Baritone Nikolay Borchev began his career at a very young age as a principal at the Bavarian State Opera. After several seasons in Munich, he spent two seasons as a member of the Vienna State Opera. With both companies he sang numerous main roles of his Fach including ‘Papageno’/ “Die Zauberflöte”, ‘Guglielmo’/”Così fan tutte” and ‘Figaro’/”Il Barbiere di Siviglia”. An exceptional musician, he developed an extensive repertoire within just a few years and, thanks to his vocal and artistic qualities as well as his compelling stage presence, has established himself as a regular guest of the world’s most important operatic, concert and recital venues.
Nikolay Borchev has appeared at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as ‘Guglielmo’ (Sir Colin Davis), and as ‘Harlekin’/”Ariadne auf Naxos”; at Carnegie Hall New York as ‘Apollo’/”Apollo e Dafne” (Jonathan Cohen), at the Opéra Comique Paris as ‘Aeneas’/”Dido and Aeneas” (William Christie), at the Hamburg State Opera as ‘Figaro’, at the State Opera Berlin as ‘Eginhard’ in Telemann’s ”Emma and Eginhard” (René Jacobs), at the Frankfurt Oper as ‘Dandini’/”La Cenerentola” and ‘Spielmann’/”Die Königskinder” (Sebastian Weigle with CD production), at the Deutsche Oper Berlin as ‘Figaro’; at Brussel’s Théâtre de la Monnaie in the world première of Benoît Mernier’s “Frühlingserwachen”, as ‘Ulisse’/”Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria”, as ‘Papageno’, as Dandini’ as well as as ‘Passaglio’ in a new production of Gassmnn’s “L’opera seria” (René Jacobs), in the title role of Monteverdi’s Orfeo, ‘Mercurio’/”La Calisto”, ‘Jeletzki’/” Pikovaya Dama” and ‘Lurcanio’/” Ariodante” at Theater Basel; in the title role of “Yevgenij Onegin” at the State Theatre Stuttgart, as ‘Conte’/”Le nozze di Figaro” at Theater Sankt Gallen; at Düsseldorf’s Deutsche Oper am Rhein as ‘Orfeo’ and ‘Guglielmo’; at Cologne Opera as ‘Marcello’/”La Bohème”, Kris Kelvin’ in Glanert’s “Solaris”, ‘Fieramosca’ in Berlioz’s “Benvenuto Cellini” and as ‘Stolzius’/”Die Soldaten (Francois-Xavier Roth), as ‘Marcello’ at the Opera Leipzig and in Riga; in Spain’s Ópera de Bilbao as ‘Donald’/”Billy Budd”, and at the Palau de les Arts Valencia as ‘Harlekin’; at the opera houses of Lille and Dijon as ‘Nardo’/”La finta giardiniera “(Emmanuelle Haïm); at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien in Ullmann’s “Der Kaiser von Atlantis”; as ‘Malatesta’/”Don Pasquale” at the Glyndebourne Festival (conducted by Enrique Mazzola and staged by Mariame Clément which was commercially released on DVD); as well as in the festivals of Weimar in Hanns Eisler's “Deutsche Sinfonie”; Schwetzingen, as ‘Pluto’ in Josef Martin Kraus’ “Proserpina”; the Rheingau Music Festival; the Salzburg Festival in Händel’s “Das Alexanderfest” (René Jacobs); the Ruhrtriennale and at the Baden-Baden Festival as ‘Harlekin’ (Christian Thielemann; released on DVD), and as ‘Albert’/“Werther” (Bertrand de Billy). Further credits include, amongst others, ‘Schneidebart’/“The silent woman”, ‘Prosdocimo’/”Il Turco in Italia “ and ‘Der Liebende’ at the world-premiere of Nikolaus Brass’ “Die Vorübergehenden” at the Bavarian State Opera (Paolo Arrivabeni); the role of ‘; the role Morald in Wagner’s “Die Feen” at the Opera Leipzig, as ‘Dandini’/”La Cenerentola” at the Opéra de Lyon (Stefano Montanaro) and the role of ‘Danilo’ in Léhar’s “Merry Widow” at the Staatsoperette Dresden.
