Competition Jury 2023
Randi Stene, Norway
Director of Opera, The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Oslo (chair)
Photo: Erik Berg
Randi Stene joined the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet as Director of Opera in 2020, after being Casting Director and Director of Opera at Trondheim Symphony Orchestra & Opera. The mezzo-soprano is a graduate of the Norwegian Academy of Music and the Royal Opera Academy in Copenhagen.
Stene made her international breakthrough in Cardiff Singer of the World in 1991 and when she sang the role of Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Since then, she has appeard on many of the world’s leading opera stages and has also had a significant career as a concert singer. She was permanently associated with the Royal Opera Academy in Copenhagen as a soloist until August 2019.
Samuel Gelber, USA
Director of Artistic Planning, Washington National Opera, Washington D.C.
Photo: Caitlin Oldham
Samuel Gelber is the Director of Artistic Planning of the Washington National Opera at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he holds the primary responsibility of casting singers and conductors. Prior to his appointment at the Kennedy Center, Mr. Gelber was Artistic Administrator at the Los Angeles Opera, and additionally supervised the company’s esteemed young artist program and Music Administration Department.
Gelber was previously Artistic Coordinator of the Metropolitan Opera where he worked on the casting and planning of future seasons. He began his career in artist management working with artists as diverse as Renée Fleming, Lawrence Brownlee, Marco Armiliato, and Julia Fischer. He is a native of Houston, Texas though completed his studies in music at Manhattan School of Music in New York City.
Michael Heaston, USA
Assistant General Manager, Artistic, The Metropolitan Opera, New York
Photo: Jonathan Tichler
Michael Heaston is Assistant General Manager, Artistic at The Metropolitan Opera, overseeing all artistic planning, casting, performing groups, and activities of the artistic department. Previous positions include Executive Director of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Associate Artistic Director of The Glimmerglass Festival, Music Director of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and Director of the Cafritz Young Artist Program and American Opera Initiative at Washington National Opera. A sought-after clinician and adjudicator, he has presented master classes at many of the world’s leading conservatories and served on the juries of countless competitions.
Stefan Herheim, Norway
Opera Director, Theater an der Wien
Stefan Herheim was trained and worked as cellist, singer and puppet player in Oslo before he studied music theatre directing with Götz Friedrich at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg. Since 2000 he is among the most acclaimed opera directors of his generation, staging early Baroque to contemporary musical theatre at leading European opera houses and international festivals, collaborating with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Adam Fischer, Daniele Gatti, Mariss Jansons, Andris Nelsons, Anotonio Pappano, Simon Rattle and Christian Thielemann.
Herheim was elected “director of the year” three times by the Opernwelt magazine and received numerous international awards including the Opera Awards 2022. Since the Season 22/23 Herheim is the Artistic Director of the MusikTheater an der Wien.
Sophie de Lint, Switzerland/Netherlands
Director of Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam
Sophie de Lint has been Director of Dutch National Opera since September 2018. Previously she was Artistic Director of the Zurich Opera under Andreas Homoki’s general management. In 2014 the Zurich Opera received the “Opera Company of the Year” Award at the International Opera Awards.
Sophie de Lint was born in Rotterdam and grew up in Geneva. She pursued violin studies at the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève, completed a degree in Business Administration at Webster University in Geneva and an Executive Master in Arts Administration at the University of Zürich.
She worked as Artistic Coordinator at the Geneva Opera, Artist manager in Vienna and Zurich, and freelance assistant stage director around the world.
Sophie de Lint is a frequent jury member of international singing and conducting competitions and she was a member of the Board of Opera Europa from 2017 until July 2022.
Pål Christian Moe, Norway
Artistic Administrator and Casting Adviser
Photo: Wilfried Hösl
Pål Christian Moe has extensive experience in casting and as artistic administrator and adviser. He has worked with numerous opera houses, including the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, L’Opéra de Lille and the National Theatre in Prague. He also does vocal casting for the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
He is a former producer and held the position as Head of Vocal Department at Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft in Hamburg, where he was responsible for recordings of opera, oratorio and Lied.
Annette Weber, Germany
Opera Director, Opernhaus Zürich
Photo: Tanja Krebs
Annette Weber studied theatre and musicology in Mainz, gaining experience as an Assistant Director at the same time, and was engaged at the Badisches Staatstheater, Karlsruhe until 2004. She then held the same position at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin until 2010.
Between 2010 and 2016, she worked regularly with Stefan Herheim in Berlin, Bayreuth and Salzburg, among other places. From 2013 to 2018, she worked as a consultant for the Artistic Administrative Director of the Semperoper Dresden, where she was responsible for artistic affairs and casting. In 2018 she became Casting Director of Staatsoper Hamburg. Weber has been the Opera Director of Opernhaus Zürich since 2021.