2023 Vocal Coaches
2023 Acting Coach
Marie-Elise Boyer is a French pianist and repetiteur. She has been working as a repetiteur for 9 years in German theatres such as Staatsoper Hamburg, Staatstheater Nürnberg and Theater Bremen. Additionally, she worked with Cape Town Opera’s Young Artist Program in 2018.
Her passion for Art Song led her to reach the Final of both Nadia et Lili Boulanger competition in Paris with Eva Ganizate in 2009 and Concours International de Mélodie Française in Toulouse with Sophie Boyer in 2013. She won the First Prize in the Elsa Respighi competition in Verona, Italy, in October 2018 with Canadian Soprano Leah Gordon. They both reached the Final in the Brahms competition in Pörtschach, Austria, in September 2019. She regularly performs in Art Song and Chamber Music recitals.
She recently recorded newly composed songs on poems by Lucien Guérinel with her sister Sophie Boyer, soprano. Both of them also created a program composed of works exclusively written by women composers, which is currently broadcast on medici.tv.
She is fortunate to receive the musical guidance and inspiration from artists such as Cameron Stowe, Jonathan Feldman, Kayo Iwama and Margo Garrett.
A native of Montreal, Kimberley-Ann Bartczak is a conductor, pianist and vocal coach. Currently, the Principal Coach and Accompanist at Pacific Opera Victoria, she was Associate Artistic Director for Manitoba Underground Opera, Resident Conductor and Repetiteur at Calgary Opera, was on staff at Opera on the Avalon, and an alumna of Vancouver Opera's Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program. Recent appearances include: Music Director for the world premiere of Veronika Krausas' Ghost Opera at Calgary Opera and Sokolovic/Bartok’s Svadba/Bluebeard’s Castle double bill at Manitoba Underground Opera, principal coach for Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Pacific Opera Victoria. She is an active performer, having performed and conducted coast to coast across Canada as well as in the United States, Mexico and Europe. She also teaches at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and is a regular vocal coach at the University of Victoria.
Primarily in London, Portugal and Amsterdam, Jorge Balça has a unique combination of skillsets – as a stage director (of theatre, opera, and hybrid forms), a teacher and workshop leader, a presentation skills, performance and creativity coach, and a practice-based researcher. His work in all these domains is distinguished by his commitment to and skill in making fantasy and invention emerge. He is a classically trained actor and countertenor. He has engaged intensely with the Lecoq actor-training method, including clown and mask work, which he often applies to opera teaching and opera production. His TEDx talk Me, My Body and Everyone Else: the changing body from within and without, exploring the neuroscience of acting, is a true expression of his commitment to interdisciplinary creative and collaborative research. His work is consistently dramaturgically inventive, visually striking, and physically engaged. He is one of the co-founders of Lisbon Lyric Studio, is Associate Director of the company, The Opera Makers (London), and continues to freelance internationally as a stage director, teacher, lecturer and drama coach.
Currently, Music Director and Conductor for the Great Falls (MT) Symphony, Grant Harville has held director positions for orchestras and opera productions throughout North America. Recent guest conducting appearances include the Bozeman Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Southwest Michigan Symphony, St. Cloud Symphony, and Georgia Symphony.
Harville has collaborated with numerous artists of international stature, including Bela Fleck, Martina Filjak, Orion Weiss, Dominic Cheli, Chee-Yun, William Hagen, Stephanie Chase, Inbal Segev, and Pink Martini. He conducted the first full-length orchestral program in the United States with French-Canadian folk group Le Vent du Nord, and orchestrated and premiered a symphonic collaboration with Native American hip-hop artist Supaman.
