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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.
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.
Philip Mayers is an Australian musician of remarkable versatility, enjoying an enviable reputation as a sought-after chamber music partner, accompanist, vocal coach, conductor and pianist, the latter especially in the field of New Music, where he has been involved in the premières of more than one hundred new works. His concert performances have taken him to leading festivals such as Montreux, Aldeburgh, Berlin Festspiele, La Roque d’Anthéron, La Folle Journée (Nantes), Wratislavia Cantans (Poland), Schleswig-Holstein, New York’s White Light Festival and even to the April Spring Festival in Pyongyang, North Korea.
He graduated with Distinction from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, having studied piano with Max Olding. After winning the piano prize of the ABC’s televised Young Performer of the Year competition and with the aid of an Australia Council grant, he left Australia for studies with Phillip Moll in Berlin, concentrating on Lied and chamber music, and later with Zelma Bodzin in New York. Now resident in Berlin, Philip performs regularly throughout Europe, Asia, and North and South America, particularly as an associate artist with soloists such as Christiane Oelze, Albrecht Mayer, Jane Manning, Hanno Müller-Brachmann, Anna Prohaska, Sarah Willis, Lisa Gasteen, Wallis Giunta, Florian Donderer and other respected singers and chamber music partners from orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, New York Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony. An increasing focus is on choral music, with numerous concerts and prize-winning CD recordings to his credit, most notably with RIAS-Kammerchor, Cappella Amsterdam, Coro de la Casa Musica Porto and the Rundfunkchor Berlin. The latter’s project “human requiem”, a staged version of the Brahms Requiem for chorus and piano four-hands (with which he has been involved since its inception) has been presented at festivals in New York, Hong Kong, Adelaide, Brussels, Granada and elsewhere around the world. Philip has been Musical Director with, among others, the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg, Schwetzinger Festspiele and the Berliner Kammeroper (including conducting the world première of Lera Auerbach’s a cappella opera “The Blind”). The last also responsible for the première of his chamber opera “Triest”, launching a composing career which most recently has resulted in projects as diverse as music for the silent film “La passion de Jeanne d’arc” (with soloists from the RIAS-Kammerchor and the Sheridan Ensemble) and a musical for children (a commission by the Stadttheater Klagenfurt). His work as a composer, arranger and performer of popular music and cabaret is most in evidence in his long partnership with the English cabaret singer Mary Carewe, with whom he has appeared at notable venues such as London’s Purcell Room, the Chatelet Theatre in Paris, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Riga Opera House and the Butxaca Festival in Barcelona, and tours of Great Britain, Australia and South America. Together they have recorded three CDs, the latest of which, “A Crush on You” features Gershwin songs in Philip’s arrangements for voice and string orchestra.
He is also in demand as a vocal coach, having prepared singers for engagements at Bayreuth, Covent Garden, Liceu Barcelona, Opera Australia, the three Berlin opera companies as well as leading houses in Germany, Austria and France. Most recently, his continued association over the years as a Guest Coach with the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School in Brisbane has resulted in his stage debut as the Haushofmeister, a speaking role, in the School’s production (conducted by Simone Young) of Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos.
An award-winning graduate of the Juilliard School of Performing Arts in New York, dancer, choreographer, artistic director, Ann Crosset has created over a 100 works for dance, theater, film and opera. Known on stage, in film and in rehearsal room for her “vitality, humour, and breath-taking honesty”.
Ann’s solo performance credits include: “The Future May be Bright but not Necessaciarly Orange” A co-production with South African, Robyn Orlin; “Search Hamlet “ directed by Ong keng Sen, Singapore; and in the film “Dancer in the Dark“ directed by Lars Von Trier, Denmark. Her choreographic credits include: the modern opera, “Den Stundenløse” of Ludvig Holberg“, the musical “ The Good God Girls“, Molière’s play “Tartuffe“, for Malmø State Theater, Sweden; “Der Wildschütz or The Poacher” directed by William Relton, for Darmstadt State Theater, Germany and Line Knudsen´s “The Work Men” for Göteburg State Theater; Sweden. Ann Crosset has designed movement programs and taught classes for singers for over 20 years at the Royal Opera Academy in Copenhagen.
In 2018 Ann was knighted for her contribution to dance and the arts in Denmark.