Orphée aux Enfers – biographies

Amel Brahim-Djelloul Eurydice Soprano

Amel is een sopraan die haar eigen unieke pad volgt, verrijkt met haar Algerijnse-Franse achtergrond. Ze is afgestudeerd aan de CNSMD in Parijs, evenals aan William Christie’s “Jardin des Voix”. Ze was genomineerd in de categorie “Meest veelbelovende lyrische artiest” van de Victoires de la Musique classique 2007. Ze zong al snel vele rollen: Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) in Angers-Nantes Opéra en in de Opéra de Lausanne, Despina (Così fan tutte) in de Opéra de Nice, Servilia (La clemenza di Tito) in de Opéra de Paris en het Festival d’Aix en Provence, maar ook La Princesse (L’Enfant et les sortilèges), Ninette (L’amour des trois oranges) en Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica) in de Opéra de Paris, de titelrol van Messager’s Véronique in het Théâtre du Châtelet, Gabrielle (La Vie Parisienne) bij Angers-Nantes Opera, Nanetta (Falstaff) bij het Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore) en Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) bij de Opéra d’Avignon, Andreloun (Mireille) bij de Chorégies d’Orange, Hébé, Fatime en Phani (Les Indes Galantes) bij de Opéra National de Bordeaux en het Concertgebouw in Brugge, of Drusilla, Amore en Valletto in verschillende producties van L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Opéra de Paris, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Berlin Staatsoper, Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussel, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Opéra de Lille en Opéra de Dijon), om er een paar te noemen. Ze wordt regelmatig uitgenodigd door orkesten zoals Orchestre national de France, National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Orchestre des concerts Pasdeloup, Orchestre Symphonique National Algérien, Orchestre National d’Ile de France, Orchestre Philharmonique du Maroc… En ensembles (Les Arts Florissants, Le Poème Harmonique, Les Paladins, Il Caravaggio, 2E2M, Mezwej, Les Talens Lyriques en Quatuor Debussy…). She sang in the concerts: Les chemins qui montent, a programme based on songs from Kabylia and compositions by Thomas Keck, and Croisette, recorded with the Orchestre de Cannes and conductor Benjamin Levy. We will also hear her with Jérôme Correas’ Paladins, the Debussy Quartet and the Amedyez Ensemble. Each season Amel broadens her range of personal projects that often link East and West, such as the programmes L’Orgue du Sultan (with Achéron and Sultan Veld), Les 1001 Lunes de la Princesse Boudour (with Aymeric Lecerf and Nicolas Jouve), the recital Populaires (with Nicolas Jouve), Canciones (with C Barré) and her Mediterranean programmes with the Amedyez Ensemble. Her discography includes numerous works, including recitals with pianists Anne Le Bozec (Les 1001 nuits) and Nicolas Jouve (Populaires), as well as a programme of works from the Arab-Andalusian heritage (Amel chante la Méditerranée) arranged by her brother, violinist and musicologist Rachid Brahim-Djelloul, and performed with the Amedyez Ensemble. Amel is artistic director of the association Nour with which she sets up various projects, from teaching to producing new shows and recordings. She has been represented by RSB Artists since 2010.


