2018 VOCAL COACHES
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 acclaimed 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.
2018 Acting Coach
Soprano and director Ylva Kihlberg was born and educated in Stockholm, Sweden. She started her career at The Royal Opera in Stockholm and was a principle at The Royal Opera in Copenhagen for 16 years. She has sung in the USA, England, Scotland, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Switzerland, as Tosca, Marchallin, Rusalka, Jenufa, Marie, Mimi, Tatjana, Alice, Vitellia, Donna Elvira, the Countess et.al. Danish composer Poul Ruders wrote an opera, based on Lars von Triers Dancer in the Dark for her, which she performed both in Copenhagen and New York City.
She appears on several CD and DVD releases, has won many scholarships and awards and was awarded the Cross of Order of Chivalry by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
Kihlberg had her directing debut in 2017, directing Puccini's "Suor Angelica" in Copenhagen, Denmark. Due to its success, it is currently touring around Denmark. Next on her directing schedule will be "La Voix Humaine" by Poulenc.
Ylva Kihlberg teaches acting masterclasses regularly in Denmark, Sweden and Germany.
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.
PREVIOUS COACHING STAFF
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".
Native of Montréal, Québec, Kimberley-Ann Bartczak is quickly establishing herself as a sought after conductor, voice coach and pianist in Canada Ms. Bartczak is the new resident conductor and repetiteur for Calgary Opera, is currently on staff at Opera on the Avalon, and an alumni of Vancouver Opera's Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist program.
Graduate of University of Toronto in collaborative piano, she also has extensive experience with conducting and accompanying choirs including the Quebec Youth Choir, the St-Lambert Choral Society, and Mississauga Festival Choir. She was music director of l'Ensemble Vocal Chant-O-Vent where they performed for local communities around the Montreal area. While in Vancouver, Ms. Bartczak was appointed head coach for the voice department at Vancouver Academy of Music.
Recent appearances include guest conductor with I Musici de Montréal Chamber Orchestra, conductor for Ravel's L'enfant et les Sortilèges and guest conductor for Sondheim's Sound of Music at Opera on the Avalon, assistant conductor/repetiteur for Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Calgary Opera and repetiteur for Puccini's Turandot at Vancouver Opera, and coach at the Neil Semer Vocal Institute in Coesfeld, Germany.
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.
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 â€œSpanisches Liederbuch-Geistliche Lieder (Hugo Wolf) was released with the soprano Monika Eder and Bernd Grussendorf.
Luca De Marchi is currently Head of Musical Studies at the Dortmund Opera. He has collaborated with Teatro la Fenice in Venice, Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Ferrara Musica) Austria (Salzburg Festival and Bregenz Festival), Germany (State Theater Mainz and Darmstadt), France (Scene Nationale de Narbonne and Montecarlo Opera), Switzerland (Lucerne Theater), Norway (Opera Bergen), Spain (Tenerife Opera Festival) and Japan (Tokjo NHK Hall). He served for the Vienna State Opera as Italian coach for two years and worked with such conductors as Giuseppe Sinopoli, Fabio Luisi, Claudio Abbado, Donald Runnicles, Myung-Whun Chung, Carlo Rizzi and Vladimir Jurovski. Luca has partnered, as vocal coach for the master classes with some of today’s most sought-after vocalists teachers, including Thomas Hampson, Grace Bumbry, Kerstin Meyer, Elio Battaglia, Giorgio Zancanaro and Katia Ricciarelli. Luca has appeared as guest conductor with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, the Janacek Opera House Orchestra Brno, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and the Dortmund Philarmonic. He has been a member of the jury to the International Vocal Competition “Città di Brescia” (2008, 2010) and worked as vocal coach at the National Music Conservatory “G.Verdi” in Milan. Luca studied piano and composition at the National Conservatory of Venice and Castelfranco Veneto, orchestra conducting at the Mozarteum Salzburg and opera coaching at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.
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.
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.
Meik Schwalm has been a faculty member at NSVI since 2011 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/
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.
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.
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.
has lived and performed in Germany for thirty three years. After attending Carnegie Mellon University (B.A. in Voice, B.A. in Education and M.A. in Opera Performance), she continued her education at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Austria and at the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover. Her European career began at the Kammeroper in Vienna was followed by engagements in Hildesheim, Münster and Rudolstadt and guest engagements at numerous other German theaters.
She has sung well over thirty roles on stages from Leipzig to Cairo and can be heard on several CD´s. She has been on the faculty on AIMS teaching the auditions training program, has held Master classes with Alma Thomas in Washington D.C. and New York City, and teaches voice in Münster, Düsseldorf, Heidelberg Stuttgart, Copenhagen and Vienna.