The Rake’s Progress
Equilibrium’s first project will be three semi-staged performances of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress with Gothenburg Symphony in December 2018. Further performances of the opera are scheduled for May 2019 in Europe and in June 2019 in the United States. Barbara Hannigan will be conducting.
It is not possible to announce all of the performance details yet, but I am eager to introduce our first season’s team.
Our director for The Rake’s Progress is Swedish director and lighting designer Linus Fellbom. I can’t wait to work with him and have The Rake’s Progress occupy the concert stage in weird and wonderful ways!
Since his debut as a lighting designer 1995 he has lit around 250 productions worldwide. In 2005 Linus made his debut as a stage director and has since then directed Freischütz and Les Contes d’Hoffmann for the Swedish Folkopera in Stockholm, Richard III, Creditors and The God Helmet for the Swedish National Touring Theatre and Hänsel und Gretel at Malmö Opera, to name a few. Linus also directed the divertissements at the 2016 Nobel Banquette in Stockholm City Hall. His latest production, the new opera Dracula at the Royal Opera in Stockholm, opened in October 2017.
Recent work as a set designer include La boheme and Rigoletto for Norrlandsoperan, L’Orfeo for Wermland Opera, Red in 3. for Stuttgarter Ballet.
Among recent productions Linus has lit are The Portrait at Opera North and Opéra National de Lorraine, Thaïs at LA Opera, Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte at Opera di Firenze, Il barbiere di Siviglia at Opera di Roma and Lucia di Lammermoor at Teatro Communale di Bologna, A Midsummer Nights Dream at Staatsoper and Volksoper in Vienna, Midsommarnattsdröm by Alexander Ekman and Julia and Romeo by Mats Ek at the Royal Opera in Stockholm. In 2012 he designed the world tour with the re-united Swedish hard core band Refused, performing in five continents.
The Swedish-Finnish soprano Sofie Asplund grew up on the Åland Islands. She graduated from the University College of Opera in Stockholm 2013. She has been praised by audience and critics for her role portrayals at The Royal Opera in Stockholm, GöteborgsOperan, Finnish National Opera, Staatsoper Hamburg, Theater Basel, Malmö Opera and the Drottningholm Court Theatre. Her roles include Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Gilda (Rigoletto), Oscar (Un ballo in maschera), Titania (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Vixen (The cunning little vixen), Carolina (Il matrimonio Segreto), Erste Magd (Daphne) and Olga (Fedora). This season Sofie makes roles debuts as Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) and also perform Cunegunde (Candide) in concert. She has also sung musical theatre roles including Maria in West Side Story and Christine in The Phantom of the Opera. Her awards include scholarships from the Birgit Nilsson foundation and the Royal Music Academy.
Aphrodite Patoulidou is a Greek soprano, performer, writer, composer and photographer. She studied at the University of Macedonia in Greece, Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussels, Universität der Künste Berlin and spent some quality time in Paris. She performed as improvisation artist in festivals and as an actress in short films. Her opera roles include Rosina, Lucy, and Alleinerziehende in Minibar. Aphrodite studied modern and folk singing and plays the piano and guitar. Her first illustrated cycle of poems was published by H.O.N. as a first prize of poetry in Greece. She likes snow and comic books. Not necessarily combined.
British tenor William Morgan trained at the National Opera Studio, sponsored by English National Opera, and at the Royal College of Music. He has taken part in two world premieres and a UK premiere for ENO: Phaeton in The Day After, Florizel (cover) The Winter’s Tale, and Younger Man Between Worlds (ENO/Barbican). Other work has included Pastore/Spirito (cover Apollo) L'Orfeo (Bayerische Staatsoper); Dr Caius Falstaff (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic / European Opera Centre); Anthony Sweeney Todd (Longborough Festival); Spoletta Tosca (Nevill Holt Opera); The 8th Door and Opera Highlights tours (Scottish Opera). William is a Kentish man, and before training as a singer he studied Chemistry and Mathematics at Durham University.