Roger Smeets Jupiter Baritone

Dutch baritone Roger Smeets (born 1960) studied at the Maastricht Academy of Music, where he now teaches directing and drama in the Classical Music department. In 1989, he won the Dutch Music Prize at the International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. From 1983 to 1986, he worked for the opera studio (then Young Talent section) of the National Opera Foundation in Amsterdam. Since then, he has performed regularly with DNO (now Nationale Opera & Ballet) in productions such as Parsifal, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Un ballo in Maschera, La Traviata, Rigoletto, The Nose, Pique Dame, Capriccio, Tristan und Isolde, Salome, Dialogues des Carmélites, Madama Butterfly, Die Gezeichneten, Kát’a Kabanová, Die Frau ohne Schatten, La Fanciulla del West, Turandot, Les Vêpres Siciliennes, Billy Budd, Yevgeny Onjegin, The Player Arabella, Lulu, and the world premieres of Gassir, the Hero (Theo Loevendie), Rosa, a horse drama (Louis Andriessen), HIER° (Guus Janssen) and Adam in Exile (Rob Zuidam). From 1986 to 2013, he was a regular guest at the Komische Oper Berlin. He sang the roles of Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro (1986), the title role in Don Giovanni (1987), Escamillo in Carmen (1991), Muse / Nicklausse in Les Contes d’Hoffmann (1993), Le Prince de Mantoue in Les Brigands (1994), Petrus in Der Gewaltige Hahnrei by Berthold Goldschmidt (1994), Tomski in Pique Dame (1997), Aristide / Pluton in Orphée aux Enfers (1999) and Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette (2001). The above productions were directed by Harry Kupfer. He also sang the title role in Yevgeny Onyegin (1988, directed by Adolf Dresen), Ping in Turandot (1998, directed by Christine Mielitz), the title role in Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sweeney Todd (2004, directed by Christopher Bond), Fred Graham /Petrucchio in Cole Porter’s musical Kiss me, Kate (2008, directed by Barrie Kosky), le vice-roi in La Périchole (2010, directed by Nicolas Steman), Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea (2012, Monteverdi / Elena Kats- Chernin edition; directed by Barrie Kosky) and Papageno Die Zauberflöte (2012, directed by Barrie Kosky/Suzanne Andrade). He also sang the role of Fred Graham / Petrucchio in Oper Köln’s production of Kiss me, Kate (2010). In 2001, in Frankfurt am Main, he performed the role of Achim in the world premiere of Gold, 92 Bars in a Crashed Car by Peter Greenaway. Roger Smeets played the role of Junior in the Dutch premiere (1987) of Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place. In 1999, he was engaged by the Nederlandse Reisopera in Enschede and performed several roles including Count (Count) in Philippe Boesmans’ Reigen and Baron Tusenbach in Peter Eötvös’ Tri Sestri. In 2001, he also sang the role of Theseus in the world premiere of Creon by Huub Kerstens. This was followed by Baron Douphol in La Traviata (G. Verdi, 2003), Feldmarschall Dörfling in Der Prinz von Homburg (W.H. Henze, 2004), Pish Tush in The Mikado (AS Sullivan, 2004 and 2006), Sharpless in Madama Butterfly ( G. Puccini, 2004) and Mandarin in Turandot (G. Puccini, 2006). With Opera Zuid, he also performed as Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro (W.A. Mozart, 1991), Albert in Werther (J. Massenet, 1991) and Schaunard in La Bohème (G. Puccini, 1994). He has appeared in productions by the Komische Oper Berlin in Tokyo/Nagoya (1991, 1994 and 1998), Vienna (1992) and Bergen (Norway, 1997). In 1993, he sang the role of Le prince de Mantoue in Les Brigands in Ludwigshafen. In 1996, he was a guest at the Mozart OK festival in Bartlesville/Oklahoma (USA), and in the 2006 production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia (G. Rossini) in Luxembourg. He also sang in the world premiere of The Children of Uranium by Saskia Boddeke, Peter Greenaway and Andreá Liberovici in Genoa (Festival della Scienza, 2005) and in Naples (2006). Also in Rembrandt’s Mirror by and with Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway (music Vincent van Warmerdam) in Rotterdam 2007 and in Budapest 2008. In 2009, he again played the Count in Philippe Boesmans’ Reigen, this time directed by Harry Kupfer at the Amphithéâtre Bastille of the Opéra National de Paris. In 2012, he sang the role of Le Grand Prêtre in Alceste (CW Gluck), directed by Christof Loy, at Det Kongelige Teater in Copenhagen. In 2014, he sang the role of Graf Dominik in Arabella (R. Strauss) at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, also with Christof Loy. Besides the above-mentioned directors, Roger Smeets has also worked with Dario Fo, Klaus-Michael Grüber, David Alden, Graham Vick, Alfred Kirchner, Lev Dodin, David Pountney, Pierre Audi, Stanislas Nordey, Robert Wilson, Robert Carsen, Andreas Homoki, Willy Decker, Martin Kusej, Andrea Breth and William Kentridge. And with conductors such as: Riccardo Chailly, Sir Simon Rattle, Semyon Bychkov, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Marc Albrecht, Hartmut Haenchen, Carlo Rizzi, Ingo Metzmacher, Yakov Kreizberg, Vladimir Jurowski, Reinbert de Leeuw, Kenneth Montgomery, David Robertson, Hans Vonk, Edo de Waart, Jaap van Zweden, Anton Kersjes, Yves Abel, Paolo Carignani, Ivor Bolton, Mariss Jansons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Iván Fischer, Lothar Zagrosek and Alberto Zedda. Roger Smeets plays on several CD and DVD recordings of DNO productions and television premieres (3Sat) of Komische Oper Berlin.

Mark Omvlee Pluton Tenor

After VWO, the propaedeutic year at the Kleinkunst Academie and a year of School Music, tenor Mark Omvlee graduated as a student of Hein Meens at the Amsterdam Conservatory in 2003. He was later further coached by Gemma Visser. He took master classes on the music of Wagner with Siegfried Jerusalem and Wolfgang Brendel, among others, and built on this in coaching by the hero tenor Robert Gambill in Berlin. Even before graduating, Mark was hired by Holland Opera where he sang various roles both in outdoor venues and theatres throughout the Netherlands. In 2006, he made his debut with Opera Zuid in the title role of Stravinsky’s Mavra. Mark then performed various roles as a member of the soloist ensemble at Opera Zuid through 2012. After the role of Lechmere in Britten’s Owen Wingrave, his Mime in Das Rheingold was particularly well received in the same year 2013. Partly as a result, he was asked to join the IVC’s Wagner Academy and his career gained momentum with debuts at National Opera & Ballet, the Saturday matinee, Vredenburg Friday and in France, Germany and Austria. In the latter two countries, he sang one of the two leading roles in the first performance of the new opera Brokeback Mountain. As an opera singer, Mark has since served the creative minds of Gatti, Van Hove, Spanjaard, Castellucci, Albrecht, Visser, Dutoit, Rousset, Carsen, Rizzi, Stenz and many others. This in no way diminishes his career as a concert singer. He sings Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and works such as Britten’s Nicolas Cantata. After endless Bach, he now mainly performs music by composers from later periods and concerts with opera arias from the iron repertoire. Although he still enjoys being roped in for his favourite oratorio main role: as Evangelist in Bach’s John and Matthew.

