Members of the Jury for the 51st International Vocal Competition 's-Hertogenbosch include world-renowned singers and various artistic directors.
Opera | Oratorio category 2017
- Nicholas Payne director Opera Europe | president of the jury
- Cheryl Studer soprano
- Jennifer Larmore mezzo-soprano
- Zizheng Yu tenor | senior professor Nanjing Normal University
- Sergei Leiferkus baritone
- Pieter Alferink impresario
- Joel Ethan Fried artistic director Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
- Jesús Iglesias Noriega head artistic affairs Dutch National Opera Amsterdam
- Eva Wagner-Pasquier opera manager | Bayreuther Festspiele
Nicholas Payne - Director Opera Europe | President of the jury
Nicholas Payne has worked in opera since he joined the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 1968 for the final two years of the Webster/Solti period. After a spell at the Arts Council of Great Britain during the early 1970s, he worked for four different UK opera companies over almost 30 consecutive years. At Welsh National Opera in Cardiff, his responsibilities included finance, labour relations, marketing, planning and programmes. He was then appointed General Director of Leeds-based Opera North, a company which he built up over a ten year period. He returned to London as Director of the Royal Opera Covent Garden during the 1990s. In 1998 he became General Director of English National Opera at the London Coliseum. Throughout this time he was concerned with providing opportunities to develop singers, conductors and production teams, as well as being responsible for managing the business.
Since 2003, he has been Director of Opera Europa, for which he has built up services and a membership of 176 opera companies and opera festivals from 42 countries and has established it as the leading professional opera association in Europe. In 2015, it launched The Opera Platform, an online streaming service for the promotion and enjoyment of opera. He has established professional arts contacts throughout the world and has written and broadcast regularly on operatic and general arts subjects.
He has served on the jury for AsLiCo’s competition for young European singers in Como, the Belvedere in Vienna, Neue Stimmen in Germany, the Competizione dell’Opera in Dresden and Moscow, the International Vocal Competition in Riga, the NANO competition at Moscow’s Helikon Opera, the Minsk International Christmas Singing Competition in Belarus; and as chairman of the jury for the Kathleen Ferrier competition in London, the International Festival of Operatic Singers in Tirana, Albania and the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2013.
Cheryl Studer - Soprano
American soprano Cheryl Studer studied at the Berkshire Music Centre, Tanglewood and at the School of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna under KS Hans Hotter. Following her debut performance in 1985 at the Bayreuth Festival as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, and where she has since celebrated great success also as Elsa, Senta and Sieglinde, came performances at the Bavarian State Opera and the German Opera in Berlin. In 1989 she made her debut performance at the Salzburg Festival as Chrysothemis, where she could also be seen as Marschallin, Elettra/ Idomeneo and Leonore/ Fidelio. With over 75 roles, including those of the Kaiserin, Donna Anna, Aida, Marguerite, Violetta, Queen of the Night, Semiramide, Lucia and Salome, she has performed all over Asia, in all the famous opera houses of Europe and the USA, including the Viennese State Opera, the Milan Scala, Opera de Paris, Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, London and the Metropolitan Opera, New York. Cheryl Studer is also internationally sought after as a song and concert singer. For example, she has sung Strauss’ Four Last Songs in all major music metropolises. She has also worked on over 100 record and video productions. The winner of numerous prizes (including the Furtwängler Prize, Prix Maria Callas, 2 Grammys) celebrates in 2013, 41 years on the stage. Cheryl Studer holds master classes internationally. Since 2003 she has been professor for singing at the School of Music in Würzburg.
Jennifer Larmore - Mezzo-soprano
Jennifer Larmore is an outstanding American mezzo-soprano, well known for her versatility, natural beauty and stage craft. This artist has a wide ranging repertoire, having begun with the coloratura roles of the Baroque and bel canto then adding music from the Romantic and Contemporary periods.
She began her career at Opera de Nice in 1986 with Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito and went on to sing at virtually every major opera house in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Paris Opera, Berlin Deutsche Oper, and London Covent Garden.
