The days when opera singers were judged solely by the quality of their singing are almost gone. It is becoming increasingly important that an opera singer's profile also encompass a proven stage presence and an ability to act. Yet there is only a scant range of appropriate educational facilities for supporting young singers on their way to becoming virtuoso performers. In 2008 the Komische Oper Berlin started the international Opera Studio, which provides young singers with intensive, practice-oriented additional training after their singing studies, preparing them over a period of two years expressly for a career on the stage. With great success: the graduates of this program already feature in opera houses both at home and abroad.