Francis van Broekhuizen Junon Soprano

Francis is one of the most versatile and beloved sopranos in the Netherlands, combining her convincing singing talent with a unique and disarming stage personality! Since 2005, Francis has been a freelance opera singer. She graduated Cum Laude from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and The Dutch National Opera Academy in 2004. In 2004, Francis was a finalist and prize winner at the Cristina Deutekom Concours in Enschedé. Working mainly in the Netherlands, Francis has sung many roles as a member of the soloist ensemble at Opera Zuid, Opera Trionfo, Opera Spanga and the Nederlandse Reisopera. For example, she was heard in: Suor Angelica, Rusalka, Die Lustige Witwe, Cendrillon, the Player, Les Aventures du Roi Pausole, Mirandolina, Elektra, Donna Giovanna, Falstaff, Carmen and Owen Wingrave. Opera Spanga has also produced two opera feature films with Francis in key roles: Donna Giovanna (2012) and Gianni Schicchi (2014). In early 2018, Francis sang the title role in Puccini’s Tosca at Weekendopera Utrecht directed by Jan van Maanen. In 2020 and 2021, Francis appeared in several TV programmes such as De slimste mens and De Verraders. From July 2021 to February 2022, Francis could be seen as Mother Superior in The Sound of Music in, among others, the Circustheater and Carré. She could also be seen as Hata in Bruid Te Koop at the Nederlandse Reisopera. Most recently, she played Mrs. Jones in Animal Farm at De Nationale Opera. She also went on tour with Dominic Seldis and has a whole new Christmas show together with Gregor at De Beurs van Berlage. An autobiographical collection of Francis’ stories was released on 7 June 2022: When in doubt sing loudly by publisher Luitingh-Sijthoff.


Mathys Lagier Orphée Tenor

Mathys started making music at a very young age. He first learnt to play the violin before turning to opera. He holds a master’s degree in singing from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris. He made his professional debut with several French ensembles. In 2012, he starred in Pygmalion, directed by Raphaël Pichon, with which he performed at the Saint-Denis Festival and the Aix-en-Provence International Festival. In 2014, he joined Laurence Equilbey’s Accentus ensemble and participated in concerts and operas at the Philharmonie de Paris, the Seine Musicale, the Rouen Opera and the Mozarteum Grosser Saal in Salzburg. In 2022, he joined the Ensemble Correspondances, conducted by Sébastien Daucé, for several series of concerts and performances. On stage, Mathys stands out for his spontaneity and that he enjoys sharing the stage with others. He played Garde-Feu in 2018 in La Vie Parisienne, directed by Emmanuelle Cordoliani at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. That same year, he took up the role with the company Théâtre du Petit Monde, in a version directed by Nicolas Rigas, performed at the Avignon Festival. As a soloist, he sang Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with the OTrente Chamber Choir during conductor Marc Korovich’s final ensemble concerts, along with Marie Perbost, Lila Hajosi and Yoann Dubruque. He has been invited on several occasions by the Chœur de Paris, conducted by Till Ally, in sacred music programmes (Mozart’s Requiem, Gounod’s St Cecilia Mass). With the Académie du Palais Royal, he sang the tenor solo part in Mozart’s Mass in C, conducted by Jean-Philippe Sarcos, in December 2019. He is also a member of the ensemble Le Palais Royal and participated in the project Deux hommes et une femme, a lyrical recital with orchestra, during several concerts in semi-stage version at the Conservatoire National d’Art Dramatique de Paris. In this context, he performed arias, duos and trios from French romantic operas, interpreting roles such as Faust(from Gounod’s Faust), Nadir (from Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de perles), Piquillo (from Offenbach’s La Périchole) or Don José (from Bizet’s Carmen). Recently, together with Clémence Danvy, Marion Vergez-Pascal and Adrien Fournaison, he was invited by the Chœur et Orchestre des Grandes Écoles to perform Mozart’s Requiem, conducted by Alizé Lehon. Passionate about the song and melody repertoire, he perfected his skills with Anne Le Bozec and Jeff Cohen. In 2017, he performed in a recital at the Imperial Theatre of Compiègne and at Hôtel des Invalides for the musical season of the National Army Museum (Paris). With the Maya ensemble, founded by pianist Bianca Chillelmi, he created a vocal quartet programme based on songs by Robert Schumann, Hugo Wolf and Johannes Brahms at the Armenian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Cross (2019) as part of the Young Talents season, and at the Festival du Mont Rome (2021). Mathys has been associate artist of the Musiques en Montravel Festival since 2021. He collaborates with cellist Armance Quéro in the creation and development of this new musical event in a rural setting in St Méard de Gurçon (Dordogne). In this context, in July 2022 he played a recital of romantic arias from Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de perles (Ton coeur n’a pas compris le mien), Gounod’s Faust (Salut! Demeure chaste et pure), Puccini’s Tosca (El lucevan le stelle), Verdi’s La Traviata (Parigi o cara) and Rigoletto (Questa o quella). In terms of recordings, he recorded a programme of Ravel’s Cantatas composed for the Prix de Rome with the Chœur et Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, and sang the solo tenor part in the movement L’Aurore conducted by Pascal Rophe. Having always been interested in the transmission of the lyric art, Mathys is involved in various cultural and artistic activities. In collaboration with Insula Orchestra, Accentus and conductor Mark Withers, he has been involved in several participatory projects (Frankenstein – I am Robinson – The Night King) since 2018. Last season, he worked on writing Mechanic Humanity, a participatory show created and led by Insula Orchestra and Mark Whiters, with a group of refugees, at the Seine Musicale in May 2022.

