52nd International Vocal Competition - Opera | Oratorio
8 - 15 September 2018


Hannah Bradbury. Finale 49ste IVC 2012

Competition 2018

Members of the Jury for the 52nd International Vocal Competition 's-Hertogenbosch include world-renowned singers and various artistic directors.

Opera | Oratorio category 2018

  • Dame Kiri Te Kanawa soprano | jury president
  • Dunja Vejzović mezzo-soprano
  • Andrew Watts countertenor
  • Zizheng Yu tenor | senior professor Nanjing Normal University
  • Robert Holl bass | composer
  • Joel Ethan Fried artistic director Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
  • Eline de Kat artistic coordinator Opéra de Monte-Carlo
  • Jesús Iglesias Noriega head artistic affairs Dutch National Opera Amsterdam
  • Nicholas Payne director Opera Europa
  • Evamaria Wieser director of artistic administration Salzburger Festspiele | casting Lyric Opera of Chicago


Dame Kiri Te Kanawa - Soprano | Jury President

Dame Kiri Te KanawaKiri Te Kanawa was born in New Zealand with European and Maori heritage. By the time she was 20 she had won the major vocal prizes available in the South Pacific, and had also started her recording career - unusual for a prima donna in any era. In 1965 she moved to London to study at the London Opera Centre. After first appearing as Carmen in Britain and New Zealand, the young Te Kanawa was marked for Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, first at Sante Fe then at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1971.
After her sensational debut in Figaro Kiri Te Kanawa gained legendary status almost overnight and moved rapidly into the front rank of international opera. She became one of the most famous sopranos in the world, a familiar figure in the leading opera houses of the world - Covent Garden, the Metropolitan, the Chicago Lyric Opera, Paris Opera, Sydney Opera House, the Vienna State, La Scala, San Francisco, Munich and Cologne. Her heroines include the three major leading roles by Richard Strauss (Arabella, The Marschallin, and the Countess in Capriccio) ; Mozart's Fiordiligi, Donna Elvira, Pamina and, of course, the Countess Almaviva; Verdi's Violetta, Amelia Boccanegra, Desdemona; Puccini's Tosca, Mimi and Manon Lescaut; Johann Strauss' Rosalinde, and Tchaikovsky's Tatiana, also Bizet's Micaela (or Carmen), Gounod's Marguerite and Barber’s Vanessa.
On the concert stage, her natural serenity and vocal beauty have joined with the world’s major orchestral ensembles - Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony and the Boston Symphony under the baton of such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa and Sir Georg Solti.
She has appeared at venues as diverse as Glyndebourne, Tanglewood, Ravinia, the Verona Arena, the Hollywood Bowl, the festivals of Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg, and the desert outback of Australia.
Dame Kiri’s recordings include the complete Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosí fan Tutte, Die Zauberflöte and Tosca, La Rondine and Manon Lescaut, plus Simon Boccanegra, Arabella, Otello, La Traviata, Der Rosenkavalier, Faust, Eugene Onegin, Carmen, Capriccio and La Bohème, along with selections of arias from French, Italian and German operas.
Outside the operatic field, her recordings are equally extensive and include: Mozart concert arias; the Strauss Four Last Songs; and the notably successful Songs of the Auvergne (top of the best-seller charts in Britain); Berlioz's Nuits d'été; Brahms' German Requiem; Handel's Messiah, and the Beethoven 9th and Mahler 4th Symphonies.
She also joined Nelson Riddle for Blue Skies, an album of American popular songs; followed by albums of Gershwin, Porter and Kern songs and three classics of the light music stage: My Fair Lady, South Pacific, and Leonard Bernstein's only recording of West Side Story.
Created a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1982, Kiri Te Kanawa has been conferred with honorary degrees from the Universities in Cambridge, Oxford, Dundee, Durham, Nottingham, Sunderland, Warwick, Auckland, Waikato, Chicago and Wellington. She is also an honorary fellow of Somerville College, Oxford, and Wolfson College, Cambridge, and was invested with the Order of Australia in 1990.
In the 1995 Queen's Birthday Honours List, she was awarded the prestigious Order of New Zealand. Kiri is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music.
In 2004 she gave a gala concert in Auckland to launch the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation which aims to give support and financial assistance to dedicated New Zealand singers and musicians.In 2006 she received the International Achievement Summit Award and in 2010 was presented with the British Recording Industry’s 'Lifetime Achievement ' Award. In 2012 she was named 'Iconic New Zealander of the Year’. In 2010, her final appearance in a leading operatic role was the Marchioness in Cologne Opera’s 'Der Rosenkavalier".
In 2013 she appeared in "Downton Abbey" playing legendary Australian diva Dame Nellie Melba and commitments in 2014 include a guest appearance during the Covent Garden Opera season.
Dame Kiri te Kanawa was also a member of the IVC jury in 2014.