Jennifer Larmore has recorded widely for the Teldec, RCA, Harmonia Mundi, Deutsche Grammophon, Arabesque, Opera Rara, Bayer, Naive, Chandos, VAI and Cedille labels in over one hundred CDs to date.
Her DVD's include "Jennifer Larmore in Performance" for VAI, " Il Barbiere di Siviglia"(Netherlands Opera), "L'Italiana in Algeri" (Opera de Paris), La Belle Hélène (The Hamburg Opera), "Orlando Furioso" (Opera de Paris) and Jenufa (Deutsche Oper Berlin). She has recorded a charming book on tape by Kim Maerkl entitled "Mozart's Magical Night" with Hélène Grimaud and the Bavarian State Orchestra.
With her frequent collaborator Antoine Palloc, she has made many International recital tours, including appearances in Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Vietnam, Vienna, London, San Juan, Prague, Melbourne, Brussels, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, Lisbon, Sao Paolo, Athens and Copenhagen, as well as all the major American venues.
Symphonic repertoire plays a large role in this mezzo’s career with the works of Mahler, Schoenberg, Mozart, de Falla, Debussy, Berlioz and Barber featuring prominently. Miss Larmore has enjoyed great collaborations with world orchestras under the direction of Muti, Lopez-Cobos, Bernstein, Runnicles, Sinopoli, Masur, von Dochnanyi, Jacobs, Mackarras, Spinosi, Abbado, Barenboim, Bonynge, Maazel , Osawa and Hengelbrock.
Jennifer’s repertoire has expanded to include new roles such as the “Countess Geschwitz” in Berg's Lulu which she debuted to great success at Covent Garden in the Christof Loy production with Tony Pappano, then again in Madrid and Paris Opera Bastille; Kostelnička Buryjovka in Janacek's Jenufa with Donald Runnicles at Berlin Deutsche Oper; “Lady Macbeth” in Verdi’s opera MACBETH, a role she debuted in a striking new production of Christoph Loy at the Grand Théâtre de Genève and subsequently in Bologna for the opening of the season in a new Robert Wilson production; “Eboli” in the French version of Don Carlos at the Caramoor Music Festival in New York with Will Crutchfield; “Jocasta” in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex at the Bard Festival, "Mère Marie in Poulenc's the Les dialogues des Carmélites again at the Caramoor Festival and Hélène in Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène at the Hamburg State Opera. At Theater an der Wien she will sing the role of "Poppea" in Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea and she will reprise the role of "Kostelnička Buryjovka" in Tokyo.
Miss Larmore, in collaboration with the double bass player Davide Vittone has created an ensemble called Jennifer Larmore and OpusFive. The three programs they offer are entertaining and varied with Songs and Arias, Cabaret/Operetta and Movies and Broadway which feature string quintet and voice. They have given concerts in Seville, Pamploma, Valencia, Las Palmas, Venice, Amiens, Aix en Provence, Dublin and Paris.
In 2002, “Madame” Larmore was awarded the Chevalier des arts et des lettres from the French government in recognition of her contributions to the world of music.
In addition to her many activities, travels, performances, master classes and causes, author Jennifer Larmore is working on books that will bring a wider public to the love of opera!
Zizheng Yu - Tenor | Senior Professor Nanjing Normal University
Prof. Zizheng Yu graduated from Nanjing Normal University in 1979 and Shanghai Conservatory in 1983. After his studies in Shanghai, he went to Japan to study at Tokyo University of the Arts where he attained a master’s degree in Opera in 1987.
Zizheng Yu began his thirty- year career in the Far East as a tenor as well as a singing professor in China. He was prizewinner of various international vocal competitions and gave many solo concerts worldwide. He performed in Tosca, La Traviata etc. in Japan. He was a jury member of the Shizuoka International Opera Competition in Japan and the Competition in Osaka, Japan.