Nikolay Borchev is also a highly sought-after concert singer and recitalist. He has been featured with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Munich, in Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln; the Balthasar-Neumann Ensemble as ‘Orfeo’ (Thomas Hengelbrock); the Freiburger Barockorchester in “Don Giovanni “(commercially released on CD and DVD, René Jacobs); the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin; the Capella Augustina in Haydn’s “Il ritorno di Tobia”; the Museumsorchester Frankfurt in “Carmina Burana” and “Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln”; the NPS Amsterdam in “Orlando Paladino”; with the London Mozart Players; the Chamber Orchestra of Munich; the Radio Symphony Orchestra of the Saarland in Saint-Saëns “Oratorio de Noël”; the RSO Berlin and as Apollo in Händel’s “Apollo e Dafne” with the Philharmonic State Orchestra Halle; the Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie (Frank Beermann); with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra (Jeffrey Tate); with the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, with the Dresdner Musikfestspiele, with the Warsaw Philharmonic, with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York, with the Munich Bachchor in Bach’s “Matthäus-Passion” (Hans-Jörg Albrecht) and with the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester in a concert version Bohuslav Martinů's opera “Ariane”, in the role of ‘Thesée’ (Martyn Brabbins), amongst others. His participation in a semi-staged, cross-over production of Rossini’s “La Petite Messe Solennelle” with the dance company Nico and the Navigator, with performances at the Weimar Festival, in Berlin, Dijon as well as in Paris has been of special interest and was highly acclaimed.. Further highlights included his successful role-debut as ‘Pelléas’/”Pelléas et Mélisande” with the Niederösterreichische Tonkünstler under the baton of Jun Märkl at Vienna’s Musikverein”. He recently gave his debut at Concertgebouw Amsterdam in “Das Paradies und die Peri” with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, conducted by Markus Stenz and in Rossini’s “La petite messe solennelle” under Leonardo Garcia Alarcón.
His recital repertoire is extensive, and encompasses cycles by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mahler and Wolf, as well as songs by Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky and Grieg. He sang Schubert’s “Die Winterreise” (commercially released on CD) at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, where he has also been the object of an "Artist's Portrait" with numerous concerts, recitals and gala performances. With Wolfram Rieger he presented a recital at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. He is a regular guest of Vilabertran’s Schubertiada, and has given recitals at Dortmund’s Konzerthaus, at the festival of Weimar and the Brühler Schlosskonzerte. Additional recitals have taken him regularly to the Music at Menlo Festival in Atherton, California; to Spain’s Gran Canaria; and as far as Taiwan.
Current and future projects include his debut at the Teatro Real in Madrid and his role-debuts as ‘Posa’/”Don Carlo at the Theatre St. Gallen, as “Don Giovanni”/titelrole at the Opéra du Rhin, Strasbourg and as ‘Fritz’/”Die tote Stadt” at La Monnaie Brussels. He will return to the Chamber Music Society of New York as well as to the Bachakademie Stuttgart and will perform “Dido and Aeneas”/Aeneas with the company of Sasha Waltz at the Berlin State Opera as well as at the Teatro Real in Madrid.
Nikolay Borchev was born in Pinsk, Belarus, and started his musical education at age seven years with piano, flute and organ. At sixteen he began studying singing at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory under Pavel Lisitsian and Maria Ariya and later continued his studies in Berlin at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" under the guidance of Heinz Reeh, Júlia Várady and Wolfram Rieger. He was a prize winner at numerous international vocal competitions.
The baritone Nikolay Borchev was appointed professor for singing at the Nuremberg University of Music on October 1st, 2021.
Karin B. Friedli directs various projects with young people and children (masks, forum theatre, video productions, improvisation theatre). There are also temporary jobs at schools as a theater teacher to supervise theater and video projects in the classes (Max and Moritz, Shakespeare and Theater etc.). She also works as a theater teacher in various therapeutic/educational settings.
Before and during her training as a theater teacher (which she completed in 2008), Karin B. Friedli carried out a wide variety of theater projects with a wide variety of participants. She also works as a theater teacher at several schools and therapeutic institutions. Her great interest lies in the everyday topics, which she works on with the respective participants in order to bring them to the stage. There should be room for a wide variety of expressive options, from music and physical theater to classical theater and even film sequences.
Together with her theater company colleague, she also rewrote children's books for the stage and developed her own plays with young people, children and adults. Together with her colleague, she conducts monthly workshops on theater and music improvisation in Bern under the title: "Saitentanz mit Penguin".
In 2010 she founded her own theater company, which has been known as Theater Lied Schatten since 2012. Since November 2013 they have been on tour in Switzerland with their new piece: 'Rauchzeichen – aus dem Burnout'.
Henfenfeld Castle is pure inspiration for a theater woman and Karin B. Friedli is therefore very much looking forward to conducting various workshops here with children and young people.
Further information about Karin B. Friedli can be found at: www.karinbfriedli.ch.
Canadian Tenor Arthur Janzen began his musical studies in Winnipeg at the Canadian Mennonite Bible College. Following a year of study in Kansas he went to Germany to prepare for (what was to become) a singing and vocal teaching career. Early on he established himself as an excellent solo recitalist and oratorio singer where he sang with many leading conductors in all of Europe as well as Canada. Janzen began his teaching career in Winnipeg at CMBC in 1970. Three years later he returned to his alma mater in Detmold, Germany to teach singing at the Hochschule für Musik, Detmold. In 1989 he was appointed Professor of Voice at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. Professor Janzen has produced singers who are performing with opera companies throughout Germany, Switzerland, France and Spain – among them prize winners of international competitions. More recently Arthur Janzen has been involved in Master Classes as well as Jury activity in national and international competitions.
