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Based in Bloomington, Indiana, Wolfgang Brendel maintains a studio at The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, private voice lessons, and residencies/guest teaching with various elite vocal training programs for young singers around the world.


An accomplished and highly sought-after voice teacher, baritone Wolfgang Brendel has discovered and cultivated numerous international vocal talents both established and emerging. With over 20 years of dedicated teaching experience and a performing career spanning 4 decades and 80 operatic roles, Professor Brendel contributes an unmatched breadth of performance experience, pedagogical expertise, and industry wisdom to his vocal studio. Prof. Brendel currently serves on the voice faculty at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.


Prior to his appointment at the Jacobs School in 2011, Brendel served on the voice faculty at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich, Germany. As a visiting professor, he has held teaching positions at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Boston University Opera Institute, New England Conservatory, and Boston University. Well-regarded as a mentor to young artists, he has frequently been engaged as a guest instructor and master teacher at numerous high-level artist training programs, including San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera program, the Mozarteum Academy, the Wagner Academy S’Hergotenbosch, and the young artist program at the Bayerische Staatsoper.


Professor Brendel’s students have graced the stages of top international houses, including the Bayerische Staatsoper, Cologne Opera, Staatsoper Stuttgart, Münster Opera, Semperoper Dresden, Düsseldorf Opera, and more. In the United States, his students have been engaged as young artists with The Glimmerglass Festival, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Saratoga, and Palm Beach Opera, among others.


During his studies at the Conservatory Wiesbaden in Germany, Brendel studied voice under the master teacher Rolff Sartorious, who discovered and nurtured his talent at a young age and guided him to early competitive success at the Music Universities and Conservatories of Germany Voice Competition, in which Prof. Brendel took 1st Place. Subsequent international engagements (including major roles at the Metropolitan Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, and Deutsche Oper Berlin) led him to the famous Berlin throat specialist Dr. Theodore Rüffer, an expert in the Italian bel canto style of singing. Prof. Brendel’s teaching style draws from years of practical experience in opera, and is rooted in bel canto principles of singing, prioritizing the synthesis of the brain, emotion, and the body.


Brendel’s achievements in opera have been recognized by numerous organizations including the German government, who awarded him the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic for his outstanding service to the arts. At his home theater, the Bayerische Staatsoper, he remains to this date the youngest singer to have been granted the honorable title of Kammersänger.


Wolfgang Brendel regularly joins elite training programs around the world as a guest teacher.

Santa Fe Opera

The Glimmerglass Festival

Mozarteum (Salzburg)

The Neue Stimmen Competition

's-Hertogenbosch Competition (Netherlands)

Boston University



I want every student to find his or her most beautiful and well-produced singing voice. Different students have different amounts of the gift of a natural instrument, but my goal is to help each of them find the maximum potential of the voice they have. Even when the gift is modest, I believe that every singer can be guided to a better understanding of how to produce a beautiful sound. I believe that many students do not know how far they can go when they begin their studies, and it is my job to open their eyes, their ears, and their minds as well as their voices. This is true whether their goal is the opera stage, to conduct, or to teach in a high school. 

I want to help my students bring into their singing a freedom and joy in which they experience the part of us that we call the ‘soul’.


What do we expect from a voice teacher? One should have a good ear, intuition, critical sense, seriousness, accuracy, good humor, and have an intellectual acquaintance with all other forms of the fine arts; poetry, literature, painting, sculpture in addition to a deep understanding of music. These are things that I do my best to give every day in the studio. 

"A tremendous asset."

"Wolfgang Brendel is one of the outstanding artists of his generation, that rare singer  who understands both vocal technique and artistry, and knows how to combine them to brilliant effect. Equally rarely, he’s also a gifted teacher who is able to communicate his knowledge to others. It’s hard for me to recommend Wolfgang highly enough: as a singer, a vocal pedagogue, and a font of operatic lore and knowledge, he is a tremendous asset to anyone in the field of opera who is fortunate enough to work with him."


Former chief classical music critic, The Washington Post


In addition to his prestigious performance career, Professor Brendel's international teaching career has spanned from elite competitions to university education to in-depth residencies with exceptional training programs for young singers. To engage Prof. Brendel for a masterclass or residency, be in touch with his management at the link below.


Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University

Santa Fe Opera

The Glimmerglass Festival

Mozarteum (Salzburg)

University of Music and Performing Arts, Munich, Germany

Merola Opera Program

Bayerische Staatsoper

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

The Neue Stimmen Competition

's-Hertogenbosch Competition (Netherlands)

Middlebury College

New England Conservatory

Teaching Media

Watch Prof. Brendel work with a student at The Wagner Academy, and with baritone Jonathan Bryan at The Jacobs School of Music.

This channel is coming soon!



David Alden                                                   

Goetz Friedrich

Giancarlo Menotti

Nathaniel Miller

Rodolf Noelte

Jean Pierre Ponelle

Günther Rennert

Otto Schenk

Giorgio Strehler

Wolfgang Wagner

Robert Wilson

Franco Zeffirelli

Claudio Abbado

Sergiu Celibidache

Gianandrea Gavazzeni

Oliviero de Fabritiis

Raffael Fruebeck de Burgos

Carlos Kleiber

James Levine

Lorin Maazel

Zubin Mehta

Francesco Molinari-Pradelli

Ricardo Muti

Seiji Osawa

Giuseppe Patane

Georges Pretre

Nello Santi

Wolfgang Sawallisch

Stefan Soltesz

Simone Young

Notable Colleagues

Throughout his extensive career, Herr Brendel has collaborated with numerous acclaimed conductors and directors across the world. View a list of notable conductors and directors with whom he has worked extensively below. For a list of recordings, view his discography.

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