Faculty

Narelle Martinez

Director

Listen to Ms Martinez on YouTube: Simon BoccanegraBeethoven

Australian soprano Narelle Martinez began her vocal studies with Maree Ryan in Sydney and by twenty-one was studying in Paris with renowned voice teacher Dominique Modesti. She pursued advanced opera studies with Gabriele Pisani in Milan at Il Teatro alla Scala and with Vladimiro Badiagli.

Ms Martinez has performed major roles in Europe, including numerous performances of Mimì in La Bohème, Micaela in Carmen, the Contessa in The Marriage of Figaro and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte. She has also performed the roles of Tosca and Madame Butterfly.

 

Ms Martinez has appeared on Italian television and has been interviewed on CBC Radio Canada. In 1990, she was chosen by the Artistic Director of the Arena di Verona to open a series of concerts in Ancona, Italy. Ms Martinez also performed in the Basilico del Santo in Padova with an ensemble from I Solisti Veneti. In Toronto, she made her debut in the title roles of Catherine of Aragon in Saint-Saën’s Henry VIII and Donizetti’s Maria Padilla with Opera in Concert. On the concert stage, Ms Martinez has performed works ranging from Strauss’ Four Last Songs to Verdi’s Requiem. In addition, she has been a frequent guest artist at the Niagara International Chamber Music Festival.

Ms Martinez was the assistant to world-renowned coloratura soprano Elisabeth Vidal at the 1997 Academie d’été de Nice. In addition, she was a voice instructor on the faculty of the International School for Musical Arts, under the direction of founder Atis Bankas, Toronto Symphony violinist. Between 1997 – 2004 Ms Martinez was Artistic Director of Calyx Concerts.

Former student Emily Dorn soloist at the Semperoper Dresden, Germany:  

 

“Narelle Martinez is not only a gifted soprano, but a teacher who instills in her pupils a profound love of the art. With an emphasis on breath and support. Narelle’s technique is that of the old Italian Masters and is the foundation of a healthy and beautiful singing”.  Listen to Emily Dorn sing Violetta’s aria on YouTube.

Deborah Humble

 

Mezzo-Soprano Deborah Humble is one of Australia’s best known and most successful opera singers. After gaining a Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Adelaide and a Masters Degree from the Australian Catholic University Deborah was a member of the Victoria State Opera Young Artists Programme.  Having been a Principle Artist for both Opera Australia and The State Opera of Hamburg she has embarked upon a freelance career which takes her all over the world.

 

Recognised internationally for her performances of Verdi and Wagner recent engagements include Mary in Der Fliegender Holländer for Opera de Lille,  Erda in Das Rheingold and Siegfried with the Hong Kong  Philharmonic (released on CD by Naxos), Brangaene in Tristan and Isolde with the Mexico City Symphony, Amneris in Aida for Opera Australia, Alisa in Lucia di Lamermoor for the Götterdämmerung at the Saffron Hall, UK, Klytamnestra in Elektra in Edinburgh and concert engagements in Auckland, Newcastle and Perth.

 

Further recordings include Clarissa in The Love for Three Oranges with Opera Australia for Chandos, a complete Der Ring des Nibelungen with the Hamburg State Opera released on the Oehms  label, Offenbach’s La Belle Helene with the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris for Deutsche Gramophone and Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione for EMI. Deborah Theatro Mario del Monaco in Treviso,  Erda in Siegfried at the  Boston Symphony Hall, Verdi’s Requiem at the Sage Concert Hall, UK, and for Orchestra Wellington, New Zealand, Mahler’s  Symphony No 8 at the Esplanade Theatre in Singapore, Pauline in The Queen of Spades for Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Elgar’s The Kingdom for the Melbourne Bach Choir and  Ring Cycles in Hamburg, Halle, Bari, Ludwigshafen and Melbourne. In 2017 she sang Waltraute in Die was a recipient of Australia’s prestigious Dame Joan Sutherland Scholarship, a finalist in the International Wagner Competition in Seattle, and has been included in the Who’s Who of Australian Women since 2010. 

 

Deborah is a mentor for The Dame Nellie Melba Trust Programme for young opera singers, an Ambassador for Sydney Eisteddfod and on the Music Board of the Tait Music Trust in London. For the past three years she has also been an adjudicator for the  Joan Sutherland/Richard Bonynge Song Competition. She was recently appointed Associate Guest Lecturer at the University of Newcastle. Future engagements include Auntie in Peter Grimes for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Erda in Das Rheingold for Edinburgh Opera and Waltraute in the 2020 Australian Ring Cycle to be performed in Brisbane.

