Where an Augenblick Is More Than a Moment

What soprano Samantha Britt finds impressive in Salzburg and Berlin

Samantha Britt at Chelsea Opera. Photo: Robert J. Saferstein

Recently, this blog has started to publish a series of profiles of young American, Canadian, and British singers who went to Germany to sing and live. Their answers to a small set of questions show what it takes to move to a foreign place, mainly to Berlin, and pursue the career of their dreams.

Your name:
Samantha Britt

Where are you from?
New York

What is your Fach?
Lyric-coloratura soprano

Since when in Berlin?
My first trip was in 2014

When are you going to go/move to Berlin?

Your favorite role:
It’s hard to choose one! Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor

Best opera production you saw in Germany:
Ariadne auf Naxos at Stuttgart Oper 2014

Craziest opera production you saw in Germany:
It wasn’t in Germany, but in Salzburg, Austria, in 2006, I saw a Don Giovanni which had a rotating stage. During Leporello’s catalogue aria the stage displayed a carousel of examples of Don G’s conquests which included naked women shaving their legs and a girl in a frilly dress around age 8 playing jumprope. Pretty shocking.


Your hero in opera:
Diana Damrau and Maria Callas

Your hero in real life:
My Grandmother, the family’s Scrabble champion, who instilled in me a love of words!

Two things you like about Berlin:
Food Halls and Festivals, always-interesting Graffiti

Two things you don’t like about Berlin:
Grey skies and the lack of public water fountains

A story in which you were glad that you spoke German:
In general, when I want to do a yoga class and the only one available is in German, I’m very glad I know my “rechtes Bein” from my “linkes Bein”.

A story in which you made an embarrassing mistake in German (if you want to tell):
I can only think of the times when I accidentally said sexual slang while speaking “Denglish”! Otherwise Germans have been forgiving and helped me through my grammatical errors.

Your most recent performance:
Soprano solos in Carmina Burana with Camerata Orchestra NYC

Your next project, performance, and where:
Sister Constance in Dialogues of the Carmelites with Sakrale Oper Berlin

Your favorite German word:
(Also hard to choose!) Augenblick, it’s so much more descriptive than “moment”

Find more information about Samantha Britt at

Listen to audio of her singing at Soundcloud:



Published by


Bernd Hendricks. Born in Duisburg, Germany. Based in Berlin. Writer, German Language Educator. I was six years old when I went to the opera for the first time. My Grandma took me to Hänsel und Gretel at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Duisburg. The first time I met an opera singer personally was during my time as foreign correspondent in New York when at a Christmas party a baritone pelted me with questions about the language of Zauberflöte. He was preparing for his role as Papageno. After my return to Berlin in September 2010, I have been giving German lessons to singers on their audition tours. My workshops in Berlin, Vienna, and London are based on my widely read book Ach, ich fühl’s—German for Opera Singers in Three Acts: Studying, Speaking, Singing. My latest book, Die Frist ist um—Navigate the Language of 10 German Operas, takes you on a journey through the language of the most popular and often performed operas in the German-speaking countries. I am also the author of several non-fiction books and two novels.

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