To sum it up right at the beginning: it was intense but absolutely worth doing it! I met new friends and had a great time with an intense program of musical rehearsals, stage rehearsals, public masterclasses and four performances with two different programs in just two weeks in exotic places in Aix-en-Provence and outside the city like the Abbaye de Silvacane. The only day off, we spent at the beach in Cassis, which was also great.
The organization of the whole program was simply perfect. It started right at the beginning with the V.I.P.-like pick-up at the airport by the driver of a big black van, holding a sign with my name and the logo of the festival printed on it. Furthermore we were all accommodated in the same apartment-hotel, so everybody had his own bathroom and kitchen, which made the stay for the two weeks much more comfortable and less expensive, too. And we spent some entertaining evenings all together in somebody's room. From the hotel it was a two minutes walk to the artist entrance of the Grand Théâtre, where most of the rehearsals took place. We were picked-up and brought to the different places in the city, where we had the pubic masterclasses and the stage rehearsals. Over and above that we had the chance to see rehearsals of the several productions of the festival, which took place in the other two old theaters in the city. The majority of the cast of the Erismena production consisted even of former academy members.
The musical rehearsals and the vocal coaching were very exciting and gave me new impulses on my vocal technique as well as on what I thought Mozart should be sung like. The language used in the lessons was English, but of course the stay and working in France was a great opportunity for all the artists from all over the world, to improve our French. The other participants of the academy came from Russia, The United States, Southafrica, Poland, Bulgaria, Italy and France.
It was exciting to work with Susanna Eken on my vocal technique, she gave me a different view and approach on technical aspects, which fit perfectly to what I had learned before. It was as well very instructive to work with Ouri Bronchti and Bertrand Halary on musical ideas about Mozart and Haydn and especially to work with Joseph Alford, who is an amazing stage director with many exciting ideas and who succeeds in creating a great atmosphere, with intelligence, creativity and a very nice sense of humor, in which we felt free to give things a try on stage.
For everybody, who would like to do it - which I definitely recommend - I would just submit that it's quite a lot (probably new) repertoire of especially ensembles to learn for this academy and the expectations in the young participants of this program are quite high. But of course that´s the big chance we are waiting for as singers. And as participants of this program, the chance rises to be invited to the Festival for a role one day, whereas many of the artists who recently sang in the productions had been participants of the academy.
So after all that I am very thankful to the Theaterakademie August Everding and to ENOA!