Dutch National Opera Studio
The Dutch National Opera started September 2018 the Dutch National Opera Studio, a new young artists programme in The Netherlands, with international renowned soprano Rosemary Joshua as the artistic leader. Dutch National Opera Studio offers an exciting opportunity for outstanding young artists. The Studio's goal is to develop well-rounded artists by providing the highest quality training in combination with a wide range of professional experiences.
About the Studio
The programme will support six singers and one pianist/répétiteur, all of whom, will be employed on a full-time basis as salaried members of Dutch National Opera for up to a two year period. The young Artists will be immersed into the professional life of the company and mentored through every aspect of their career development in an individually tailor-made programme.
Dutch National Opera Studio will offer six young singers extensive musical, language and vocal coaching with experienced music staff, leading international voice teachers and conductors along with some of the finest directors of our generation. The artists will participate in both main stage productions, as well as Studio productions, recitals and concert/educational work.
The pianist/répétiteur of the Opera Studio will be coached by the music staff of Dutch National Opera and will be mentored by DNO’s Chief Conductor as well as guest conductors. He/she will participate in every aspect of the preparation of opera and be fully involved in all Studio activities.
The introduction of the National Opera Studio on September 1, 2018.
From left to right.
Top row: Polly Leech, Erik Garcia, Gloria Giurgolla, Julietta Aleksanyan, Martin Mkhize.
Bottom row: Cody Queattlebaum, artistic leader Opera Studio - Rosemary Joshua, Lucas van Lierop
Photocredits: Hans van de Bogaard
The following young artists started on 1 September 2018:
Julietta Aleksanyan, aged 22 - soprano
The Armenian soprano Julietta Aleksanyan studied at the Yerevan State Conservatory and has won prizes at many international competitions, including the N. Rimsky-Korsakov Competition in Russia and the Belvedere Competition in South Africa. Since 2017, she has been a soloist with the Yerevan State Opera, where she recently sang the role of Manon in Massenet’s opera of the same name. In September this year, she will sing Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, in Dubai, and Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Dutch National Opera at the beginning of the season.
‘I’m really happy that I can participate in the Dutch National Opera Studio. I love this opera house and would like to be part of it. I want to develop as much as possible during this programme: hone my skills, learn more about opera, master more languages and work with fantastic teachers, conductors and directors. In short, I want to become a professional and flexible opera singer’.
Martin Mkhize, aged 29 - baritone
The South-African baritone Martin Mkhize studied at the University of Cape Town. He won first prize and the audience award at the Shock Foundation, a singing competition at the University of Cape Town, was a semi-finalist at the Neue Stimmen Competition 2018 and received a nomination for ‘Best male actor’ at the Fleur du Cap Theatre Nomination for his interpretation of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. This summer, Martin sang the role of Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Opera Studio at the Bregenzer Festspiele, and this season he will be singing the role of Un ufficiale in the same opera with Dutch National Opera.
‘Dutch National Opera is one of the best opera houses in Europe. But my main reason for participating in the Dutch National Opera Studio is the training experience I can gain through it as a young artist. I hope to broaden my repertoire, gain stage experience and work on my singing technique’.
Polly Leech, aged 26 – mezzo-soprano
Before focusing on singing, British mezzo-soprano Polly Leech studied Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. She then went on to get her Master of Vocal Performance from the Royal College of Music in London, and she participated in the National Opera Studio in London for one year. She took masterclasses with her great role models Sarah Connolly and Joyce DiDonato. She recently sang Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel with Pop-Up Opera, and was nominated ‘Breakthrough Artist’ in British opera, in the annual WhatsOnStage awards; a category that is usually dominated by soloists from ROH Covent Garden and other big British opera houses.
‘I believe that participating in the Dutch National Opera Studio perfectly bridges the gap between training and a professional career in opera. Amsterdam is such a beautiful city and I’m really looking forward to the European way of life! Rosemary has got all sorts of wonderful things planned for the Studio, and it’s sure to be a challenging but very instructive year. Dutch National Opera is a fantastic opera company and the coming season looks really exciting. I’m looking forward to being a part of it’.
