Anastasiia Silanteva was born on 30 December 1994 in Armyansk. From 2006 to 2012, she studied at the Lysenko specialized music school in Kiev. During her studies, she attended the CEI Youth Orchestra Summer concert tour in July-August 2010, which included intensive rehearsals in Assisi and concert performances in Assisi, Gubbio, Caorso and Busseto. From 2012 to 2014, she studied at the piano department of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Kiev. Since 2014, she has been studying at the Gnessin Academy of Music at the piano department in Moscow. In 2015, she worked at the Institute of Theater Arts as an accompanist.
Anastasiia was awarded first prize at the International Forum of Classical Music (as accompanist, Moscow, 2015), the International Forum Musical Performance and Pedagogy (Art of accompaniment, Lonigo, Italy, 2016). She obtained second prizes at the International Forum of Classical Music (Moscow, 2015) and the IX International competition of performers and composers ‘Romanticism: Its origins and beyond’ (Moscow, 2017). Further, she was given third prize at the IV International competition of academic and pop singing named after M.I. Landa (as accompanist, Moscow), and participated in the final of the First International Competition of lieder singing named after Nina Dorliac (as accompanist, Moscow, 2017).
In 2021, Anastasiia graduated as Laureaat of the International Opera Academy (option: pianist-repetiteur) in Ghent, Belgium.
Frank Agsteribbe a versatile musician who works as a conductor, keyboard player, and composer. In all his activities he strives for direct expression, flexibility, and living colour, whether in opera (as director and continuo player) or in baroque or modern music. He has played with La Petite Bande, the Huelgas Ensemble and Anima Eterna, giving concerts in various European countries, in Mexico and in China.
He is the founder, harpsichordist, and director of the Belgian baroque orchestra B’Rock (until 2013), which has gone on to striking success in Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, and South Africa. He has also worked as a guest conductor with the Collegium Vocale Gent, Concerto Köln, the Luxembourg Philharmonic and the National Orchestras of Belgium and Portugal.
Frank Agsteribbe is musical director of the Luxemburg based vocal ensemble cantoLX. Since its inaugural concerts in 2010, cantoLX is now firmly established in the music scene of Luxembourg, and in 2011 made its debut appearances at the MA Festival Brugge, the Utrecht Early Music Festival and at the Philharmonie Luxembourg. In 2012 it presented its first recording with Frescobaldi and Cage. Further recordings include another Frescobaldi cd, and the Oratorio per la settimana santa by Luigi Rossi. Both cds were nominated for the International Classical Music Awards.
Meanwhile he has more than 100 compositions to his name. Important works have been performed in Brazil, Berlin (the Konzerthaus and the German Opera) and at the Gaudeamus Festival in Amsterdam. Since 1989 he teaches at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp.
With The Mystic Lamb, the first name of the platform founded in 1987 to promote classically trained musicians next to visual artists, Pascale Montauban makes her first steps in cultural management. Being trained as a singer, actress and visual artist herself, the platform became in 1989 fully-fledged management agency under her proper name. International breakthrough in 1991 when the agency acquires a satellite in Salzburg as a partner of the Salzburger Schloßkonzerte, a legendary institution that made a name for itself with its ‘international young talent stage’ next to multiple concerts series at Schloss Mirabell, Mozarteum and Salzburg Residenz, with members of the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras and many others.
Mrs Montauban co-founded the ‘Brüssel-Salzburg-Festival’ which alternated between Brussels and Salzburg from 1991 to 1995 (i.e. until Austria joined the E.U.). Equally noteworthy was the Festival coproduced with the Stiftung Mozarteum Argentina in Brazil, to finish in style the Mozart Year 1991.
Upon her return in Belgium in 2015 Ms Montauban was offered a merger between her agency and the Concert Agency Gaston Ariën, managed at the time by her Lied coach baritone Albrecht Klora. Founded in 1928 by Gaston Ariën, the agency was the first to reinvite the Berliner Philharmoniker to Belgium and stood at the cradle of the renowned Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders, today Antwerp Symphony Orchestra.
In 2028 the Ariën Agency will celebrate its 100th Anniversary. Today’s activities include career coaching and worldwide promotion of Belgian and foreign artists with a focus on conductors, opera directors, classically trained opera and concert singers, next to various chamber music ensembles,s solo instrumentalists and orchestras.
Since 2007 Mrs Montauban is a regular guest lecturer at the conservatoires of Ghent and Antwerp, where she gives audition training. Occasionally she enlarges this activity to opera studios.