Harville’s eclectic musical background includes experience as a tubist, vocalist, violist, and composer. As tenor with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, he performed as soloist with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
PREVIOUS COACHING STAFF
Margaret Singer is a very experienced accompanist and vocal coach with a wide and varied repertoire. She has worked with important singers such as Sharon Sweet, Samuel Ramey, Beverly Sills (at New York City Opera) Magda Olivero (La Voix Humaine at the San Francisco Opera) as well as with major conductors such as Leonard Bernstein (Tristan und Isolde excerpts at the Berkshire Music Festival, Tanglewood, with Ingrid Bjoener and James King) and Michel Plasson (Carmen at New York City Opera.) She has appeared in recital with Veronica Tyler, Lucine Amara, Faith Esham, and with the violinist Paul Zukovsky. Recently she has made a specialty of training young pianists to become Opera Coaches, starting the Apprentice Coach Program at the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera and continuing to this day at the Atelier Lyrique of the Opera de Paris. Many of her former students have achieved acclaim at the most important opera houses in the world, such as Opera de Nice, Opera National du Rhin, Strasbourg, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Duesseldorf, and Oper Koeln.
Nathaniel LaNasa discovers fresh
possibilities of sonority, gesture, and storytelling in music — especially in music being written NOW. In 2022, Nate played Ricky Ian Gordon’s new opera for two pianos, Intimate Apparel, at Lincoln Center Theater. Works written for him include Tyler Harrison’s piano concerto, a protest song by Shawn Jaeger, and Molly Joyce’s YouSaidHeSaidSheSaid for vocalist and singing pianist.
As winners of the 2019 Joy In Singing International Art Song Competition, Nate and partner baritone Gregory Feldmann made their sold-out Carnegie Hall debut in February 2020. Nate also frequently partners with vocalist Lucy Dhegrae; they have performed together in the candlelit crypt of the Church of the Intercession, as part of the Resonant Bodies Festival, and at the American Music Festival (Albany Symphony). He’s also appeared in song partnerships at the Musée d’Orsay, Royaumont Abbey, Brooklyn Art Song Society, and New York Festival of Song.
Nate joined the coaching staff at Berlin Opera Academy in 2019, and the faculty of Saluzzo Opera Academy in 2021. Nathaniel-LaNasa.com
A native of New Brunswick, Canada, pianist Anne Larlee is a repetiteur and coach with the Komische Oper Berlin and the Canadian Opera Company. She is a member of the coaching faculty of both the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin and the Universität der Künste Berlin. She completed her training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships.
Anne has appeared on stages across Canada, the USA, France, Italy and the UK, including London’s Wigmore Hall. She recently completed a cross-Canada recital tour in honor of Maureen Forrester with soprano Simone Osborne and baritone Dominique Côté. In constant demand, La Scena Musicale recently said of Anne "She has really become one of the best young collaborative pianists of our time".
Anita Keller started her piano studies with Prof. Günther Kootz at University of Music and Theatre Leipzig. She has had concerts in Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Spain, Israel, Japan, Iran and Haiti, as well as accompanied young singers at the master courses of Prof. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Prof. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Prof. Aribert Reimann. She has been the competition accompanist at the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition in Leipzig and International Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau, as well as soloist at the opening concert and juror at the 1st International Zdeněk Fibich Competition in the Interpretation of Melodrama in Prague. Since 2000, she has been the répétiteur at Kammersänger Prof. Peter Tschaplik’s Private Academy of Art of Singing and Speech Training Berlin and at the annual master courses in Spremberg, Jelenia Góra and Krzyżowa in Poland. Since 2001, Anita has been in artistic collaboration with Scot Weir (tenor) and since 2007 with Daniel Schmahl (trumpet and corno da caccia). She has won special prizes for piano accompaniment at Young Opera Singers Competition in 1985 and 1989. In 2000, she was honored to be the Guest Lecturer at University of Colorado at Boulder, USA.
Meik Schwalm was a faculty member at NSVI as a Performance and Life Coach. He was a singer himself and sang at the Berlin State Opera, Hamburg State Opera and many other Theatres around Europe in leading roles. His expertise is focused on recognizing, believing and optimizing each individual artist's potential. At NSVI, in addition, he will lead meditation (Anapana Technique) sessions and exercises in positive psychology.You can find more information about Meik Schwalm at: www.kuenstlercoaching-berlin.de/en/
Pianist and music teacher, Bernd has been working as an Assistant Coaching Professor at the College of Music and Drama in Hannover, Germany since 1982. He also teaches at the Schlaffhorst-Andersen School, coaching the international Instrumental and Vocal Classes and collaborating with Peter Feuchtwanger and Norman Shetler in Masterclasses. Bernd has partnered with Peter Elkus with Masterclasses in conducting singing and piano studies (Antibes / New York). He has coached at the Neil Semer Vocal Institute (Aub/ Coesfeld) since 1998 and in 2009 the CD, Spanisches Liederbuch-Geistliche Lieder (Hugo Wolf) was released with the soprano Monika Eder and Bernd Grussendorf.