Dunja Vejzović - Mezzo-soprano

Masterclass Dunja Vejzovic

The Croatian mezzo-soprano Dunja Vejzović begins her career at he Zagreb National Theatre. From 1971 to 1976 she is a member of the Nürnberg Opera and until 1980 of the Opernhaus Frankfurt, where she appeares in several principal roles such as Venus in Wagners Tannhäuser. At the Bayreuth Festival she portrayes Kundry in Parsifal during three seasons und makes her Metropolitan debut as Venus with James Levine conducting. Herbert von Karajan engages her to appear in the Salzburg Festival, where she sings Kundry in the 1980/81 season and Ortrud in Lohengrin in 1984. In 1982 she has her debut a the Teatro alla Scala. In the following years she sings these roles in the leading opera houses in Europa and America and appears also as Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer as well as Brünnhilde in Die Walküre. Her versatile repertoire also includes amongst other roles Eboli in Don Carlo, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Abigaille in Nabucco, Adalgisa in Norma. She sings under conductors as Georges Prêtes, Lorin Maazel, Carlos Kleiber, Riccardo Muti, Christoph Eschenbach, Zubin Metha, Giannandrea Gavazzini, Nello Santi, Eugen Jochum and Armin Jordan. In 2004 she bids farewell to the stage as Charlotte in Werther in Zagreb. Dunja Vejzović has twice won the PRIX Fondation Fanny Heldy for her recording of Kundry and of Ortrud. After teaching at Academia in Zagreb and Hochschule in Graz, she is appointed at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart 2000. The German government has award her their Federal Cross of Merit. Dunja Vejzovic was a member of the IVC jury in 2010, and master during the IVC Wagner Academy in 2013. 

Andrew Watts - Countertenor

Andrew -Watts -1-Cred -Sarah -HicksonBorn in Middlesex, Andrew Watts studied at the Royal Academy of Music. He has performed at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, at English National Opera, at the Gyndebourne, Aldeburgh and Almeida Festivals and at the BBC Proms.
He has been invited to appear at a number of major international opera houses: the Staatsoper and Komische Oper in Berlin, the Hamburg Staatsoper, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, the Nationaltheater in Mannheim, RIAS Kammerchor in Berlin, the Theater an der Wien, La Scala Milan, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Opéra national du Rhin, Lyon Opera, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Teatro São Carlos in Lisbonne, the Grand Théâtre in Geneva, Flanders Opera, Graz Opera, the Stadttheater in Klagenfurt and Bielefeld and the Salzburg, Vienna, Dresden, Bregenz, Batignano and Montepulciano Festivals.
His repertoire includes Orpheo ed Eurydice by Gluck, Xerxes (Arsamenes), the title role in Orlando, Semele (Athamas), Tamerlano (Andronico), Agrippina (Ottone) by Handel, the title role in Artaserse by Leonardo da Vinci, Dido and Aeneas by Purcell (the Sorcerer), The Coronation of Poppea (Nero and the Nurse), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon), Venus and Adonis by John Blow (Grace), Die Fledermaus (Orlofsky), La Belle Hélène (Oreste), Der Meister und Margerita by Höller (Behemoth der Kater), L’Upupa by Henze (Adschib), The Death of Klinghofer by John Adams (Omar), Gawain by Birtwistle (Bishop Baldwin), Le Grand Macabre by Ligeti (Prince Go-Go), A Dog’s Heart by Alexander Rastakov (Vyasemskaya / Pleasant Voice / Proletarian) and Triumph of Beauty by Gerald Barry (Pleasure). He has taken part in the premier productions of numerous new works including Bählamms Fest and Lost Highway by Olga Neuwirth, The Last Supper and The Minotaur by Harrison Birtwistle, Alice in Wonderland by Unsuk Chin, Märchen by Nuñez, The Navigator by Lisa Lim, Line of Terror by Ian McQueen, Medea by Guarnieri, The Lamentations of Thel by Dimitri Smirnov, The Original Chinese Conjuror by Raymond Yiu, Thérèse Raquin by Michael Finnissey (Camille), Miss Fortune and The Outcast by Judith Weir, The Duchess of Malfi by Torsten Rasch, Between Worlds de Tansy Davies and Figaro Gets a Divorce by Elena Langer (Cherub). He also performs in a wide repertoire on the concert platform. 

Zizheng Yu - Tenor | Senior Professor Nanjing Normal University

Zizheng YuProf. 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.

