Career opportunities

Training, internships and work experience

Here you will find all the information you need about training opportunities at the Semperoper as well as in the shared workshops of Dresden State Opera (Semperoper) and the Staatsschauspiel Dresden:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Internships
  • Voluntary service within BFD Culture and Education
  • Work experience

Apprenticeships at the Semperoper and in the workshops of Saxon State Theatres

Contact

Sächsische Staatstheater –
Staatsoper Dresden und Staatsschauspiel Dresden
HR Department
Ms. Dietze
Theaterplatz 2
01067 Dresden
Phone +49 (0)351 4911 252
E-mail bewerbung@saechsische-staatstheater.de

Scenic artist and theatrical sculptor specialising in stage work

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Scenic artist and theatrical sculptor are related professions in the field of set design. Their task is to realise the plans of set designers using all the techniques of drawing, painting and sculpture. For the scenic artist, the focus is on decorating props and painting backdrops while the theatrical sculptor produces diverse objects (columns, figures, animals, furniture, reliefs, etc.) using a wide range of materials (e.g. polystyrene, clay, plaster, stone or plastics). The techniques and styles are varied, with designs coming from the genres of landscape, architecture, portraiture or figurative painting as well as anatomy, texts and ornaments.

Requirements  

In addition to the entry qualifications, applicants must have the following skills and aptitudes: an interest in theatre, a gift for art and manual dexterity, artistic sensitivity, a good spatial imagination and the ability to think in three dimensions, good colour vision, stamina and the ability to remain focused while under pressure. As scenic artists and theatrical sculptors often work in a standing or stooped posture and are frequently exposed to paints and solvents, it’s essential that apprentices have no underlying physical impairments that could prevent these activities and no relevant allergies.

Apprenticeship  

The apprenticeship as scenic artist and theatrical sculptor takes three years and ends with an examination set by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. In addition to the main in-house training in the scenery workshops, apprentices also attend vocational school.

Specialist for event technology

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Event technology specialists work in the technical department of a theatre where they operate and look after all of the on-stage equipment. This still young profession essentially combines the jobs of the stage technician, lighting technician and sound/video technicians. It was created to meet the requirements of modern technical systems that are commonly used at entertainment events. In the theatre, event technology specialists can be employed to assist in all areas of stage technology.

Requirements  

Anyone who wants to work as an event technology specialist at the theatre should have an interest in technology and be prepared to deal with the unique conditions imposed by artistic performances. S/he has to run the technical stage systems during rehearsals and performances in the theatre and be familiar with the artistic concept of any production so that s/he can also work in real-time to ensure the perfect realisation of a live performance.

The following skills are required: technical expertise, manual dexterity, creativity in solving technical & artistic problems, the ability to work in a team, reliability, a sense of responsibility, a willingness to work irregular hours and the ability to work under pressure. In many areas, computer and English skills can be useful.

Apprenticeship  

An apprenticeship to become a specialist for event technology last three years and encompasses the following areas: event design and safety; the provision, setting up, testing, securing, transportation and storage of equipment; the operation of stage equipment; energy supply; lighting, sound and public address systems; the recording and transmission of light, image and sound data; special effects; the planning and staging of events; and the use of modern media.

Tailor for women’s and men’s clothing

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Under the supervision of the wardrobe mistress/master, the tailor for women’s or men’s clothes makes the costumes designed for a production by the costume designer.

In addition to classic garments such as blouses, skirts, trousers and jackets, the tailors in the costume department also make opulent dresses, richly decorated tutus and ballet costumes as well as elaborate fantasy costumes from unconventional materials. With great attention to detail and a good knowledge of the history of clothing, they reconstruct historical costumes of all eras.

Requirements  

If you want to learn the profession of tailor for women’s or men’s clothing, you should possess good manual dexterity, a strong imagination, sufficient patience to complete painstaking designs and a willingness to learn so that you can always adapt to unfamiliar and unusual designs and materials.

Apprenticeship  

An apprenticeship to become a tailor usually takes three years.