Klesie Kelly was born in Kentucky (USA) and studied singing in Germany with Bettina Björgsten, Helmut Kretschmar and Günther Weißenborn. More active in concert than on the operatic stage, she has worked with conductors such as Moshe Atzmon, Wolfgang Gönnenwein, Erich Leinsdorf, Bruno Maderna and Hiroshi Wakasugi.
In 1971 Kelly performed in the Mozart Hall of the Wiener Konzerthaus and sang songs by Purcell, Schubert and Strauss, among others, accompanied by Norman Shetler. With the pianist Werner Genuit she recorded songs by composers such as Mozart, Schumann, Wolf and Zemlinsky. In 1977 she recorded Abend- und Liebeslieder (Evening Songs, Love Songs and Romances) with tenor Ian Partridge, accompanied by instrumental soloists such as Hermann Baumann (horn), Dieter Klöcker (clarinet), Karl-Otto Hartmann (bassoon) and again Genuit. The selection of rarely performed chamber music includes "Schlummerlied" by Benedict Randhartinger [de] for soprano, tenor, horn and piano, Franz Lachner's "Since I saw him" (after Chamisso) for soprano, clarinet and piano and his "Loud Love" for soprano , bassoon and piano.
In Wiesbaden she sang with the Rheingauer Kantorei Choir in 1979 Mendelssohn's oratorio Elijah with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra alongside Erich Wenk in the title role and in 1980 Honegger's King David with Claudia Eder and Gerd Nienstedt as speakers.
From 1986 to 2014, Kelly was a professor of singing at the Cologne University of Music. She has given master classes in Europe and Korea. Her students included Juan Carlos Echeverry, Julia Kleiter, Ulrike Maria Maier and Christiane Oelze. Several of her students have won awards at international competitions and are members of leading opera companies.
Oliver Klöter now works as an opera director in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Central America and the USA. His productions include works such as Tannhäuser, Tosca, Idomeneo (Mozart/Strauss, Festival Martina Franca), I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Gera/Altenburg), Tannhäuser (Theater Halberstadt), The Magic Flute (Nicaragua), Fidelio (Festspiele Werdenberg), La bohème (Opera Naples/Florida and Theater Bremerhaven), Countess Mariza (Theater Magdeburg), Iphigenie auf Tauris (Gluck/Strauss, Festival Martina Franca), Le Nozze die Figaro (Maastricht/NL), Missa Nigra (Schenker, Forum Neue Musik Cologne)), Divertimento - Farce for ensemble (Kagel, Cologne Music Triennial) "The Merry Widow" at the Tunghai University Taichung/Taiwan, "Interfaces (I) and (II)" large interdisciplinary opera projects at the Cologne Opera and many others.
Since 2008 he has been a lecturer in scenic instruction at the Cologne University of Music and Dance. Other lecturer activities as a guest at the Maastricht Conservatory (NL), International Opera Studio Cologne Opera, Bremen University of the Arts (early music department), Henfenfeld Opera and Concert Academy, Saarburg International Music Festival, Jeunesses Musicales Weikersheim, International Vianden Music Festival (Luxembourg ), New Bulgarian University Sofia, Tunghai University Taiwan and others.
From 1993 to 1998 Klöter studied music theater direction at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.
As an assistant director and director he worked at the Teatro Real Madrid, Teatro la Fenice Venice, Gran Teatro del Liceu Barcelona, Cologne Opera, Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Theater an der Wien, Theater in der Josefstadt, Salzburg Easter Festival, State Theater Saarbrücken, Theater St. Gallen etc.
Furthermore, he was responsible for the scenic rehearsals of Robert Carsen's production of "Ring des Nibelungen" at major internationally renowned opera houses for 20 years.
From October 2008 to October 2009 he was also managing director of the Forum Tiberius (international forum for culture and business) in Dresden. This non-profit institution is dedicated to the networking of culture and business and organizes regional artist promotion as well as international cultural-political congresses and large international music competitions.