Thomas Morris Opinion Publique / Bacchus Tenor

Thomas was born in Paris, where, in parallel with his studies in modern literature and Slavic languages at the Sorbonne, he was trained as a singer by Professor Georgette Rispal. He obtained his 1st prize in singing at the Conservatoire of his hometown. A laureate of several important singing competitions, including the prestigious “Grand prix de la musique française Henri Sauguet/Yves Saint-Laurent”, he quickly developed an international career as a character tenor. A voice profession in which he immersed himself from the outset and managed to make a difference. Evidence of this is not only the many recordings of full-length operas in which he steadily collaborated but also the countless opera productions in which he appeared Europe-wide at the side of renowned conductors such as Michel Plasson, Frédéric Chaslin, Vladimir Jurowsky, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Daniele Callegari, Jeffrey Tate and directors such as Pier Luigi Pizzi, Yannis Kokkos, Claude Santelli, Robert Carsen, Georges Lavaudant, Valérie Lesort, Julien Leroy and Michel Fau. Jacques Offenbach forms a common thread in Thomas’s career. His affinity for and thorough knowledge of his oeuvre have ensured that, in recent years too, it has been impossible not to see him in major new productions of La vie parisienne (Bobinet) at Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg, Geneviève de Brabant (Narcisse) at Opéra Montpellier, Fantasio (Marinoni) at Opera Zuid, Orphée aux Enfers (Pluton/Aristée) at Opéra Royal de Wallonie Liège and La Périchole (a.o. a.o. Tarapote, 1er notaire) at the Opéra Comique in Paris. Recently, Thomas was asked for the roles of Monsieur Triquet in Yevgeni Onegin, at Opéra royal de Wallonie Liège, Schmidt in Werther at Opéra Nice Côte d’Azur and sang in an opera revue with excerpts from Le carrosse du Saint-Sacrement, Fra Diavolo, Les brigands, Les mamelles de Tirésias, La chanson de Fortunio, following the controversial Concert de gala pour salle vide (Concert for an Empty Hall) at Paris Opéra comique. A production in response to the second corona-lockdown. Thomas is a jack of all trades. For instance, he is systematically asked to take part in (music) theatre productions and film recordings. For instance, he regularly worked with well-known directors such as Agnès Varda, Jean-Michel Ribes and Macha Makeïeff and participated in world creations by composers such as Georges Aperghis, Frédéric Chaslin, Roger Calmel, Marcello Panni, Gilbert Amy, Aribert Reimann and Isabelle Aboulker.


Jeroen de Vaal Mercure Tenor

Jeroen de Vaal studied at the Utrecht conservatory with Eugénie Ditewig; he is currently coached by Tamar Niamut (Vox Building) and Valentin Jar. The tenor has appeared on stage at the well-known opera houses of Amsterdam, Antwerp/Ghent, Brussels, Luxembourg, Lyon and sang in Vienna, both at the Wiener Kammeroper, and also at the Theater an der Wien. He worked with conductors such as Jaap van Zweden, Hartmut Haenchen, William Christie, Ivor Bolton and Karel Deseure. He has also worked with directors such as Pierre Audi, David Boesch, Klaus Guth and Laurent Pelly. Jeroen de Vaal is in great demand as a concert singer and can regularly be heard in J.S. Bach’s great oratorio works. Oratorio compositions by Haydn, Mozart, Gounod, Rossini and many others are also on his repertoire list. Jeroen previously sang with Opera Zuid, including in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place and Offenbach’s Fantasio.

Anna Emelianova Minerve Soprane

Soprano Anna sings opera and songs. She works with various ensembles and orchestras, having also sung in a number of oratorios. Her crystal-clear voice supported by her grounded technique and her natural way of acting always find a warm welcome with audiences. Anna began her studies at a very young age at the famous Gnennins State Music School in Moscow. Earlier, she took piano lessons but later switched to singing lessons. Her passion for opera was awakened at the Stanislavsky Opera Theatre where she sang in the children’s choir and had the opportunity to hear major opera stars and perform with them on stage. Anna obtained her bachelor’s degree from Gnessins Music Academy with three specific qualifications in singing: concert and opera, chamber ensemble and voice teacher. She always wanted to obtain her master’s abroad, so she continued her studies in the Netherlands where she managed to complete the master’s programme in solo and opera singing cum laude. During her studies, she won a stipend for participation in a programme for young highly trained artists: the Mediterranean Opera Studio in Italy, where she also performed at the Ravenna opera festival. Immediately after her studies, Anna was invited to sing for Opera Zuid. She has since sung many roles for this company. Her repertoire includes important opera roles with which she has performed in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Russia and Luxembourg. On the opera stage, she has performed Clorinda in La Cenerentola (Rossini), Gilda in Rigoletto (Verdi), Musetta in La bohème (Puccini), Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart), Sophie in Werther (Massenet), Princess Elsbeth in Fantasio (Offenbach), Juliette in Romeo et Juliette (Gounod), Snow Maiden in Snow Maiden (Rimsky-Korsakov), Despina in Cosi fan tutte (Mozart) and Micaela in Carmen (Bizet). In 2019, Anna made her debut at the Nederlandse Reisopera as Tatyana in a pocket edition of Tchaikovsky’s Yevgeny Onegin. Anna also gives solo recitals with diverse programmes and can also be heard regularly at various music festivals. She sings in oratorios, teaches piano and singing, and collaborates as a guest artist in various projects. Anna has lived in Maastricht since she arrived in the Netherlands in 2012 and has become fully part of the cultural life. Every now and then, she can be heard playing the carillon of Maastricht City Hall, one of her hobbies, on the streets there.


Marina Ruiz Vénus Soprano

From an early age, Marina was passionate about singing and theatre. And lyrical art soon came her way. She studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris where she graduated in 2016. Although she masters well-known repertoire, such as pieces by Mozart, Puccini, Verdi and Massenet, she is also open to different styles and genres. She sings baroque music more often – notably at the Royal Palace with Court-Circuit, the T&M company or the Maya ensemble. She performed in Franck Zappa’s 200 Motels at the Philharmonie de Paris and the Zénith de Strasbourg. She last performed at the Festival des Flâneries Musicales in Reims and then at the Théâtre National du Luxembourg, with Eva Barthas and her ensemble in the creation Opus Lunae. She starred in the title role of Edmond Audran’s operetta Gilette de Narbonne at the Auguste Theatre in Paris. She also plays the princess in Claude Terrasse’s La Botte Secrète in Paris and an excerpt from Puccini’s La Bohème in the production Les vies dansant in Paris.

Olivier Hernandez John Styx Tenor

After 13 years of singing in his high school choir, Olivier Hernandez perfected his technique in several Parisian conservatoires, at the Royal College of Music in London and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Lyon where he graduated in 2003, in the class of Brian Parsons. At the same time, he studied theatre in Paris in the class of Annie Lavedan and also took the Périmony course. He flourished during many years in the company of Cie les Brigands where he performed with some gems from the light and sometimes forgotten French repertoire. Such as Geneviève de Brabant (role of Sifroy), Les Brigands (Gloria-Cassis), Croquefer (Ramas’Ta Tête), L’Ile de Tulipatan (Romboidaal), La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein (Prince Paul). And also: La Cour du Roi Pétaud by L. Delibes (Pitois), Toi c ‘est moi by M. Simons (Bob), Phi-phi by H.Christiné (Ardimédon), Au temps des croisades by C. Terrasse (Thierry), etc… He also has many Mozart roles in his repertoire (all the tenor roles in Die Zauberflöte and Le nozze di Figaro in particular), Count Almaviva in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Fra Lorenzo in Halévy’s Guiterrero, Paris and Ménélas in Belle Hélène (Offenbach), Goro and Yamadori in Madame Butterfly (Puccini), the seducer in The Seduction of the Lady (R. Wargo)… He also performs in more ‘out of the box’ musical theatre productions such as in the world premiere of Jerusalem Madness by Suleiman Al-Qudsi (Dino) at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the backdrop. Il Promo Omicidio by A.Scarlatti (Adam) at Les Subsistances in Lyon, based on a work of improvisation with staging by Bruno Meyssat (dm M.Giardelli). Cyrano de Bergerac after E.Rostand, with additional music by Cie Bernard Rozet (actor and singer) in La Bâtie d’Urfé. World premiere of Terre et Cendres by Atik Rahimi (libretto based on his book) to music by Jérôme Combier (role of Mourad) at the Opéra de Lyon, dealing with the conflict in Afghanistan. Carmen for Men with the Cie Artem after Bizet (Don José), for cello and fanfare with additional music by Weill, Rigoletto (the Duke of Mantua) with the Cie Les Grooms, etc… On a more classical note, he gives recitals with pianist Sylvaine Valespir (songs, melodies French and Neapolitan); as a concert soloist, he sings the most important works of the sacred repertoire: Bach’s Passions according to Matthew and John, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung and Die Jahreszeiten, Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, Weill’s Berliner Requiem… Olivier performed at the Aix-en-Provence festival (Verdi’s La Traviata, role of Gaston de Létorières). He also performed in several opera houses from Lille (Dido and Aeneas by Purcell, The Sailor), from Limoges (La Princesse de Trébizonde by Offenbach, Sparadrap), from Metz (O Mon Bel Inconnu by R. Hahn, Lalumette), from Saint-Etienne (Patoussalafoi, show for children to music by M.Franceschini) and also at the opera houses of Dijon, Reims, Toulon, Vichy, the Royal Opera of Versailles, etc. He has also been a regular guest at the Opera of Rennes, where he is from, for ten years… Here he has sung roles of the Chaplain (Dialogues des Carmélites by Poulenc), Lucas (Le Médecin by Gounod) and Remendado (Carmen by Bizet)… His career has also taken him to Switzerland, Luxembourg and South Korea and as far as… Tahiti!

Sophie Collin Cupidon Soprano

Sophie completed her master’s degree in opera singing in Axel Everaert’s class at the end of August 2022. In the 2022-2023 season, Sophie will be part of two productions at Opera Zuid: she performs the role of Cupidon in Orphée aux Enfers and the spoken role of The Mother in Lady in the Dark. She also sang Gherardino in Gianni Schicchi at Zomeropera in Alden Biesen and the soprano solo in Carmina Burana in Eschweiler. In March 2022, she made her debut as Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann at the Maastricht Academy of Music. In November 2021, she performed as Despina in Così fan tutte at a project of the conducting class at the Maastricht Conservatory. Sophie got the chance to make her debut as Frasquita in Bizet’s opera Carmen at Opera Spanga in July 2021. Before the Coronavirus pandemic, she would play Zerlina in Don Giovanni in February 2020 at the Theater Rudolstadt in Germany. In 2019, she made her debut as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte at the Lyric Opera Studio Weimar. She also played Zosia at the Koncertowa, in Łódź, in Stanisław Moniuszko’s Polish opera Flis through the EOA (European Opera Academy). Since arriving in Maastricht in 2017, Sophie has been singing regularly in retirement homes. For these performances, she performed with guitar, piano and other singers. She is currently part of two ensembles: Duetto Paradiso with baritone Kyle Bejnerowicz and Sound of Musicals with tenor Dean Parker. Naturally curious, Sophie has pursued other musical studies. She received a bachelor’s degree in musicology from the University of Nice in 2013 and a master’s degree in policy and strategies for media and creative industries from the University of Cologne, Germany, in 2017. Her master’s thesis focused on the recruitment of opera singers in French opera houses.


Tom Jansen Apollon Baritone

Tom Jansen (1992) graduated from the Music Theatre course at the ArtEZ conservatory in Arnhem. During his studies, he did internships with Theatre Group Kwatta and Tafel van Vijf Muziektheater. After graduating in 2015, Tom developed an increasing love for classical music theatre and opera. With Frans Fiselier and his current coach Hans Pieter Herman, he worked on developing a full baritone sound. This earned him several scholarships to further study in Berlin. Tom played roles with Holland Opera, Kasko and Theater Babel, among others. With Silbersee, he appeared in LEV and Kaapdiegoeiekoop at festival Oerol. With Consensus Vocalis, he travelled the country in performances by the Nederlandse Reisopera in recent seasons. Since 2019, Tom has additionally joined the choir of De Nationale Opera. On the international stage, Tom made his debut in Germany in the title role of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, in Italy as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and in Switzerland as the father in Hänsel und Gretel and the title role in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.


Benjamin Prins Director

Benjamin Prins (born in Lisieux, France, 1982) has been directing internationally renowned operas since 2012. Among his latest productions are: Die Glückliche Hand by Schoenberg and Gianni Schicchi by Puccini, Würzburg Opera House (2021). Fantasio by Offenbach at Opera Zuid, Cologne Philharmonie (2019). Vous qui savez ce qu’est l’amour, by Romie Estèves after Mozart, Théâtre de l’Athénée (2019). Werther by Gounod, National Opera Brunswick (2017). Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor by Nicolai, Dessau Opera House (2017). Cosí fan tutte by Mozart, Erfurt Opera House (2016). A kékszakállú herceg vára by Bartók, Dessau Opera House (2016). Faust by Gounod, Erfurt Opera House (2015). Britten’s The beggar’s opera, National Opera of Montpellier (2013). After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in law-political science and a master’s degree in linguistics at the University of Montpellier, he chose to broaden his knowledge of German language, culture and musical and theatrical canon and was admitted to Vienna’s prestigious Austrian University of Music and Performing Arts. He graduated cum laude, majoring in musical theatre directing (Prof. Reto Nickler). From 2005-2012, Prins worked with some of Europe’s most acclaimed masters of opera and theatre as assistant director, in more than sixty productions, in France and abroad, including: Olivier Py: Hamlet at the Theater an der Wien, La forza del destino at the Cologne Opera and Il trovatore at the Munich Opera Festival. Johannes Weigand: Stiffelio at Venice’s Fenice. Andrej Serban: Manon at the Vienna State Opera. David Pountney: Der Kuhhandel at the Volksoper Vienna. Waut Koeken: La Vie Parisienne at the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg. Guy Montavon: La fille du régiment at the Shanghai Opera. After a writers’ residency at the Cité internationale des arts, he completed his training as a teacher of Alexander Technique ® at Agnès de Brunhoff’s Training Centre in Paris. He is now working as Operndirektor and head director at Theater Nordhausen from season 2022-2023. His interest in academics also leads him to regularly give master classes in the performing arts and conduct pedagogical productions with Opera Fuoco (David Stern), with Luxembourg Philharmonie (Stefan Gehmacher/Pascal Sticklies) and Le Parlement de Musique (Martin Gester) and others. He is fluent in French, English, German and Italian.


Marloes en Wikke Set design

We are Marloes van der Hoek and Wikke van Houwelingen. We work together, but we think separately. In the paradox lies our inspiration. We are always looking for images that cause friction because it doesn’t fit perfectly. If it is right, something is wrong. We look for beauty in the ugly, emptiness in abundance, substance in form, the externalisation of an inner world and the video clips in an old stage text. Ideally, we let a space transform completely during the performance. We hope the viewer experiences what we ourselves experience when designing: a sense of conquest. Spaces to be conquered are ideally suited to loosen up thinking. In 2006, we graduated simultaneously from the master’s degree in scenography and have been working together and with various directors and designers ever since, mainly in theatre. We also made installations for the Central Museum and the New Institute and teach at various academies. Wikke received the Charlotte Köhler Prize for theatre makers and visual artists from the Prince Bernard Culture Fund.


Marrit van der Burgt Costume design

Marrit van der Burgt (Leeuwarden) has been working as a costume designer and head of the costume department of the Appel Theatre in The Hague since 1984. In 2000, she became an independent costume designer. For the marathon performance Casanova by Aus Greidanus at the Appeltheater, she designed another 300 costumes. The costumes were praised in many newspapers. She worked for a long time with director Erik Vos and set designer Tom Schenk. Among other things, she designed Antonius and Cleopatra for the Appeltheater. She also worked with many well-known directors at home and abroad. Among other things, she designed the costumes for the internationally awarded films Nightwatching and Goltzius and the pelican company by Peter Greenaway. For Nightwatching, she received a nomination for best costume design. Furthermore, she made many other film installations and other projects with him. She also designed several more international and Dutch films, with Ben Sombogaart, Johan Nijenhuis, Steven de Jong, Shariff Nasr and Isabella Constatini, among others. She dressed Joop vd Ende’s musicals De Jantjes, directed by Dick Hauser and Anatevka with Anatol Preissler. In 2018/19 also designed costumes for the two musicals Junglebook and Madagascar, for the Luisenburg Festival, Wunsiedel. Junglebook (directed by Simon Eichenberger) won the 2nd prize of best musical open-air theatre Germany. Furthermore, she made the costumes of many operas and operettas at home and abroad including Wagner’s Lohengrin at Landestheater Innsbruck with David Prins. Der Bettelstudent with Anatol Preissler at the Volksoper Vienna. Don Giovanni with Frank B. Gottschalk in Odessa (Ukr.) and with Sybrandt vd Werf in Amsterdam (DNOA). The Gypsy Baron with Marc Krone in Cherkassie (Ukr.) At Opera Zuid she made Tsar Saltan with Sybrandt vd Werf and Rusalka with David Prins. Nozze di Figaro with Daniel van Klaveren. Marrit van der Burgt’s work is characterised by the application of often unusual, preferably lived-in materials, and the exuberant, or conversely subtle use of colours on stage or in front of the camera. In her work, she is most powerful when, in collaboration with the director, she can improvise on the spot, (after thorough preparation) so that the director has optimal freedom to use his creativity. She mainly specialises in period costumes, historical costume dramas, and Fantasy. After completing the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (direction Fashion/Monumental), she started her career in the costume atelier of the Nederlands Dans Theater. She then became head of the costume atelier and designer at Toneelgroep de Appel. For seven years, she also taught at the Artemis Academy Arts in Rotterdam also taught on the postgraduate year scenography at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Willy Laury Choreography

Willy Laury is from Paris in France. He has taught at The Juilliard School, S.U.N.Y. Purchase and MCS Acting Studio NYC in America. He has worked with the following companies: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Morfoses, Ballet X, Michael Clark Company, Incidence Choréographique of the Opéra National de Paris and Sleeping Beauty Dreams. His commercial work includes: Benjamin Millepied’s Baileys, Marc Martinon as a model, Aramis by Karl Edwin Guerre “Guerreisms”, Ellie Goulding – American Express ONSTAGED and Eikichi Yazawa – Still Rockin’ Tour. He has freelanced with the Francesca Harper project and Emery LeCrone dance. He has performed at Ever After – Disney Company – Andy Tennant, The Way She Moves – Jonathan Bernstein / Suzanne Mizner, Castor & Pollux – Theater des Champs Elysées, AURUM I / A Memory Film, AURUM II, AURUM 2.0 and Halston Ryan Murphy / Daniel Minahan / Suzanne Mizner.