Metalworker specialising in construction

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In the theatre, a metalworker manufactures all parts of a stage set that are made of metallic materials. This includes small parts such as brackets or other fittings to large load-bearing structures such as replicas of a ship or housing.

Precision and the ability to think in three dimensions are basic requirements for a metalworker to achieve good results. Generally, the metalworking shop works closely with other workshop trades such as carpenters and theatrical sculptors as well as other departments.

From the first saw cut to the last weld, the metalworker uses manual skills and machines to solve the tasks assigned to her/him.

Requirements  

In addition to the entry qualifications, a metalworker at the theatre should be good with their hands and possess technical affinity as well as a spatial imagination, physical resilience and an interest in realising artistic ideas. 

Apprenticeship  

The apprenticeship as metalworker usually takes three and a half years, at the end of which you sit an examination organised by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. In addition to the main in-house training in the scenery workshops, apprentices attend vocational school.

Set dresser

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A set dresser (Raumausstatter) in a theatre company creates all props and scenery made of textiles. These are, for example, curtains, floor coverings, upholstered furniture, scenery flats, curtains and backdrops. The dimensions range from tablecloths to grand drapes. Hand in hand with the other trades in the scenery workshops, the set dresser implements the ideas of the stage designer. From the first cut to the last seam, the set dresser uses her/his manual skills and machines to solve a range of tasks.

Requirements  

In addition to the entry qualifications, a set dresser should have manual skills and technical aptitude, an ability to think spatially, physical stamina and an interest in realising artistic ideas.

Apprenticeship  

It usually takes three years to train as a set dresser, at the end of which you will sit an exam set by the Handwerkskammer. Alongside the main in-house training in the scenery workshops (upholstery, scenery, masking curtains and sun shades, set decoration and the laying of flooring), apprentices attend vocational school.

Carpenter

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A carpenter employed by a theatre constructs the wooden parts of a stage set. These can be anything from floors to furniture, stairs and walls to entire houses. According to the blueprints supplied by the client, the scenery elements are generally built as plywood frames or steel substructures covered with plywood.

Precision and the ability to think in three dimensions are basic requirements for a carpenter to achieve good results. Generally, the carpentry workshop works closely with other workshop trades such as painting, sculpting and metalworking as well as other departments.

From the first saw cut to the last screw, the carpenter uses her/his manual skills and machines to solve a range of tasks.

Requirements  

In addition to the entry qualifications, a carpenter employed at a theatre should be interested in realising artistic ideas.

Apprenticeship  

In the initial training phase to become a carpenter, traditional wood joints are made by hand; only later is instruction given in the safe handling of woodworking machines.

An apprenticeship to become a carpenter usually takes three years.

Internships at the Semperoper and in the workshops of the Saxon State Theatres

Contact

Sächsische Staatstheater –
Staatsoper Dresden and Staatsschauspiel Dresden
HR Department
Ms. Dietze
Theaterplatz 2
01067 Dresden
E-mail bewerbung@saechsische-staatstheater.de

Note: Thank you for your interest in training with us. As the number of enquiries for internships exceeds our capacity, we regret that we cannot respond positively to every application. Upon arrival, each application is processed and considered individually. Unfortunately, it is not possible to reserve a place for a later period.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the associated distancing and hygiene rules, as well as the need to prioritise apprentice training, we are unfortunately unable to offer any internships until the end of the 2020/21 season at the earliest.

Internships for school pupils

Internships are offered in the scenery workshops (sculpture, painting shop, carpentry, set decoration) and the costume workshops (women’s/men’s tailoring) as well as in individual cases in stage technology, lighting or sound. The internship normally lasts at least one week.

Application  

Please send your application documents with a covering letter, CV and most recent report card as well as proof of any internships, courses and/or workshops you have already completed to the contact person named above.

The relevant department will decide on the awarding of an internship. The processing time in the various departments can vary greatly from between two to six weeks. Subsequently, you will receive notification of acceptance or rejection from our Human Resources Department. Each application is reviewed individually and carefully discussed to ensure that the required supervision of the intern can be integrated with the existing production schedule.

