Sabrina Avantario is an Italian pianist, opera vocal coach and expert in Artistic Vocology. She trained as a singer, composer and (choir) conductor, and is currently based in Antwerp (Belgium), with vast experience in Italian repertoire. She has worked extensively in international opera productions and Lieder recitals (winning several chamber music awards with her Lieder duo).
Her international experience includes work in Belgium (regularly at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen and 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), Bahrein and many theatres in Italy (Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Festival dei due mondi in Spoleto, Ferrara Musica, a.o.). Some of the personalities she has worked with throughout her career of over thirty years include conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Ottavio Dantone, Vladimir and Dmitri Jurowsky, Umberto Benedetti Michelangeli, Alberto Zedda and Alexander Joel; composer Giancarlo Menotti; directors such as Michael Hampe, Luca Ronconi and Graham Vick.
Sabrina Avantario was chief pianist and coach (Responsabile musicale) at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro from 1995 to 2015. She is Studienleiter (i.e. Artistic and Pedagogic responsible) and Faculty member of the singing department at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, where she teaches Singing, Italian repertoire, Repertoire, History of Opera and Oratorio and holds a Vocology Lab.
She gives regular masterclasses at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and has collaborated with the Royal Conservatory ofWallonia in Liège.
Pedro Beriso trained at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona as a conductor, a pianist and a singer, graduating summa cum laude in 2011. Specializing in operatic repertoire and lyric diction, he continued his studies at the National Opera Studio in London with the support of the Royal Opera House-Covent Garden, followed by a two-year residency at the International Opera Studio in Opernhaus Zürich.
In 2016 Pedro joined the music staff of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen in Antwerp and Ghent as a pianist-repetiteur. Additionally, he is a teacher and vocal coach at the Dutch National Opera Studio in Amsterdam, the Royal Conservatory Antwerp and the International Opera Academy in Ghent.
With a repertoire encompassing over fifty opera titles, Pedro has had the privilege of working with conductors such as Robin Ticciati, Fabio Luisi, Trevor Pinnock, Enrique Mazzola, Philippe Herreweghe, and Raphaël Pichon. He has accompanied masterclasses and voice lessons by Carlos Chausson, Neil Shicoff, Angelika Kirschlager, Ann Murray, Brigitte Fassbaender, and Kiri te Kanawa.
Pedro collaborated with the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona as a pianist and continuo player, and he is a recurring guest at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival, as a pianist and senior vocal coach. In 2022, he made his opera conducting debut at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen in productions of Così fan tutte and Mozart Concert Arias, both creations of choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. As a musical advisor, he collaborated with French soprano star Julie Fuchs, selecting repertoire and editing and arranging Mozart rarities for her solo album Amadè (Sony Classical).
In 2023, Pedro co-created and conducted Ändere die Welt!, a music theatre collage for the Opera Forward Festival of Dutch National Opera. He made his debut at the Salzburger Festspiele 2023 as principal vocal coach and continuo player in the new production of Le nozze di Figaro, with the Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Raphaël Pichon.
foto: Marcel Lennartz
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 a.o. 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 opera’s Pelléas et Mélisande (with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet), Rusalka (with Alan Lucien Øyen), Wim Henderickx’ The Convert (with Hans Op de Beeck), Ernani (with Barbora Horáková Joly); the dance productions Exhibition and Requiem by Cherkaoui, RASA by Daniel Proietto, A Bigger Thing (Lisi Estaras) and Extant (Jermaine Spivey). Koen Bollen teaches at the conservatory in Antwerp, and at the IOA in Ghent. He is co-editor and author of the book on the 50th anniversary of Ballet Vlaanderen.
foto: Koen Broos
Hein Boterberg is Head of Music and repertoire 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 series Vocal 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.
Maarten Boussery studied linguistics and literature (English and German) and comparative modern literature at the universities of Ghent and Hamburg. During his studies, he assisted at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen for a.o. F. Schreker’s opera Der Schmied von Gent, directed by Ersan Mondtag, and F. Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust, directed by Julian Rosefeldt. Since then, he has provided editorial and dramaturgical assistance for several OBV productions.