Luca De Marchi
Luca is currently vocal coach at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. He has been collaborating as Repetiteur with several Opera houses and festivals all over Europe (Teatro “La Fenice” in Venice, Salzburg and Bregenz Festival) and Asia (Beijing NCPA and Suzhou Festival). He served for the Wiener Staatsoper as Italian coach for two years and took part, at the harpsichord, for the performances of “Le Nozze di Figaro” and “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” with the Wiener Philharmoniker. As harpsichordist, he has appeared with the Venice Baroque Orchestra in several concerts at the New York Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Disney Concert Hall and for the Rome Chamber Music Festival. He played, as keyboardist at several orchestra concerts and recordings with the Wiener Symphoniker.
Luca has partnered, as vocal coach for the master classes with some of today’s most sought-after voice teachers, including Thomas Hampson, Grace Bumbry and Neil Semer. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra in a co-production of the Lucerne Festival, the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and the Dortmund Philharmonic. Luca studied piano with Massimo Somenzi, composition with Fabio Vacchi, orchestra conducting with Michael Gielen at the Mozarteum Salzburg and opera coaching at the Teatro La Scala in Milan.
More on: www.lucademarchi.net
International performing artist and pedagogue, pianist Jean Desmarais earned his Masters degree and Premier Prix in Piano and Chamber Music at the Conservatoire in Montreal and continued his studies in Paris, Berlin and in the USA. He studied with Monique Collet-Samyn, Anisia Campos, Monique Deschaussées (Paris), Johanna Stieler (Berlin) and Dalton Baldwin (USA). He has collaborated with artists such as Kiri Te Kanawa, Ben Heppner, Tracy Dahl, Amanda Forsyth, Pinchas Zukerman, Robert Cram, Shauna Rolston, Kevin McMillan, Monica Whicher, Julie Nesrallah, Steven Dann, Bob Becker, Alain Trudel, Rivka Golani, Denis Lawlor, Joel Quarrington, Donna Brown, Carlos Garcia, Michel Brousseau, Johannes Debus and many others. For the last 6 years, Mr. Desmarais has been on the faculty at the National Arts Centre Young Artists Program (Vocal Program with Soprano Benita Valente), Young Conductors Program (assisting Maestri Panula and Kiesler) and Young Composers Program (under the supervision of Gary Kulesha and Alexina Louie), he taught at Carleton University, the International Music Academy of Nice (assistant of Lorraine Nubar from the Juilliard School), and was invited as Guest Professor at Ottawa University. Mr. Desmarais has received the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canada for his remarkable contribution to the arts in Canada and abroad.
Raised on a ranch in Arizona, Jason Weaver began learning piano at the age of six. He went on to study music at the University of Arizona in Tucson and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance. During his studies, Jason was awarded the AOG Outstanding Accompanist Award, won 1st Place in the University Presidents Concerto Competition and won the Tucson Symphony Competition where he played Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto with the Symphony.Not only interested in classical music, Jason formed a jazz band, "The Maximums"with fellow students that performed around the southwest.He then went on to study with Gregory Allen and David Garvey at the University of Texas in Austin and received his Masters Degree in Piano Performance and Accompanying.Upon finishing his schooling in 1995, Jason moved to Germany to pursue his career in music. During this time he accompanied various singers for concerts in America, as well as on the European continent. He helped create the summer opera program, the Austrian American Mozart Academy in Salzburg, Austria where he has also worked as a conductor and vocal coach. In Austria, he has been a vocal coach at the University of Miami Summer Music Program in Salzburg and also on the accompaniment staff at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz. His first German theatrical engagement was as vocal coach and music director at the Landestheater Mecklenburg in Neustrelitz, Germany.He held the position of Kapellmeister (assistant conductor) at the Staatstheater Oldenburg in Oldenburg, Germany. As a conductor he has directed a variety of pieces ranging from Turandot to My Fair Lady. He performs regularly at the theater on piano for various chamber music concerts and song recitals as well.
