1. Introduction to Spiegelgrund: Peter Androsch

    Spiegelgrund

    An opera by Peter Androsch (2011–12)

    With texts by Bernhard Doppler, Silke Dörner and Plutarch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Text eingerichtet von Peter Androsch

    This opera is in memory of my great-grandfather Karl Posch. He was taken by the Nazis, dragged through the concentration camps and tortured to death in Buchenwald. He was born on October 25, 1873, imprisoned and confined in the Dachau concentration camp by police order on June 17, 1938, transferred to Mauthausen on August 26, 1938, newly confined to Dachau from Mauthausen on May 8, 1939, transferred from Dachau to Buchenwald on September 26, 1939, and died in Block 32 in Buchenwald on December 16, 1939. His death certificate was issued on March 18, 1940. Inadvertently (sic!) there are two concentration camp prisoner numbers: 16220 and 33333. The family’s tears that have yet to be cried are here in this score.

    Spiegelgrund. With this opera I have once again returned to the Nazis—metaphorically speaking. After many years I had to deal with these madmen once again. No, I got to deal with them. Work on this opera again sucked me into a massive vortex, as it did with other works concerning National Socialism: Bellum Docet Omnia as a choir installation with the Hungarian National Choir (Festival der Regionen, 1993), Komplizierte Tiere (Complicated Animals), the chamber opera about the murder of Erich Ohsers by the Nazis (text and music) at the Vogtlandtheater Plauen (1993), the film music to Hasenjagd by Andreas Gruber (1994), Die Achse des Ofens (The Oven’s Axis) as multimedia landscape theatre in the Voest in Linz on the displacement of the village St. Peter upon the founding of the Hermann Göring Werke (Festival der Regionen, 1995), An wen soll ich schreiben? An Gott? (To Whom Shall I Write? To God?), music to the stage drama by Karl Fallend at the Landestheater Linz in 2002. It is not for nothing that a break of nearly ten years took place, for the vortex can also kill.

    Spiegelgrund is also a fairy tale metaphor: the ground (Grund) beneath the mirror (Spiegel), the mirror at the bottom of the well. This word has the power to encompass heaven and hell, since mirrors are also windows to another world. They are instruments of awareness. In the mythical magic mirror, the person often does not see his own reflection, but rather his counter-image, his shadow. Mirror, eye, soul and shadow are all related to one another. The palette of meaning of the word “ground” is portrayed as vast: coarse, the ground—the earth—is just as trapped as the ground—the valley—and what is innermost, being. At bottom, the mirror always points back at us. “What would you have done?” it asks.

    In the many discussions with Thomas Kerbl, three spheres gradually crystallised: law, nursery rhyme, and memory. Each sphere appears three times, and a different performer sings each time. Law is performed by a soprano, bass and a child, and it is the same for nursery rhyme and memory. It refers to the fact that anyone can be anything. What would you have done? We listen to the squealing of the two-wheeled cart that the building worker pushes along at Spiegelgrund: full of dead little children! They’re lying all over the place like thrown-away dolls…. Viewed thus, the opera is a triptych. Three spheres, three singers, three tableaux. Each tableau contains each of the three spheres, each with a different instrumentation and introduced with a recitative. 

    The Laws written by Lycurgus for Sparta exerted great influence on the ideology of the National Socialists. “Sparta is the clearest racial state in history,” Hitler declared, “… its successes should be emulated.” Passed down by Plutarch and Xenophon, the texts formed a direct model for the National Socialist heredity, breeding and euthanasia mania. The nursery rhyme “Kommt ein Vogel geflogen” (A Bird Comes Flying) serves as a metaphor for childhood. Here, dreams and desires are shown in all their glory. The song turns out to be a mirror of horror, however; the seemingly naïve melody is in the major mode, yet minor is meant—like in Schubert. Memory is oriented towards reports of survivors, in order to overcome speechlessness. A long time is needed before the gruesome words are found.

    The thought that anyone can be anything is not all that far-fetched. Abuse of children in Austria probably remains systematic to this day. Luckily, it no longer has deadly consequences like it did at Spiegelgrund. Yet the child as an object of aggression, abuse and neglect is sadly pervasive, as evidenced by many recent publications. Nonetheless, the child also sings the law. It is difficult to imagine, yet even a child can take on the role of the perpetrator.