Hungarian tenor Gyula Rab is an alumnus of RCM Opera Studio London and Liszt Academy Budapest. In 2016/17 he was a member of the Opernhaus Zürich Opera Studio. Recent opera roles include Ferrando, Tamino, Almaviva, Rinuccio and Achilles at Hungarian State Opera House, iSING! China Festival and Szeged National Theater. Winner of the Junior Prima Prize in Classical Music category in 2016, recepient of the International Opera Awards Foundation Bursary and Le Meridien Prize by the Ari S Kupsus Salon Concert Society. An avid soloist of Haydn, Mozart and Rossini oratorios. A moderate hedonist who loves forest bathing and sports.
Elgan Llyr Thomas
Welsh tenor Elgan Llyr Thomas is a 2017/18 English National Opera Harewood Artist. He is a former student of the Royal Northern College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is a past winner of the Stuart Burrows International Voice Award, the Kerry Keane Young Artist award and the audience prize at the Les Azuriales Festival and was one of the first ever recipients of a Bryn Terfel Foundation study grant. In 2016 Elgan joined Scottish Opera as an Emerging Artist and during his time there sang Nemorino in The Elixir of Love. Recent engagements include Count Almaviva, Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris and Berthold/Flogger/Titorelli in Philip Glass’ The Trial for Scottish Opera. Elgan is a 2017/18 recipient of an Opera Awards Foundation Bursary.
Born in Guadeloupe, Yannis François is a French-Swiss bass-baritone and dancer. He began his artistic career as a member of the Béjart Ballet Lausanne and later graduated from the Haute-École de Musique de Lausanne with a Master's degree in singing. His staged roles include Don Giovanni, Don Alfonso, Eight songs for a Mad King by Peter Maxwell Davies, El Cimarrón by Henze and recently Le Matelot in Alcione by Marin Marais in Opéra Comique de Paris with Jordi Savall. He has an affinity for projects that mix all kinds of artforms and mediums and is always looking to push his performance limits using his diverse skills. Yannis is equally passionate about discovering and researching manuscripts and forgotten music of various periods and bringing them back to life; he has created recital programmes for solo albums by artists such as Jakub Józef Orliński and Julie Fuchs.
John Taylor Ward
Originally from Boone, NC, John Taylor Ward is a multifaceted artist and arts entrepreneur. Most recently, he has appeared in the U.S. premiere of Claude Vivier’s Kopernikus under the direction of Peter Sellars, a world tour of Monteverdi’s operas led by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and two years as a member of Les Arts Florissants’ Jardin des voix. Ward is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and holds three advanced degrees from the Yale School of Music, where his musicological research focused on traditional Appalachian music. Taylor is a founding core member of Cantata Profana (winner of Chamber Music America’s award for Most Adventurous Programming) and is the founding associate artistic director of the Lakes Area Music Festival, which brings 170 classical musicians from around the world to central Minnesota for collaborations in chamber music, symphonic repertoire, ballet, and opera.
Douglas Williams, bass-baritone, was born in Farmington, Connecticut, and trained at the New England Conservatory, Yale University, and the Tanglewood Music Center. He moved to Germany in 2014 to appear in a new production of Orfeo from the acclaimed choreographer Sasha Waltz, at the Dutch National Opera and the Berlin Staatsoper. In recent years he has sung with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony (USA), and with the baroque orchestras Tafemusik, Les Talens Lyriques, and Philharmonia Baroque. With the Boston Early Music Festival he appears on the Grammy-winning recording of Charpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux enfers.
Baba the Turk
British-Singaporean mezzo Fleur Barron received critical acclaim for simultaneously dancing and singing the dual leading roles of Anna I and Anna I in Kurt Weill’s Die sieben Todsünden at the 2016 Tanglewood Music Festival, and received Tanglewood’s Jackson Prize for Excellence. This season’s engagements include role and house debuts with Opéra National de Montpellier, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and Opéra Comique (Paris); the alto solos in Bernstein’s Songfest with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; and several recitals with pianist Julius Drake. Fleur is an avid Star Trek fan and holds degrees from Manhattan School of Music and Columbia University. www.fleurbarron.com
Baba the Turk
Australian mezzo-soprano Kate Howden studied at Trinity Laban with Ameral Gunson, the Royal Academy of Music with Elizabeth Ritchie and the National Opera Studio. Recent opera roles include title role/Cendrillon, Isolier (Le Comte Ory) and Carlotta (La scuola de’gelosi). Soloist performances include the complete mélodies of Duparc at the Machynlleth Festival with Sachika Taniyama, Mark Antony Turnage’s one-woman Twice Through the Heart with Shadwell Opera and Scottish Opera’s Opera Highlights tour. Kate works often with the Australian contemporary circus group Circa in their show Il Ritorno, which to date has toured to Luxembourg, France and Canada.
