April 2023: from Bach to Verdi

April was a month filled with extraordinary musical projects that took me on a captivating journey through Israel, the Netherlands, and Belgium. From standing in holy places to collaborating with renowned ensembles, each experience left an indelible mark on my heart.

In the Netherlands, I joined forces with the Nederlandse Bachvereniging for an awe-inspiring project—the Matthew Passion. Performing this cherished masterpiece 13 times throughout the country was an honor. Standing alongside the talented soprano Alyson, our voices wove together, creating a tapestry of sound that resonated with audiences. The meticulous care provided by the organization, from their warm meals to their friendly staff, ensured a supportive and nourishing environment. Under the guidance of conductor Masato Suzuki, the performances were marked by passion and nuance, infusing each note with profound meaning.

In Israel, I had the privilege of performing the revered works of Mozart and Beethoven alongside the esteemed Collegium Vocale Gent and the Israel Camerata Jerusalem. The emotional depth of the music and the historical significance of the locations we sang about created an unparalleled connection to the stories and emotions they embody. Exploring Tel Aviv and Jerusalem was a remarkable experience, both musically and culturally, as I witnessed the vibrant music scene and absorbed the warmth of the people. Michael, the French horn player in the orchestra, not only enchanted us with his musical prowess but also showcased his passion for his city. As a licensed tour guide, he graciously offered us a free tour of the captivating Old City of Jerusalem. His insights and anecdotes brought history to life, deepening our connection to the sacred places we had long sung about.

Across the border in Belgium, my collaboration with Collegium Vocale Gent brought me face to face with the poignant and beautifully written Verdi Requiem. The music touched the depths of my soul, leaving an enduring impact. Beyond the performances, I had the opportunity to bond with my colleagues, exploring the charming city of Antwerp and even venturing into the world of bouldering. However, the true highlight of the project was the invaluable lesson I received from the remarkable soprano Eleanor Lyons. Her impeccable technique, musicality, and vibrant voice left an unforgettable impression on me, shaping my artistry and inspiring me to new heights. It was extremely kind to help me out in her well-deserved free hours.

These musical adventures have not only enriched my artistic journey but also fostered cherished friendships with fellow musicians. The shared dedication and love for the art form have forged bonds that transcend borders and cultures, creating a sense of unity and support within the musical community.

As I reflect on these experiences, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities that have come my way. Each project, with its unique blend of music, locations, and companionship, has left an indelible mark on my artistic path. I eagerly anticipate the next chapter, knowing that the joy of making music and forging meaningful connections will continue to shape my journey.

Next up in June: a holiday (yay!), an audition in Zürich, a Bachcantata in The Hague, visiting my beloved teacher in Bologna for lessons and singing the role of 2nd woman, 2nd witch in Dido & Aeneas.

Part of JOBE 2023 🥳

Extremely happy to announce that I’ll be joining the promotion of Jeune Orchestre Baroque Européenne this year, a wonderful young artist initiative from the ensemble Les Ombres ❤️

I’m very excited to have coachings, meet lots of new people and perform Stradella together in the South of France! ☀️

This was an audition I was not expecting to get but I’m so grateful to get the opportunity to learn and perform in this inspiring setting.



➡️ 22-7: Festival des Nuits musicales d’Uzès

➡️ 28-7: Festival du CCR de l’Abbaye de Sylvanès

➡️ T.b.d.: a tour in 2023-2024


More info: https://www.jobe.info/

Competitions and auditions + looking back on the Telemann Competition

As a singer trying to build a career it is so important to meet new people in the same field, learn new skills, to be heard and keep up to date about all what’s happening within the classical-early-contemporary music scene. For that reason I’m giving myself space and time to do all the auditions that would potentially fit me or something I can learn from, do competitions to meet people, be heard and hopefully get useful feedback and incorporate that in my singing and work. First I was hesitant to do it because I am afraid of not being perfect enough but even with rejection, something can still be a good learning experience. Now I’m in the lucky position I can block some time this spring to just go for it! 💥

This can be extremely inspiring, yet also exhausting because you try pick yourself up and try to prove yourself to all these new people that are established in the field. Sometimes it is hard to not take everything personally when you get criticized or rejected. Rejection is inevitable in many cases and part of our job. Art is subjective and taste dependant, but sometimes a rejection can show you what to work on next and how to improve yourself. Luckily there are people that are here to inspire and to help singers on that path.

Looking back on the Telemann Competition I really enjoyed meeting all the inspiring people there. The other contestants were so nice and sympathetic and it was a beautiful atmosphere. The organization consisted of kind and welcoming people and it was wonderful to hear the adoration for Telemann’s work in the city of Magdeburg. I was so happy to have made it to the semi-finals for my first real professional competition. I was very impressed by the quality of singers. It’s such a special moment to have all that skill and passion in a niche field collected in one place and share our love for this music together. The finalists were all fantastic and I was to happy to have met some of them and heard some of them sing as well. Wonderful job!

