Enjoying lieder at the Internationaal Lied Festival Zeist. From left to right: Manuela Ochakovski, Elly Ameling, Mitch Raemaekers and Robert Holl
It’s about time this - slightly neglected - news page got updated. So far, 2019 has been full of new challenges and activities. In this post I would not only like to highlight some of these, but also make announcements for exciting new projects to come. Coming back to 2019, there first was opera. together with the amazing singer-colleagues of the Opera Academy Gent, the Apotheosis orchestra and it’s conductor Korneel Bernolet we performed young Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera in March, in which I had the pleasure of depicting a narcissistic and neurotic 'Belfiore'.
Oratorio swiftly followed. In April I sang aria’s in several performances of Bach's great passions, both Johannes and Matthäus, as well as a performance of the lesser-known Crucifixion by John Stainer. Lieder where the main-subject of the last several weeks. In May 2019 I joined the 'Internationaal Lied Festival Zeist' for a lied mastercourse with Ann Murray, Julius Drake, Malcolm Martineau, Elly Ameling, Waltraud Österreicher and Robert Holl, forming a duo with pianist Daan Boertien. The subject of the course? Lieder and the poetry of two literary titans: Heinrich Heine and Paul Verlaine. Please check out the media section of my website for clips of our final concert presentation.
Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream by Opera Zuid, 2020
The cycle of future activities leads us back to Oratorio. A course on Bach Cantatas with Philippe Herreweghe and his Collegium Vocale colleagues, hosted by the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme in Aldeburgh, will be my next project to look forward to. The location of Aldeburgh and its historical connection to the composer Benjamin Britten leads the cycle back to Opera and my final announcement: In 2020 I will perform the role of 'Snout' in the touring Opera Zuid production of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Please check out my agenda and the Opera Zuid website for more information. Enjoy your summer!
Mozart drawn by Lorenz Vogel around the time of La Finta's creation
March 2019 I’ll be joining the members of the International Opera Academy of Gent for a production of Mozarts La Finta Giardiniera as Contino Belfiore. The opera will be produced in cooperation with the Catalan Companyia Dei Furbi and Korneel Bernolet will be conducting the Apotheosis orchestra. Although Mozart was only 18 years old when he wrote the opera, La Finta Giardiniera (1775) is much more than a footnote in the biography of the ‘Wunderkind’. The way Mozart treats its plot, though rooted in the conventional commedia dell’arte style and rococo sentiments of the mid-eighteenth century, clearly foreshadows the great Da Ponte opera’s of the 1780’s in some aspects. When Contino Belfiore, sent off to marry the Podestà’s niece, recognizes the local gardener as Violante, the women he once loved and thought to have killed in a quarrel, a web of confusion unfurls over all the characters involved... Please see my agenda for more information and dates!