Kasper Holten

You can't be anyone but yourself, so try yo work hard to be the best version of yourself possible.
Ph.: Roberto Ricci

Author:

by Bianca L. Nica
January 30, 2023

INTRODUCTION

An opera production requires a lot of effort from singers, but also from the people that are behind the stage. We thought it might be a wonderful idea to give you an insight of how everything is arranged down to the smallest detail in order for you to have a magnificent experience. We invited Kaspre Holten, the well known stage director from Scandinavia, to talk about his vast achievements so far. In a conversation with Bianca L. Nica, he gives us precious details about how it is to stage such an important event like the opening of La Scala and he also shares his thoughts about the “pleasing the audience” concept. Bianca thought about a very intriguing question for Kasper: how much of Boris Godunov’s interpretation was the director’s vision and how much was Ildar’s? Every new production has an untold story and an ambiguous process. Where does he start from? You can already tell that this is quite of a complex conversation with a lot of useful and interesting information. Bianca made sure to put the right questions like: What’s the secret of a successful path in this field? Should the socio-political state of the world affect art? How would he describe the ideal relationship between a stage director and a conductor? For these questions and many others, Kasper Holten has so much to say. Let’s not get lost in time and enrich ourselves with his wisdom.

BIOGRAPHY

Kasper Holten is one of Scandinavia’s most sought-after stage directors today and works all over the world. Kasper has directed more than 80 operas, plays, musicals and operettas. His productions have been staged in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Latvia, Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy, France, Austria, Russia, Argentina, Australia, USA and Japan, including at the world leading companies such as the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Teatro alla Scala. In 2010, he directed his first feature film – a contemporary cinematic version of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. He was appointed Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen at the age of 26 and successfully oversaw the company moving into a new grand opera house in Copenhagen. From 2011-2017, Holten was Director of Opera at Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London. Since August 2018 he is CEO of the Royal Danish Theatre, the national home for opera, ballet, drama and symphonic music in his native Denmark. Kasper was knighted by HM Queen Margrethe II of Denmark who also presented him the rare medal Ingenio et Arti for artistic achievements.

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INTERVIEW

Dear Mr. Holten, it’s an immense honour to have the opportunity to talk with you! Thank you once again for the incredible production of Boris Godunov that opened the current season of Teatro alla Scala! Where would you place this achievement on the scale of successful moments throughout your entire career? I don’t think it […]

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Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner comes from a music-loving family. Her first encounter with the opera universe was at the tender age of six. The grandeur of the stage productions and costumes, the backstage chatter, and last, but definitely not least, the music left her in awe, beginning with Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The overall feeling that opera awakens in anyone who gets a glimpse into this part of artistic eternity, that each and every day passes the test of time, was what drew her to stay and be a part of this world. The Opera House of Brașov became her second home, and the people who worked there were her second family.

Since then, Alice has devoted her spare time to maximising her musical knowledge through instrumental studies, studying both piano and violin for a short time. In the following years, her number one passion stepped out of the limelight and graciously gave way to Law Studies.
Since 2018 she has been studying Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Her passion for opera, even if it is no longer her top professional priority in terms of career, it has most definitely become her priority during her free time. Wanting to experience the best of both worlds and extend her musical horizons, she regularly attends opera performances throughout Romania and abroad.
With OPERA Charm Magazine, Alice aims to nurture her creative side to help it flourish and bloom and to discover, alongside the magazine’s readers, the fascinatingly complex world of opera.

Currently, she is an LL.M. in Business Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Oana Zamfir

Oana Zamfir is a second year MA student at the “George Enescu” National University of Arts, at the Department of Musicology.

She studied violin for 12 years at the “Stefan Luchian” High School of Art in Botosani, later focusing on the theoretical aspects of music. In 2019 she completed her bachelor studies in Musicology as a student of the National Academy of Music “Gheorghe Dima” in Cluj-Napoca. Her research during 2018-2019 brought to the forefront elements of the archaic ritual within works of composers who activated during the communist period, giving her the opportunity to start a research internship at the “Carl von Ossietzky” University in Germany. In this context, she recorded conversations with members of the Sophie Drinker Institute in Bremen, and had access to documents directly from the Myriam Marbé archive.

Since 2019 she has been a teacher of Music Education and Theoretical Music Studies, making full use of interactive methods in the musical training of students and working, at the same time, with the children’s choir founded in the first year of her activity.

Her interests include pursuing a degree in interior design in 2020.

Alexandru Suciu

Alexandru Suciu inherited his passion for art growing up in a family of several generations of musicians. He began his musical studies at the “Augustin Bena” School of Music in Cluj, where he studied piano and guitar. Even though his main study direction was philological, his passion for music prevailed. He began his academical journey at the Faculty of Letters of the “Babeș-Bolyai” University, studying Comparative literature and English. He continued by studying Opera Singing at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy. He also graduated the Musical Education section, followed by Artistic Directing at the Musical Performing Arts department.

His multidisciplinary education opened the doors towards research, which is seen both through his participation in national and international conferences and symposia, such as the Salzburg Easter School PhD-forum, organized by the Salzburg Universität or the Silesian Meeting of Young Scholars, organized by the Institute of English at the University of Silesia, as well as the collaboration with Opera Charm Magazine.

During his student years, he won several prizes, including the Grand Prize at the “Paul Constantinescu” National Musical Interpretation Competition, the Romanian Composers and Musicologists’ Union Prize at the same competition, the First Prize and the Schubert Prize at the “Ada Ulubeanu” Competition.

He further developed his artistic skills by specializing in courses and masterclasses held by personalities such as Vittorio Terranova, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Marian Pop, Ines Salazar, Riccardo Zanellato, Paolo Bosisio, Valentina Farcaș and Manuel Lange in contexts such as the Internationale Sommerakademie für Operngesang Deutschlandsberg, Corso Internazionale di Canto Lirico I.M.C. Licata or the Europäische Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst Montepulciano. Besides his activity on-stage, he currently teaches Opera Singing Didactics, and Pedagogical Practice within the Department for Teacher Education and Training at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy.

Cristina Fieraru

Cristina is a 24 year-old Romanian soprano & a student at the National University of Music Bucharest, where she pursues the MA program in Vocal Performance.

She made her debut in Pamina from “Die Zauberflöte” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at only 19 years old at the Bucharest National Opera House, as a member of the Ludovic Spiess Experimental Opera Studio. Over the years she made her debut in roles such as Contessa d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Mimì & Musetta (La Bohème), Alice Ford (Falstaff), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte) in her university’s opera productions.
Her passion and experience extends in the field of choral music, too.

She has been part of our dream team since the fall of 2021. For a good period of time she took care of OPERA Charm’s social media and took you on the monthly journey through the history of opera through our Legends rubric – and a few times through the Theaters around the World rubric.

Her little soul rubric – from 2021 to present – is definitely the Conductors of the Future, where, every month, she gives you the chance to meet a young star of the world of conducting and, of course, to find out what’s the most charming feature of opera in these artists’ views.

BIANCA L. NICA

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