Many singers invest huge amounts of time and effort working on German language skills to master and perform the amazing German poetry and sung texts found in many leider, opera and oratorio works. If you’re serious about a career in classical singing, it’s widely understood that the ability to speak and understand German fluently will carry you much further than study of the song texts alone.
It takes time and effort to reach levels such as those demonstrated by Thomas Hampson, but no matter where you are on your journey to German language proficiency, to help you along, we asked some of our German-speaking, music-loving friends to pull together a selection of their favourite music-themed podcasts and YouTube channels based in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
We hope they will help you to build your singing- and music-related German vocabulary, learn about the music culture in those countries and take some next steps to level-up your working fluency.
Part 1: Podcasts
Classical voice and opera studies
Die Enkelinnen der Oper
Hosts Marlene Metzger and Marie Jakob, two students of opera, offer help for those not yet exposed who are looking for ways into enjoying the art form for the first time.
Parlando Der Operntal
Bernhard Hansky, a professional Opera baritone, on how one becomes a professional singer. The podcast is aimed at opera fans and young singers who want to know what a real singer’s life is like.
Oper und Leben
Juliane Harberg hosts a podcast covering ‘subtle topics from the world of opera’ from Leipzig for opera fans.
A podcast about how the voice works, exploring how the voice functions and various careers that use the voice.
Singing teachers and studios
Iris is a singing teacher whose mission is to support singers to realise their vocal potential and unlock their individual vocal sound.
Singen macht Glücklich
Marina Ragger hosts a bitesize podcast: tips and tricks about singing; the an interplay of soul and body; and how our emotions have a direct effect on our breath, body and voice.
What the Faktor
Florian Hardner interviews people in the world of classical music, those on stage and behind the scenes.
Von Sänger zu Sänger
Lara, a professional singer, interviews other singers on how they got their start and found their way into the industry.
Working in classical music
Stocksteif und Prüde
Hosted by musicians from the Treppenhaus orchestra in Hannover, who’ve set out to prove that that classical music is not just something aimed at stuffy, rich people. Cutting through what they describe as ‘stiff and prudish’ culture, they show that classical musicians are real people and propagate the idea that everyone can dictate the nature of their own relationship to classical music.
Podcast neue Musik leben
Through analyses, tips and interviews with successful and interesting personalities from the field of contemporary music, classically trained soprano, Irene Kurka shows how you as an artist can be authentic and successful in new music.
Meike Pfister, a classical musician, on the theory and practice of classical music speaking lightly and vividly about the practice and theory of classical music. She directs her attention – even sitting at the piano – to a wide variety of works and phenomena across music history.
Hosted by Simon Erasimus, Sprech:Gesang is an attempt to put the phenomenon of singing together – on all levels – into the spotlight. He meets important protagonists of the Austrian choir scene as well as young conductors, singers, music educators and other ‘choir freaks’.
The Christian Sondermann Podcast
Choir director and animateur, Christian Sondermann, features an array of topics relating to choir singing, which he loves more than anything.
Part 2: YouTube Channels
The channel of German vocal coach, Tolga Oygen, aimed primarily at beginner singers.
Hanna Elisabeth Müller
Official channel of German soprano, opera singer, Hanna-Elisabeth Müller.
Well-intentioned advice aimed at young professionals, singing students and those who are also interested in a singing career. Videos cover vocal technique, singing, the job description of an opera singer, professional know-how, mindset and other useful topics for classical singers.
Susanna Proskura, opera singer and teacher, offers a guide to a full, beautiful and free-sounding voice.
Videos for singing practice and intensive voice training.
CJD School Schlaffhorst-Anderson
Schlaffhorst-Andersen is the only vocational school in the world that trains breathing, speaking and voice teachers. Immerse yourself in the world of breath-, speech-and voice!
Since 2006, the J. S. Bach Foundation has been performing Bach’s cantatas in a monthly concert cycle. Each concert is fully documented in audio and video recordings, which is unique. Indeed, the performance of Bach’s complete vocal works is already a considerable undertaking; documenting the concerts on film lends the project an even greater dimension.
Felix Reuter wipes the dust off the keys of classical music and shows evergreens that anyone can whistle along to. You’ll discover music in entertaining and surprising ways.
The classical music brand for Central Germany, this is a channel for those new to classical music, those interested in classical music and true classical music fans.
If you have any suggestions for channels which deserve to be included here, please feel free to let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.