In 2022, Maarten began working as a dramaturge for Opera Ballet Vlaanderen. In this capacity, he contributed to the IOA project A Brief Draft of Human Desires by director Maëlle Dequiedt. This season, he will work on a.o. the participatory music theatre production Schemer (Dusk) by director Maja Westerveld and Daan Janssens’ opera Brodeck.
In addition to his work at OBV, Maarten has provided dramaturgical support for the performance Wunderhorn by the chamber music ensemble Goggles and for Dido & Aeneas by the Leuvens Universitair Koor. Finally, Maarten works as a freelance writer for DE SINGEL in Antwerp, where he also gives performance introductions.
Eline Brys (1992, Belgium) studied piano with Daan Vandewalle at the Royal Conservatory in Ghent, where she graduated in June 2015. While studying at the conservatory, she accompanied several rehearsals of opera productions organised by the school (e.g. La Fourchette (opera pastiche with music by J. Offenbach) and The Turn of the Screw (B. Britten)); at this point, she began dreaming of a career as a repetiteur. In the season 2014-2015 she did an internship at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen as a chorus repetiteur for the productions Akhnaten (P. Glass) and La Juive (F. Halévy). In April 2015, Eline was accepted to study at the International Opera Academy of Ghent, where she graduated in 2017 with highest honours and jury felicitations. The IOA programme was an intensive two-years-course with daily classes, concerts, projects and masterclasses (e.g. with Alberto Zedda, Dietrich Henschel, Natalie Dessay, Alfredo Abbati,…).
After her studies, Eline worked for 4 years as a repetiteur at Theater Osnabrück in Germany, gaining a lot of job experience. Since August 2021 Eline has a fixed position as a repetiteur in Opera Ballet Vlaanderen. During her years in both theaters she played also almost every season a chamber music concert, mainly with ‘Lied programs’.
foto: Tim Coppens
Johan Clement was born in Antwerp and is a Belgian/Dutch pianist. He cooperated with top musicians like Toots Thielemans, Dee Daniels, Deborah Brown, Art Farmer, Scott Hamilton, Cecil Payne, Georgie Fame, Mark Murphy, Sal Nistico, Jerome Richardson, Johnny Griffin, Tony Coe, Etta Cameron, Joe Newman, Dave Pike, Clark Terry, Benny Bailey, Idrees Suliman, Ed Thigpen, Lou Tabackin, Richard Boone, Madeline Bell, a.o.
Johan Clement has contributed to various radio and TV broadcasts in Belgium and the Netherlands. Important groups and orchestras he worked with include The Golden Gate Quartet, The Platters and the BRT Orkest. He’s the leader of the Trio Johan Clement, one of the leading Jazztrio’s in the Netherlands and Belgium. The Trio exists of pianist Johan Clement and different kinds of rhythm sections, depending on the situation. The Trio gained its greatest fame through the many TV broadcasts from the TROSSesjun concert with saxofonist Scott Hamilton.
Since 1983 Johan also performs intensively with the Belgian New Look Trio, with Roger Vanhaverbeke (bass until 2010) and Freddie Rottier (drums until 1995) from then until today, Luc Vanden Bosch (drums) and Bart De Nolf (bass) under the name Trio Johan Clement.
Aside from his work as a performer, Johan taught for 32 years at CODARTS (1989-2021), the university of professional arts education in Rotterdam.
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 with a Master in vocal performance in 1989.
Since 1992, she has been much in demand as a language coach for French and Italian repertoire and as vocal coach. She has worked for l’Opéra National de Paris, the Royal Opera House of Covent Garden, the Amsterdam and Brussels Opera Houses, as well as the Glyndebourne and Salzburg festivals.
For the last fifteen years, Muriel has been a guest coach at the following opera studios: l’Académie de l’Opéra de Paris, the Young Artist Program of the Royal Opera House in London, the International Opera Academy in Ghent, the Amsterdam Conservatorium 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 8 years, she has developed her activity as a voice teacher in a private studio in Paris.
Dimos de Beun
Dimos de Beun
Dimos de Beun graduated in recorder summa cum laude at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with Bart Coen. Later on he graduated harpsichord with Herman Stinders and Ewald Demeyere, at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, and organ with Ignace Michiels and Joris Verdin.
