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Master Classes and Other Special Guests

July 10 - 14, 2024 - Gary Matthewman, Pianist / Collaborative Pianist

Workshops for Collaborative Pianists

Gary Matthewman is one of the UK’s leading song pianists. A regular artist at Wigmore Hall in London, other recent and forthcoming appearances include Carnegie Hall in New York, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, and in Strasbourg, Prague, Lucerne, Basel, Lisbon, Toronto, São Paulo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Sydney. His UK Festival performances include Oxford Lieder, Leeds Lieder, Aldeburgh, Buxton and Glyndebourne.

Recent and future recital partners include Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Thomas Allen, Sumi Jo, Nuccia Focile, Mark Padmore, Ailyn Perèz, Kate Lindsey, Markus Werba, Dimitri Platanias, Sylvia Schwartz, Kate Royal, Andrei Bondarenko, Louise Alder, Adam Plachetka, Benjamin Appl, Sarah-Jane Brandon and Roderick Williams.

Gary has made numerous live broadcasts and recordings for BBC Radio 3, and his recent recording of Schubert’s Winterreise with Matthew Rose received widespread critical acclaim, featuring as Gramophone Magazine’s Recording of the Month and BBC Radio 3’s Disc of the Week. He is Professor of Vocal Repertoire at the Royal College of Music, and song coach for the Jette Parker Young Artists at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

July 22, 2024 - Clemens Anton Klug, Artists Agent - Klug Artists, Graz

Auditioning in Europe

Clemens was born and schooled in Graz and has been associated with AIMS all his life. Completed BA, MPh and PhD studies in Musicology, Romance Languages and Organ performance. He is a freelance author, journalist, program annotator, narrator, and musician.

Since 2004, Clemens works as an artists’ agent representing an international group of vocalists.

He frequently collaborates with the most prestigious promoters, orchestras, festivals and opera houses around the World.

Artists he has worked with include Christa Ludwig, Elina Garanča, Rolando Villázon, Thomas Hampson, and actors Christoph Waltz and Vanessa Redgrave. On his roster are several former AIMSers whom he represents in various European countries.

He teaches audition training at the Graz Music University, in London, Washington DC, Buenos Aires, and many other places.

July 23, 2024 - Rolando Villazón, Tenor

Master Class for Singers

Through his uniquely compelling performances, Rolando Villazón has firmly established himself as one of the music world’s most critically acclaimed and beloved stars and as one of the leading artistic voices of our day. Celebrated and loved by critics and audiences alike, Villazón’s versatility is unique: in addition to his stage career, he is also a stage director, novelist, artistic director and presenter on television and radio.

Born in Mexico City, he began his musical studies at the National Conservatory of his native country before becoming a member of the junior programs at the Pittsburgh Opera and San Francisco Opera. Rolando Villazón quickly made a name for himself on the international music scene after winning several prizes at Plácido Domingo’s “Operalia” competition in 1999 (including the Zarzuela Prize and the Audience Prize). This was followed in the same year by his European debut as Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon in Genoa and debuts as Alfredo in La Traviata at the Opéra de Paris and as Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth at the Staatsoper Berlin. Since then, Rolando Villazón has been a regular guest at the Staatsoper Berlin, Munich and Vienna, at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Salzburg Festival, working with leading orchestras and renowned conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Antonio Pappano and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He has performed at venues including London’s Barbican Hall, the Philharmonie in Paris, Berlin and Cologne, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome and New York’s Carnegie Hall. In 2011, Rolando Villazón made his debut as a stage director with an acclaimed production of Massenet’s Werther with the Opéra Lyon and has since directed at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf, the Vienna Volksoper, the Semperoper in Dresden, the Théatre des Champs-Elysées and most recently at the 2022 Salzburg Festival, where his production of Il barbiere di Siviglia with a star cast under the direction of Cecilia Bartoli was acclaimed by critics and audiences.