     Now let’s think about the thousands of child soldiers. The child arises again during the memory. The child is at the mercy of an inscrutable system that (ab)uses everyone in order to survive. Just like Igor Caruso. The discussion in Karl Fallend’s periodical Werkblatt (No. 60/2008 and No. 64/2010) on Caruso’s role at Spiegelgrund served as the occasion for the first talks. They increasingly flowed into an ocean of texts, beginning with Karl Fallend’s report on Johann Gross’s recollections of Spiegelgrund (Spiegelgrund, Ueberreuter Verlag, 2000) in Spectrum der Press (3/25/2000) and ending with the book published today—the day the manuscript to this opera was completed—Tatort Kinderheim – Ein Untersuchungsbericht (Crime Scene: Children’s Home—An Inquiry Report) by Hans Weiss (Deuticke Verlag), which was also discussed in the press (9/18/2012). A Kindergulag. Perhaps to the present day.

    Thomas Kerbl deserves mention first and foremost: once because the idea for the opera hearkens back to him; another because he really pushed this matter in the discussions—also together with Alexandra Diesterhöft, who wrote her Master’s thesis on the origin of Spiegelgrund at the Anton Bruckner Private University and found a wealth of material. To Karl Fallend: Thank you for the information! Bernhard Doppler really immersed himself in this Spartan world, as well as in the Nazis’ world with their Sparta mania. I am deeply indebted to him. To Silke Dörner, who wrote the original texts on the memories and several recitatives with great skill and in no time flat: Thank you! And Susanne Guld—thanks to Otto Rafetseder for making this connection—who is responsible for the commemoration of Spiegelgrund in Vienna’s MA24 city administration office and contributed additional pragmatic information: my heartfelt thanks as well. Verena Lafferentz and Hubert Hawel accompanied me more and more in my work, being active in many things, including creating the sound recording of the cart squeaking. Finally, thanks to Bernd Preinfalk, who once again created the performance material. Grazie per tutti!

    The work on this score was particularly difficult, on the one hand because I hadn’t composed for a long time, and on the other because I was in an economic situation that threatened my existence. Several lifesavers came to the rescue: my brother Günther Androsch, Michael Klügl, Martin Winkler, Thomas Kerbl, Wolfgang Pfeil, Klaus Luger, Philipp Olbeter, Peter Mitterbauer and Peter Leisch. Each of them knows what I mean. My heartfelt thanks! And my family—my wife Gigi, who is my most important advisor, and my children, Helene “Lili” and Paul—I embrace all of you. To my mother Helene, who supported us and made our lives easier, thank you. 

    Finally, a big thank-you to the president of the National Assembly, Barbara Prammer, who made it possible for the opera to receive its world premiere at the Parliament in Vienna. Lilli Gneisz and Gerhard Marschall paved the way in Parliament. Without these three individuals, the creation and premiere of Spiegelgrund would not have been possible.

    Peter Androsch                                                                                                                                                                                    November 2012

     


  2. Jacopo Spirei, stage director of G.Rossini’s La cambiale di matrimonio at the Kammeroper, in an interview with musicologist Sebastian Smallshaw:

    La cambiale di matriomonio shows a precocious 18 year old Rossini treating a formulaic buffa scenario with considerable musical imagination, to produce a score rich in the effervescent hallmarks of his later comic style.  What do you make of the music?

    Musically it is incredibly accomplished, and Rossini is almost more accomplished than Mozart at this age. His feet are firmly in the eighteenth-century and he shows great awareness of the past – he understands artistic tradition, he knows his commedia dell’arte. At the same time we feel the change of an age in the way that he is already playing with surreal moments, showing us in the scoring and orchestration the irony of a grown man. But ultimately his biggest achievement, made both in the music and dramaturgy, is a synthesis of his classical training and forward-looking instincts.

    How prominent are those subversive undercurrents in the opera?

    In the end the two lovers win, but they win by deceit. Slook, the Canadian outsider whom the Europeans in the opera unvaryingly identify as American, stands in the way of their happiness and they threaten him in every possible way. And yet the piece remains a comedy; Rossini always treats serious themes with a smile.

    The mercenary father who sees his smitten daughter as simply another commodity to be traded – on one level this is a plot device which gets resolved through genre convention in his outwitting, and still the narrative feels to some extent character-driven.