Internship: design

11th-year pupils of Dresden’s Fachoberschule für Gestaltung can complete their compulsory internship (a total of 20 weeks, with two weeks’ schooling alternating with two weeks’ internship) at the Semperoper in the areas of tailoring and theatrical sculpture.

Application  

Please send your application documents with a covering letter, CV and most recent report card as well as proof of any internships, courses and/or workshops you have already completed to the contact person named above.

Orientation internship

Orientation internships are possible in the scenery workshops (sculpture, painting hall, carpentry, set decoration) and the costume workshops (women’s and men’s tailoring) as well as in individual cases in stage technology, lighting or sound. Such internships last from a minimum of one week to a maximum of three months. Orientation internships are generally free of charge.

Application  

Please send your application documents with a covering letter, CV and most recent report card as well as proof of any internships, courses and/or workshops you have already completed to the contact person named above.

Pre-study internship

Pre-study internships are offered in the scenery workshops (painting hall and theatrical sculpture), the costume workshops and occasionally in the field of stage technologies. They are compulsory before embarking on a university or college degree. These internships last between one and nine months (depending on the applicant’s needs and interests and the space/resources of each department). Please contact the above-mentioned contact person to discuss your potential internship.

The monthly internship salary is 255.65 EUR/month (gross). The length of holiday leave is proportionate to the duration of the internship (in accordance with the TV-L Azubi regulation for trainees).

Application  

Please send your application documents with a covering letter, CV and most recent report card as well as proof of any internships, courses and/or workshops you have already completed to the contact person named above.

Practical semesters and internships for students

Practical semesters are offered in the scenery workshops (painting hall, theatrical sculpture, carpentry, set decoration), the costume workshops and occasionally in the field of stage technology as well as in dramaturgy. They are an integral part of a university/college degree. The duration of the internship is between one and six months (depending on the applicant’s needs and interests and the available capacities/resources of the department). Please contact the above-mentioned person to discuss your potential internship.

Student internships are not remunerated and there is no holiday leave. 

Application  

Please send your application documents with a covering letter, CV and most recent report card as well as proof of any internships, courses and/or workshops you have already completed to the contact person named above.

BFD Volunteering (Bundesfreiwilligendienst) in Culture and Education (BFD)

As part of the BFD programme in Culture and Education, it is possible to volunteer at the Semperoper in the departments of ballet administration, education, the historical archive, communication and marketing (two positions), the music library as well as with the Staatskapelle Dresden. The period of voluntary service is one season, i.e. from 1 September to 31 August the following year.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the 2021/22 season can apply in February and March 2021 via the LKJ Sachsen portal. After a pre-selection by LKJ Sachsen, we review the remaining applications before inviting potential candidates to interviews in the respective departments.

The BFD Culture and Education programme gives individuals the chance to experience daily work in a theatre. Due to the intensive contacts with artists, staff and external partners, the volunteers gain deep insights into the diverse activities of a large cultural institution. There is also the opportunity to attend rehearsals, performances and premieres. The volunteers will see how creative problem-solving, structured and independent work and efficient time management become an integral part of the work processes as staff face new challenges every day.

Applications are only accepted via the portal of the Landesvereinigung Kulturelle Kinder- und Jugendbildung Sachsen e.V., where all other relevant details can be found. The portal can be accessed by clicking on the following link:

Website des LKJ Sachsen e.V.

Internship: stage director

Internships for stage directors are possible within the framework of new opera productions. Lasting approximately six weeks, these cover the entire period of staged rehearsals for a production from the initial conceptional meeting to the premiere. The internships offer diverse insights into the production process at the Semperoper, including the coordination of rehearsals, liaising with the individual theatrical departments, keeping a promptbook, preparing rehearsal schedules and much more.

An internship as stage director is suitable, for example, as pre-study work experience for a degree in stage direction or as a compulsory internship within your degree programme. Interested? Please send your application with a covering letter and CV to our Human Resources Department:

Sächsische Staatstheater –
Staatsoper Dresden und Staatsschauspiel Dresden
HR Department
Ms. Dietze
Theaterplatz 2
01067 Dresden
Phone +49 (0)351 4911 252
E-mail bewerbung@saechsische-staatstheater.de