Chairman of the jury
Arie Van Lysebeth
Belgium, °1938
Arie Van Lysebeth was the President of the Jury of the Queen Elisabeth Competition from 1996 to 2018. He took up the violin at the age of four. He completed his higher education at the Brussels Conservatory in music theory, bassoon, chamber music, and orchestral conducting. Following a competition, he was appointed bassoon soloist of the Belgian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, he came joint first in the Prague International Bassoon Contest. He also studied conducting under Bruno Maderna in Salzburg and under Pierre Boulez in Switzerland. Starting in 1970, he conducted the Flemish Chamber Orchestra, both in Belgium and abroad. As a guest conductor, he has appeared with the major Belgian orchestras as well as with symphony orchestras in the United States of America, Argentina, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany. He has performed with many famous soloists, including Igor Oistrakh, José Van Dam, Murray Perahia, and Augustin Dumay. From 1995 to 2004 he was the regular conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the Brussels Conservatory, where he taught chamber music for many years (1970-1994) and served as director (1994-2003). From 2004 to 2014, he was the artistic director of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.
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Martina Arroyo
United States of America
From the stages of the world’s most prestigious opera houses - New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Paris Opera, London’s Covent Garden, Milan’s La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, and the Buenos Aires Teatro Colón - to the concert halls of Salzburg, Berlin, Rome, Paris, and New York - the name of Martina Arroyo (New York) has become synonymous with music-making of the highest order. Famous for her interpretations of Verdi, Puccini, Strauss, and Mozart, she is equally at ease with contemporary music. She has made more than 50 recordings, including major operas and orchestral performances with internationally renowned conductors. She is a Distinguished Professor Emerita of the faculty of Indiana University, a Trustee of Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was a member of the National Endowment for the Arts for six years, and was a recipient of the first American Council for the Arts awards. Martina Arroyo is founder and artistic director of the Martina Arroyo Foundation, Inc., which sponsors two programmes for young singers, a ‘Role Development Class’ and ‘Prelude to Performance’, which is a six week summer residence programme. Martina Arroyo has been awarded the Kennedy Center Honor, as well as honorary doctorates from several universities and institutions, including the Juilliard School, Hunter College, the New England School of Music, and Rutgers University.
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Renée Auphan
France
Born in Marseilles, Renée Auphan began her career there as an assistant director at the city’s opera house. Employed later by the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, she took on its entire management for five years. At the same time, she also studied singing and music; she made her operatic debut at the Opéra Comique and appeared soon after in the Monte Carlo and Marseilles opera houses. She went on to perform as a soloist at the Opéra de Paris, including during the period when Rolf Liebermann was its director. After retiring from her singing career in 1983, she was appointed to head what was known at the time as the Festival de Lausanne, which she transformed into a season of opera and ballet. This led to the establishment of the Opéra de Lausanne, of which she was director from 1984 to 1995. In 1993, she was awarded French-speaking Switzerland’s Prix des Belles-Lettres for her book Mezza voce. Between 1995 and 2001, Renée Auphan ran the Grand Théâtre in Geneva, before being appointed in 2009 to head the Opéra de Marseille, where she has directed a number of productions, including Massenet’s Manon, Sauguet’s La Chartreuse de Parme, Jean-Michel Damase’s L’Héritière, and Tomasi’s Sampiero Corso, as well as reviving Lausanne and Tours production of Honegger and Ibert’s L’Aiglon; this year, she will also revive La Traviata. She is an Officier de la Légion d’Honneur and an Officier de l’Ordre du Mérite.
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Edith Bers
Chair of the voice department at the Juilliard School, Edith Bers also serves on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and Bard College Conservatory Graduate Program in Voice, of which Dawn Upshaw is Director. She has had a performance career in both opera and concert, singing the U.S. premier of Schumann’s Der Sängers Fluch. Edith Bers has judged and given master classes for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Korean Broadcasting System, the Hong Kong/Juilliard Master Classes (Hong Kong), and Concert Artists Guild and has taught at various summer festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival Steans Institute, and Bel Canto Institute (Florence). Her students perform with major opera companies throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, and the operahouses in New York, Santa Fe, Philadelphia, Glyndebourne, Hamburg, Bordeaux and Frankfurt.
