Elien Hanselaer (°1989) is an actress and theatre maker. She graduated from KASK (HOGENT, Ghent) and East 15 Acting School (University of Essex, London). She premiered last summer in Ostend at Zomer in O with Ashes to Ashes, the first production that she made in cooperation with actor and director Stefaan Degand. Other recent theatre projects include Afropean/Human Being (KVS), Europa in de Herfst (Theater Malpertuis), Maria Novella and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (KVS).
Her growing interest in participatory work led Hanselaer to conduct an artistic, practice-based doctoral research project about connections between actors. Hanselaer is also part of Hobo Theater, a British performance collective, which was founded in 2012 to set up participatory projects that reflect about an increasingly interconnected world. The research done by Hobo into play, games, co-creation and participation has broadened Hanselaer’s practice beyond the standard context for theatre.
Tom is a theatre and opera director based in Dublin.
Most recently he directed Jennifer Walshe’s short film opera Libris Solar as part of Irish National Opera’s 20 Shots of Opera project.
Opera productions include Griselda and Tales of Hoffmann (Irish National Opera, both nominated for Best Opera Production at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards), Owen Wingrave (Opéra National de Paris and Opera Collective Ireland), Acis and Galatea, Susanna’s Secret and The Human Voice (Opera Theatre Company), and world premieres of Donnacha Dennehy’s The Hunger (BAM, New York and Abbey Theatre, Dublin), Annelies van Parys’s Private View (Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, Operadagen Rotterdam, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg and on tour), and Jürgen Simpson’s air india [redacted] (Turning Point Ensemble, Vancouver). Other productions include Mavra and The Bear (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), and Die Zauberflöte, Suor Angelica, Mavra and Renard (Royal Irish Academy of Music).
Private View was awarded the FEDORA Rolf Liebermann Prize for Opera in 2014, Best Production at the Armel Opera Festival in Budapest in 2015 and was named as one of 14 notable productions of the last three years, “which are aesthetically innovative and reflect new developments in this genre” by Music Theatre NOW in 2016.
His work as a theatre director has been seen at all the major Irish venues and festivals, and on tour to the UK, Europe, Australia and the USA. He was nominated for Best Director at the Irish Times Theatre Awards in 2007.
His productions of Watt by Samuel Beckett with actor Barry McGovern has been presented in Ireland at the Dublin Theatre Festival, Galway Arts Festival and on tour, in the UK at the Edinburgh International Festival and the Barbican Centre in London, in Australia at the Perth and Melbourne International Festivals, and in the USA at the Public Theatre in New York and on tour.
Tom was Festival Director of Cork Midsummer Festival from 2011 to 2013 and was nominated for an Irish Times Irish Theatre Award in 2012 “for original and dynamic use of local spaces at Cork Midsummer Festival”. He has previously been Theatre and Dance Curator of Kilkenny Arts Festival and Associate Director of Rough Magic Theatre Company.
His forthcoming productions include a new production of Private View for the International Opera Academy in Ghent, and world premieres of new operas by Irish composers Michael Gallen and Emma O’Halloran.
Photo: Ste Murray
Annelies Van Parys
Annelies Van Parys
Annelies Van Parys (°1975) is one of Belgium’s leading contemporary composers. She composes solo pieces and chamber music, as well as big orchestral compositions. Her great love is musical theatre. As composer-in-residence at Muziektheater Transparant since 2007, she has written a number of compositions for musical theatre. Note, for example, the remarkable productions of RUHE, An Oresteïa and Private View – Van Parys’ first opera, which was rewarded four times, a.o. with the Fedora-Rolf Liebermann Prize. In cooperation with Gaea Schoeters (who also wrote the scenario for Private View), she composed the opera USHER, at the request of the Staatsoper Berlin and Folkoperan Stockholm. The production was shown there in 2018 and 2019, and even returned to Berlin in 2020. Van Parys was also lauded for the big composition A War Requiem for the National Orchestra of Belgium and Collegium Vocale Ghent, with soloists Sophie Karthauser and Thomas Bauer. Her most recent orchestral work was created at the request of the Royal Concert Hall Orchestra of Amsterdam, and premiers in January 2021 (conductor: Matthias Pintscher).
Hein Boterberg is Head of Music and vocal coach at the IOA and works as a visiting vocal coach at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He is also freelance accompanist for recitals.