In 2007, Rolando Villazón became an exclusive recording artist with Deutsche Grammophon and since then has sold over 2 million albums worldwide with a catalogue including over 20 CDs and DVDs which have received numerous prizes. He was also awarded the title of Chévalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, one of the highest honors in the field of art and literature in France, his permanent residence. Rolando Villazón is an ambassador for RED NOSES Clowndoctors International and a member of the Collège de Pataphysique de Paris. His first novel “Malabares” was published in 2013, followed by “Lebenskünstler” in 2017 and “Amadeus auf dem Fahrrad” in 2020, which was on Der Spiegel magazine’s bestseller list for several weeks. Rolando Villazón presented his own series “Stars of Tomorrow” on Arte, hosted on Radio Classique in France and can be heard daily on Klassik Radio with “Rolando furioso”. In 2017, he was appointed ambassador of the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg. He is currently the artistic director of the foundation.

During the 2023-24 season, Rolando Villazón returns to some of the world’s most prestigious stages. He begins the season with performances of one of his signature roles, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (Orfeo) in a new production at the Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival. Another highlight is his return to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he sings Papageno in The Magic Flute. He revives his acclaimed portrayal of Loge in Das Rheingold at Berlin’s Staatsoper under the baton of Philippe Jordan and returns to Semperoper Dresden, for a revival of last season’s celebrated production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo. Rolando Villazón reprises another signature role, Alessandro in Mozart’s Il re pastore, with frequent collaborators L’Arpeggiata and Christina Pluhar in a concert version at Budapest’s MÜPA. He closes the season with a return to Vienna’s Staatsoper for a baroque gala alongside Cecilia Bartoli.

July 24 - August 2, 2024 - Nina Radtke

German Diction and Speaking Lieder Lyrics for Singers

Nina is from Hildesheim in the northern part of Germany and speaks absolutely dialect free.
She has been the German Diction Coach at the Stadttheater Hildesheim and has freelanced worldwide via Facetime, and was a German Diction Coach at AIMS for 16 years.
Nina is a Speech pathologist with a degree from LMU Munich, Germany.
Logotherapy and Existential Analysis / Viktor E. Frankl
Lecturer Oral Communication for Teacher Students / Stiftung Universität Hildesheim, Germany
Familiar with Oper, Operette, Lied, Oratorium, Konzert
Author: „Diction with Conviction“ and „Schläft ein Lied…“ ( about German Art Song) -translated by Robert Rocco, Winston-Salem

July 29, 2024 - Bo Skovhus, Baritone

Master Class for Singers

Born in Denmark, Boje Skovhus studied at the Aarhus Music College and the Royal Academy for Opera of Copenhagen and in New York. He rose to opera stardom after a last minute appearance at the Vienna Volksoper when he substituted as Don Giovanni. Since then he has enjoyed a rapidly developing career on the world’s greatest opera stages.

He has been virtually adopted by the Viennese, and regularly performs at the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. He sings the major baritone roles, such as the Count in Le nozze di Figaro and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. He has spurred a revival of Ambroise Thomas’ Hamlet at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Vienna Volksoper, and Royal Opera Copenhagen, and the little known baritone version of Massenet’s Werther. He also has made a specialty of Britten’s Billy Budd and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, including arias or scenes from them on his first opera disc (Sony Classics). Other leading baritone parts in his repertoire are Berg’s Wozzeck, Dallapiccola’s Il Prigioniero, Peter I in Zar und Zimmerman, Tarquinius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and Raimond in Othmar Schoeck’s Venus.

Skovhus also frequently appears on the recital stage and has recorded many recital discs. These include selections of Lieder by Hugo Wolf and Erich Korngold, a selection of songs by Robert and Clara Schumann (The Heart of the Poet), and the two great Schubert song cycles Schwanengesang and Die schöne Müllerin. After his 1997 New York recital at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center he was acclaimed as one of the great Lieder singers of his generation. He is particularly known for the energy and characterization he brings to the stage. He has appeared on many of the world’s great opera stages, including the Metropolitan in New York (debuting 1998 in Die Fledermaus), the Hamburg State Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opéra de Paris, Royal Opera Copenhagen, and the Bavarian State Opera.

He appears at major music festivals such as Die Salzburg Festspiel, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Edinburgh, the Vienna Festwochen, and the Feldkirch Schubertiade. On the orchestral concert stage, he has sung in Orff’s Carmina Burana, Britten’s War Requiem, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Brahms’ Ein deutsche Requiem, and Schumann’s Scenes from Faust. This is Skovhus’ sixth time to give a master class at AIMS.