    The old man is won over by tricks and shortcuts, for sure. And every character represents a stereotype – the naive American, the greedy merchant, the trusting servants. There is much exposition at the beginning of the opera to lay this all out, when one sees that the clear sexual way in which Mill pushes Slook towards Fanny is nonetheless phrased in transactional language – he is urged to try the ‘goods’. But these stereotypes eventually open up and show us a depth, for example in the strength of the young clandestine couple, who push the boundaries of the other characters. In that sense the plot is shaped and driven by the positions the characters find themselves coming round to.

    Then there is the clash between old Europe and the new world.

    The only mutual comprehension is commercial: two rich businessmen meet and understand each other in the common language of buying and selling. But even here a distinction is drawn, as the Italian take on English enterprise draws a cynical portrait of the conservative impulse to consolidate wealth and property – Tobias Mill has no real interest in his daughter’s feelings, and holds the business scruples of a second-hand car dealer. Slook is full of new world ideals and possesses more of a democratic instinct, but is of course culturally like a fish out of water in Europe. He is forward with women, but Europe is conservative; he asks to be taught about formalities and customs.

    How have you presented this in your staging?

    We started from this cultural contrast, so Europe is drained and grey, and the American brings in life, even if it is a simple life – Slook and his American identity come almost out of a picture-postcard. The European setting is an early 1900s working environment at the beginning of mass production and international enterprise, and we’ve treated the piece very much as a black comedy in the classic English style, with a Tim Burtonesque look but also some influences taken from Italian cinema of the 1950s.

    That sounds like a busy concept.

    We are dealing with the contamination of two worlds here, of two cultures that bleed into each other over the course of the opera. By the end I hope we are able to show how they learn from one other, how some of that hopeful new world naivety rubs off on the jaded Europeans – and conversely how Slook begins to look at things more realistically. What I find crucial is to look into a work and see what is in it, but by the same token every art form needs renewal, needs to be able to speak to a modern audience.

    Traditionalists would be at pains to point out the composer’s intentions.

    That is to some extent a misunderstanding of what tradition means: when we talk of a composer’s intentions, it is important to look past things like fidelity to stage directions and ask if we are staging works in terms of the effect they had on audiences at the time and what they were trying to say. Here the outlook of Italian culture at the moment is predominantly aesthetic – ‘bello’ is the best compliment you can get for your work. But there is a critical difference however between beauty as an aesthetic and ethical value. A pretty box with nothing inside it is disappointing; a staging has to present something necessary, necessary to our lives. Even a light comedy must have something to say.

    Are audiences there mainly to be pleased or challenged?

    Audiences must certainly be open; going to the opera is not like watching TV. Interactivity has been there since Greek theatre, and theatre simply doesn’t exist without an audience. I do think that if you offer the public real quality they might not see it but they will feel it. It is important to avoid thinking for or second guessing audiences – for example, Italian TV often operates on the basis of trying out a product and selling a hundred copies of it when it works, but art isn’t like that. An audience can always tell when it is being cheated.

    What kind of unity is required between pit and stage when it comes to creating theatre for the opera house?

    It is crucial for a conductor and stage director to work together with an open mind, and just as a conductor must be mindful of what happens on stage, the director has to be aware of what goes on in the pit. The fewer egos involved the better it is. In this production we’ve managed to build it up organically, and pit and stage are extraordinarily united in artistic purpose. I have been incredibly lucky to work with Konstantin Chudovsky, who by being at all the rehearsals has enriched everything we’ve done with this talented and creative young ensemble.

     


  3. BackStage Access: Sono catches up with Karen Stone, General Manager of Theater Magdeburg in Germany



    Karen Stone began her career as an Assistant Director at the city theatre in Freiburg before moving to the English National Opera in London in 1985. From 1987 to 1990 she worked at the Royal Opera in London, and in 1995 she went to work for the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. From 1997 to 2000 she was Director of the Cologne Opera and from 2000 to 2003 she was Director of the Graz Theatre. In 2003, she became the director of the Dallas Opera.  She is currently General Manager at the Theater Magdeburg in Germany.

    Karen is also a freelance director and has worked at the Los Angeles Music Center, the Teatro Colón de Bogota, the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, the English National Opera, as well as in New Zealand.

     

    Sono Artists: What do you look for in auditions?

    Karen: Well, the majority of voices are going to be fairly light lyric voices, so what I am really looking for is people who have got stage personalities and can convince an audience. Obviously they’ve got to have musicality, phrasing, intonation, and energy, but really, I want them to entertain me.

    Sono Artists: What is the biggest mistake young singers can make in an audition?