He studied at the Conservatoire in his birth city of Ghent. At the Royal Scottish Academy and the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama he specialised in singing accompaniment. He was also holder of the Geoffrey Parsons Junior fellowship at the Royal College of Music.
In la Monnaie in Brussels, he assisted Antonio Pappano and Renato Balsadonna and worked in productions with singers such as Susan Graham, José van Dam, Jonas Kaufmann and Joseph Calleja. He has also played for conductors such as Kazushi Ono and Alessandro de Marchi. In addition to this, he has worked with singers for the Filharmonie, the Flemish Radio Choir, the Flemish Opera, Covent Garden, the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel and the Collegium Vocale, Gent.
In song recitals he has played in Europe, Asia and Australia in venues such as the Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room in London, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and many more. 2006 he started the Vocal Journey recital series, for which he devised and played concerts with young singers from all over the world.
He was coach and pianist for singing courses in the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Portugal and France. He was official accompanist for vocal masterclasses by Sir Thomas Allen, Robin Bowman, Emma Kirkby, Ann Murray, Loh Siew-Tuan, Graham Johnson and Dame Margaret Price.
Guy Joosten started his career as a stage director and the artistic head of the Blauwe Maandag Compagnie theatre collective. He also directed plays at the NTG in Ghent, the KVS in Brussels and the Brussels Kamertoneel, as well as for various companies in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Groningen). At the age of 28 he made his debut at the Burgtheater in Vienna, and a year later he became the head director at the Thaliatheater in Hamburg. In 1989 he was awarded the Theatre Festival Prize in Rotterdam for his directing of Lars Noren’s play Nachtwake and received the Belgian Thalia Prize for his work with the Blauwe Maandag Compagnie. In 1999 the Flemish authorities honoured him by awarding him with the title of Cultural Ambassador of Flanders for his opera directing. In 2010 he received the Prix de L’Europe Francophone/Grand prix de la critique in Paris. In 2015 he was awarded the famous Italian Premio Abbiati. He received the award for ‘best director’.
In 1991, Joosten directed his first opera at the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen (Antwerp/Ghent). He has also directed works at the opera houses of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bern, Bologna, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Genève, Göteborg, Hamburg, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Leipzig, Lisbon, London (English National Opera), Liège, Madrid, Maribor, Marseille, Monte Carlo, Montpellier, Oviedo, Sankt Gallen, Rouen, Saint-Étienne, Seoul, Sofia, Vienna (Volksoper & Theater a/d Wien) and Zürich. In 2005 he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York with Gounod’s Roméo & Juliette. In 2018 Guy Joosten made his debut in Asia with two new productions: one for the Korean National Opera (Seoul) and one for the Japanese National Opera in Tokyo.
In addition to his work as a director he was also professor at the University of Hamburg and lecturer at university colleges in Amsterdam, Saarbrücken, Eindhoven, Maastricht and Barcelona. He teaches opera courses at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire in Antwerp and founded the International Opera Academy. He gives regular masterclasses, e.g. in Sofia and Tel Aviv.
It all started at the Conservatory of Arnhem, where Charlotte was more or less ‘discovered’ by Aafje Heynis, with whom she completed her studies as a Performing Artist in 1982. Later, after two years at the Opera Studio in Amsterdam, Charlotte left for Berlin where she continued to learn under the passionate guidance of director Harry Kupfer.
Back in the Netherlands, Charlotte met her manager and good friend Pieter Alferink, who, from that moment on, took care of all of her artistic engagements – and still does to this day. The first engagement she obtained through him was a series of concerts, in 1986, in Rotterdam with James Conlon, where she sang as a soloist in Mahler’s Symphony #2, together with contralto Jard van Nes.