As a continuo and/or recorder player he is a regular guest musician at ensembles such as La Petite Bande, Ricercar consort, Huelgas, Collegium Vocale Gent, B’Rock, Il Gardellino, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Zefiro Torna and many more. He has contributed to numerous CD recordings, both as soloist or as chamber music player.
Dimos is chamber music teacher and keyboard accompanist at the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles and at the Academies of Waregem, Bruges and Blankenberge. He is also recorder and harpsichord teacher at the Academy of Waregem.
He co-founded the ensemble Arcus Coloratus and Les Abbagliati, which focuses mainly on performing baroque music in chamber music formation.
Dutch conductor and pianist Enrico Delamboye (1977) was born in Wiesbaden, Germany. He studied piano with Joop Celis and orchestral conducting with Jan Stulen at the Conservatorium Maastricht (Netherlands).
Enrico Delamboye made his debut as an opera conductor in May, 1999 during the Internationale Maifestspiele at the Staatstheater Wiesbaden with Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. Between 2000 and 2009 he was engaged as Conductor (1. & 2. Kapellmeister) at the Wiesbaden State Theater, Mainz State Theater, Wuppertal Opera and the Cologne Opera. From 2007-2014 he was professor for orchestral conducting at the Conservatorium Maastricht. From 2009-2019 he has been Chief Conductor of Theater Koblenz. Since 2018 he is First Guest Conductor of the WDR Funkhausorchester (Radio Orchestra Cologne).
Enrico Delamboye was invited as a guest conductor to the Komische Oper/Berlin, Theater Basel, Theater Bonn, Teatro Sao Carlos/Lisbon, Volksoper Wien and the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen. He conducted symphonic concerts with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Beethovenhalle-Orchester Bonn, MDR Sinfonieorchester, Südwestfälische Philharmonie, Württembergische Philharmonie (Germany), Sinfonieorchester Basel (Switzerland) Filharmonija Artur Rubinstein Lodz (Poland), Zagrebacka Fiharmonija (Croatia), Bangkok Symphony Orchestra (Thailand), Orchestre National de Montpellier LanguedocRoussillon (France) and Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Phion and Philharmonie Zuidnederland (Netherlands).
His extensive repertoire includes Baroque (Monteverdi), the classic period (Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Schumann) via the romantic core-repertoire (Bellini, Berg, Donizetti, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Verdi) up to contemporary pieces (Simons, Trojahn, Berio, Adams) in symphonic and operatic style.
Piet De Volder
Piet De Volder
Piet De Volder studied musicology at UGent. He is dramaturge at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen. As (musical) house dramaturge, he cooperated in OBV productions of Lulu (A. Berg) and the entire Der Ring des Nibelungen (R. Wagner), both productions by Ivo Van Hove; in Pelléas et Mélisande (C. Debussy), directed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet; in Der Schmied von Gent (F. Schreker) and Der Silbersee (K. Weill), both productions by Ersan Mondtag. He published about the contemporary Spanish composer Luis de Pablo (1930-2021) at Edizioni Suvini Zerboni (Milan) and Fundación Autor (Madrid). Together with prof. Francis Maes (UGent), De Volder published Opera: achter de schermen van de emotie (Opera: behind the scenes of emotion), a series of essays about opera critique and dramaturgy (2011).
During the ’22-’23 season, De Volder was musical dramaturge for the new production of Tristan und Isolde (R. Wagner) at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, directed by cineaste Philippe Grandieux, and for the Vonk productions Vake Poes; of hoe God verdween (Lisaboa Houbrechts) and Kruistocht (Crusade), by Johan De Smet. De Volder also works as a teacher of dramaturgy at the International Opera Academy (Ghent).
Sára Gutvill is an Amsterdam-based singer and language coach (German, Hungarian and Yiddish) for singers. Hungarian by birth, Sára studied German literature and linguistics in Vienna, and later classical singing at the Conservatory of Amsterdam with Pierre Mak.
Sára currently teaches German for singers at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and at the International Opera Academy in Ghent. She also works as German and Hungarian language coach in opera productions, e.g. at the Nationale Reisopera.