Felipe Ramos received his Diploma in Music Pedagogy and Singing from the University of Brasília (Brazil) in 2011 after graduating in Piano from the Music School of Brasilia. He feels equally comfortable in musicals as well as in opera and has already embodied numerous roles at home and abroad (Brazil, the Netherlands, China, Italy, Switzerland, etc). In his presented repertoire one can find such musical roles as Angel Schunard (Rent), Jesus (Jesus Christ Superstar), Tony (West Side Story), Rocky (Rocky Horror Show), Claude (Hair) as well as operatic roles like Tamino (Die Zauberflöte). ), Alfredo (La Traviata), Don Jose (Carmen, by Bizet), Conte D'Almaviva (Il Barbiere di Siviglia, by Rossini), Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice, by Glück). Ramos has extensive experience as an opera director and musical director, as well as a vocal coach. He is constantly working with projects and productions such as Opera Studios, workshops and masterclasses (e.g. Berlin Opera Academy, Broadway Dreams, etc) and is always passionate about training new talents for the stage.
Ricardo Tamura was born and grew up in São Paulo. Being a highly gifted person, he finished High School at the age of 15. By age 20 he earned two Bachelor degrees in Geology and Physics from the University of São Paulo. While working on his third degree in Geophysics at the same University, he started teaching Geology as an Assistant Fellow. In addition, he worked as a Computer Science teacher and as a chess instructor at the Colégio Bandeirantes in São Paulo. In his spare time, he started to take voice lessons. After auditioning for the famous Soprano Licia Albanese in New York, he decided to apply to the Juilliard School of Music. He was accepted to their Graduate Program and received a scholarship to study voice with Marlena Malas. Later, he attended the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, and the Accademia Verdiana under the guidance of Carlo Bergonzi in Busseto. He also took private lessons with Licia Albanese, Carlo Bergonzi, and German conductor Bernhard Lang. His first engagement as a singer was as a member of the Internationale Opernstudio at the Zürich Opera House. He has lived in Europe ever since and has appeared regularly in a variety of mostly German-speaking Opera Houses, among them, the Staatsoper Hannover, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Staatstheater Nürnberg, Staatstheater Kassel, and the Vienna Volksoper. As a concert singer, he appeared at the Herkulessaal in Munich, the Kölner Philharmonie, with the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan, in Taiwan and in Israel. His largest audience (about 60,000 people) attended an open-air concert (2008) at the Luitpoldhain in Nuremberg, Germany. His concert repertoire stretches from Händel’s “The Messiah” to Verdi’s Requiem, and includes works as different as Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana”, Dvorak’s “Requiem”, and Bacalov’s “Misa Tango”. He has worked with conductors such as Marco Armiliato, Chen Zimbalista, Fabio Luisi, Daniel Oren, Pier-Giorgio Morandi, Lothar Koenigs, James Levine, and Placido Domingo. Outside of Germany, Ricardo Tamura has appeared, among others, as Radames (“Aida”) at the Arena di Verona, as Bacchus (“Ariadne auf Naxos”) at the Welsh National Opera, as Erik (“The Flying Dutchman”) at the Festival de Opera de Belém (Brazil), and as Calaf (“Turandot”) at the Volksoper Vienna as well as the Wichita Grand Opera. He had his Metropolitan Opera debut in December 2013, as Cavaradossi (“Tosca”), and has returned in the title role of Verdi’s five-acts “Don Carlo”, as Riccardo, in Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera”, and as Turiddu, in Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana”. He became the first Brasilian tenor ever to sing a leading role at the MET. After suffering a severe brain hemorrhage in 2017, he was forced to take a break from his international career. Contrary to all expectations, he was back on stage ten weeks later and has since then appeared in many operas of his main repertoire (like “Tosca”, “Carmen, “Manon Lescaut”), and debuted in a completely new one: In the title role of Wagner’s “Rienzi”. He currently lives in Nuremberg (Germany).
Artistic Director of the Opera Academy
At the age of four, Denette Whitter, a Texan by birth, received her first piano lessons. After completing her solo piano and accompaniment studies with distinction at Boston University, where she also worked as a "vocal coach" of the Opera Institute and as a phonetic lecturer, and an education at the Bel Canto Institute of the Metropolitan Opera, she was musical director of the Longwood Opera in Massachusetts for three years. In 1995 she joined the International Opera Studio of the Zurich Opera House as a répétiteur. She then worked as a répétiteur at the Stadttheater St. Gallen, with the Swiss Chamber Choir and as musical director of the "Neue Opernschule Zürich". From 2000-2002, Denette Whitter was the director of studies at the Mainfranken Theater Würzburg. She currently teaches vocal accompaniment at the "Hochschule für Musik", Nuremberg. For many years she was associated with the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg as a lecturer. She has been associated with the international singing competition Debut since 2002: in 2006 she took over the artistic direction and has been a member of the jury since 2010. She has dedicated herself to the art of song with particular love: she has accompanied numerous recitals in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and the USA and has recorded for the BR and DRS. She is the artistic director of the project Coach My Voice, an innovative download shop for singers. In 2005 she founded the Opera Academy at Henfenfeld Castle to promote and train young singers. In 2024 she will celebrate 20 years of master classes and advanced training with the Academy, as well as over 450 concert and theatre events.