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Marc Clémeur
Born in Antwerp, Marc Clémeur studied theatre studies and musicology at university in Cologne, before going on to work as a stage direction assistant to Götz Friedrich in Amsterdam, Bayreuth, and Düsseldorf. He became a producer of classical music for Belgian radio and television in 1977. In 1984, he was appointed Director of the Vlaams Filharmonisch Orkest; in 1989, he became Director General of Vlaamse Opera, which, under his management, built up an international reputation. In 2009, he became director general of the Opéra National du Rhin, where he oversaw an original project that aimed to present a broad view of the repertoire, from baroque music to the music of our time, with a particular focus on contemporary composers, including Battistelli, Eötvös, and Manoury. He devoted a cycle to Janáèek, which was directed by Robert Carsen, and also staged rarely seen French works by Charpentier, Rameau, Thomas, Meyerbeer, Bizet, and Chausson. He actively sought to reach younger audiences and, on his initiative, the Colmar-based Opéra Studio developed as a centre for the production of operas for children. After a long career in the musical world, Marc Clémeur is now frequently asked to be an artistic adviser to opera houses and competitions and is often invited to serve as a member of the jury of prestigious international competitions.
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Lella Cuberli
Born in Texas, Lella Cuberli first revealed her talents to bel canto lovers at international competitions in Italy; she decided to settle in the country in order to study its language and culture, while developing her operatic repertoire. She made her debut in 1978 at La Scala in Milan in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. She later sang in New York (Carnegie Hall), Berlin, and Salzburg under such renowned conductors as von Karajan, Barenboim, Abbado, Muti, and Levine. Lella Cuberli has performed on the world’s leading opera stages (the Metropolitan, Covent Garden, and the Opéra Bastille, among others) in Tancredi, I Capuleti ed i Montecchi, La Donna del Lago, Semiramide, Così fan tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Lucia di Lammermoor, Otello, La Traviata, La Bohême, The Rake’s Progress, and other works. She has also given a great many concerts and recitals the world over. In 1986 she received the Grand Prix du Disque for best female performance in the recording of Il Viaggio a Reims. In France she has also been awarded the Rossini Prize and the title of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
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Peter de Caluwe
Born in Dendermonde, Peter de Caluwe studied literature and the history of the theatre at the Universities of Ghent, Brussels, and Antwerp. In 1986, Gerard Mortier invited him to join him at la Monnaie/de Munt, where he worked as a dramatic adviser and was also in charge of contacts with the press, public relations, and projects for young people. In 1989, Pierre Audi and Truze Lodder asked him to join their team in Amsterdam. In 1994, he was appointed director of casting, and later artistic director. Since 2007, he has been Intendant (general manager) of la Monnaie/de Munt ; he is currently in his second term, which will last until 2019. In October 2011, under his management, la Monnaie/de Munt was named Opera House of the Year by the German specialist magazine Opernwelt. In November 2011, Radio Klara and Muziekcentrum Vlaanderen named him Musical Personality of the Year. He was the first person to be awarded an honorary master’s by the Saint-Luc Brussels University College of Art and Design. From 2011 to 2013, he was President of Opera Europa, the organisation of Europe’s professional opera companies and opera festivals. In 2013, the Vlaamse Vereniging voor Bestuur en Beleid chose him as Manager of the Year. In October 2013, he was decorated as a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
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Greta de Reyghere
Born in Mechelen, Greta De Reyghere first studied music with her mother, herself a singer, while also studying Germanic languages. She would later work both as a singer and as a teacher, before definitively opting for singing, which she studied further at the conservatories in Mons and Brussels. She later studied with Alfred Deller and Erik Werba. Her career has taken her to most European countries and to Canada, as well as to most of the international festivals, where she has sung with the most renowned baroque ensembles, including La Petite Bande, La Chapelle Royale, the Amsterdam Baroque orchestra, and the Ricercar Consort, under conductors such as Gustav Leonhardt, Sigiswald Kuijken, Philippe Herreweghe, and Ton Koopman. She has also worked with Pierre Bartholomée, Pierre Cao, Robert King, and Laszlo Heltay. Greta De Reyghere has given song recitals with Guy Penson, Jean-Claude Van den Eynden, and Luc Devos. Her discography includes some fifty recordings, ranging from baroque music to that of the 20th century. She currently teaches at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Liège.
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Helmut Deutsch
Austria
Helmut Deutsch is one of the world’s most sought-after and most renowned lieder accompanists. He was born in Vienna, where he studied at the Konservatorium, the Music Academy, and the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst. He was awarded the Vienna Composition Prize in 1965 and became a professor at the age of 24. Although he is a distinguished chamber musician, playing with eminent instrumentalists, he has concentrated primarily on lieder accompaniment. When he began his career, he first accompanied the soprano Irmgard Seefried, before going on to partner Hermann Prey for twelve years. He went on to play in the most prestigious venues, working with renowned singers such as Jonas Kaufmann, Diana Damrau, and Michael Volle. Helmut Deutsch has recorded more than 100 CDs. In recent years, he has been particularly keen to develop young talent: after a period as a professor in Vienna, he has continued to teach, mainly at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich, where he was professor of lieder interpretation for 28 ans. He is also a guest teacher in a number of other schools and gives numerous masterclasses in Europe and in the Far East. The young Swiss tenor Mauro Peter, one of his recent students in Munich, has become one of his favourite recital partners.