In 1989 Prof. Zizheng Yu was the youngest appointed music professor in China and he is currently the executive Chairman of the China Association of Vocal Music as well as Senior Professor of the Nanjing Normal University. He is also a member of the Chinese Music Association and the head of Jiangsu Vocal Society.
Prof. Zizheng Yu wrote 5 books including 'Singing Words, Opera River' and 'The Theory of Teaching Vocal Music', which received many reprints, and writer of research papers in vocal education. Prof. Zizheng Yu is also a well-known Chinese calligrapher.
Sergei Leiferkus - Baritone
Sergei Leiferkus is considered one of the world’s most renowned performing artists. His ability to convey both nobility and evil makes him most noted for roles such as Scarpia in Tosca, Jago in Otello, Rangoni in Boris Godunov, Telramund in Lohengrin and Alberich in Der Ring des Nibelungen.
He has appeared at opera houses throughout the world, among them the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; the Vienna State Opera; the Opéra Bastille, Paris; La Scala, Milan; Deutsche Oper Berlin; San Francisco Opera; the Metropolitan Opera, New York; Palau de les Arts, Valencia; Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam; Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, and at the Edinburgh, Bregenz, Salzburg and Glyndebourne Festivals.
His commitments in the 2013/14 season included: Professor Filip Filippovich Preobrazhensky in Raskatov’s opera A Dog’s Heart at the Opéra de Lyon (a role which has been written especially for him), as well as his debut at the new State Primorsky Theatre in Vladivostok, where he sung the title role in Aleko. Concert engagements took him to the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Philadelphia and, at Warsaw’s Beethoven Festival, he sung Don Pizarro.
Having made his debut as the Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen, at Glyndebourne in 2012, he reprises this role in Dresden in the coming season. Further highlights of the 2014/2015 season include Scarpia, Miserly Knight and his debut in the title role of Boris Godounov in St Petersburg. The latter two roles he will also sing in concert in London in early 2015. Further concerts include Shostakovich’s 13th Symphony (Babi Yar) in Vladivostok and Francesca da Rimini in Darmstadt.
On the concert podium he has appeared with many of the worlds leading orchestras under conductors including Claudio Abbado, Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, James Levine, Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Kent Nagano, Leonard Slatkin, Vladimir Jurovski, Kurt Masur and Sir Georg Solti.
The singer’s repertoire includes almost fifty opera roles, among them Eugene Onegin, Mazeppa, Prince Igor, Ruprecht (The Fiery Angel), Nabucco, Macbeth, Simon Boccanegra, Amonasro, Jago, Don Giovanni, Telramund, Alberich and Klingsor. Almost one third of Sergei Leiferkus’ repertoire comprises Russian music from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Sergei Leiferkus has recorded almost forty CDs. His first CD recording of songs by Mussorgsky received a Grammy nomination, while another recording of all of Mussorgsky’s songs (on four CDs) was awarded the Cannes Classical Award and the Diapason d’Or Prize in 1997. The catalogue of Sergei Leiferkus’ video recordings includes operas staged at the Mariinsky Theatre (Eugene Onegin and The Fiery Angel) and at Covent Garden (Prince Igor and Otello), three versions of The Queen of Spades (Mariinsky Theatre, Wiener Staatsoper and Glyndebourne) and Nabucco (Bregenz Festival). One of the most recent productions featuring Sergei Leiferkus has been acclaimed director Robert Wilson’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.
Besides his frequent appearances in opera, concert and recital, Sergei Leiferkus also gives master classes and teaches in Berlin, Toronto, Moscow and Boston, as well as at the renowned Britten-Pears School, Aldeburgh.
