which participants will benefit, beyond the guidance and guidance of the three international stars, from the opportunity to participate as assistants or stage partners in the rehearsals and in the Extraordinary Opera Gala in the Town Hall Square in Arad, organized in collaboration with CMC Arad.

“The masters and the team that realized Salbek Opera Masterclass 2023 came from 5 countries in Europe and Latin America, and the participants represented 4 countries in Europe and Asia, which confirms the international character and scope of the event. Salbek Opera Masterclass 2023 proved that in the Romanian village you can organize an extremely sophisticated educational event with exceptional results. I hope that the 2024 edition will also bring to Romania young people from all over the world who want to learn opera from some of the best musicians, in a place suitable for both relaxation and study. So, let’s start the registration!” says Ana Maria Mihăescu, president of the Salbek Castle Association.

Working in such international groups will encourage an exchange of cultural traditions, working practices, personal experiences that contribute to a good mutual knowledge within the intercultural dimension 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]