At home she served as a jury member at the 1st edition of the International Competition for Opera Conductors by the Polycarpe Foundation & Royal Opera House of Wallonie 2017), next to the competitions of Verviers, Namur (CIALN) and Brussels (Triomphe de l’Art).
Abroad, repeatedly at the International Singing competitions of Pienza, Filignano (Mario Lanza), next to Pamplona and Cologne (MHKöln). Due to the covid-19 protective measures she had to decline the invitation by the International Virgilijus Noreika Competition for Singers in Lithuania (2020).
Mrs Montauban is the driving force behind Castellaria, the first multinational Children’s Opera Festival that will open Summer 2024 with the world première of Jungle Book- The Opera.
Born in Spain in 1987, Pedro trained in Barcelona’s ESMuC as a pianist, as a singer and as a conductor (summa cum laude). He specialized in operatic repertoire and lyric diction in the National Opera Studio in London, with scholarships from the Amar-Franses & Foster-Jenkins Foundation and Royal Opera House-Covent Garden, and was part of the International Opera Studio in Opernhaus Zürich during the seasons 14/15/16. He has collaborated in several occasions with the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and he is a recurring guest in the Glyndebourne Opera Festival in the United Kingdom, as a pianist and vocal coach.
In 2016 he became permanent music staff of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen in Antwerp and Ghent as a pianist-repetiteur.
With more than 50 opera titles in his repertoire, he has had the chance to know and work closely with conductors such as Maurizio Benini, Vasily Petrenko, Richard Bonynge, Alexander Joel, Enrique Mazzola, Fabio Luisi, and Robin Ticciati. He has accompanied masterclasses and voice lessons by Carlos Chausson, Neil Shicoff, Angelika Kirschlager, Ann Murray, Brigitte Fassbaender, and Kiri te Kanawa.
Susanne Schmidt is Casting Director at Opera Vlaanderen in Antwerpen and Ghent (Belgium) and Casting Consultant to the Bregenzer Festspiele (Austria). Formerly Director of Artistic Administration to the Bregenzer Festspiele (Austria), Susanne Schmidt has been Head of Casting and the Artistic Office at the Bregenz Festival since 2006. Previously, she worked in the same capacity at Teatro la Fenice in Venice, Italy, having moved there from the recording industry where she worked in the Artist & Repertoire departments at the classical labels BMG Classics and Sony Classical in New York, Hamburg, Munich, and London. After an early training in the piano, harpsichord and voice, she read music together with foreign languages, followed by an education in business administration and foreign languages.
Elien Hanselaer works as an actor and theatre maker in United Kingdom and Belgium. She studied acting at School of Arts/KASK (Belgium) and East 15 acting school. Recently, Hanselaer directed The Tale of the Last Thought, a social-artistic project with 120 performers from different backgrounds, and featured in Two to Tango, a film directed by Dimitri Sterkens. Other recent theatre projects include Afropean (KVS); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (KVS); Ashes to Ashes (TAZ); Europe in Autumn (Malpertuis). Hanselaer is also part of Hobo Theatre, a British performance collective founded in 2012 that sets up participatory projects that reflect on ecologies in an increasingly interconnected world.
In September 2018, Hanselaer was awarded the Northern Bridge award to fund her practise-based research on actor training research. The research looks at co-performer empathy and how actors can “play off each other”. She recently got invested in teaching performers. In 2021-2022, she teaches at the University of Malta, Queen’s University Belfast and the International Opera Academy. Hanselaer is also a butoh, contact improvisation and Argentine Tango dancer. These dance forms have a strong influence on her work.
Sabrina Avantario is an Italian pianist and opera vocal coach with a background of studies of Chorus conducting, Composition, Orchestra conducting, Singing, Philosophy and Music journalism, with vast experience in Italian repertoire. She has worked in numerous international opera productions and extensively in Lieder recitals. Her international resume includes working in Belgium (regularly at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, but also at de Munt | la Monnaie), Greece (Greek National Opera), Switzerland (Luzern and Bern Opera House), Ireland (Wexford Festival Opera), Germany (Staatstheater Kassel), Japan (Otsu and Tokyo Bunkamura Hall), Lebanon (Al Bustan Festival, Beirut) and many theatres in Italy (Teatro Comunale of Bologna, Festival dei due mondi of Spoleto, Ferrara Musica, a.o.). Conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Ottavio Dantone, Vladimir and Dmitri Jurowsky, Umberto Benedetti Michelangeli, Alberto Zedda, the composer Giancarlo Menotti, directors such as Michael Hampe, Luca Ronconi, Graham Vick, are some of the personalities she has worked with throughout almost three decades of professional activity.