Barbara Schoene

Stage Director and Audition Training Coach

Stage Director Barbara Schöne is a graduate of the Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen-Nürnberg, where she acquired both her extensive musical training and her arts degree.

Her first productions for the Regensburg Theater – Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel and Ullmann’s Kaiser von Atlantis – proved her to be highly capable of linking elements of modern design to a faithful rendition of the original work. As an assistant director with the Theater Erfurt, she was responsible for a wide variety of productions, amongst them Samuel Bächli’s Die Meistersingerinnen and L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, and achieved great success with her production of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s opera Lady Magnesia. Further successful productions have included Blacher’s Die Flut in the Montafoner Summer Festival as well as Hello Dolly, Evita  and Don Giovanni for the Musiktheater Vorarlberg. In Leipzig Barbara Schöne rehearsed Dario Fo’s play The Open Couple; she produced the children’s musical Till Eulenspiegel by Konstantin Wecker and Peter Blaikner on the Domstufen in Erfurt.

Now living in Saarbrücken, Ms. Schöne performs and directs staged recitals, Lieder programmes, and opera performances all over Germany.

Annette Kreft

Acting, Character Study Instructor

View Filmmakers’ clips of Annette

Acclaimed German Actress Annette Kreft, studied acting and singing before being launched into an acting career in 1982. She has appeared in over 32 films and television series, as well as numerous theatre roles.

​Ms Kreft has appeared in leading roles opposite some of the most famous actors and directors in Germany today.

​Appearing between 1985 – 1988 on Lindenstrasse, a beloved television series here in Germany. To name only a few of her works: Dolphins in 2000, Nicht meine Hochzeit 2005, Racheengsel (Tatort) in 2005, Der Verbrechen des Prof. Capellari.  Ms Kreft is active in film, television and theatre work.

Theodore Ganger

Pianist, Conductor, Vocal Coach

Theodore Ganger was born in Cleveland, Ohio and studied piano with Victor Babin, Claude Frank and Rosina Lhevinne. He also studied conducting with James Levine and Arthur Weisberg. Mr Ganger earned his Master of Music degrees at the Juilliard School in New York City and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. A Fulbright Grant enabled him to travel to Germany for advanced conducting studies with Volker Wangenheim in Cologne.   He worked as a conductor and coach in the opera houses in Mannheim, Frankfurt and Darmstadt, amongst others. He conducted performances of over 40 operas, operettas and musicals. As a piano soloist, chamber musician and accompanist, he has performed in the United States, Europe, South America, Australia and Southeast Asia.

Since 1998, Mr Ganger has been a voice coach on the faculty of the Musikhochschule, an academy for music and theatre in Munich. He also performs with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.

Lorne Richstone

Vocal Coach

Mr. Lorne Richstone is the Associate Professor of Opera and Vocal Coaching at the University of Oklahoma School Of Music. Following the completion of his undergraduate studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, he moved to Germany to further his musical education, studying piano and conducting at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold (1979‒80) and with the aid of a DAAD Scholarship, vocal accompaniment at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart (1980‒81).

In 1982 Mr. Richstone was appointed opera coach at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, a position he held until 2006. There he played under a host of prominent conductors and coached and appeared in performance with many of the world’s leading singers. In addition, Mr. Richstone taught vocal repertoire at both the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik and Universität der Künste in Berlin.Mr. Richstone has concertized and has given master classes in China, Germany, United States and Canada. He coached Die Zauberflöte for the Opera Lyra Ottawa, Canada, Don Carlos for the Latvijas Nacionālā Opera in Riga, Latvia, and Carmen for the Shanghai Opera, China. At the International Music Festival Macau, he concertized frequently with singers and played productions of Roméo et Juliette, Le nozze di Figaro, Rigoletto, and Der Freischütz. At the prestigious Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland he played productions of Madama Butterfly and Der fliegende Holländer. In May 2010 Mr. Richstone gave master classes and concertized in Beijing, China and in July 2010 he conducted master classes for the Greek Opera Studio in Syros, Greece. In 2011‒2012 Mr. Richstone coached and performed at the Taos Opera Institute, New Mexico and in August 2012 Mr. Richstone participated in the Ars Vocalis México Festival in Zamora, México. In summer of 2013, Mr. Richstone coached singers and pianists at The Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, where he was also a judge in the Marilyn Horne Song Competition. Mr. Richstone is currently an artistic adviser to the Opera Hong Kong.