A variety of different roles in various international opera houses quickly followed. The highlights of Charlotte’s career include: Berlin, where she sang Mimì in La Bohème under Rolf Ruiter and Harry Kupfer in 1984; Amsterdam, where she performed Fiordiligi in Così Fan Tutte under the baton Nikolaus Harnoncourt, directed by Jürgen Flimm; London, where she recorded Beethoven’s concert aria “Ah, perfido!” with Sir John Eliot Gardiner in 1991, and Salzburg that same year: Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito with Sir Colin Davies and director Peter Brenner. In 1993, she sang the soprano solo in Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with Frans Brüggen. In 1994, she performed Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello with Antonio Pappano, Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) in Parma, conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner and directed by Lorenzo Mariani, and the Contessa in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in Tokyo with Claudio Abbado and Jonathan Miller. In London, 1995, she performed Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder with Bernard Haitink. A little later came a stretch of especially fond memories in her home country: the title role in Dvorak’s Rusalka with Leos Svarovsky in Utrecht and a lied recital in Rotterdam with conductor Ed Spanjaard (1998), Marguerite in Berlioz’ La Damnation de Faust with Bernard Haitink (1999). In 2001 she sang in Beethoven’s Fidelio as Leonore with Simon Rattle, conducted by Deborah Warner. After that came Elsa in Wagner’s Lohengrin with Edo de Waart and Pierre Audi (2002), Szymanowsky’s Stabat Mater with Jaap van Zweden and Wagner’s Die Walküre as Sieglinde with Hartmut Hänchen and Pierre Audi (2004), all in Amsterdam. Then in 2005 came Der Freischütz in New York City, where she sang Agatha under Eve Queler. In 2011 Simone Young and Charlotte Margiono performed a selection of Alma Mahler songs in Hamburg, Germany.
Another immensely important part of her career is her musical partner and the other half of her Lied duo: Peter Nilsson, with whom she has done many beautiful and exciting recitals.
The CD recording and concerts in collaboration with pianist and composer Frans Ehlhart – singing his own compositions with texts by Ingrid Jonker – is also a highlight in her musical life.
Charlotte Margiono has been teaching for quite a while. From May 2008 until June 2015, she was a main subject teacher at the classical voice department of the HKU Utrecht Conservatory. For the past ten years, teaching has been a very important part of her life. She teaches privately in her studio, and guides a number of young singers, all working at different levels as singers and performing artists. For her, this work is equally fulfilling as singing herself, only in a completely different way. The stage now plays a small but joyous part in her life, as a role here and there, a recital, or a concert with an orchestra – but passing on the craft and artistry of music and singing is now her main passion.
After having completed her Masters in Fine Arts in Theatre Directing at the University of Ottawa in 2011 during which she directed among others Pelléas et Mélisande (Maeterlinck/Debussy) and Medea-Material (Müller), Fanny Gilbert-Collet co-directed and co-wrote Ik Onkar, for Théâtre la Catapulte, Ottawa touring throughout Canada and prize-winner of two awards for Outstanding Production of the Year and New Creation of the Year at the Rideau Awards in 2013. During that same year she directed Les Dialogues des Carmélites presented at the Vocal Arts Festival in Edmonton. In the summer of 2013 she directed a new version of La Bohème with Opéra Immédiat in Montreal. Part of the Yulanda Faris Young Artists Program Fanny Gilbert-Collet was Assistant Stage Director for the 2013-2014 season of the Vancouver Opera. She was then given the chance to show her staged version of Savitri and Iphigénie en Tauride in April 2014 thus getting awarded the Career Development Grant of the Opera Guild from Vancouver Opera. Following an apprenticeship with Mariame Clément at the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg and with Katharina Thoma at the Theater Dortmund Ms. Gilbert-Collet got hired as fest assistant director in Dortmund for two seasons during which she was awarded the prestigious Richard Wagner Verband grant to go to Bayreuth in the summer 2016. Since the 2016/17 season Fanny proudly joined the artistic team of the Vlaanderen Opera in Antwerpen as assistant stage director creating her own version of Falstaff in the concert Sir John in Love presented both in Antwerp and in Ghent.
Piet De Volder
Piet De Volder
Piet De Volder studied musicology at the University of Ghent. Today, he works as a dramaturge at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen (Antwerp & Ghent). As music dramaturge, he collaborated on the productions Lulu and the entire Der Ring des Nibelungen (staging by Ivo van Hove, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen). He published on the contemporary Spanish composer Luis de Pablo (Madrid & Milano) and on opera dramaturgy and opera critique (with Dr Francis Maes: Achter de schermen van de emotie, LannooCampus, Louvain, 2011).
During past seasons at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, De Volder was in charge of the new production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (staged by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet) and Der Schmied von Gent (Franz Schreker) (staged by Ersan Mondtag) as music dramaturge. He currently collaborates also with film director Philippe Grandrieux for a new production of Tristan und Isolde.