Sabrina Avantario worked from 1995 to 2015 at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro as repetiteur and more specifically as ‘chef de chant’ during the last ten years. She is professor for Italian coaching, Repertoire coaching and History of Opera and Oratorio at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp and has worked as guest professor at the Royal conservatory of Wallonia in Liège.
She has a broad experience in Mozart operas, having collaborated as chief repetiteur and coach in over twenty different productions of his operas, starting from Così fan Tutte with Claudio Abbado. In particular, she has worked as a conductor in the three Da Ponte’s and Zauberflöte.
Koen Bollen studied Art History and Theater Studies at the universities of Brussels, Leiden and Antwerp. He was dramaturgy assistant at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen (2009-2010), became dramaturge at Junge Oper Stuttgart (2010-2014) and received the scholarship Akademie Musiktheater heute (2012-2014). Subsequently, he worked on Frühlings Erwachen for the International Opera Academy in Ghent with director Guy Joosten, the world creation Tonguecat at Bayerische Staatsoper, and with director Jorinde Keesmaat on o.a. Odysseus’ Women & Anaïs Nin (Louis Andriessen), and To be Sung (Pascal Dusapin) for the Centre of Contemporary Opera in New York. Since 2016 he is dramaturge at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen where he worked on the operas Pelléas et Mélisande (with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet), Rusalka (with Alan Lucien Øyen); the dance productions Exhibition and Requiem by Cherkaoui, RASA by Daniel Proietto and Palmos by Andonis Foniadakis; as well as for different youth productions. Season 2021-2022 he is dramaturge for Wim Henderickx’ The Convert and the Vonkproject Liebestod. Koen Bollen teaches at the conservatory in Antwerp, and at IOA in Ghent. He is co-editor and author of the book on the 50th history of Ballet Vlaanderen.
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 (UK). He is also an acclaimed accompanist for song 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 de Munt | 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, Ghent.
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, for singers such as Sophie Karthäuser, Christian Immler, Malin Christensson, and Jonathan Lemalu. In 2006 he started the recital seriesVocal Journey, 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.
Muriel Corradini completed her vocal and musical studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and at the New England Conservatory of Boston (USA), where she graduated as a Master in vocal performance in 1989.
Since 1992, she has been in great demand as a language coach for French and Italian repertoire and as a vocal coach. She has worked for the Opéra National de Paris, the Royal Opera House of Covent Garden, the Amsterdam and Brussels Opera Houses, as well as the festivals of Glyndebourne and Salzburg.
For the last 15 years, Muriel has been guest coach at the opera studios of L’Académie de l’Opéra de Paris, the Young Artist Program of the Royal Opera House in London, the IOA in Ghent, the International Academy of Voice in Cardiff and the Young Singers Project of the Salzburg Festival.
At the same time, Muriel has kept studying vocal technique with Michelle Wegwart, and over the last years, she has developed her activity as a voice teacher in a private studio in Paris.
Sára was born in Budapest. She studied German literature and linguistics at the Universität Wien in Vienna, Austria and later classical singing at the Conservatory of Amsterdam as a student of Pierre Mak.
Sára is a mezzo-soprano, she mainly performs chamber music, German Lied and oratorio. She has been singing with Collegium Vocale Gent since 2014.
Sára is as passionate about teaching as she is about singing. She currently teaches German as second language and the course Performing Arts – Music at the Amsterdam University College.
Since 2013, Sára has been successfully combining her two studies and specialties as a German teacher and coach for singers. She teaches German for singers at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, at the International Opera Academy in Ghent as well as at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel. During the past years she has been working as a language coach at the Nederlandse Reisopera.
Sára lives in Amsterdam and has a son.
Rachel Harland studied music as an undergraduate at The University of Manchester. As a postgraduate she trained at Central School of Speech and Drama and Flanders Operastudio (later IOA). She also has an LRSM in vocal teaching. She has sung with opera companies including de Munt | la Monnaie, Opera Holland Park and Carl Rosa Opera, working in Belgium, UK, Canada and the U.S. and has given solo recitals across Europe, Egypt and Australia including for The International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Theatrical Adventures cruises and Flanders Music Festival. In addition to teaching at the IOA, Rachel is the director of Sing Salon, which organises singing events, groups and team building in Belgium and the U.K. Other educational work includes work as an English coach at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, teaching singing at Liverpool University and leading music and vocal workshops for Music in Prisons, Manchester International Festival in collaboration with Studio Orka and Aldeburgh Music.