July 29 - August 1, 2024 - Wolfgang Brendel, Baritone

German Diction for Singers

Wolfgang Brendel is professor of practice in voice at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

From Germany, he is widely viewed as one of the greatest baritones of his generation, starting with his debut at the Bavarian State Opera at the behest of conductor Carlos Kleiber.

Brendel sang the greatest roles of opera, from Mozart’s Count Almaviva to Wagner’s Hans Sachs, on the international stages of the world to consistent acclaim, not only for his matinee-idol flair but for the penetrating artistry that enabled him to make these complex roles his own.

For most of his performing career, Brendel’s artistic home was the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, where he was closely associated with Kleiber and Wolfgang Sawallisch, and where he became the youngest Kammersänger in the company’s history, in 1977.

He was a regular guest at the Metropolitan Opera—where he made his debut at the age of 27—San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and La Scala.

Brendel’s achievements in opera have been recognized by numerous organizations, including the German government, who awarded him the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic for his outstanding service to the arts.

An accomplished and highly sought-after voice teacher, Brendel has discovered and cultivated numerous international vocal talents, both established and emerging.

With more than 20 years of dedicated teaching experience and a performing career spanning four decades and 80 operatic roles, Brendel contributes an unmatched breadth of performance experience, pedagogical expertise, and industry wisdom to his vocal studio.

July 31, 2024 - Malcom Martineau, Collaborative Pianist

Master Class for Collaborative Pianists and Singers

Recognised as one of the leading accompanists of his generation, he has worked with many of the world’s greatest singers including Sir Thomas Allen, Dame Janet Baker, Olaf Bär, Barbara Bonney, Ian Bostridge, Angela Gheorghiu, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Della Jones, Simon Keenlyside, Angelika Kirchschlager, Magdalena Kozena, Solveig Kringelborn, Jonathan Lemalu, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, Karita Mattila, Lisa Milne, Ann Murray, Anna Netrebko, Anne Sofie von Otter, Joan Rodgers, Amanda Roocroft, Michael Schade, Frederica von Stade, Sarah Walker and Bryn Terfel.

He has presented his own series at the Wigmore Hall (a Britten and a Poulenc series and Decade by Decade – 100 years of German Song broadcast by the BBC) and at the Edinburgh Festival (the complete lieder of Hugo Wolf). He has appeared throughout Europe (including London’s Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Royal Opera House; La Scala, Milan; the Chatelet, Paris; the Liceu, Barcelona; Berlin’s Philharmonie and Konzerthaus; Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and the Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein), North America (including in New York both Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall), Australia (including the Sydney Opera House) and at the Aix en Provence, Vienna, Edinburgh, Schubertiade, Munich and Salzburg Festivals.

Recording projects have included Schubert, Schumann and English song recitals with Bryn Terfel (for Deutsche Grammophon); Schubert and Strauss recitals with Simon Keenlyside (for EMI); recital recordings with Angela Gheorghiu and Barbara Bonney (for Decca), Magdalena Kozena (for DG), Della Jones (for Chandos), Susan Bullock (for Crear Classics), Solveig Kringelborn (for NMA); Amanda Roocroft (for Onyx); the complete Fauré songs with Sarah Walker and Tom Krause; the complete Britten Folk Songs for Hyperion; the complete Beethoven Folk Songs for Deutsche Grammophon; the complete Poulenc songs for Signum; and Britten Song Cycles as well as Schubert’s Winterreise with Florian Boesch for Onyx.

This season’s engagements include appearances with Simon Keenlyside, Magdalena Kozena, Dorothea Röschmann, Susan Graham, Christopher Maltman, Thomas Oliemanns, Kate Royal, Christiane Karg, Iestyn Davies, Florian Boesch and Anne Schwanewilms.

He was a given an honorary doctorate at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2004, and appointed International Fellow of Accompaniment in 2009. Malcolm was the Artistic Director of the 2011 Leeds Lieder+ Festival.