Some of the feedback I got, was useful and had positive reenforcement plus constructive criticism. I am so motivated to work on the things said by some of the jury members. Unfortunately this world also has conservative sides and sometimes it feels like some people just like asserting their power when they have it. I really hope those people can learn how to give correct feedback that is useful for contestants. It is a very vulnerable state and it makes a lot of difference when people handle this with care and kindness. Some of the things said to me and others were quite unacceptable but maybe I am naive in thinking that should be different. This is my first professional competition and maybe it is just a cut-throat environment in some aspects with misplaced power, personal agendas and unkind intentions. Learning to not take everything to heart and filter only the things useful to me is a skill I am working on that hopefully will save me some suffering in the future.

What was pretty amazing, was the fact that the drop-outs before the finals could join a masterclass with Peter Van Heyghen. This is a wonderful idea and I believe he is the perfect person for this as well. An inspiring authority in the field and one of the kindest people I met. He is very clear and teaches you a lot in a short time, verifying if his take is useful to you. This is just a brilliant move of the organization. This way all contestants can go home inspired and happy. I’m very grateful for the organization for their hard work and welcoming attitude.

As the Dutch say: “Nee heb je, ja kun je krijgen.” and I translate that to “if you don’t try, you’ll never know what it can bring.” So, let’s see what the future brings.

Recording Missa Solemnis – Beethoven – Collegium Vocale Gent

Last December I was lucky enough to join Collegium Vocale Gent on their tour of 10 concerts, performing Missa Solemnis from Beethoven with Orchestre des Champs-Elysées led by Philippe Herreweghe.

A beautiful video recording has been made of the performance in BOZAR, Brussels (BE). Click here for the full video.

BachPlus on 25 September

Next Sunday I will join BachPlus led by Bart Naessens. What a last-minute wonderful surprise to be singing with such a beautiful ensemble!

We will perform a program of wedding cantatas, BWV 196, 197, 250, 251 and 252. I’d love to tell you much more about the subject but Koen Uvin can do that much better if you listen to his podcast (in Flamish).

Click here for the podcast. More information about tickets and location can be found here.

Concert 7 October with Michela Amici

On the 7th of October Michela and I will perform a program of beautiful Italian Baroque music by female composers. For tickets and practical information click here!

Michela and I have been a duo in the past few years and had coachings with the iconic Christina Pluhar, mostly known for her ensemble l´Arpeggiata. The early Italian baroque offers a lot of elegant music, but mostly the music from male composers is heard in concert halls today. Luckily female composers have made an uprise in the last few years and Michela and I are happy to be part of this movement.

Most female composers in Italy in the 17th century were nuns who had the time and means to compose. Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704) is a wonderful example of that. She published a lot of music throughout her life and because of her long life developed her style to go with the times. We’re excited to perform her relatively unknown but beautiful work “Nive Puer”.

Barbara Strozzi and Francesca Caccini are exceptions to the rule and were non-nun-composers. Strozzi had coachings with Francesco Cavalli and added her own dramatic flare to the style she adapted from him. Francesca learned the craft through her father Giulio Caccini. Her upbeat, light, strophic songs are a nice counterpart to the music of full on dramaqueen Barbara Strozzi.

We hope to see you there!

Thank you to Stichting Eigen Muziekinstrument for helping Michela purchase her baroque harp and creating opportunities for us to create perform our concert programs.

Postponed: J.S. Bach – The Apocalypse

— The opera that Bach never wrote —

The last few months working on this project was amazing. Meeting lots of kind people who inspire me so much and together exploring the dramatic power that Bach’s music has and putting it in this almost horror (in the best way) opera was quite the experience. ❤

Unfortunately due to covid measures it’s impossible to give this opera the audience that it deserves. Which is why after the première last Wednesday, the project is postponed to 2024. But it will happen.. it has to happen! 💥

Messiah tour canceled

Unfortunately another cancelation post because of the corona measures. The planned Messiah tour led by Johannes Leertouwer is not going to happen. With the current rules it is very hard for the team – actually impossible – to reorganise all events to the afternoon and sell enough tickets.

Hopefully stages will open soon and we will all be able to enjoy live music again without too many rules or fear. Stay safe!

Next Generation Festival Canceled

Due to the current measures of the government, the Next Generation Festival in Amare – the new conservatory of the Hague – is canceled. The festival was organized in such a way that the audience could move around and enjoy catering as well. Unfortunately that means it is not possible with the current restrictions. Luckily there will be other concerts next week on the agenda. For more info click here.