Biographies Dutch National Opera Studio 2019 - 2020

The following young artists started on 1 September 2019:

DAAN BOERTIEN

Daan Boertien is a Dutch concert pianist with a special interest in song accompaniment. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from the Amsterdam Conservatory. Following his graduation, Daan studied ‘Liedgestaltung’ at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg. Daan Boertien won a prize at the Princess Christinaconcours (2010), the ‘Kunst aan de Dijk Prijs voor Jong Talent’ (2016), the Audience Award in the finals of Dutch Classical Talent (2018), the first Lied Duo Prize in the Gustav-Mahler-Wettbewerb together with Geng Lee, as well as prizes for best accompanist (2018) and the DAAD-Prize (2019). In 2020 he was the winner of the Berenberg Stipendium and he has been nominated for the Grachtenfestival prize 2020. He frequently performs in the Netherlands and abroad, and he is a regular guest on Dutch radio and television. Next season at Dutch National Opera, he will be the second repetiteur for Die lustige Witwe.

‘I am very happy to be here with such great singers. I am looking forward to work with a lot of different professionals including directors, conductors and language coaches. That way you can learn to listen to the music in different ways and accompany singers from different perspectives.’

FREDERIK BERGMAN

Dutch baritone Frederik Bergman finished his studies at the Conservatory of Tilburg in 2012. Frederik received coaching from Dutch bass-baritone Harry Peeters for a number of years. In 2017 he started coaching sessions with Rosemary Joshua. This resulted in his first collaboration with Dutch National Opera, where he sung Abraham in Clemency (2018), Hermann in Les contes d’Hoffmann (2018) and Le berger in Pelléas et Mélisande (2019). He has also performed with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Nederlandse Reisopera. At the Nederlandse Reisopera he sang in La Bohème and at Opera Zuid he sang in Die Zauberflöte. This season at DNO, he sings the role of Jacob Epstein in the world premiere of Willem Jeth’s Ritratto and the Gamekeeper in Rusalka. Next season, Frederik will also make his debut at the Royal Concertgebouw during the ZaterdagMatinee. Here he will sing the role of Stárek in the opera Jenufa. Later that season he will sing different roles at DNO, including Brander in La Damnation de Faust.

Telling a story and holding the audience’s attention for a long time is really an art. I am sure that I can learn about that during my time at the Opera Studio. Also I’m looking forward to working together with this amazing group.

LOCHLAN BROWN

Australian pianist and conductor Lochlan Brown started his studies at the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School. He moved to New York to pursue a Masters at Mannes College with a double major in orchestral conducting and collaborative piano, where he was awarded the Newton Swift Piano Award for accompanying and chamber music. Lochlan was part of the musical staff of various companies in New York before relocating to Rome to spend a year as a Fabbrica Maestro Collaboratore at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. Lochlan has served as assistant conductor for numerous productions at the Miami Music Festival of Manhattan School of Music. He recently had his European debut, conducting a production of Bernstein’s Candide with the Lithuanian National Opera. This season at Dutch National Opera, Lochlan has served on the music staff of Nabucco and Ritratto. Next season, he will be the second repetiteur for Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground.

DNO has a reputation for really exciting innovative projects and I love that. I can’t wait to work together with the singers intensively. If you make an opera together it’s important to be involved in the process that singers go through.

SAM CARL

Bass-baritone Sam Carl was born in London to Californian-British parents. He has studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he was a 2018 Samling Scholar, and has participated in a number of masterclasses with Sir John Tomlinson. He has performed as soloist in Handel’s MessiahDie SchöpfungMessa di Gloria and Verdi’s Requiem. He was a 2019 Jerwood Young Artist at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He has sung Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte and Bottom in Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Secret Police Agent in Menotti’s The Consul, Betto di Signa in Gianni Schicchi and Lord Dunmow in A Dinner Engagement. In 2020, he makes his DNO debut as Filippo Marinetti in Ritratto. In the same year, he will compete in the 2020 final rounds of the Belvedere Competition in Jurmala, Latvia. Next season, he will return to DNO in the roles of Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro and Lesbo in Agrippina. He will also sing the role of 2nd Sacerdote in Il Prigioniero under Franck Ollu in The Concertgebouw.

‘I really want to focus on my vocal technique and bring it to the highest level. Also I want to learn about storytelling. It feels good to have Rosemary Joshua as our teacher here because she can empathize with us as performers.

VERITY WINGATE

Soprano Verity Wingate is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Royal Academy of Music. She was also a scholar of the Alvarez Young Artist Programme, Samling Institute and Mendelssohn Foundation. Verity made her opera debut in the role of Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at Garsington Opera. She has also sung solo recitals at the Barbican, Wigmore Hall, LSO St. Luke’s, and the Gewandhaus in Leipzig. She was awarded Garsington Opera’s prestigious Leonard Ingram Award and also received the Paul Hamburger Prize. Recently, she sang the role of Elisetta in Il matrimonio segreto and Anna in Nabucco at Dutch National Opera. In 2020, she sings the lead role of Luisa Casati in the world premiere of Willem Jeths’ Ritratto and Frasquita in Carmen.

Rosemary is one of the best people in the industry, especially as a teacher. I think I can learn a lot from her about stage craft. It’s difficult to truly embody a role at all the necessary moments, especially in a rehearsal environment. I hope to learn more about that this year.

Julietta Aleksanyan

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 sang the role of Manon in Massenet’s opera of the same name. She made her debut at Dutch National Opera in 2018 as Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia, followed by Ein junger hirt in Tannhaüser and Carolina in Il matrimonio segreto. This season at Dutch National Opera, she sang Clorinda in La Cenerentola and will be performing the voice of the Falcon and the Guardian of the Threshold in Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten.

‘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

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 2017 and received a nomination for ‘Best male actor’ at the Fleur du Cap Theatre Nomination for his interpretation of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. Martin sang the role of Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Opera Studio at the Bregenzer Festspiele, and made his debut at Dutch National opera as Un ufficiale in the same opera with Dutch National Opera. At DNO, he has also been featured as Imperial Commissionar in Madama Butterfly and Count Robenson in Il Matrimonio Segreto. This season at DNO, he sings Garbi in the world premiere of Ritratto and Le Dancaïre in Carmen.

‘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’.

Lucas van Lierop

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 in 2018 in the talent production Trouble in Tahiti/Clemency. Last season at DNO, he sang Heinrich der Schreiber in Tannhäuser, Paolino in Il matrimonio segreto, and Joe Cannon in John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West. This DNO season, he takes the roles of Man Ray in the world premiere of Willem Jeths’ Ritratto and Le Remendado in Carmen. Next season, Lucas will return to DNO in the role of Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro. He will also perform the roles of Ein junger Seemann and Ein Hirt in the Reisopera’s production of Tristan und Isolde.  

‘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’.

Polly Leech

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 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. She recently made her French debut at the Opéra National de Montpellier as Hippolyta in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. At Dutch National Opera, Polly sang Pastuchyna in Jenufa, Une Thébaine in Oedipe, Abra in Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans, Fidalma in Il Matrimonio Segreto, and Tisbe in La Cenerentola. This season at DNO, she takes the role of Romaine Brooks in the world premiere of Willem Jeths’ Ritratto as well as Mercédès in Carmen. Next season, she returns to DNO to sing Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and will sing the title role in Händel’s Ariodante with La Nuova Musica in concert in London.

‘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’.