August 3 - 14, 2024 - Siphiwe McKenzie, Soprano

Master Class and Private Coachings for Singers

Siphiwe McKenzie was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She received her bachelor degree in Music from the University of British Columbia and a masters in Music and Operatic Studies from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She began her European career at the invitation of the Nuremberg State Opera Theatre in Germany, where she went on to portray more than 21 roles over six consecutive seasons. During her time there she was nominated twice by the prestigious German magazine Opernwelt as “Young Singer of the  Year”.

Since then, she has extended her repertoire and added 20 additional roles (totalling of 40 roles to date) performing internationally to great acclaim around the world at the following theatres, opera houses and festivals: the Volksoper of Vienna (Austria), Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires (Argentina), Teatro Reggio in Parma( Italy), National Opera of Finland, Staatstheater in Basel (Switzerland), San Diego Opera (USA), St.Gallen Opera Theatre (Switzerland), Hessische State Opera in Wiesbaden(Germany), Leipzig State Opera (Germany) ),Baden State Opera (Austria), Ronacher Theatre of Vienna (Austria), National Opera of Bucharest (Romania), Rheingau Opera Festival (Germany), Haydn Festival of Eisenstadt (Austria), Beijing Wagner Festival( China), Singapore Arts Festival, Hong Kong Art Festival (China), Opera Festival of St. Margerethen (Austria), Opera Festival of Belles-Îles en Mer (France), Chamber Music Festival of Vancouver (Canada), Mozart Chamber Music Festival of Mexico City (Mexico) and the Nuremberg International Music Festival (Germany).

Possessing a wide repertoire of chamber music and orchestral concert music, Siphiwe McKenzie has performed, recorded and been featured frequently with the National Radio Orchestra of Poland, the National Radio Orchestra of Budapest, the CBC Radio Orchestra of Canada and the Cologne WDR Orchestra of Germany. She has also recorded many live concert tours and concerts with the Vienna Volksoper Symphony Orchestra (Austria) in Japan and Korea.

Subsequently, she has also recorded a solo album with Italian guitarist Adriano Sebastiani.

Siphiwe McKenzie has participated as a guest soloist in various charity events such as the Telathon for Austrian national television for ‘Licht ins Dunkel’ with the famous Austrian television moderator Alfons Heider in Vienna. She was also a featured guest artist by the German television cooking star Professor Alfred Biolek where she appeared with Nana Mouskouri for the World Population Foundation in Cologne, Germany. She has also appeared as a guest artist for the Parkinsons Foundation in Vancouver, Canada, where she raised funds and capital for the disease. Siphiwe also enjoys humanitarian work and appeared as a guest soloist for the Portuguese division of the renowned Venezuelan organisation El Sistema called: Orchestra Geração, where she helped raise funds for the purchasing of instruments for developing young orchestral musicians from challenging social backgrounds.

A passionate teacher and educator, Siphiwe McKenzie is currently a voice teacher at the Faculty of Music at the Escola Superior de Música in Lisbon, Portugal. In addition, she runs her own private teaching studio, in which she formulates and inspires aspiring singers from all ages.

August 5 - 8, 2024 - KS Linda Watson, Dramatic Soprano

Master Class and Private Coaching Sessions for Singers

Kammersängerin Linda Watson American dramatic soprano made her career based in Germany where she studied and began as a mezzo-soprano at the Theater Aachen. She has performed worldwide, including at the Vienna State Opera, La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera and the Bayreuth Festival. She focused on dramatic roles by Wagner and Strauss, as well as Turandot. She was awarded the title Kammersängerin in Germany in 2004 and in Austria in 2020. Watson began her stage career as a mezzo-soprano at the Theater Aachen in 1992, followed by an engagement at the Aalto Theatre in Essen in 1995, combined with a guest contract at the Leipzig Opera, where she performed Wagnerian roles such as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde and Venus in Tannhäuser. She became a member of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in 1997. The same year, she first appeared as Venus at the Vienna State Opera, and a year later as Kundry in Parsifal at the Bayreuth Festival, conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli. From 2000 to 2005, she portrayed Ortrud in Lohengrin at Bayreuth.