Since 2012, Sára has been working as lecturer at the Amsterdam University College, teaching the courses German as well as Performing Arts: Music.
As a singer, Sára is specialized in German Lied and Yiddish art song. Her album Akh, nit gut! was published in 2023.
Elien Hanselaer works as an acting tutor, actress and theatre-maker in the United Kingdom and Belgium. She studied acting at School of Arts/KASK (Belgium) and East 15 acting school. She did a practise-based PhD research on actor training. The research looks at co-performer empathy and how actors can “play off each other.”
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. Recent work includes Two to Tango (Polar Bear); Ashes to Ashes (TAZ); The Tale of the Last Thought; Afropean (KVS); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (KVS); Europe in Autumn (Malpertuis).
At the IOA, Hanselaer teaches spatial awareness and acting. She collaborated with director Stefaan Degand on IOA productions Love Musik (2021, 2022) and Bad Composers (2022).
Rachel Harland studied music as an undergraduate at Manchester University. As a postgraduate she trained in Musical Theatre at Central School of Speech & Drama and in Opera at Flanders Opera Studio. She also has an LRSM in vocal teaching.
As a singer she has performed in Belgium, U.K, U.S. and Canada for opera companies including Opera Holland Park, Carl Rosa Opera, Royal Opera La Monnaie and The Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company.
An experienced solo recital singer in French and English song repertoire, Rachel has given recitals across Belgium and the U.K. and for Theatrical Adventures cruises on the Douro, Rhine, Danube and Nile.
As a teacher, she has led music workshops and coached for Aldeburgh Music, Music in Prisons, Manchester International Festival, Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, Agalin Music Camp in Thailand and Royal Conservatoire of Music in Antwerp.
Rachel is creative director of RHOK Show, directing singing groups, workshops and youth opera boot camps. In addition to teaching at the IOA, she is currently a singing teacher at Liverpool University, and director of youth productions at The International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival.
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, the KVS 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 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.
He received the Premio Franco Abbiati /Melior Regista for his production of Elektra in Bologna (2015).
In 1991 he directed his first opera at the Flanders Opera (Antwerp/Ghent). He has also directed works in the opera houses of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bern, Bologna, Brussels, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, 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, Sofia, Vienna (Volksoper & Theater an der Wien) and Zürich. In 2005 he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York with Gounod’s Roméo & Juliette.
Guy Joosten started to direct in Asia in 2018 with productions in Seoul (Korean National Opera) and Tokyo (Japanese National Opera-Nikikei).
In addition to his work as director he was also professor at the University of Hamburg and lecturer at university colleges in Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Saarbrücken, Maastricht and Barcelona. He also teaches the opera course at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire in Antwerp. He is the founder of the International Opera Academy in Ghent where he was general manager until October 2023.
He gives regular masterclasses, e.g., in Antwerp, Sofia and Tel Aviv, Leipzig, Valencia & Madrid.
As a freelance vocalist, Ibernice MacBean continues to surprise with very diverse projects. For example, she toured Europe with Zap Mama and has been supporting Paul Michiels and Soulsister for years during their concerts in Belgium.
The release of her jazz album Little Black Curls in 2013 was a dream come true. With her jazz combo, she tours in Flanders and the Netherlands. At these concerts, Ibernice performs the most beautiful jazz standards from The American Songbook in her own unique way.
Under the direction of conductor Dirk Brossé, she performed at the Palace of Fine Arts with the National Orchestra of Belgium. Together with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, she paid a tribute to film composer Riz Ortolani at the World Soundtrack Awards in 2013.
In 2016 and 2017, Ibernice toured Belgium with the National Orchestra of Belgium. Subject of this tour was performing themes of the finest film music.
In 2019, she had the honor of touring Flanders under the baton of British choral conductor Ken Burton with the Flemish Radio Choir and the strings of the Brussels Philharmonic, performing a daring musical combination of gospel and classical music.
The next collaboration as a soloist with the Flemish Radio Choir took place in February 2020 and reprised in March of 2022. There Ibernice sang from the repertoire of The Great American Songbook the beautiful arrangements of pianist/arranger Jeroen D’hoe. In 2022, she also sang with the symphony orchestra the Philharmonie Zuidnederland conducted by Dirk Brossé.