Stage director, Ylva Kihlberg, tells the stories of opera, the stories of humans, the stories of life. She was born and educated in Stockholm, Sweden, and started her career at The Royal Opera in Stockholm.
She was a principal soprano at the Royal Opera in Copenhagen, Denmark for 16 years and has sung leading roles, including Contessa, Marschallin, Rusalka, Fiordiligi and Mimi in the USA, England, Scotland, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Switzerland, Israel, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark, et al. Ylva Kihlberg has been knighted and awarded the Cross of Order of Chivalry by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. In 2017, Ms. Kihlberg celebrated 25 years on stage, and her directorial debut, directing Puccini's Suor Angelica in Copenhagen. The production was a great success and went on tour in several parts of Denmark. At the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen in October 2020, she directed her critically acclaimed production of Vox Humana by Poulenc. Planned are directing debuts in Germany, directing Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, and in Sweden, directing a European premiere, in 2022. Her stage directing has been praised for its sharpness and musicality, exceptional storytelling, care for the music, and attention to detail and character. Ylva Kihlberg is a popular acting coach, working with singers from all over the world. She is the leader and founder of thatsYproductions, played the piano for 10 years, is a trained dancer and used to sing in a rockband!
After studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sharolyn Kimmorley joined the Music Staff of The Australian Opera and has assisted in the preparation of a vast range of works with many distinguished singers and conductors. Sharolyn has held the positions of Principal Répétiteur and Head of Music Staff for the Australian Opera. From 1994 to 1999 she was the company's Artistic Administrator, following which she was Opera Australia's Director of Music Administration until June 2003.
Sharolyn Kimmorley is regarded as one of Australia’s finest vocal coaches and accompanists. She has recorded for the ABC Classics and accompanied some of the world's most distinguished recitalists.
In January 2009 Sharolyn became a member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her work as an accompanist and the nurturing and mentoring of emerging artists.
In 2017 Sharolyn was the recipient of the MOST Achievement Award in recognition of her long and distinguished career.
As well as a busy freelance career as a vocal coach, Sharolyn is currently a faculty member of the New Zealand Opera School, Artistic Adviser to the Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust, Artistic Director of The Opera Club (Christchurch) Chorus Director for Opera New Zealand (Christchurch) and Guest Vocal Coach at the Tiroler Festspiele in Erl, Austria.
Pianist and vocal coach Phyllis Ferwerda has taught singers at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague for almost 30 years.
She was staff member of the Gregynog Festival in Wales as well as the Britten/Pears school in Aldeburgh.
As repetiteur she worked for the Nationale Reisopera and for the International Vocal Competition of Hertogenbosch in Holland.
Being a passionate lover of a art song, she has played for uncountable masterclasses, including those with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Elly Ameling and Robert Holl. She has shared the recital stage with many young singers, among which Barbara Kozelj, Maria Fiselier and Barbara Hannigan.
Next to her musical career, she is a certified yoga teacher. She received her 500 hrs training at Saswitha, school for Philosophy and Yoga and has set up an elective ‘Yoga for Musicians’ at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.
Since 2019, she has been invited by Barbara Hannigan to give Yoga workshops for the Equilibrium Young Artists program.
The Ukrainian-American pianist began her multifaceted career with the Gregg Smith Singers during her studies as piano major at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, collaborating with contemporary American composers and recording their music, concertizing extensively throughout the USA and Asia. After a two year grant specializing in German Lied with Prof. Konrad Richter at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart, vocal coaching and accompanying followed as adjunct professorships at various European universities as well as at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich. In 2002 she joined the staff at the Bavarian Theater Academy August Everding in Munich, her extensive repertoire and intuitive competence in various musical genres being valued in both opera and musical theatre departments. Ms. Cybriwsky is sought out as pianist for master classes, i.e. with Brigitte Fassbaender, Sylvia Geszty and Christa Ludwig. As a soloist, Lied- and instrumental accompanist, she has shared her long-standing, successful concert experience on five continents in numerous recordings on CD, German radio and television, which confirm her excellent reputation as an internationally renowned pianist.