From 2006 to 2010, she sang all three Brünnhilde roles in Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival, and also performed these roles in the new production at the Vienna State Opera, earning a solo Grammy Nomination. She subsequently appeared as Brünnhilde at many of the world’s great opera houses, including at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, even in a nine-hour compilation of all the Ring in one day. She added more dramatic roles to her repertoire, including Isolde, Elektra, and both the Dyer’s Wife and the Nurse in Die Frau ohne Schatten. The credibility of her portrayals and her vocal bravura led to engagements worldwide, in Munich, Berlin, Paris, Madrid and Barcelona, at La Scala in Milan, Florence, Bologna, Amsterdam, Los Angeles and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. She has worked with conductors including Claudio Abbado, Bertrand de Billy, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Hartmut Haenchen, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Antonio Pappano, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Christian Thielemann. In 2013 and 2014, the singer returned to the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein to perform as Marschallin, Elektra, Ariadne and Brünnhilde. At the Vienna State Opera, she was appointed Kammersängerin in January 2020. At La Scala in Milan, Linda Watson could be seen and heard in the 2020/21 season as Herodias in Salome.

In addition, Linda Watson is a professor of voice at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna, and performs master classes worldwide.

August 7, 2024 - KS Thomas Hampson, Baritone

Master Class for Singers

Thomas Hampson, America’s foremost baritone, has received international honors and awards for his captivating artistry and cultural leadership. Lauded as a Metropolitan Opera Guild “Met Mastersinger” and inducted into both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Gramophone’s “Hall of Fame,” Hampson is one of the most respected and innovative musicians of our time. With an operatic repertoire of over 80 roles sung in all the major theaters of the world, his discography comprises more than 170 albums, which include multiple nominations and winners of the Grammy Award, Edison Award, and the Grand Prix du Disque. He received the 2009 Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, and was appointed the New York Philharmonic’s first-ever Artist-in-Residence. In 2010, he was honored with a Living Legend Award by the Library of Congress, where he has served as Special Advisor to the Study and Performance of Music in America. Furthermore, he has received the famed Concertgebouw Prize.

Highlights of Thomas Hampson’s 2019/20 season include his return to the Wiener Staatsoper in his signature role of Giorgio Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata, and his return to Teatro alla Scala for a role debut as Altair in Strauss’ Die ägyptische Helena. At Opernhaus Zürich, he creates the role of Jan Vermeer in the world premiere of Stefan Wirth’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, based on the American author Tracy Chevalier’s eponymous novel about the famous portrait study by Dutch master, Johannes Vermeer.

Notable engagements on the concert stage include Schumann’s Dichterliebe with pianist Jan Lisiecki and a concert with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra at the Tsinandali Festival; Schubert lieder with the Orchester Wiener Akademie at the Brucknerhaus Linz and Musikverein; a recital with Wolfram Rieger and a masterclass at Wigmore Hall; Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte on tour with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta; and rising star soprano Angel Blue joins him in concert at Royal Opera House Muscat.

Hampson also takes his “No Tenors Allowed” program to Provo, Utah, and on to the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires for a debut with his son-in-law, bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni. He returns to Berlin’s Boulezsaal for Schubert Week, launching with a program of Schubert’s Winterreise with Wolfram Rieger. His “Song of America: Beyond Liberty” project continues this season with performances in Tucson and Seattle, with pianist Lara Downes and the Beyond Liberty Players.

In the 2018/19 season, Thomas Hampson made two highly anticipated house debuts, at the Canadian Opera Company, singing the title role in the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian, as well as at Houston Grand Opera, where he created the role of the famed librettist Lorenzo da Ponte in the premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s The Phoenix.

On the concert stage, Hampson continued to show his great repertoire diversity in the 2018/19 season. In Vienna, he performed Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem with the Wiener Symphoniker under Philippe Jordan, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. He then engaged on an extensive tour with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko, with works by Hugo Wolf, Aaron Copland, and others. He started the New Year with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and conductor Bramwell Tovey singing Copland’s Old American Songs, before he reunited with clarinetist Daniel Ottensamer and his ensemble the Wiener Virtuosen, for a chamber music concert with Dvořák’s Zigeunerlieder and a selection of Mahler songs at Vienna’s Musikverein.