    Karen: Oh, it’s the repertoire they choose. You know, you hear good voices and you see good people and they will insist on choosing the wrong aria! They’re good arias to practise, but they’re bad arias to audition with. I mean particularly things like “Eccomi in lieta vesta”, Giulietta’s aria, for example. It’s a really very boring aria unless you’ve got such perfect artistry and technique. Otherwise you just show up every single, tiny little mistake and badly pitched tone in your entire voice.

    Sono Artists: Do you think looks matter?

    Karen: Oh, hugely! And that doesn’t mean you’ve got to be thin, or pretty, but it means you’ve got to feel comfortable in the body you’re in. And, you know, I like a full-busted, large lady with hips. If she comes on stage and she’s dressed for the part, that’s the lady I want on stage! I’m not talking about a size zero, you know, that’s boring. Looks matter, in that you can see when somebody is feeling confident and happy in the body they’re in.

    Sono Artists: We’ve seen a lot of really bad dresses in these auditions.

    Karen: They just don’t do themselves any favours. I want to go up to them and I want to say to them, “For goodness sake, you mustn’t look at yourself in a mirror close up.” You’re standing on a stage so you need to stand a long way away from the mirror and see what the effect of the distance is. It’s a very different situation to being close up.

    Sono Artists: What do you think about the NYIOP auditions?

    Karen: I think every opportunity to hear singers is good. For me I think also you need to go out and hear these things to understand how my singers and my ensemble are in comparison. And so you can find out, this year they’re singing at a castle in Darmstadt, or they’re singing at the Metropolitan Opera – it allows you to really place your own singers and see where they are in that scale and see what you should be expecting from them.

    Don’t set your targets too high and don’t set them too low. You have to think about how you can work with people and develop them sensibly. Again, the heart of the problem with singers in this kind of an audition is they are not permanently somewhere. They have to sign every contract and that’s a very quick way to ruining your voice.

    Sono Artists: And from the other perspective, if you are a singer?

    Karen: I think it’s a difficult question. One of my young singers asked me, “Should I go to the NYIOPs?” And I said, “I don’t think it worth the money for you because you can invite people here, and I think it is not the right moment – maybe next year, yes, but now I don’t think it’s worth it. I think you are doing the right roles at the right time in the right place, so I wouldn’t recommend it.” But I think, for example, there are singers here for whom it’s not as easy to travel. They are further away, so in a way they don’t really know what’s going on, so this is a great opportunity to sing for a wider group of people.

    Sono Artists: How important is a singer’s web presence in your opinion? Do you look for social media saavy singers?

    Karen: Absolutely, definitely. It’s really important. Nothing will replace seeing a person on a stage in front of you, but I don’t want them to waste their money, to fly and get trains… hours and days coming to an audition. I find videos and photos really useful. Having an idea of the roles they’ve done really helps me to make a more informed choice about whether to invite them to an audition or not.

    Sono Artists: What’s the next big name in the opera business?

    Karen: Oh my god, I don’t know! It’s the hardest thing. I have a Turkish baritone who is 27 and his name is Kartal Karagedik. He’s with us at Magdeburg and he was a semifinalist just now in Beijing at the Operalia Competition, and he is going to be a really big Italian baritone voice. He is singing his first Posa in Don Carlo at the beginning of next season and I would say he is a hot number in the making!

    Sono Artists: What should we expect from your theatre next season?

    Karen: I have a great young ensemble. We are going to do a Don Carlo four-act Italian version with a young Israeli mezzo-soprano doing her first Elisabetta. We also have a talented young Canadian mezzo-soprano and she’s doing her first Eboli, and I’ve got a great Armenian bass who’s first in Hanover. We have a lot of talented singers and I think we can put this on and we’re going to be proud of it! So all I can say is come to Magdeburg from the 15 September to see Don Carlo.

    Sono Artists: Do you have any advice for young singers?


    Karen: I think that the most important thing is to remember that we’re in the entertainment business, and that means, don’t choose arias to sing that stretch you to the limit and past the limit. Come onto the stage wanting to entertain your audience intelligently. That can be tragedy; it doesn’t mean you have to be funny, but go out there to entertain. That is you aim, and in order to do that you have to really feel comfortable singing your aria. We should be able to wake you up at four in the morning and say, “Sing it!” And you’ve got to be able to sing it because that’s the only way you can start to act it, interpret it, and hopefully to set the magic in your audience. It’s not just a vocal competition, it’s not just about who can sing the nicest, longest, highest, whatever. It’s about giving a performance.

    Sono Artists: And finally, do you like your job?