Robert Holl - Bass | Composer

Robert _Holl _106_copyright _Benjamin _EalovegaRobert Holl was born in Rotterdam where he studied with Jan Veth and David Hollestelle. In 1971 he won the First Prize at the International Vocal Competition in s’-Hertogenbosch, followed by studies with Hans Hotter in Munich. In 1972 he won the First Prize at the "International Music Competition of the German Broadcasting Association” (ARD) in Munich which resulted in TV/Radio engagements and orchestral concerts. Between 1973 and 1975 he was a member of the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich.
After numerous years as a sought-after concert singer and Lieder recitalist Robert Holl has acquired a renewed interest in singing opera in the Eighties. He has appeared at the Staatsoper Wien, at the Brussels and the Zurich Opera as Sprecher and Sarastro / DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE,Amfortas / PARSIFAL,Gremin / EUGEN ONEGIN (sung in Russian), Basilio / IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, Assur / SEMIRAMIDE, Alfonso / COSI FAN TUTTE, La Roche / CAPRICCIO, Wassermann / RUSALKA (sung in Czech), Robert / DES TEUFELS LUSTSCHLOSS with conductors like Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Franz Welser-Möst.
From 1999 to 2002 Robert Holl has appeared as Landgraf Hermann / TANNHÄUSER,Commendatore / DON GIOVANNI, Hans Sachs / DIE MEISTERSINGER von Nürnberg, and Daland / DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin under the baton of Daniel Barenboim. In 2005 he sang again Hans Sachs under Barenboim.
He will be heard in this role again in a revival under Peter Schneider at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2008. In a new MEISTERSINGER production of the Köln Opera staged by Uwe-Eric Laufenberg he was again Hans Sachs.
At the Wiener Staatsoper he has been heard in different productions of Wagner Operas as Landgraf Hermann / TANNHÄUSER, König Marke / TRISTAN UND ISOLDE (conductors: Christian Thielemann, Franz Welser-Möst and Peter Schneider),Gurnemanz / PARSIFAL (conductor: Donald Runnicles), and as Pimen / BORIS GODUNOV (new production under Daniele Gatti, May 2007).
He has consecutively appeared as Hans Sachsin DIE MEISTERSINGER von Nürnberg in Bayreuth from 1996 to 2002 with great success (conductors: Daniel Barenboim and Christian Thielemann). From 2004-2007 he was Bayreuth´s Gurnemanz in Christoph Schlingensief´s production of PARSIFAL (conductors: Pierre Boulez and Adam Fischer). In the Festival summers of 2008 and 2009 he sang König Marke in a TRISTAN production of Christoph Marthaler and returned to Bayreuth in the same role in 2011 and 2012.
For many years Robert Holl has been a much sought-after concert singer, which enabled him to acquire a wide range of concert repertoire. He has appeared with the most renowned conductors and orchestras in Europe, America, and Japan.
Robert Holl is one of the most important Lieder singers of our time, having a particular preference for the German (especially Schubert) and Russian repertoire. He sings regularly with constant high acclaim in all the great music centres in Europe, Israel, the USA, Russia, and Japan. He is artistic director of Schubertiads in Austria and Holland as well as artistic advisor of the "Poetry and Music" series in the Brahmssaal of the Vienna Musikverein.
In 1990 Robert Holl was awarded the prestigious Austrian title of "Kammersänger", in 1997 he was named an "Honourable Member" of the "Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien" and of the Festival "Carinthischer Sommer" as well. In 1998 he became a Professor for Lied and Oratory at the "Uni-versität für Musik und darstellende Kunst" in Vienna. In 2005 he was awarded the "Österreichisches Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst I. Klasse". In 2007 he received the high Dutch award of „Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw” in his home town of Rotterdam.

Joel Ethan Fried - artistic director Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam

Joel Ethan Fried

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.

Eline de Kat - Artistic coordinator Opéra de Monte-Carlo

Eline De KatEline de Kat studied Theatrology at the University of Utrecht, taking piano and singing lessons at the same time. She started her career in music working for the agency Stage Door Opera Management in Modena, where she helped many young Italian singers make their first debuts outside Italy. Subsequently she worked for Allied Artists in London, IMG Artists in New York and Prima Artists Management in Bologna.

Since 2001 she is Déléguée Artistique at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, responsible for the casting of singers.


Jesús Iglesias Noriega - Head of artistic affairs Dutch National Opera

Jesus Iglesias NoriegaThe 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.

Nicholas Payne - Director Opera Europa

Nicholas PayneNicholas 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.

Evamaria Wieser - director of artistic administration Salzburger Festspiele | casting Lyric Opera of Chicago

Evamaria WieserEvamaria Wieser was born in Vienna. She studied piano, singing and languages. After a few years at the Holender Agency in Vienna, she worked from 1980-1988 in the artistic direction of the Bavarian State Opera, Munich. In autumn 1989 she was appointed artistic administrator of the Salzburg Festival under the direction of Gerard Mortier, a position she then hold until 2001. From 2002-2004 Ms. Wieser was working with Gerard Mortier for the newly founded Ruhr Triennale (Germany) as well as preparing his season programs as director of the Paris Opera. Since 2003 she has been head of opera production for the Salzburg Easter Festival under the artistic directions of Sir Simon Rattle and Christian Thielemann. From October 2004 to 2011 Ms. Wieser returned to the Salzburg Festival as director of artistic administration under artistic directors Peter Ruzicka, Jürgen Flimm and Markus Hinterhäuser.  Since 2008 she is European casting consultant for Lyric Opera Chicago. She was Artistic Consultant for Rome Opera from 2011-2013. She returns to the Salzburg Festival in 2015 and 2016 for the YSP (Young Singers Project), and in 2017 as director of artistic administration, together with artistic director Markus Hinterhäuser. 

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