Further orchestral concerts brought Hampson to Munich with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the baton of Mariss Jansons (Kurt Weill: Four Walt Whitman Songs), to Berlin with the Radio Symphony Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowsky (Mahler: Rückert Lieder) and to Japan, where he performed Mahler Songs with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Andris Nelsons. Thomas Hampson gave several gala performances with renowned vocal partners throughout the season, in Tokyo with Angela Gheorgiu, in Baden-Baden with Nadine Sierra, with Kristine Opolais in Leipzig, and at the Ljubiljana Festival with Elena Mosuc. He was also once again the star in the Bayerische Staatsoper’s summer open-air gala “Oper für Alle” under the baton of renowned conductor Kirill Petrenko. He reunited with Luca Pisaroni for their “No Tenors Allowed” program in Boston, Toronto, and Santa Fe.

The 2018/19 season also marked the exciting launch of Thomas Hampson’s “Song of America: Beyond Liberty” project. In this one-man show, Hampson guides audiences through stories using personal anecdotes, historical monologues, and readings of his favorite poetry, to celebrate America’s history through song. The project, developed with stage director Francesca Zambello and writer Royce Vavrek, premiered at the Glimmerglass Festival, and shares the rich history of the people and events that helped create and define “the land of the free” with audiences, students, and educators across the US and beyond. Through The Hampsong Foundation, which he founded in 2003, he employs the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.

Hampson is an honorary professor on the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Heidelberg, and holds honorary doctorates from Manhattan School of Music, the New England Conservatory, Whitworth College, and San Francisco Conservatory, and is an honorary member of London’s Royal Academy of Music. He carries the titles of Kammersänger of the Wiener Staatsoper and Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the Republic of France, and was awarded the Austrian Medal of Honor in Arts and Sciences. In 2017, Thomas Hampson received the Hugo Wolf Medal from the International Hugo Wolf Academy, together with his long-time musical collaborator, pianist Wolfram Rieger. Hampson was awarded the Heidelberger Frühling Music Prize in 2019.

Thomas Hampson enjoys a singular international career as an opera singer, recording artist, and “ambassador of song,” maintaining an active interest in research, education, musical outreach, and technology, continually expanding his pedagogical activities. He is the Artistic Director of the Heidelberg Lied Academy, and collaborates with the Barenboim-Said Academy Schubert Week in Berlin each year. His recurring international master class schedule is a continuing online resource of the Manhattan School of Music,, and The Hampsong Foundation livestream channel.

August 15, 2024 - Mariusz Kwiecień, Baritone

Master Class for Singers

Mariusz Kwiecien is recognized worldwide as one of the leading baritones before the public today. Known for his handsome voice, incisive musicianship and captivating stage presence, he performs with the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Vienna State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Bavarian State Opera, and with many other renowned theaters around the world. He is in demand for his portrayals of the title roles in Don Giovanni, King Roger, and Eugene Onegin, as well as for Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Riccardo in I Puritani, and Rodrigo di Posa in Don Carlo.

Mr. Kwiecien’s current season opens with performances of Riccardo in I Puritani with the Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, followed by returns to the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Opera de Bilbao as Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles. With the Opera National de Paris, he sings Malatesta in Don Pasquale; he makes a return to the Bayerische Staatsoper as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro; and he sees performances of the title role of Eugene Onegin in Warsaw and Matsumoto.

Bookending last season were engagements with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden: firstly Marcello in a highly-anticipated new production of La bohème, and later in the title role of Don Giovanni. He returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles, the Vienna State Opera as Eugene Onegin, and the Bayerische Staatsoper as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor.