Baritone Dietrich Henschel captivates audiences as a regular guest at major opera houses, as an esteemed interpreter of lieder and oratorios and with his varied multimedia projects. His repertoire stretches from Monteverdi to the avant-garde. Born in Berlin and raised in Nuremberg, he made his debut in 1990 at the Munich Biennale for New Music and first became known internationally from 1997, following a period as an ensemble member of the Opera Kiel. At the Deutsche Oper Berlin he took the title role in Hans Werner Henze’s Prinz von Homburg, staged by Götz Friedrich, and gave an outstanding lead performance in Busoni’s Doktor Faust at the Opéra de Lyon and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, for which he won a Grammy.
The singer’s major roles include Rossini’s Figaro, Wolfram in Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Monteverdi’s Ulisse and Orfeo, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Beckmesser in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Alban Berg’s Wozzeck and Dr. Schön in Lulu, Golaud in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, and Nick Shadow in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, with which he makes regular appearances at the major European opera houses. Contemporary composers such as Péter Eötvös, Detlev Glanert, Manfred Trojahn, Unsuk Chin, Peter Ruzicka, and José-Maria Sanchez-Verdu have all dedicated leading roles in their operas to the baritone.
In addition to his operatic work, Dietrich Henschel is committed to the performance of lieder and concert works for voice. In orchestral concerts he has worked with conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Kent Nagano, Sylvain Cambreling, Semyon Bychkov, and Sir Simon Rattle. His collaborations with John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and Sir Colin Davis are documented on numerous oratorio recordings.
Dietrich Henschel is particularly interested in theatrical and multimedia presentations of vocal music. He has performed staged versions of Schubert lieder cycles at La Monnaie, Theater an der Wien, Norske Opera Oslo, and the Komische Oper Berlin, among others. In the project IRRSAL – Triptychon einer verbotenen Liebe, featuring the orchestral songs of Hugo Wolf and conceived together with director Clara Pons, he combined film and live music. WUNDERHORN, featuring songs by Gustav Mahler and also created in collaboration with Clara Pons, was co-produced by European partners including De Doelen, La Monnaie, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra London. Dietrich Henschel launched his project X-Mas Contemporary at the Konzerthaus Berlin in December 2019 with the ensemble unitedberlin under the musical direction of Vladimir Jurowski. Twelve composers contributed works to the extraordinary program, which was hailed by critics and released as a CD by FARAO CLASSIC. Dietrich Henschel’s most recent projects include Pergolesi’s 1734 opera intermezzo Il Ciarlatano, a fast-paced production with the ensemble ART HOUSE 17 performed at the Styriarte in Graz and elsewhere.
He begins the 2021/22 season together with Sylvain Cambreling and the Ensemble Modern at the Ruhrtriennale with Olga Neuwirth’s chamber opera Bählamms Fest. Continuing his collaboration with Cambreling and the SWR Symphony Orchestra, he will premiere Francesco Filidei’s The Red Death for the 100th anniversary of the Donaueschinger Musiktage, followed by concerts at the Elbphilharmonie and the Kölner Philharmonie. Other highlights include a recital with pianist Piet Kuijken and Bach’s Coffee Cantata with ART HOUSE 17 at the Oude Muziek Festival in Utrecht, a recital at the Oxford Lieder Festival, a tour of Japan with Schubert’s Winterreise, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Jan Willem de Vriend, Beethoven’s Missa solemnis at the Auditori in Barcelona, and Britten’s War Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko at the Royal Albert Hall.
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.
Wilko Jordens was trained as a pianist and conductor at the Conservatory in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and studied with Thom Bollen, David Porcelijn and Kenneth Montgomery. He attended masterclasses Lied given by Udo Reinemann and by Hartmut Höll and Mitsuki Shirai.
As an opera repetiteur he worked at The National Opera in Amsterdam, Opera Zuid Maastricht, Reisopera Enschede and Opera Ballet Vlaanderen and was freelance repetiteur in numerous other productions. He worked with many conductors, including Hans Vonk, Ed Spanjaard, Hartmut Haenchen, Ingo Metzmacher, Friedemann Layer und Stefan Klingele. He conducted performances of Nozze di Figaro, Zauberflöte and Lustigen Weiber von Windsor at Zomeropera Alden Biesen, Belgium. From 2014 to 2020, Jordens worked as Korrepetitor mit Dirigierverpflichtung at Theater Bielefeld, Germany, where he conducted concerts for children and performances of La scala di seta and Amadis des Gaules. Jordens currently works as a freelance pianist, repetiteur and composer.