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Serge Dorny
Serge Dorny studied art history, archaeology, musicology, and communication studies at the University of Ghent and music at the city’s conservatory. In 1983 he joined the La Monnaie/De Munt opera house as a musical dramaturge, working under Gerard Mortier, before joining the Flanders Festival, of which he became artistic director in 1989. In 1996 he was appointed Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the resident orchestra at the South Bank Centre in London, which also performs at the Glyndebourne festival’s opera season. Since 2003 he has been director of the Opéra National in Lyons. In October 2008 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Université de Montréal. He also organises expert and advisory groups and serves on the jury of several international music competitions, including Helsinki and Bamberg (for conductors), and Monte-Carlo (for pianists). He is a member of the boards of the Orchestre Français des Jeunes and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Lyons. His publications include L’opéra, l’avenir d’un passé (with Johan Thieleman).
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Brigitte Fassbaender
Born in Berlin, Brigitte Fassbaender was taken on at the age of 21 by the Munich Staatsoper, for which she performed the great roles of the repertoire, including Dorabella, Sesto, Carmen, Eboli, Amneris, Charlotte, Brangäne, Orlofsky, Mrs Quickly, Herodiade, Klytemnästra, and Clairon. She has sung on the worlds leading opera stages, in San Francisco, Chicago, Milan (La Scala), New York (Metropolitan Opera), London (Covent Garden), Vienna, Bayreuth, Berlin, Hamburg, Salzburg, etc.; her discography includes more than 200 recordings. In 1995 Brigitte Fassbaender began a second career in stage direction, in the course of which she has directed more than 45 productions throughout the world. For two years she was interim director of opera at the Staatstheater in Braunschweig; later, in 1999, she took on the position of Intendant at the Innsbruck Landestheater. Since 2009 she is the artistic director of the Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
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Raina Kabaivanska
Following her studies in Bulgaria, Raina Kabaivanska made her debut in Italy in 1959 in Il Tabarro. Her first appearance at La Scala in Milan, two years later, launched a glorious international career : she has sung at the Metropolitan in New York, at Covent Garden, and in Salzburg, Rome, Tokyo, etc. Her repertoire includes more than a hundred works, including operas by Verdi, Gluck, Donizetti, Puccini (she has appeared in almost 400 performances of Tosca and Madame Butterfly), Wagner, Britten, and Shostakovich. She has worked under distinguished conductors such as H. von Karajan, L. B ernstein, and C. Abbado and with partners such as M. Del Monaco, F. Corelli, L. Pavarotti, and P. Domingo. She has devoted much of her time and energy for many years to teaching singing, at the Istituto Vecchi Tonelli in Modena, where she lives, and at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, for example, and at master classes in Sofia, in Italy, and all over the world. In addition to the honours bestowed on her in Bulgaria, she has won numerous awards and distinctions, including the ‘Una vita per la musica’, ‘Viotti’, ‘Abbiati’, and ‘Lorenzo il Magnifico’ awards and the title of Cavaliere al merito conferred by the Italian Republic in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the arts.
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Peter Kooij
After studying the violin at the Utrecht Conservatory, Peter Kooij took singing lessons with Max van Egmond at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, where he graduated as a soloist. He has appeared in the world’s leading concert halls (the Concertgebouw, the Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, the Palais Garnier, the Musikverein, the Teatro Colón, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Cologne Philharmonie, etc.), with such celebrated conductors as Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman, Frans Bruggen, Gustav Leonhardt, René Jacobs, Sigiswald Kuijken, Roger Norrington, and Iván Fischer. He has taken part in over 150 CD recordings and has been invited by the BIS label to participate in recordings of the complete Bach cantatas, Passions and other vocal works with the Bach Collegium Japan under Masaaki Suzuki. In addition to his career as a soloist and his teaching career in Amsterdam (at the Sweelinck Conservatory, from 1991 to 2000), Hannover (at the Conservatory, from 1995 to 1998), The Hague (at the Royal Conservatory, since 2005), and Tokyo (at the University of Fine Arts and Music, since 2000), Peter Kooij is artistic advisor to the Ensemble Vocal Européen and gives master classes in Germany, France, Portugal, Finland, and Japan.
