Guest Lecturers 2023-24

Anthony Almeida, United Kingdom
Opera Director

Anthony Almeida is a multi-award winning theatre and opera director.

He is the only director to have won both the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award and the European Opera Director Prize. Last year, he was nominated ‘Rising Star’ at the International Opera Awards.

Anthony has been Resident at both Almeida Theatre and Royal Opera House. His work extends to theatre in prisons, pupil referral units, and other community settings. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Nottingham Playhouse.

Susan Bullock, United Kingdom

Photo: Frances Marshall

Susan Bullock’s unique position as one of the world’s most sought-after dramatic sopranos was recognised by the award of a CBE in June 2014.

One of her most distinctive roles, Wagner’s Brünnhilde has garnered outstanding praise leading Bullock to become the first ever soprano to sing four consecutive cycles of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Royal Opera House under Sir Antonio Pappano. In addition to her operatic achievements, Susan Bullock’s concert work has been extensive and diverse. Celebrated apperances have included the Last Night of the Proms in 2011 and a special apperance at the London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony.

Peter Di-Toro, United Kingdom
Head of Marketing and Digital, National Opera Studio, London

Peter is responsible for the National Opera Studio’s communications, branding, website and marketing. He brings a wealth of arts marketing experience to the Studio, having worked with orchestras, venues, record labels, festivals and artists. He joined the Studio from the Guildhall School where he led a nationwide branding project as part of the School’s new strategic plan to refocus its wide-reaching Guildhall Young Artists programme.

Prior to this, Peter was Head of Marketing and Communications at the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Marketing Executive for Classical Music at Barbican Centre and held marketing positions for numerous major and independent record labels, including Warner Classics, EMI Classics, Decca, Signum and Naïve.

Peter is also an Arts Marketing Consultant and sings professionally for a number of choirs around the UK and abroad.

Celine Engebrigtsen, Norway
Casting Director, Stella Casting

Celine Engebrigtsen founded Stella Casting in 1997 as one of the first casting agencies in Norway. Since then, Celine has worked with countless Norwegian film directors, TV series and commercials. Celine has two nominations for the International Casting Network’s “Best Casting Award”.

In addition to running Stella Casting, she also teaches casting direction and presentation at Oslo National Academy of the Arts, The Norwegian Film School, Nski and the Norwegian Acting Center.

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.

Audun Iversen, Norway
Baritone, First Prize winner Queen Sonja Singing Competition 2007

Photo: Gisle Bjørneby

Audun Iversen is a Norwegian baritone who was educated at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and further at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig and the Opera Academy in Copenhagen, where he performed Schaunard La Bohème and Vicomte Cascada The Merry Widow with the Royal Opera. Audun received the first prize in the Queen Sonja Singing Competition in 2007.

Operatic highlights from previous seasons include il Conte Le nozze di Figaro at Glyndebourne and Deutsche Oper Berlin, Albert Werther at Royal Opera House London and Operanhaus Zürich, and Posa Don Carlo at Oper Frankfurt. This season, Iversen will be seen in the title role of Eugene Onegin at Liceu and The CEO The Shell Trial at the Dutch National Opera, among others.

Ulrike Köstinger, Austria
CEO, Operabase

Ulrike Köstinger has a strong performing arts industry background. She studied International Business Administration at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, and Arts Management at the University of Zurich. Ulrike worked in the casting office, organizing the Young Singers Project at the Salzburg Festival, then moved to work at L’Oréal Austria as a product manager in their marketing department. She also worked at Teatro alla Scala, as an executive assistant to Alexander Pereira. Up until 2020, Ulrike was the Director of Cooperation & Development for the classical music video-streaming-platform takt1.

Ulrike has been in the management team of Arts Consolidated (Operabase, CueTV) for two years in the position of Chief Content and Partnership Officer before becoming CEO in January 2023. Outside of Arts Consolidated, she voluntarily serves as the chairwoman of “Next Generation – Friends of the Salzburg Festival” and is a passionate marathoner.

Pål Christian Moe, Norway
Artistic Administrator and Casting Adviser

Photo: Wilfried Hoesl

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.

Melissa Wegner, USA
Executive Director, Lindemann Young Artist Development Program
and Laffont Competition, Metropolitan Opera, New York

Melissa Wegner is the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and the Laffont Competition. She is responsible for identifying, awarding, and developing the world’s most promising operatic talent. Ms. Wegner is a sought-after juror for international voice competitions, having adjudicated in South Africa, Russia, Latvia, Italy, and Georgia. She is on the faculty of The Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute and is a frequent guest speaker at academic institutions, professional companies, and digital media outlets.

She has been awarded by many organizations for her leadership in the industry, including Musical America’s Top 30 Professionals of the Year.