Gloria Giurgola, aged 23 - soprano
The Italian soprano Gloria Giurgola started singing at the age of 13 in her hometown Trepuzzi. She went on to study at the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome and took private lessons with the soprano Maria Dragoni. She took part in the Opera (E)Studio at Ópera de Tenerife, led by Giulio Zappa. She made her debut at the age of 22 with Ópera de Tenerife as Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and won the ‘upcoming talent’ category in the 69th edition of the AsLiCo Competition. This summer, she sang the role of Musetta in La Boheme, at the Immling Festival in Germany.
‘Dutch National Opera Studio offers wonderful opportunities for artistic and professional growth, and is an excellent way for young people to make their debut at one of the leading venues in the world. Participating in the Opera Studio is a dream come true, as I can work with fantastic musicians and conductors and international directors, and benefit from all their suggestions and advice. I also get the chance to discover the culture, tastes and traditions of this unique and special country. I’m so grateful for what I’ve been given’.
Lucas van Lierop, aged 29 - tenor
The tenor Lucas van Lierop was born in Hilversum, but grew up in Vancouver, Canada. He got his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Vocal Performance from McGill University in Montréal, and completed his Master in Musical Arts at Yale University in 2017. Van Lierop has sung as a soloist with Helikon Opera in Moscow and performed with Dutch National Opera last season in Trouble in Tahiti/Clemency.
‘Dutch National Opera is one of the best opera houses in the world, and the training it provides is unparalleled. As I’ve already worked with part of the Studio’s artistic team during Trouble in Tahiti/Clemency, I’ve already been able to experience something of the training, insights and coaching I’ll be receiving at the Studio. Rosemary Joshua is known to be one of the best teachers you can work with. In my lessons with her, it became apparent that she speaks my language and that she can really help me develop my voice. I hope that I can learn as much as possible from her and leave the Studio with a few roles that are polished and ready for international performance’.
Cody Quattlebaum, aged 24 - bass-baritone
The American bass-baritone Cody Quattlebaum got his Master of Music from The Juilliard School of Music and took part in the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco. He was a finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition in 2017 and has recently completed a year at the International Opera Studio in Zürich.
‘Dutch National Opera has made a fantastic investment in Rosemary Joshua and Sophie de Lint. I think that for a young professional, in whatever profession, there is nothing so valuable as a strong team of advisors. And that is definitely something Dutch National Opera Studio has to offer’.
Erik García, aged 28 - pianist
The Spanish pianist Erik García studied at the Conservatoire of the Basque Country ‘Musikene’ in San Sebastián. Last year, he completed his Master of Music in Répétiteurship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he won the Hester Dickson Accompanist Prize and was selected along with five other pianists from all over the world to participate in the Solti Accademia Répétiteurs Masterclasses. He was also invited to the Singing Masterclasses in 2015, where he got the opportunity to work with Barbara Frittoli, Silvana Bazzoni, Cecilia Bartoli and Richard Bonynge. He recently made his debut as a conductor with the second performance of the Scottish premiere of Jonathan Dove’s The Day After, in collaboration with English National Opera.
‘I’d like to work with an opera house at the highest possible level, so I want to perfect my skills. Dutch National Opera Studio has the ideal combination of elements I’ve been looking for since I graduated. I’m very grateful that an internationally acclaimed opera house like Dutch National Opera is giving me the chance to become the very first répétiteur with this brand-new programme. It’s really exciting!’
Portraits: Sebastien Galtier
Dutch National Opera Studio is an initiative of Dutch National Opera, in collaboration with the Nederlandse Reisopera and Opera Zuid, which provides young artists with opportunities to participate in their projects.
Dutch National Opera Studio receives financial support from:
Dutch National Opera Studio is supported by: