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Trained at The Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen and at École Philippe Gaulier, a London based school of Dramatic Arts, Helene Gjerris began her career singing Renaissance music in the vocal ensemble Ars Nova Copenhagen. By the age of 24 she was already co-founder of the contemporary music ensemble FIGURA.
She has since appeared in European baroque stage productions in operas by Händel, Monteverdi and Cavalli. In the standard repertoire, she has performed parts such as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro and Maddelena in Rigoletto, and been lauded for her title roles in, for example, Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Bizet’s Carmen at The Danish National Opera and The Royal Opera in Copenhagen. Her charismatic performance style comes into its own particularly in contemporary music. She has performed an extensive amount of contemporary music throughout her career and several works have been composed especially for her. The numerous accomplishments in her wide-ranging repertoire have earned her many awards, notably the Aksel Schiøtz Prize, the honorary prize of the Danish Composers’ Society, and the Reumert Prize.
In addition to her career on stage, Helene holds a Master’s Degree in Elite Voice Pedagogy. She has been a member of staff at The Danish National Academy of Music in Odense since 2003, in a professorship from 2009 to 2016. From 2009, she furthermore taught at The Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen and was here appointed professor and Head of Voice Department in 2016. She teaches vocal technique, interpretation and performance skills, and her repertoire that includes a large variety of Lied, oratorio, opera and vocal chamber music. In the field of education, she has also excelled with artistic and pedagogical research in the fields of interpretation, in performance skills and improvisation for instrumentalists and singers, and has developed a drama training program for young singers at The Danish National Academy of Music in Odense. Lastly, she has given concert lectures on the performance of works for solo voice with graphic scores including improvisation.
Audrey studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, winning all the major awards for accompaniment and chamber music. She completed further study at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, and at the Britten Pears School in Aldeburgh, where she became a staff accompanist and coach.
In 1999 Audrey joined the coaching staff at the Royal Academy of Music and enjoyed almost two decades of teaching there. She was awarded an honourary ARAM in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the opera department, and was subsequently appointed Head of RAM’s prestigious Song Circle in 2011. As a guest coach, she works for the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, Royal Opera, Samling Foundation masterclasses, Solti repetiteur course in Italy, and regularly gives masterclasses in Denmark, Seoul and Canada. She has also conducted performances of Cenerentola, Magic Flute, Cosi, Semele and L’Elisir for Jackdaws Music Education Trust and La Boheme for Vivo D’Arte.
She is a founder member of the recital group Songsmiths. With their reputation for innovative programming, they recently received great critical acclaim for their Wigmore Hall debut. She regularly performs with exciting artists such as Elisabeth Watts, Mary Bevan, Sarah-Jane Brandon, Christopher Ainslie, Nicky Spence, Gareth John and Jonathan Lemalu. Recent recitals include appearances at Musée d’Orsay Paris, Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square, The Sage Newcastle and at the Haddo, Lyddington and Buxton Festivals.
In September 2017 Audrey was delighted to return to the Royal College of Music, where she started her coaching career, to take up the position of Deputy Head of Vocal and Opera.
Mandy Demetriou is originally from Zimbabwe and has worked as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and performer in a wide variety of styles and methods.
Her passion is dance and movement and she works with dancers, actors, singers and musicians. Her work has been informed by the techniques of Classical Ballet, Jazz Dance – Matt Mattox style, Laban Technique, Alexander Technique, Pilates, Ballroom Dance, Flamenco. Feldenkrais technique, yoga and many other styles of dance and movement based techniques. Her work in movement for singers is however, a specialist area in which she has been particularly interested as it requires a deep understanding of the voice, the singer and what they need to enable them to sing and also show emotions and thoughts in their movement.
Preben Kæseler started playing music at the age of five. He studied music at Aalborg University and persuaded further studies as sound engineer at the Danish Broadcast Corporation. He became a member of the technical staff as sound engineer and music producer and produced a wide range of music covering all sort of styles and genres working with hundreds of artists ranging from amateurs to world class top artists. As production manager and promoter rep. the list of artists is also very long ranging from Andrea Bocelli to Aerosmith.
Preben has been responsible for the sound production at venues such as Midtfyns Festival with a program featuring 120 bands in four days. He has also been recording planner for Sony and Puk Studio recording concerts in the Vatican.
For LEGO Preben worked as Sr Producer creating video- and sounddesign for LEGO mindstorm, LEGO friends and many other products. Together with Eddy Bøgh Brixen he invented KKDK acoustic panels and have created many acoustic solutions improving sound quality in a great number of building and venues.