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Tom Krause
In a career spanning more than five decades, Tom Krause has appeared with the greatest singers and conductors of his generation and has sung in the world’s leading opera houses and concert halls. Because of his enormous experience in all fields of classical music (opera, oratorio, lied, etc.) and his interest in passing on his legacy of great singing, he is in great demand for master classes around the world and is frequently invited to serve as a juror at major international competitions. Since 2002 he has held the Chair of singing at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid. The many awards he has received in recognition of his contribution to music include the Order of the Finnish Lion, the highest award for cultural achievement in Finland. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate by Helsinki University and holds the title of Kammersänger in Hamburg. Tom Krause has appeared in many films, television shows, and documentaries and has made over 100 recordings, for which he has won many prizes.
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Ann Murray
Ireland
Born in Dublin, Ann Murray has close ties with English National Opera - for which she has sung many lead roles, including those of Handel’s Xerxes and Ariodante and Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda - and with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where she has appeared as Cherubino, Dorabella, Donna Elvira, Rosina, and Octavian, as well as in new productions such as L’Enfant et les sortilèges, Ariadne auf Naxos, Idomeneo, Mitridate, Re di Ponto, Così fan tutte, Mosè in Egitto, Alcina, and Giulio Cesare. She has performed in opera and in recital all over the world: in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Dresden, Cologne, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Milan, Vienna (Konzerthaus and Musikverein), Salzburg, Madrid, Dublin, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York (Metropolitan Opera), and elsewhere. Her discography not only reflects her extensive concert and recital repertoire, but also includes many of her outstanding opera roles. Ann Murray has received numerous distinctions: in 1997, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the National University of Ireland; in 1998, she was named a Kammersängerin of the Bayerische Staatsoper; she was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music (London) in 1999. In the Golden Jubilee Queen’s Birthday Honours, she was made a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
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Hermann Christian Polster
Germany
Born in Leipzig, the bass Hermann Christian Polster is highly regarded in the field of oratorio. He started his musical training with the Dresden Kreuzchor. He continued his musical studies with his father - Fritz Polster - and went on to study musicology at the University of Leipzig. His international career led him to perform in both concerts and oratorios, for example with the Kreuzchor in Dresden and the Thomanerchor, the Bachsolisten, and the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig. He has performed throughout the world with many leading conductors, and has appeared on radio and television and recorded for several record labels. Hermann Christian Polster taught at the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Hochschule in Leipzig. He gives frequent international master classes and often sits on juries at singing competitions.
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Marc Soustrot
France, °1949
Born in Lyons, Marc Soustrot studied the piano and the trombone at the Conservatoire de Paris, before winning first prize at the London and Besançon conducting competitions. His appointments as conductor and artistic director of the Orchestre national des Pays de la Loire (1976-1994) and subsequently of the Beethoven Orchester Bonn (1995-2003) and the Brabants Orchestra (1996-2006) allowed him to tackle a very broad repertoire, with a balance between the works of the classical tradition and contemporary music. In opera he has conducted Don Giovanni, Carmen, Werther, and the works of Verdi and Puccini, as well as Wagner’s Ring, Berg’s Wozzeck, and Krenek’s Karl V. Every year he receives invitations to conduct the orchestras of Copenhagen, Göteborg, and Rotterdam and to be involved in the premieres of new works in the opera houses of Seville, Madrid, Geneva, and Brussels. Marc Soustrot has made a great many CDs, with artists such as Mirella Freni, José Van Dam, Shlomo Mintz, and Mstislav Rostropovich; some of these have won international awards. In 2008 Marc Soustrot was made a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in France.
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Joan Sutherland
- 2010
After her triumph in Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden in 1959, Joan Sutherland established herself as one of the foremost sopranos of our time. She was instrumental in reviving Handel’s operas as well as being a great exponent of the operas of Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Gounod, Thomas, Massenet, and Verdi. She has sung in most of the world’s major opera houses and had a prolific recording career, with her recordings receiving many awards. Joan Sutherland has received honorary degrees from universities and music schools in Australia, Europe, and America. She was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire and was later awarded the Order of Merit by her Majesty the Queen. She also received the title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres from the French government for her services to music. Since retiring, she has been invited to sit on many international juries and spent much of her time writing her autobiography, ‘A Prima Donna’s Progress’, which has now been published in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the USA. She passed away in 2010.