Katherina Lindekens holds master’s degrees in Dutch and English literature (VUB) as well as Musicology (KULeuven). She started her career as an early music programmer at Concertgebouw Brugge (2008-2011). Subsequently, she embarked on a doctoral project centred around poetry and music in English Restoration opera. Her research brought her to the universities of Leuven and Manchester, and to theatres such as the Globe in London and the Folger in Washington D.C. Alongside her academic activities, she was regularly invited to speak and write about music at various opera houses, concert halls and festivals. Throughout those years, she became increasingly interested in dramaturgy, which gradually turned into her main focus. Among her recent projects are MAfestival Brugge (2013-2019), Pygmalion Double Bill (with choreographer Femke Gyselinck, 2019) and Les Indes galantes (with director Clément Cogitore, 2019). Since October 2018, Lindekens is a dramaturge at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, where she worked on Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe’s A Revue (2020) amongst other projects. She is currently preparing new productions with directors such as Maribeth Diggle (Sola Soletta), Julian Rosefeldt (Schumann’s Faust) and Philippe Grandrieux (Tristan und Isolde). She is also a co-creator of the podcast De stemmen, in collaboration with Katharina Smets.
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.
Born in Manchester, England, Darren Ross studied at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in London. In 1988 he moved to France to dance in many creations with the ‘Compagnie de Brigitte Farges’. From 1992 he dances with the ‘Compagnie Larsen’, directed by Stéphanie Aubin, on different contemporary dance pieces and opera (Armide by Luly, Orphée et Eurydice by Glück). In 1998 he choreographed his first opera La Traviata (Nancy, Rennes, Montpellier). This started a long collaboration as movement director and choreographer with director Jean-Claude Berutti. Together they worked on La Bague Magique by Giovanna Marini (Opéra de Nancy, Théâtre du Peuple Bussang), Faust (Lyon), Rusalka (Lyon, Tel Aviv, Bilbao), La Bohème, Wiener Blut and Othello (Nancy), Le Roi Candaule (Nancy and Liège) and Tannhaüser (Bordeaux).
He also collaborated with Jean-Claude Berutti for theatre: L’île des Esclaves — Marivaux (Brussels); Le Mariage de Figaro — Beaumarchais (Liège); Beaucoup de bruit pour rien — Shakespeare, La Cantatrice Chauve — Ionesco, L’Envolée -Granouillet, Family Art — Sales (Saint-Etienne); A tu et à toi, a ‘tour de chant’ with Yvette Théraulaz (Saint-Etienne, Genève, Lausanne)…
Together with director Caroline Petrick he worked on Weisse Rose — Zimmermann (La Monnaie Brussels) and The Golden Vanity, opera for children, by Benjamin Britten (La Monnaie Brussels, Royal Opera Stockholm).
With theatre company NUNC and Benjamin Van Torhout, he worked on Raisonnez (Ghent, Antwerp) and Het geslacht Borgia (Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven, Bruges). Together with Axel De Booseré and the Compagnie Arsenic, he worked on Le Dragon and Le Géant de Kaillass (Liège, Brussels, Paris). In January 2006, he directed Mozart onvoltooid/Mozart inachevé, a co-production of Pantalone, La Monnaie (Brussels) and Dschungel (Vienna).
Darren Ross also teaches movement and dance to singers (at the Chapelle Musicale de la Reine Elisabeth of Brussels, since 2004; Musikhochschule Frankfurt; Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et danse de Paris) and actors (amongst others, students of the Ecole d’Art Dramatique du CDN of Saint-Etienne).
With director Marguerite Borie he worked on Salome by Richard Strauss (Monte-Carlo, Liège, Vienna) and Reigen by Philippe Boesmans (Paris, CNSMDP). He also signed the choreography for Requiem for the Gods, a creation by Joachim Brackx with Nabla Muziektheater, co-produced by Concertgebouw Bruges. With Ivan Fisher, he collaborated on Le Nozze di Figaro — Mozart (Budapest, New York and Berlin).
Filip Rathé (1966) graduated at the Conservatory of Ghent for piano and choir conducting. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Musicology with professor Herman Sabbe at the university of Ghent. Today, he is a lecturer at the Music Schools of Higher Education in Ghent and Antwerp.