In the summer of 2022, Ibernice performed as a soloist during the final concert of the Walter Boeykens Ensemble at the Festival of Bornem and toured the country with the band Soulsister.
In the spring of 2025, Ibernice MacBean will be touring with the Flemish Radio Choir and soloists of the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra as a tribute to Burt Bacharach.
As of September 2013, Ibernice teaches pop singing as a guest professor at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent. Since 2019, she has also been working at Codarts in Rotterdam.
In addition, Ibernice is the vocal coach of The Voice of Flanders, The Masked Singer, I can See Your Voice and Belgium’s Got Talent.
Born in Spain and trained in singing and piano, Mireia Pintó studied in Spain and later completed her vocal studies in France and Italy. She was rewarded with the most important prizes in several singing competitions in Spain and in Italy. Her wide repertoire, ranging from baroque to contemporary music, includes the genres Opera, Oratorio and Lied. She has taken part in several opera performances, music festivals and concert cycles in Italy, Russia, Holland, Germany, Greece, Andorra, France, Monaco, Japan, Czech Republic, Colombia and Spain. She has worked with conductors such as L. Maazel, G. Dudamel, P. Maag, R. Bonynge, H. Rilling, P. Goodwin, E. Ericson, A. Zedda, J.C. Malgoire, O. Dantone, M. Armiliato, R. Frizza, M. Benini, and many others.
Since 1992 she performs as a duo with pianist Vladislav Bronevetzky, carrying out a substantial performing activity which has brought them to several countries.
Mireia is Professor of Singing at the ESMuC (High Music School of Catalonia-Spain), Vocal Advisor at the International Opera Academy in Ghent and in many mastercourses in several countries (Japan, Colombia, Portugal, Denmark…). She is the founder and artistic director of the International Music Festival in St Fruitós de Bages-Spain, which has already celebrated 29 editions. She has been awarded by different Spanish cultural institutions for her contribution to music and culture.
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 General Manager of HoGent: KASK – Conservatorium, and lectures 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.
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).
After an early musical education, Susanne Schmidt studied musicology along with foreign languages, followed by business training.
Born in Cologne, she worked for fifteen years as opera director of the Bregenz Festival. Operating closely with the artistic directors and the creative teams, she was responsible for selecting the singers for the festival productions on the lake stage as well as all the other festival venues.
Susanne Schmidt started her career in the Artists & Repertoire sector of the recording industry in New York, Hamburg and London until she moved to the Teatro la Fenice as Head of Casting and the Artistic Administration.
From 2021 onwards, Susanne Schmidt has worked as Casting Director for the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen and continues to advise the Bregenz Festival as Casting Consultant.
She makes herself available as a juror to several singing competitions, e.g. Neue Stimmen in Gütersloh, Cesti Competition in Innsbruck, Debüt in Weikersheim or Voix Nouvelles in Paris.
foto: D. Mathis
Tom Swaak graduated from KU Leuven as a philosopher and literary expert. Since 2019, he works at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, providing dramaturgical production support for world creations such as Deus universalis by J. Delouvroy, Rizoom! by I. Bouche and K. Proesmans and Doem and verlossing with singers and pianists of the International Opera Academy.
He collaborated on FUTUR PROCHE with choreographer Jan Martens, a production which premiered at the cour d’honneur of the Festival d’Avignon to great acclaim. During the 2022-2023 season, he assisted Tom Goossens in the latter’s new direction of Le nozze di Figaro. Together with choreographer Stijn Celis, he will prepare the 2023-2024 production of K. Weill’s Die Sieben Todsünden. In addition to production dramaturgy, he loves providing additional texts and introductions for Opera Ballet Vlaanderen.
foto: Dries Segers
Cara Van der Auwera
Cara Van der Auwera
Cara Van der Auwera was born in Brasschaat in 1981. Cara studied at a programme for Arts Education (dance, music, theatre) in Antwerp, and continued with a degree for classical singing at the Conservatory of Antwerp and Ghent.
Cara became famous as a singer for the band Spring in 2003. She played the character of Chantal in the Ketnet series Spring (since 2002). She left the band and series in 2006. From September 2005 onwards, she appeared on VT4 as one of the channel’s announcers.