    Karen: I adore my job. I wake up every morning excited to be going to the theatre to a rehearsal to an audition. I love my job!

     


  4. BackStage Access: The NYIOP Auditions with David Blackburn

    Our mission was clear: to check out for ourselves the European leg of the New York International Opera Auditions at the Komische Oper in Berlin. Sono’s singers have been taking part in the auditions for several years and it turns out we’re not alone in supporting NYIOP. The Met, Theater Magdeburg, Komische Oper Berlin, Palm Beach Opera, Staatstheater Darmstadt, Vienna State Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, Staatstheater Braunschweig, casting advisor Renata Kupfer, Zurich Opera and the Dallas Opera all attended in June this year hoping to discover exciting new singers.

    What makes NYIOP unusual is that it reverses traditional opera auditions. The NYIOP Auditions give professional opera singers the opportunity to audition for a number of international opera festivals and houses all at once.

    We spent a sunny afternoon in Berlin with David Blackburn, the founder and manager of NYIOP (and VP Vocal at IMG Artists) and asked him to give our readers exclusive “Backstage Access” to the NYIOP Auditions.

    How did NYIOP come to life?

    It all started in 2002. At the time I was working for an investment bank and was approached to organise an international singing competition in New York by a man who wanted to provide the prize money. The truth was that, having been a singer and done a lot of competitions myself, I just did not like them. At the end of the day, except for the winner, everyone attending a competition feels like they’ve been robbed. The winner gets a little bit of money and something to put on their resume but it does not particularly further their career. I had the thought that if we were going to bring people to sit on a panel from Europe, why don’t we bring them to America to hear auditions? At the end of it, auditions can actually further a singer’s career and you don’t feel like you were cheated.

    The first session happened in April 2003. We had ten theatres and six days of auditions that included on average 40 singers a day! We were all amazed and realised we should have done it before.

    How do the NYIOP auditions differ from ordinary auditions?

    Truthfully, I think that because there is a fee associated with them, artists and managements think they’re different to normal auditions, but in fact they function exactly like a normal audition. You show up, you sing, the casting directors tell you if they want to hear anything else, we thank you, the casting directors think about casting you.

    In practice what was important for us was to make the audition experience smoother and easier. There is a process and you are guided through it. We have people that take care you won’t expend nervous energy before an audition wondering where you’re supposed to be. When it’s your turn to sing they call you on stage.

    What does it take to make it to the final round of auditions?

    Casting directors are looking for either singers who might not necessarily have a lot of experience but still show promise - to start following a singer to see how they develop - or singers that they might not know about but can cast. It might be an answer for a different question and singers sometimes do not understand that there is a large difference between being able to sing well, having the right look, having the right training, and being able to be cast. There is a difference there. It is a very fine difference to find but once you see it it is very clear.

    So what do you and other casting directors typically look for in an audition?

    Theatre is theatre. It has a lot to do with how you look, it has to do with opinions, the interaction of people’s energies and all of that. It is not just singing, nor is it just acting, and that is what we look for. Artists need to realise that they actually may be the best singer for a given part, yet if a woman is six feet tall (182 cm) and the tenor they know they have is five feet tall (162 cm) then it does not matter how well you sing! What also need to be taken into consideration are the needs of the theatre; for example a mid-sized German theatre will be looking for someone who can do multiple things well and bigger theatres are looking for specific people that do very specific things right and fit into what they need for a specific production.

    How does it feel to listen to auditions for more than 12 hours a day?

    Personally I adore it! I’m fascinated to hear anyone and everyone because I find that there is always something interesting - that is my idea of fun. It’s all about hearing people. What do they do right? What do they do wrong? And what will lead them to the right path? I find it fascinating and I’m always hopeful that the next person is going to move me.

    What were the most memorable NYIOP auditions over the years?

    Many good auditions and many bad auditions. When all is said and done we will remember the one or two people that were truly interesting and extraordinary and the one or two that were really freaky.  The best that can ever happened to you in an audition if you are not a superstar is for us to just forget you within an hour or remember that the audition was not so interesting but also was not so bad.

    I remember extremely successful auditions. The very first audition we did in Berlin as a part of NYIOP, soprano Jacquelyn Wagner - who was only 23 at the time and a recent graduate of the Manhattan School of Music - left the audition and walked out with a three year contract at the Deutsch Oper Berlin.

