Salzburg for the Summer, An Experience to Last a Lifetime

Music major Jenna D’Ambrosio ’18 traveled to Salzburg, Austria this summer to study opera with the University of Miami Frost School of Music at Salzburg 2017, thanks to financial support from LMU’s Sinatra Opera Workshop. We asked her to share her experience with us here.

Many majors at LMU can guide their students into any number of internships or job opportunities over the summer. As a classical music student, summer work that gives me the opportunity to learn more about my art often involves a slightly different path – either applying to young artist programs or auditioning for roles on my own. Luckily for me, I was given the opportunity to study opera for a month in the heart of Mozart’s birthplace, Salzburg, Austria.

While in Salzburg, I was immersed in German-language classes, voice lessons, and coachings with prestigious Metropolitan Opera conductors and renowned pianists. Monday through Thursday, every week, the program brought in renowned artists from the music world to hold master classes in opera. Over the span of twenty master classes, each student in the program had the chance to perform in front of their peers and the clinician of that particular class, receiving feedback that not only benefitted the performers, but everyone in the audience as well.

My stay in Salzburg overlapped with the annual Mozart Festival, the Salzburger Festspiele, and my program was asked to perform a flash mob in the town square. After countless rehearsals, we surprised the locals and travelers for the festival as we broke out in the German classic “Ode to Joy.” I distinctively remember getting chills, as Americans and Europeans came together to celebrate the vibrant culture of music in Salzburg.

Outside of class and practice time, I explored the city of Salzburg. I walked past Mozart’s childhood home as I ate, maybe one too many, classic Mozartkugel chocolates. I indulged in the cuisine of the Austrians and embarrassed myself trying to speak German to the locals. My program took excursions to the Lake District and visited the famous home from The Sound of Music. On my own travel weekends, I took a train to Vienna and even flew to Paris for a few days. We were given the freedom to cater our experience to our liking.

During my month-long stay in Salzburg, I exponentially grew not only as a musician, but also as an individual. Seeing another part of the world and experiencing the culture that is unique to each country is inspiring and so gratifying. For me, being exposed to cultures that are entirely different from what we are used to in America helped me become a more well-rounded person with a better understanding of other societies. I am so grateful for this experience, and to my college and The Sinatra Opera Workshop for exposing me the power of music and for a truly life-changing summer.