She was a co-presenter in the programme Huizenjacht (House Hunting, 2006-2010). In 2007, she presented Schoondochter gezocht (Looking for a daughter-in-law). After House Hunting, she became news anchor at the VT4 programme Vlaanderen Vandaag (Flanders Today, 2009-2011). In 2012, she transferred to the VRT channel, as a reporter for Iedereen Beroemd (Everybody Famous). From 2017 to 2021, she presented the television programme Wonen (Living) for the regional channels TVL, ATV and TV-Oost.
In 2017 and 2022 Cara participated in the successful reunion concert series Spring Throwback Thursday, which were held in the context of 20 years of Ketnet and Studio 100 at the Antwerp concert hall Sportpaleis.
In June 2014, Cara began working for the classical radio channel Klara (VRT). She presented Espresso, Klara zoekt Academie (Klara searches for Academy) and Klara Serveert (Klara serves). From 2019 until June ’22, she created and presented Caramba and later Django on Klara.
Now she presents Music Matters, a daily show following cultural activities in Flanders. In 2023, Cara creates a podcast about Maria Callas for Klara & VRT Max.
From July 2019 on, Jan Vandenhouwe is the artistic director of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen (Antwerp and Ghent). After studying musicology at the universities of Leuven and Berlin, Jan Vandenhouwe started working for the Belgian newspaper De Standaard as a music and opera critic. From 2005 to 2008, he was dramaturg of the Opéra national de Paris and worked closely with the artistic director Gerard Mortier. In those years, he was also responsible for the artistic programme of l’Amphithéâtre Bastille. From 2009 to 2011, he was responsible for the concert programme (of classical and contemporary music) at Concertgebouw Brugge. Since then, he has worked as a freelance music dramaturg for various organisations, including Teatro Real (Madrid), Ensemble InterContemporain (Paris) and Klarafestival (Brussels).
He has also collaborated with directors such as Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (Così fan tutte in Paris, Mitten wir im Leben sind/Bach6Cellosuiten at the Ruhrtriennale, The Six Brandenburg Concertos at Volksbühne Berlin), Alain Platel (C(H)ŒURS in Madrid, nicht schlafen at the Ruhrtriennale), Ivo van Hove (Macbeth in Lyon, Brokeback Mountain in Madrid, Salome in Amsterdam, Boris Godunov and Don Giovanni in Paris) and Johan Simons (Fidelio in Paris, Boris Godunov in Madrid, Das Rheingold and Alceste at the Ruhrtriennale). From 2015 till 2017 he was Executive Dramaturg (Chefdramaturg) at the Ruhrtriennale.
foto: Filip Van Roe
Martin Wölfel was born in Potsdam, where he also grew up, received his first musical training and had his first experiences on stage and in front of the camera.
After his initial desire to become an actor (he had an admission to the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch Berlin for 1990), he was drawn to music after all and began studying singing in Dresden in 1990, finishing under Margret Trappe-Wiel.
After unsuccessful attempts at tenor singing, he found his destiny as a countertenor in 1993. Since then his career has taken him to the State Operas of Berlin, Hamburg and Dresden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Komische Oper Berlin, the Opéra National de Paris, the Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, the Korean National Opera Seoul, the Welsh National Opera, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Norske Opera Oslo, the Theater Basel and the Oper Frankfurt, to which he has been a guest since 2006.
As a concert singer, he has toured with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, among others, and has performed in Tokyo, Osaka, Toulouse, Cairo, Athens, Barcelona, Valencia and Amsterdam.
Numerous radio, television and CD recordings document his work.
Since 2007 he has taught at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, where he was appointed to a professorship in 2017, and shares his experience in workshops and masterclasses (Kronenburg Classes, Conservatoire de Lille, Conservatorio Superior de Música da Coruña, International Opera Studio Frankfurt).
In 2020 and 2021 he was a lecturer at the “Gesangspädagogisches Zertifikat” (GPZ) of the Bundesverband Deutscher Gesangspädagogen (BDG).
Since 2020 he has been Vocal Adviser at the International Opera Academy Ghent.