August 16, 2024 - Melanie Diener, Soprano

Master Class for Singers

Melanie Diener won huge international recognition in the operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. The extraordinarily beautiful timbre of her soprano voice and the intensity of her dramatic performance made her one of the most popular singers in opera houses and concert halls of the whole world. Her repertoire includes Wagner heroines like Isolde (“Tristan and Isolde”), Elsa in “Lohengrin”, Sieglinde in “The Valkyrie” and Elisabeth in “Tannhäuser”, also the big Strauss parts like the Marschallin in “Der Rosenkavalier”, Ariadne in “Ariadne auf Naxos” and Chrysothemis (“Elektra”), as well as Beethoven’s Leonore (“Fidelio”), Agathe in Weber’s “Der Freischütz”, Janacek’s Katya (“Katya Kabanova”), Hindemith’s Ursula (“Mathis der Maler”) and Britten’s Ellen Orford in “Peter Grimes”. She has guested in the Opera Houses at Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Leipzig, Vienna, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Warsaw, London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, New York, Washington, Toronto, Bogotá and Tokyo.

After celebrated performances as Fiordiligi at the Royal Opera House in London, at Palais Garnier in Paris, the Metropolitan Opera New York, in Ferrara, Dresden and Zurich, she made her much acclaimed Bayreuth festival debut in 1999 as Elsa in “Lohengrin”. Other important productions in her career were the title role in “Katya Kabanova” at Berlin State Opera and Ellen Orford in Benjamin Britten’s “Peter Grimes” at Vienna State Opera.  Her touching interpretation of Ursula in Hindemith’s “Mathis der Maler” at the Opéra Bastille in Paris in 2010 won the acclaim of audience and critics, as did her emphatic portrait of the Marschallin at Helsinki Opera and at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. In 2013, she debuted as Isolde at the Canadian Opera in Toronto; subsequently she enjoyed huge success in this role at the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg and at the Opera at Warsaw. Melanie Diener also loves contemporary opera: In 2016, she sang the coloratura part of Die Sängerin in Philippe Boesmans’ opera “Reigen” at Stuttgart.

For her Senta in Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman” at Croatian National Opera in Zagreb in 2018, in a production by Olivier Py, she earned a hymnic review in Opera Wire, where she was placed “in the same league as the great Sentas of the past. The voice is Nilsson-esque in size and volume”. Her latest successes came  2019 with her Leonore in “Fidelio” in a new production by Vera Nemirova at the Estates Theatre at Prague, and as Chrysothemis in “Electra” at the Opera Leipzig. In January 2020 Maestro Ulf Schirmer invited her again for Sieglinde in “The Valkyrie” at Leipzig. With the part of the The Dyer’s Wife (Die Färberin) in “Die Frau ohne Schatten” by Richard Strauss, Melanie Diener will discover a new, fascinating role in Autum 2020 in a production by State Theater Nuremberg under the baton of Joana Mallwitz, Conductor of the year 2019 in Germany.

As a concert and lieder singer, Melanie Diener is highly regarded by conductors for her remarkable combination of musicality, sensitivity and dramatic interpretation. She works regularly with the most prestigious conductors like Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Bernard Haitink, Philippe Jordan, Marek Janowski, Simone Young, Kent Nagano or Franz Welser-Möst, she was appreciated by maestros like Claudio Abbado, Kurt Mazur and Lorin Maazel. She has appeared at numerous festivals, among them the Berliner Festwochen, Lucerne Festival, Salzburg Festival, Richard Strauss Festival at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Wiener Festwochen and Tanglewood Festival.

Melanie Diener dedicates herself intensely to the education of new artistic generations. She held numerous masterclasses, f.e. at Barcelona, at the Music Conservatories in Rotterdam and Stuttgart. In 2018, she was a juror at the First Pyongyang International Vocal Competition in North Korea. Together with Thomas Hampson she co-direct in September 2019 the first “International Opernwerkstatt Waiblingen”, an opera atelier with workshops and concerts at her hometown.

Throughout her career, Melanie Diener made an extensive number of recordings. Her recital “Puccini’s Heroines” was released in 2008. Her opera recordings include Puccini’s “Le Villi“ (Marco Guidarini, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France), Korngold’s „Die Kathrin“ (Martin Brabbins, BBC Concert Orchestra) and Weber’s „Euryanthe“ (Lukasz Borowicz, Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra).  She recorded concert pieces and lieder by Schönberg, Berg, Berlioz, Mahler, Beethoven, Strauss, Liszt, Mendelssohn and Foccroulle. She also loves to delights audiences as a jazz singer.