Baba the Turk
Born in 1986 in Sosnowiec, Poland, Marta Świderska’s musical path began with violin. After finishing arts high school, she started her studies at the University of Technology in Katowice where in 2016 she obtained her PhD (doctor) degree in Material Science Engineering. Simultaneously Marta Świderska studied voice at the Karol Szymanowski Music Academy in Katowice. After finishing her bachelor studies she completed master voice studies in Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. From 2015-2017 she was a member of the International Opera Studio in Staatsoper Hamburg. She performed various roles onstage including Brigitta in Korngold’s Die tote Stadt, Tisbe in Rossini’s La Cenerentola and the Gymnasiast in Berg’s Lulu, as well as Olga in Tschaikovsky’s Eugen Onegin at the Baltic Opera in Gdańsk. For the 2017/18 season Marta is singing as a guest of the Staatsoper Hamburg, Komische Oper in Berlin and Oldenburgisches Staatstheater.
Trevor Bowes was born in Victoria, Canada and studied at the University of Toronto and RSAMD, Glasgow. Based in London, he performs regularly with English National Opera, most recently Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols conducted by Martyn Brabbins. He has sung for leading UK companies including Opera North, Glyndebourne, London Handel Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, RSNO and in Russia, Germany and Canada. For Naxos' premiere recording of Balfe's Satanella under Richard Bonynge, his Arimanes was described as “black-toned and sonorous” (Gramophone). In addition to his opera and concert work, Trevor keeps active as a consort singer, knitter and socialite.
Antoin Herrera-Lopez Kessel
Antoin Herrera-Lopez Kessel hails from Havana, Cuba, where he studied classical and contemporary dance at the National School of Arts in Havana, and later Engineering and Mathematics at university. He moved to France where he studied opera at Besançon Conservatoire and subsequently at the National Superior Conservatory in Lyon. He performed the Mozart roles including Guglielmo and Leporello, after completing a Mozart residency at the Festival d’Aix en Provence. He is passionate about neoclassicism in music, and some of his favorite works are Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins. He also trains actively in volleyball.
Swedish bass singer Erik Rosenius, 25, graduated from the University College of Opera in Stockholm 2017 and holds a bachelor degree in classical singing from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm 2014. During the past year, he has been singing at the Royal Opera in Stockholm in R. Strauss' Salome and J. Ramström's Den långa, långa resan, and can look forward to several engagements ahead. The last summers he participated in a number of opera productions at Läckö Castle in Sweden, and in the summer of 2017 he was on a national tour as a Jenny Lind-scholarship winner. Erik is a sought after oratorio singer and has received scholarships such as The Royal Academy of Music Stockholm Scholarship and the Freemason's Scholarship. Since 2016 he is part of Stellis Polaris Management.
Tenor Ziad Nehme was born in Tripoli, Lebanon. He holds a masters degree in mathematics and studied voice and piano at the national conservatory of Beirut and the Salzburg Mozarteum. He has sung in numerous German and French opera houses both as guest and company member: Hamburg State Opera, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Theatre du Capitole Toulouse, Marseille and Montpellier to name a few. He created the role of Natale in the world premiere of Lucia Ronchetti's Esame di mezzanotte, named best new Opera of 2015 by Opernwelt, as well as the role of Rogelio in Matalons L'ombre de Venceslao, nominated for the "Victoires de la musique" in 2017.
Born in Sussex, tenor James Way was winner of 2nd Prize in the 62nd Kathleen Ferrier Awards at Wigmore Hall. He was awarded the 2016 Simon Sandbach Award from Garsington Opera, an Independent Opera Voice Fellowship, and is a former Britten-Pears Young Artist. James is a member of Les Arts Florissants young artist programme Le Jardin des Voix and has also been awarded the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s Rising Stars prize for the 2017-2018 season. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and continues his studies with Susan Waters.