Stefaan Degand graduated as an actor at the Herman Teirlinck Instituut in 2003, and participated in several (musical) theatre performances, including Dwangvoorstelling, De Kussenman, Kreon/antagonist zkt tragedie and Zwanezang (all byTheater Zuidpool), Roestig of het bruingele geeuwen van de ziel and The Golden Boy (bothTheater Antigone), Een totale Entführung and En(de)nicht (Muziektheater Transparant), Yerma een toefeling and Liefde/zijn handen (LOD), Revue, Biedermann en de brandstichters (KVS), Het gras zal altijd geeler zijn (Het Gevolg), Burgerlijke ongehoorzaamheid (De Koe), Leven in Hel-de operette (Theater Lantaren/Venster), Wees ons genadig (De Mexicaanse Hond), Sweetheart Come and De Misantroop (Zeeland Nazomerfestival), Gilgamesj (De Theatercompagnie), Vakman (Theater Artemis), Urt!, Johannespassie, Décap (Johan Desmet), and performed with De Werf, Gasthuis, Dogtroep, Orkater and Walpurgis. Further, he performed in several television series and films, and sang in different recitals.
Tom Goossens (director) started on the Drama course at the KASK in 2012. From his third year in the Bachelor course he focused on directing opera. His first research project on acting combined with classical singing developed into his production Ahimé, an opera monologue performed by Ellen Wils. A year later, in 2017, his Master’s graduation project, Don Juan, was selected for the main programme at Theater Aan Zee, the Jonge Hartenfestival in Groningen and the Operadagen in Rotterdam.
As from 2018, Tom Goossens was a resident at Translab, the project for young theatre-makers at Muziektheater Transparant. Under the aegis of Translab and with his own company, DESCHONECOMPANIE, he created Così and Le Nozze which, together with Don Juan, make up DEDAPONTETRILOGIE, three adaptations of Mozart’s operas that have libretti by Lorenzo Da Ponte. The three productions were on the bill at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, La Monnaie/De Munt, Operadagen Rotterdam and Theater Aan Zee.
In early 2019, Goossens created his first production for children: Banket! Of De Wraak Op De Macbeths, for Opera Ballet Vlaanderen. As from 2019 he became a ‘young theatre-maker in residence’ there. His schedule includes directing a semi-scenic production of Kurt Weill’s Der Jasager, work as assistant director on several productions, and directing his first opera with a symphony orchestra, Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnole.
In the summer of 2021 Tom will add Verdi’s Rigoletto on the adaptation-repertoire of DESCHONECOMPANIE; together with theater ensemble Comp. Marius. The premiere of the French version is planned in 2022 at Opera Grand Avignon.
Tom combines his artistic work with teaching Music-Theatre Training in the classical singing class at the Conservatory in Ghent and with a doctoral research in music theatre at KU Leuven.
Wolfgang Gruber was born in Graz, Austria. He studied in Vienna and Graz. He had engagements as Assistant Director at opera companies in Graz and Essen. Noteworthy is his long-term cooperation with stage director Guy Joosten (Amsterdam, Antwerp/Ghent, Barcelona, Brussels, Essen, Oviedo, Marseille, St. Gallen). Gruber assisted Frank Castorf for a.o. the Ring-Cycle at Bayreuth Festival 2013 – 2017. He assisted Patrice Chereau for The House of Death (Vienna Festival, Festival Aix-en-Provence, Holland-Festival) and Jonathan Meese for Mondparsifal at Vienna Festival and Berlin Festival. Further, he collaborated with Tatjana Gürbaca (Ring-Cycle in Vienna, Rigoletto in Bogota etc.) Peter Konwitschny (e.g. Falstaff in Graz), Michael Sturminger (Ariadne auf Naxos in Taipei), Dietrich W. Hilsdorf, Richard Jones, Anselm Weber, and others. His own theatre projects include Das Traumfresserchen and Kiss me, Kate at Aalto-Musiktheater Essen. The last production – The Maids, by Jean Gent – in Essen had to be stopped due to Corona. Finally, Gruber realized the 2016 scenic setting for Mozart in Egypt and in 2018 did the same for Mozart Goes Royal (IOA, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen).