The best people to learn from about living and working in Germany, are the ones that are currently doing it! On this page, we bring you the success stories of singers who broke into the German opera system with their talent, hard work, strategic planning & perseverance.

We hope these stories inspire and educate you on how to make a living as an opera singer in Germany. 

Michael J. Pegher

Spieltenor, Administrator & Entrepreneur

     For our latest Success Stories Feature, Oper Germany is thrilled to interview Michael J. Pegher who enjoyed  a 13 year-long career as a character tenor (‘spieltenor’ auf Deutsch!) throughout Germany in repertoire spanning Mozart to Wagner. Michael not only found success on the opera stage, but behind-the-scenes as well, having transitioned into the administrative side of opera serving as the Assistant to the Intendant (Persönlicher Referent des Intendanten) at the Staatstheater Darmstadt. Now based in the United States, he is currently the owner and operator of a new business venture Along with his operatic career, Michael was co-founder and Head of Artist Acquisition and Promotion for Künstlermeile, an artist agency that was dedicated to representing highly qualified artists for supplementary jobs and recitals. He also is the co-founder and co-host of the most downloaded opera podcast in the world, Sex, Drugs, & Opera, which can still be found on all major podcast platforms. He brings a unique perspective to our Success Stories Series and we are thrilled to offer his expertise and advice to our readers and followers. 

     In our interview, you’ll learn how Michael found his “niche” as a character tenor, even though the American operatic training & audition system, generally overall, doesn’t focus on nurturing ‘spieltenor’ voices for a full-time career. You’ll learn what Michael has learned as an administrator and be able to take away some “dos and don’ts” when it comes to professional behavior as a singer within the massive machine that is a busy German opera house. You’ll also gain some perspective on the importance not only of your development as a singer, but the extremely important development of yourself as a unique artist in order to stand out amongst the crowd within the opera system in Germany. 

Click on the photo below to read our post about Michael and to watch her full interview on our YouTube channel. 

Emily Lorini, mezzo-soprano

Our founder Larry Bakst sits down with mezzo-soprano Emily Lorini to discuss her success in making a living as a full-time opera singer in Germany. Her inspiring story, from starting in the chorus to starring as the title role of Carmen at Landestheater Coburg, culminates in over 10 years of experience living and working in the German opera system. She gives tips on auditions, repertoire, visas and more in this interview…all from 1st hand experience! You can learn more about her by visiting her website

Click on the photo below to read our post about Emily and to watch her full interview on our YouTube channel. 

Heather Phillips, soprano

Soprano Heather Phillips first met Larry Bakst when she decided to #MakeTheDive and begin auditioning in Germany in 2018. Scheduled to make her European debut at Oper Frankfurt in 2020, the pandemic put a pause on this long awaited dream. However, when she was able to return to Germany after pandemic restrictions eased, the soprano made what the Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung called, “Ein famoses debüt”. Heather joins OperGermany as a guest writer to share her what her journey into the European & German opera scene has taught her, and the advice she shares to other aspiring singers. You can learn more about Heather by visiting her website

Click the post below to read more.

Persistence, Patience, & The Pandemic: An American Soprano’s Journey to Her European Debut

(photo: Heather Phillips in rehearsal for the title role in Rossini’s Bianca e Falliero at Oper Frankfurt 2022.) 

Photo credit: Karoly Rise