 

His recordings include Carmina Burana and Salome for Deutsche Gramophon, La vita nuova for Koch-Schwann and Jakob Lenz for Harmonia Mundi.

Peter Schöne

Special guest:
  • Bel Canto Summer Voice Program 2019
  • ART of the LIED MUNICH 2020

As a brilliant baritone praised by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, ennobled as an excellent singer with outstanding technique by FAZ, Opera Now and opera world, Peter Schöne has established himself with his expressive lyric baritone as an opera, concert and lied singer nationally and internationally. The deciding factors were profits at the Schubert competition in Graz and at the ARD competition. 

His operatic debut was Peter Schöne at the Komische Oper Berlin as Eddy in the Greek Opera by Mark-Antony Turnage. He was a soloist at more than 20 opera houses and sang almost all roles in his field. Most recently he achieved great success with the title role in the operaGuillaume Tell by Rossini celebrate. Since the beginning of his education, Peter Schöne has been intensively involved with the German piano song. A complete recording of all Schubert songs is currently being written on www.schubertlied.de. Peter Schöne is a welcome guest with orchestras such as the NDR Symphony Orchestra, the Münchner Rundfunkorchester , the Deutsche Kammervirtuosen, the musikfabrik or the Ensemble Kontrapunkte Wien. Through his close collaboration with the pianist Axel Bauni and the composer Moritz Eggert , Wilhelm Killmayer, Aribert Reimann and Wolfgang Rihm, his distinctive talent for the music of the 20th and 21st centuries becomes clear. The passionate commitment to this music was rewarded with the Schneider-Schott Music Prize . 
In 2015 he was elected to the board of aDevantgarde . 

Peter Schöne is a trained violinist and lives with his wife, the director Barbara Schöne , daughter Clara and son Severin in Saarbrücken, where he is engaged at the Staatstheater.

Christopher McMullen-Laird

Conductor

Christopher McMullen-Laird was educated at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and at the Hochschule für Musik Weimar, Germany. He started his career as maestro suggeritore at the Bayerische Staatsoper München. He has conducted concerts and opera performances in Croatia, Japan, Germany, Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United States.

Julia Mintzer

Mezzo Soprano

Julia Mintzer directed the first full staging of Beethoven’s Fidelio with historical instruments in the United States,produced by period orchestra Grand Harmonie and Princeton University. Also in the world of historical performance, she staged Schutz’s Weihnachtshistorie with The Weckmann Project and Musica Nuova.

 

Her production of La Cenerentola for Bel Cantanti Opera was acclaimed as “wildly funny…This production is just the sort of thing that keeps opera alive and relevant.” (BrightestYoungThings.com) Her Dido and Aeneas for Hubbard Hall Opera was also commended by reviewers for its “striking ideas” (The Berkshire Review) and its final tableau, described as “a knife in the heart — a wonderfully dark gesture.” (The Daily Gazette.) Other credits include Alcina for Satori Opera, Il Tabarro for Garden State Opera, and The Old Maid and the Thief for Hubbard Hall Opera.  She returns to Bel Cantanti Opera for L’elisir d’amore.

Julia will lead workshops this summer on the integration of technique and interpretation at the University of Cologne’s Institute for Art and Art Theory, and at the Bel Canto Summer Program in Munich. She has directed scenes programs for the University of Dayton Early Music Ensemble, Opera for Humanity, and the Tanglewood Institute, where she was on faculty for the Young Artists Vocal Program for two years. Ms. Mintzer’s interactive theater piece Pizza Parlance, in collaboration with artist Charles Ogilvie, was listed in Nombre Art Magazine’s “5 Must-Sees of Venice Biennale” and their performance piece Chacun a son gout was presented at STORE Contemporary in Dresden, Germany.  Julia is a graduate of The Juilliard School and the Boston University Opera Institute, with additional studies at Columbia University.  As a mezzo-soprano, she has spent two seasons singing with Die Semperoper Dresden, and has performed at Washington National Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Wolf Trap Opera Company, Dayton Opera, and Boston Baroque. This season she reprised her Hansel at Washington National Opera and will join the Landestheater Schleswig-Holstein to sing the title role in Carmen and Elisabetta in Maria Stuarda.

*All program faculty, dates are subject to change.

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