Blog Annett Andriesen: 'The Voice of Den Bosch'
20 June 2014 General manager Annett Andriesen: "We try to ensure that a tough competition can still have a warm human side"
We’ve received a lot more enrolments for the Preliminary Rounds this year than in previous sessions — nearly 100 more than in 2012! The final 100 candidates for this year’s Preliminary Rounds will appear in the Theater aan de Parade in ’s-Hertogenbosch on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 June, hoping to be admitted to the 50th International Vocal Competition that will be held between 4 and 14 September. Also new in the Competition this year is the Lied Duo section, in which the singer and his or her own pianist will be judged as an ensemble.
Tough competition with a warm human side
There’s always a huge amount of competitiveness during the Preliminary Rounds and the Competition itself. The singers really have to fight to get through to the finals — they have to prove that they’re better than a good 70 or so other candidates. We try to ensure that such a tough competition can still have a warm and human side: every candidate has the possibility of watching other candidates perform and we try to make things as comfortable as possible for them. It might not give the impression of being a real competition, but it is nonetheless! The difference is that here candidates can relax with each other; friendships are made and candidates feel like colleagues rather than just competitors. We’ve seen via FaceBook that many of the participants of last year’s Wagner Academy are still very much keeping in touch.
The ‘Voice of Den Bosch’
During the Preliminary Rounds on 27 and 28 June the singers will perform two arias or songs and will be judged on musicality, vocal quality, presentation and language skills. The jury will also take the singer’s suitability for opera or concert work into account. The ‘Voice of Den Bosch’, as it were! The jury will be made up of eminent singers, agents, orchestral musicians and a conductor. We always consider very carefully who would be best suited to appear on our juries: this year we have conductor Kenneth Montgomery and tenor Siegfried Jerusalem; I met Dame Kiri Te Kanawa at the BBC Singer of the World last year and she was delighted to accept. Also present are mezzo-soprano Anne Gjevang — with whom I sang for KRO at the beginning of our careers in 1978 — and Evamaria Wieser, an influential casting adviser for many opera houses. A complete list of the members of the jury can be found on our website.
Discover the immense variety of the human voice!
Lovers of singing can spend whole days in the Theater aan de Parade listening to all the different singers who will be taking part in the Preliminary Rounds. High voices, low voices, small voices, joyful voices — we have them all — and the competitive element adds an extra element of excitement. I don’t have a favourite type of music, although I do have favourite composers: Richard Strauss and Wagner for opera in any case. If you’re not a professional musician, then your emotions guide your listening much more: does the music grip you? Does it move you? A singer may have a good technique, but maybe you don’t like their sound. All of these things make listening to singers so fascinating. Even before I became involved with the Competition I was always in the audience from the very first round — it was so wonderful to be in the middle of it all. And listening to all the different singers is very addictive — once you’ve been to one round, you just have to come back for them all. I invite you all to come and experience this for yourselves — and don’t forget to tell us what you think afterwards!
A Preliminary Rounds dayticket costs € 15,-. With discount € 7,50 (students, youngers 'til 18 years and with a CJP card). Tickets are available on the website of the Theater aan de Parade.
Timetable Friday 27 June
Timetable Saturday 28 June
Behind the scènes photo's by Hélène van Domburg (2013)
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