Born in Samara (Russia), Andre Hovrin began his piano studies at the Music Academy Petrodzavodski studying piano with Prof. Ruvim Ostrovsky, graduating with Honors in chamber music and accompaniment. Postgraduate courses followed as an accompanist with Tatiana Bibikova. He played for conducting and singing classes and was a lecturer for Chamber music and composition at the Music Academy in Petrosavodsk beginning in 2000. He went on for further postgraduate studies in vocal accompaniment with Konrad Richter at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart. He worked as an accompanist at numerous international Master Classes including Inge Borkh, Julia Hamari, Richard Miller, Luba Orgon¡, the Summer Academy in Salzburg, Jeunesses Musicales Weikersheim, in Switzerland, Germany and Iceland. Since 2010 he has accompanied for the European Singing Competition; DEBUT. He is also a guest professor/coach for the music conservatories in Wuerzburg, Hanover and Dusseldorf . Guest appearances have taken him to the Theatre of Wuerzburg, the Young Opera of the State Theatre Stuttgart, Opera Weikersheim and the Comic Opera in Berlin. A diverse musical career as an accompanist and Chamber musician have taken him to Russia, Germany, Sweden, Iceland,Slovenia, Greece and Italy. In 2011 Gramola released the CD "Songs in Folk Style" with Esther Kretzinger and Andrej Hovrin. Another CD with songs by Berg, Sibelius, Grieg and Rachmaninov with soprano Audur Gunnarsdottir was released the same year in Iceland.
Martin Wright has enjoyed a successful career as a conductor, chorus master, coach/ accompanist, and vocalist for more than 35 years. His operatic repertoire encompasses more than 120 works, and his oratorio/ symphonic repertoire more than 130. Currently chorus master at the Staatsoper Berlin, he was artistic director of the chorus of The Netherlands Opera (Amsterdam) from 2006 to 2012, and chorus master at San Diego Opera from 1984 to 1997. From 1993 through 2002, Wright was chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir, and continues as a guest conductor there for several productions annually. In 2011 Wright served as guest chorus master of the Bayerischer Rundfunkchor for Yevgeni Onegin, in 2013 for Der fliegende Holländer and in 2014 for Pique Dame. For the Netherlands Reisopera (Enschede), he recently prepared a very successful production of Sweeney Todd. In 2010 he was guest chorus master for the Hong Kong Philharmonic Beethoven Festival, and in 2011 was named principal guest conductor of the Chorus of the Shanghai Opera House.
Born in Lévis, Esther Gonthier has a reputation as one of the most versatile pianists in Canada, pursuing a busy career as rehearsal pianist, concert pianist and voice coach. With more than eighty operas in her repertory, she is much in demand in the world of vocal music. She works regularly for the Opéra de Montréal, and the Montreal Symphony, and with renowned conductors like Kent Nagano, Michel Plasson, Eliahu Inbal, Jean-Claude Casadesus, Charles Dutoit and Bernard Labadie. In addition, Ms. Gonthier enjoys passing on her knowledge and experience to the younger generation. She works as vocal coach for the Opéra de Montréal’s Atelier lyrique, at the music faculties of McGill University and the Université de Montréal, and at the Montreal Conservatoire, where she is currently co-director of the opera studio.
Was born in Moscow in 1961 and received four years of piano lessons from her mother , Valentina Strzizovskaja a pianist at the Moscow radio. From 1968-1976 Maria Ehrke - Urbanovič studied at the High School of Music at the Lyceum of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory with Prof. Biniatjana, then Boris Schazkes and from 1980-1985 she was a student at the Music Education Institute (now the Academy Gnessin ) in Moscow Arkady class Sevidov. From 1985-1988 she worked as a piano teacher and as an accompanist and piano accompanist at the Gnessin Academy . Since 1984 Maria Ehrke - Urbanovič performs with vocal and instrumental soloists of the Moscow Radio and produced chamber music recordings for radio and television. From 1988-1994 she was a soloist at the Moscow Philharmonic. Since 1995 Maria Ehrke - Urbanovič is a Coach at the Academy of Music "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin.