Summer Festivals Part I - Young Singers (and Instrumentalists) on the Move …

We are lucky to have both Bettina and Anna from the Hello Stage team giving us an overview of summer festivals this year! Thank you to Matthew Patrick Morris for the cover photo!

Those of you who were HELLO STAGEing last summer will remember our blog series „visiting“ our members taking part in summer festivals all around the globe. Well, as you know we have grown massively in the past 12 months, so this summer I am dividing the world up between Anna Heflin and myself in a bid to hopefully manage to cover all of you. Before coming to be with us in Vienna, Anna spent 3 weeks at the New Music On The Point (you have seen her THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS blog on composer and harpist Hannah Lash) and she will be reporting from a few American based festivals in the upcoming blogs …

But I wanted to start with something mediterranean based - just to get us into the summer spirit…

The Festival d’Aix-en-Provence is a most special place (although not easy to get to this summer because of the french transport strikes as I understand…) And apart from lots of wonderful opera productions happening there, it is a centre of excellence for vocal and instrumental training. No wonder we are finding so many HELLO STAGE members amongst the young artists taking part this summer. Both Matthew Patrick Morris and Denis Milo are part of the Mozart Residency - together with 8 others they will be contributing to the festival in 4 concerts. When the new season starts you will be able to catch Denis as Fiorello in Barber of Seville at the Komische Oper Berlin, where he will be joining their Opera studio.

It was all about Mozart last year at the Festival’s Chamber Music residency - this year the focus is on Debussy, Chausson, Stravinsky, Schönberg, Webern and Berg. Amongst the ensembles you will find the Vienna-based Giocoso String Quartet which picked up (amongst others) the Alban Berg Prize, Krenek Prize and Artis Prize at ISA Reichenau in Austria. They are no strangers to Aix-en-Provence who awarded them with the HSBC Prize at the 2012 festival.

The Trio Karenine has been going from strength to strength since being awarded the ARD competition prize and is now performing at Aix. From there they start a very busy summer stopping at the Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Weilburg, the festival musique à la femme, the festival musique de Pontlevoy and the Annecy Classic Festival.

Leaving the warmth of the South of France, I am turning up back north (…closer to home - aka Berlin). This year again the Kammeroper is in full swing with wonderful young singers at the beautiful castle of Rheinsberg! You will be able to enjoy Tosca and Alcina - two operas about two amazing women and we find two lovely women on the cast list, but both of them in pants roles! After last year’s scholarship from the Menuhin Festival Gstaad - Vocal Academy, Alexandra Yangel is finding herself in the Masterclass programme of the Kammeroper Rheinsberg as well as on the cast list of Tosca where she will be singing the role of the Shepherd. Clara Corinna Scheurle - one of the semi finalists of the Neue Stimmen Wettbewerb 2015 and studying at the wonderful August Everding Theaterakademie - is transforming into Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina.

One exiting project will already have made history once you read this. Petra Klose from K und K management has created „Die Wanderer“ (The wanderers) building a bridge between two worlds centering around three cities and four composers. Two of them, Franz Schubert and Salomon Sulzer met in Vienna 1826. One of them the famous composer on the hight of his career, the other a young jewish Kantor who got sent to the capital because of his thought after baritone. History tells us that they inspired one another and quickly became friends. The wonderful groupe of musicians consist of the American Sulzer expert Lorne Richstone, the Austrian alto Veronika Denser, the Israeli Soprano Shira Karmin, Finnish Cellist Liina Leijala who lives in Ramallah, the German pianist Karl Kronthaler and last not least four young pallestinian singers from East-Jerusalem: Hiba Awad, Sama Shafea, Rita Tawil und Jamileh Zatreeh. The concerts started at Hohenehms - now the place of the renown Festival Schubertiade - where Sulzer had been Kantor at the age of 16 and will have ended in Vienna.

Another great project for young singers is taking place in Israel and this is how this blog is coming full circle - Leaving Aix, Matthew Patrick Morris will go on to Tel Aviv, changing hats and being a coach at the Summer Opera Tel Aviv 2016 , an international advanced training program for improving opera performance of young singers, under the Artistic Direction of John Norris. The workshop includes daily individual coaching in the form of voice lessons, musical coachings and physical training. Apart from that, there of course is also a full opera being staged: Ryan McAdams will rush to Tel Aviv from having conducted a run of Carmen at the Teatro Reggio Torino, to lead everybody in the production of Nozze di Figaro (which he too will conduct this autumn at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, by the way). The stage director for this is Edwin Cahill, Artistic Director of the Fireisland Opera festival and of course Matthew will not only be coaching but is also part of the production singing his first Count Almaviva.

Bettina Mehne manages the relationships with Artists, Ensembles, their Managements as well as Promoters on HELLO STAGE. She toured Orchestras around the world, worked for London and Germany based Managements, took care of Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen as their Artistic Manager and headed the Artistic Planning at the Wiener Konzerthaus for six seasons. Follow Bettina on Twitter - you can also always reach out to her at bettina@hellostage.com
Author: Bettina Mehne HELLO STAGE
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