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Anna Tomowa-Sintow
Anna Tomowa-Sintow is undeniably one of the leading vocal stars on the operatic stage today. After her musical training in Sofia, the Bulgarian-born soprano made her debut at the Leipzig Opera. There and later on at the Berlin Staatsoper, she mastered an enormous repertoire ranging from the great lyrical-dramatic roles of Verdi, Puccini and the "Verismo" to the German roles of Mozart, Wagner and Strauss. Ever since her international breakthrough in Verdi's "Requiem" in Paris, Anna Tomowa-Sintow has celebrated triumphs at all the leading opera houses, festivals and concert halls of the world, from the MET to La Scala Milan, the Salzburg Festival (participating there for 19 years), Vienna, Paris, London, Chicago, Athens (Megaron), Berlin, Munich, Madrid, Barcelona, Moscow, Tokyo, etc. and with the most prestigious conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Carlos Kleiber, Karl Böhm, Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado, James Levine, Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta and others. She has worked with Herbert von Karajan for seventeen years, a collaboration that gave rise to a uniquely creative and mutually enriching oeuvre on the stage, in the concert hall and in the recording studio.
Her recordings with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras have set standards for generations of singers. Parallel to her stage career, she has also been pursuing an active concert agenda which is documented on CD and film, in addition to her many opera recordings. She received several awards, amongst which two Grammies for her recordings of Ariadne (under James Levine) and Don Giovanni (Donna Anna, under H.v.Karajan) and the Orphée d'or for her recording of Strauss' Four Last Songs and the Capriccio Final Monologue under Herbert von Karajan.
Her performance of Elvira's aria "Ernani, involami" marked a highlight of the MET Centennial Gala which was telecasted live worldwide and was chosen by the magazine Opera News as the best interpretation of the piece ever recorded. During the Verdi year 2001 a stamp was released in the USA featuring her as Desdemona at the Staatsoper Vienna.
"Kammersängerin" of the Vienna and Berlin State Operas, Tomowa-Sintow is renowned for her incomparable artistry and stylistic versatility - whether performing Italian, German or Russian roles. Her vast repertoire includes the leading female parts in almost all Verdi operas, such as Traviata, Aida, Amelia (Ballo & Simone Boccanegra), Leonora (Il trovatore & La forza del destino), Desdemona, Elisabetta (Don Carlo), Puccini's Tosca, Butterfly, Manon Lescaut and Turandot, Bellini's Norma, Mascagni's Santuzza (Cavalleria) and Giordano's Maddalena in Andrea Chenier, Mozart's Figaro Countess, Fiordiligi and Donna Anna (with which she made all of her US debuts - at the MET, San Francisco and Chicago), Wagner's Elisabeth, Elsa and Sieglinde, Tschaikowsky's Tatjana and Jaroslawna in Borodin's Prince Igor; last not least her legendary Strauss interpretations of the Marschallin, Ariadne, Arabella, Capriccio-Madelaine, Ägyptische Helena, Salome and the Kaiserin in "Die Frau ohne Schatten" and Korngold's "das Wunder der Heliane". Most of these operas are documented on CD and film/DVD, together with some of her finest singer colleagues, amongst which Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Piero Cappuccilli, Ruggero Raimondi, José Carreras and Sherill Milnes.
Anna Tomowa-Sintow has recently expanded her concert and recital activity and started to also give master classes. In 2007 she sang Sieglinde with triumphant success in a concert version of Walküre's 1st act and together with the NHK Symphony Orchestra she performed Strauss' "Four last songs" in Tokyo (live TV transmission) and closed the year with her very first Christmas concert together with a boy's choir and orchestra. In 2008 she appeared for the first time at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival with a frenetically cheered recital and subsequent masterclass.
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José Van Dam
Belgium
The Brussels-born bass baritone José Van Dam is one of today’s greatest singers. Since his debut in Paris in Les Troyens, he has been a regular guest at the world’s most prestigious opera houses and festivals (including the Paris Opera, Covent Garden, La Scala in Milan, the Vienna Staatsoper, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Metropolitan Opera, the Teatro Colón, and the festivals of Salzburg, Aix-en-Provence, and Orange). His roles have included Falstaff, Simon Boccanegra, Philippe II (in Don Carlos), Don Giovanni, Boris Godunov, Amfortas (in Parsifal), the Flying Dutchman, and Wozzeck, to name but a few. His performance in the title role of Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise was warmly received in Paris and Salzburg, at its premiere in 1983 and again in 1992. His operatic career has not prevented him from branching into oratorio and lieder, in which his repertoire is equally extensive ; he has sung under Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Georg Solti, and Seiji Ozawa, among others. In addition to boasting an impressive, award-winning discography, he has also appeared in films, most notably in the famous Le Maître de Musique. José Van Dam has received the titles of Kammersänger of the city of Berlin and of Chevalier in the order of the Légion d’Honneur. In August 1998, he was ennobled by King Albert II.
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