He has been the artistic director and conductor of SPECTRA since 1993. This ensemble of contemporary music performed concerts in Europe and South America and premiered over 130 new compositions.
Rathé also acted as guest conductor at the Symphony Orchestra of Flanders, the Flemish Radio Choir and several ensembles, a.o. I Solisti del Vento, Hermes Ensemble, the Aquarius Ensemble (N) and Musiques Nouvelles.
His compositions include: Canção do Caminho (SSAATTBB; 1998), O ultimo poema (ensemble; 2001), Das Utopias (17 string players; 2003), Canção de vidro (16 voices; 2004) and La velocidad de las Tinieblas (amplified voice and ensemble; 2005). At the request of Neue Vokalsolisten Stuttgart he is creating a cyclus No marmore de tua bunda for six solo-voices. His works were performed a.o. by the Flemish Radio Choir, ASKO (N), SPECTRA, Collegium Instrumentale Brugense, Exaudi, Kremerata Baltica and Neue Vokalsolisten Stuttgart.
Since 2019, Jan Vandenhouwe is the artistic opera director of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen. After studying Musicology in Leuven and Berlin, he started off as an opera and music critic for De Standaard. From 2005 until 2008, he was a dramaturge at the Opéra national de Paris, where he collaborated closely with the artistic director Gerard Mortier, and where he also programmed for L’Amphithéâtre Bastille. After this, from 2009 until 2011, he was in charge of the concert programming for Concertgebouw Brugge. As a freelance (music) dramaturge, he worked on many productions of, for example, the Teatro Real (Madrid), Ensemble InterContemporain and Klarafestival. He also collaborated intensely as a dramaturge with, among others, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (Così fan tutte, Mitten wir im Leben sind/Bach6Cellosuiten, The Six Brandenburg Concertos) Alain Platel (C(H)OEURS, Nicht schlafen), Ivo van Hove (Macbeth, Brokeback Mountain, Salome, Boris Godunov, Don Giovanni) and Johan Simons (Don Carlos, Fidelio, Boris Godunov, Das Rheingold, Alceste). From 2015 until 2017, Jan Vandenhouwe was the chief dramaturge of the Ruhrtiennale, under the artistic direction of Johan Simons.
Martin Wölfel was born in Potsdam, where he received his first musical training and had his first stage and camera experience.
Although he was admitted to the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts to study acting, he began studying voice in Dresden. He graduated with a Meisterklassenabschluss as a countertenor under Margret Trappe-Wiel in 1999.
Since then he has performed at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Welsh National Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Norske Opera Oslo, the Berlin State Opera, the Hamburg State Opera, the Semperoper Dresden, the Komische Oper Berlin, the Opéra National de Paris, the Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, the Korean National Opera, the Theater Basel and the Frankfurt Opera, where he has been a regular guest since 2006.
As a concert singer he has toured with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and has performed in Tokyo, Osaka, Toulouse, Cairo, Athens, Barcelona, Valencia, and Amsterdam. In addition he has participated in several radio and CD recordings, as well as televised broadcasts.
Since 2007 he has been teaching at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen as a voice teacher, where he was awarded a full professorship in 2017. He also holds regular masterclasses and workshops in several institutions, such as the International Opera Studio Frankfurt, the Conservatoire de Lille and the Conservatorio Superior de Música da Coruña.
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 recent seasons at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, De Volder was in charge of the new productions of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (staged by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet), Der Schmied von Gent and Der Silbersee (both staged by Ersan Mondtag) as music dramaturge. He currently prepares new productions of Philippe Grandrieux (Tristan und Isolde) and Lisaboa Houbrechts. Piet De Volder also acts as teacher of dramaturgy at the International Opera Academy and as a lecturer at concert venues, such as deSingel (Antwerp) and the Concertgebouw in Bruges.
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 Swaak obtained master’s degrees in Philosophy and Western Literature from the University of Leuven. His focal points during these studies were philosophy of art, and Dutch theatre and literature respectively. After his studies, he lectured on aesthetics and he taught Dutch literature in Moscow and Paris. Subsequently, he worked for the Flanders Heritage Library and the University of Leuven. As a visual artist, he collaborated with poet Bram Vaassen on several exhibitions and in 2015, a book was published with their collected emblems. Since 2019, he is a dramaturge at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen where he worked on several projects, including Deus universalis, Rizoom and Doem en verlossing.