Julian Mailwald Lighting design

Julian Maiwald (b. 1981) is a scenographer and lighting designer in theatre and dance. He often takes on set and lighting design, but he also enjoys taking care of the disciplines separately. In these roles, he regularly works with directors such as Erik Whien, Casper Vandeputte and the Nineties Productions collective at various companies throughout the Netherlands. In his work, he strives for a stage image in which space and atmosphere can breathe with the performance, visually propelling the performance without singing itself loose from the whole. Theatrical space and its playing are inseparable and therefore always need each other. In his work, Julian Maiwald therefore always searches for the core of the narrative, and accounts for the theatrical situation: a meeting of performance and spectator. Originally from Germany, he began studying at the theaterschool in Amsterdam in 2003 and has been working in the Netherlands ever since.


Lysanne van Overbeek Directing assistant

Lysanne is a Dutch theatre and opera director based in London. Upcoming work includes Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Will Todd’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for If Opera. Directing credits include: Opera Gala (Clonter Opera), Tutankhamun’s Shoes (English Touring Opera), Dido & Aeneas, Rita (IF Opera), Double bill: Orfeo et Euridice / Zanetto (Grimeborn, OFFIES Finalist 2022), The Tales of Hoffmann (Opera Integra), La Traviata, Rigoletto (Brent Opera), I Capuletti e i Montecchi (Grimeborn, The Arcola), The Magic Flute (Opera Integra), Lady of Stavoren (Over the Pond Productions). As an assistant director, she has produced such works as. La Rondine (IF Opera), Little Women (Opera Holland Park), La Boheme, The Golden Cockerel, Amadigi, ETO at Home (English Touring Opera), Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Anna Bolena, Alcina (Longborough Festival Opera), Street Scene (Koln Oper), Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (Kiez Oper), Das Rheingold, The Rape of Lucretia, The Cunning Little Vixen (Grimeborn, The Arcola).


Lochlan Brown Assistant conductor

Lochlan is an Australian pianist, composer and conductor. Currently based in Amsterdam. His recent performances as a conductor include Candide at Lithuanian National Opera and the world premiere Anansi at De Nationale Opera. He also works regularly with Opera Zuid and Nederlandse Reisopera. Lochlan’s interest in theatre began as a repetiteur at Western Australian Opera and the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School in Brisbane, Australia. He then moved to New York to pursue studies in orchestral conducting and collaborative piano at the Mannes School of Music. He spent his summers at the Miami Music Festival as rehearsal director and assistant conductor. While in New York, Lochlan performed for several productions at Opera on Tap, Bare Opera, Long Island Opera and On Site Opera. For the 2018-2019 season, Lochlan was offered the position of Maestro Collaboratore at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and the following season he joined De Nationale Opera Studio in Amsterdam. As a pianist, Lochlan has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, on Dutch television and radio, including Podium Witteman and Mondo. Lochlan also enjoys working in TV, film and musical. He has created arrangements and orchestrations for projects combining opera, hip-hop, ballet, electronica and other cross-genre elements – some of which have appeared at the Opera Forward Festival. In 2021 and 2022, he was the coach and assistant to Leonard Evers on the successful TV competition show, ARIA, which will return for a third season. In Lochlan’s first season at Opera Zuid, he assisted Enrico Delamboye on an innovative film production of L’elisir d’amore. He then assisted at Opera Zuid during the productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Lady in the Dark.


Brit Gennissen Set design assistant

Brit has been fascinated by opera since childhood. Partly due to an endless imagination, she has always felt the need to create. This first resulted in graduating as a graphic designer. Soon the desire arose to work with creative professionals on a set. This prompted her to enter the theatre world that was familiar to her. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Design from the Utrecht School of the Arts in 2019. Already during her studies, she assisted set designer Barbara Ehnes at the Thalia Theatre, Hamburg. And she worked with Lieven Slabbinck at Divi-Divi, specialising in the design and construction of special effects for theatrical images and the safe use of (fire) effects. As a freelance artist, designer and designer, she has worked, among others, for the NOS, festival Maas!, on the interactive installation Possiball for theatre festival 2turvenhoog and participated in the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space. Applying multi disciplinary skills, she experiments with visual and spatial aspects that characterise her as a designer. She also has a vision to focus on developing innovative opera. Brit previously worked at Opera Zuid on Roméo et Juliette, A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Lady in the Dark.