Pieter Alferink - Impresario
Pieter Alferink’s long and specialised music management career has meant that he is regularly invited as a jury member to international vocal competitions including the Ensecu, Les Victoires de la Musique, Montserrat Caballé, Singer of the Year in Maastricht, Barbara Hendricks, and Thomas Quasthoff’s Das Lied competitions. His great passion has been seeking out new vocal talent and helping develop the careers of these young people. He has also worked widely as a talent scout and consultant to opera houses and studios, orchestras, promotors and conductors. He is a frequent guest teacher at conservatories and music colleges. Some 40 years ago, Pieter founded an agency in Amsterdam which offered personal management and representation of singers and conductors in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. He organised concerts with many opera stars, such as Victoria de los Angeles, Nicolai Gedda, Hermann Prey, Margaret Price, José Carreras, Luciano Pavarotti, Marilyn Horne and Grace Bumbry. He created a platform which allowed the debut of a new generation of multi-faceted singers in the Netherlands including Olaf Bär, Hans Peter Blochwitz, Barbara Bonney, Christiane Oelze, Christoph Prégardien, Birgit Remmert and Thomas Quasthoff.
Pieter Alferink has been closely involved with the Association Européenne des Agents Artistiques, and was its President for five years. This Association, in cooperation with Viginia Braden, President of the International Artists Management Association, created the first published list (also available online) of classical artists ‘Who Represents Whom in Classical Music’, the most precise and up to date in the world. When he left the agency scene in 2008, Pieter Alferink was awarded Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau by Queen Beatrix for his contribution to music, and in particular to his support of young singers.
Joel Ethan Fried - artistic director Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
Joel Ethan Fried has been responsible for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's programming since 1999, first as Director of Artistic Administration and now as Artistic Director. Born in Berkeley, California (USA), he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano and his doctoral degree in opera (coaching and conducting) at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Music. He won prizes in conducting competitions in Vienna and Oakland, California (USA). After beginning his career as an assistant conductor with the New York City Opera, he conducted hundreds of performances of operatic and symphonic repertoire in Europe and the United States.
Fried conceived and developed the RCO's projects focusing on Shostakovich, Messiaen, "Bach meets Brahms", and Bernstein. He also has cast the RCO's vocal productions, including the critically acclaimed concert performances of Wagner's Lohengrin in December 2015.
While continuing the Orchestra’s devotion to the traditional core repertoire of the 19th and early 20th centuries, with special attention to the works of Bruckner and Mahler, Fried has developed and strengthened the orchestra’s unique contemporary music series. Under his leadership, the RCO has commissioned more than fifty new works from a variety of composers, including its first commissions ever for multimedia and spatial works. In order to reach new audiences and strengthen connections with existing audiences, he initiated RCO Club Night, the successful "Essentials" series, the RCO Artist in Residence, and post-concert "Meet the Artists" events, and he expanded the RCO's concert previews. His orchestral programming has received awards both in the United States and in Europe.
Jesús Iglesias Noriega - Head of artistic affairs Dutch National Opera
The Spaniard Jesús Iglesias Noriega studied at the University of Oviedo and in Madrid. He began his career in 1995, at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires as an assistant to the artistic director, after which he worked until 1997 in the communications department. In 1997, he was appointed as assistant to the artistic director of the Teatro Real in Madrid. Since January 2002 Jesús Iglesias Noriega has worked at the Teatro Real as Head of Artistic Affairs. Iglesias Noriega was a member of the jury at such important international vocal competitions as Iris Adami Corradetti (Padova), de Elardo International Opera Competition (Bruges) and the International Singing Contest ‘Francisco Viñas’ (Barcelona). In May 2012 he was appointed head of Artistic Affairs at Dutch National Opera.
Eva Wagner-Pasquier - Opera manager | Bayreuther Festpiele
Richard Wagner's great-granddaughter, has been co-director of the Bayreuth Festival from 2008-2015. Before that she worked at the Wiener Staatsoper and was for 11 years casting director for Leo Kirch’s Unitel. In 1984 she became opera director at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and in 1987 director of programming at the Opéra Bastille in Paris. She has worked at a number of major theatres in Europe and the United States. She was artistic advisor of the Théatre du Châtelet in Paris, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence and the attached Académie européenne. She is a member of the advisory committee of the Birgit Nilsson Foundation and the Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna. Eva Wagner-Pasquier was honoured as ‘Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur’ and with ‘Der Bayrischer Verdienstorden’.