    Soprano Albina Shagimuratova who at the time was a young artist in Houston did an audition as a part of an NYIOP session at the Komische Oper in Berlin. A month later and as a direct result Albina made her European operatic debut as Mozart’s Queen of the Night at the Salzburg Festival under the baton of Riccardo Muti.

    Bass Dmitry Beloselsky sang two years ago at the session held in Vienna. Prior to his NYIOP audition he had never been on an operatic stage in his life. He walked out of the audition and is busy until 2018. If I am not mistaken he got eight contracts – an NYIOP record.

    I also have a very personal memory. A wonderful singer named Valentina Farcas received six or seven contracts after doing an NYIOP audition. It was a very good year for her at NYIOP and for us because we met and we started dating. She’s now my wife!

    So, just before we finish, what should we expect from NYIOP 2013?

    This is the big question. You will have to stay tuned for updates.

    Many thanks David for taking the times to speak to our readers!

     


  5. BackStage Access: The International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition with bass baritone Igor Bakan

    We took a short break to sit down with Igor Bakan [and his lovely wife Viktoria Bakanand chat about coffee, opera and the 31st International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition. As the unforgettable prize winner of the 2008 competition, we asked Igor to give us “BackStage Access” to one of the most prestigious opera competitions in the world.

     
    We start with what is probably the hardest question in the whole interview: what is the secret to winning the Belvedere Singing Competition?

    [Laughing] 

    Well you need to have the courage to do it and you must be calm. 

    It’s as simple as that! 

    Why did you decide to enter the Belvedere Singing Competition?

    The Belvedere Singing Competition is open to agents and artistic directors who attend as members of the jury or as a part of the audience. They all come to hear the singers, so that aspect is similar to a (big, open) audition. It is your place as a singer to be heard. I attended the Belvedere singing competition five times before winning the second prize in 2008.

    On a more personal note, we have very few opera singers in Lithuania. I decided to attend the competition together with 140 other singers so that I’d feel that I’m not alone out there.

    Do you think it is necessary for aspiring opera singers to participate in singing competitions?

    It’s a good practice for young singers to have the experience of performing on a real stage. It’s also a good opportunity to get exposure and make your first step in the professional opera business.

    How did the competition influence your career?

    Winning the competition had a huge impact on my career. Naturally, I left Lithuania, and in the past five years I have been living and singing all across Europe: Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and have just recently moved to Vienna. Immediately after winning I got invited to the opera studio of the Bayerische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera) as an ensemble member. I also sang in a production of Lohengrin together with Jonas Kaufmann that was streamed live as a part of the Rathaus Film Festival in Vienna and which has now been released as a DVD.

    What does a young singer need to do in order to impress the competition jury?

    Well, to start with, they need to have a good voice! 

    It is also very important to overcome the stress of performing and express your emotions, to integrate movement into your singing and communicate with the accompanist. 

    Who is harder to please: the audience or the competition jury?

    [Laughing again] 

    The competition jury - no doubt! 

    What advice would you give to young singers who are just about to go on stage?

    Viktoria: I know what I would say - just have fun! 

    Igor: Yes, true. Don’t be too focused on winning and try to enjoy the experience. 

    It can be so difficult - the first moment you step on stage and your legs start shaking. 

    Does it still happen to you?

    Igor: Of course; we all experience it. It’s a part of being a professional opera singer, especially if you are “opening” a performance and have the first words in the opera.

    Viktoria: Better to have shaking legs than a shaking voice! 

    Last question before our time is up: what can we expect from you in the upcoming 2012/2013 season?

    I have a full year at “Theater an der Wien” starting with II ritotno d’Ulisse in Patris  that will premiere on the 12th of September 2012 and will continue with four productions as a part of the Junges Ensemble des Theater an der Wien. So all in all a very exciting season! 


    Thank you Igor and Viktoria for taking the time to talk to us!

     

  6. First ever live stream of the Hans Gabor Belvedere International Singing Competition!


    Sono Artists Consulting is sponsoring & producing the first live stream of the finals of the prestigious International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition from Vienna’s historic Rathaus (City Hall) on July 8th. The competition has been held annually in Vienna for more than 30 years, and 2012 marks the first time the event will be available to audiences around the world via a live broadcasting.

    The final round of the competition will be stream live on both Sono Artists website & the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition website at 10:00 (GMT) on July 8th 2012.


    For further information please visit Sono Artists website ;
    You can also find us on Facebook & Twitter .

     


  7. Opera in English, is about as sensible as baseball in Italian