Ensemble OrQuesta

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Academy Participants' Testimonials

Alexander Gebhard Tenor#
UK / Luxemburg

Carlos Les Indes Galantes Rameau 2019 | Tamino Die Zauberflöte Mozart 2019 | Orfeo L'Euridice Caccini 2020

“Having worked with Marcio da Silva and the team of Ensemble OrQuesta on productions as diverse as Rameau’s Les Indes galantes, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Caccini’s Euridice, I can say with confidence that this is a truly first-class company, dedicated to reimagining old classics, discovering rarely heard gems, and championing baroque masterpieces. Pulling together an international cast of singers and orchestral players, Ensemble OrQuesta manages to create time and time again little microcosms of creative frenzies, where young talented individuals, bound by their passion for opera, are brought together over the course of two weeks to create innovative and inspiring opera productions. Crucially, the entire process, albeit at times intense and emotional, is characterised by a relaxed atmosphere of conviviality and shared joy for performing the music at hand. In sum, I would highly recommend Ensemble OrQuesta to anyone who wishes to develop their stagecraft and nurture operatic potential with a team of dedicated and passionate individuals on compact, high-quality, and innovative operatic productions.” 

Poppy Shotts Soprano 

Pamina Magic Flute Mozart 2019 | Oberto Alcina Handel 2021

"On recommendation from a friend, I went to Hastings after finishing at the Royal College of Music to take part in the 2019 Ensemble OrQuesta Academy to sing Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. I was met with such a wonderful team of international people to put together a show under the direction of Marcio da Silva. Hastings was the perfect setting for the Academy, and I loved exploring the Old Town on our time off rehearsals. I made some friends for life during the Academy, and I felt free to explore and take risks in a safe and exploratory rehearsal environment. It was a great experience to sing a main role in a supportive and constructive environment, with a peer group that were passionate about putting together a fantastic performance. The Academy enabled me to widen my network beyond my current connections, and I have recommended it to so many colleagues and friends as a result! "

Mikael Englund Tenor

Acis Acis and Galatea Handel 2018 | Ariodate Xerse Cavalli 2018 | Oronte Alcina Handel 2019

My name is Mikael. At the beginning of 2018 I started my last semester at Gothenburg Opera Academy, and also started to realize that I needed to make a change, choose a fach, decide what kind of tenor I wanted to be...or start as - create my niche. It came to me immediately - I have always loved baroque, of course I should choose baroque. Immediately after my decision, a poster caught my eyes in our library - there was Ensemble OrQuesta to lift me and guide me in my decision. I applied for their Opera Academy, even though the date for applying already passed. And I was given my first role as Acis. One of the best things about Ensemble OrQuesta Opera Academies is the musical coaching - with one of the best and most amazing person I've ever met. It is so inspiring. I have learned a lot about baroque, performance praxis, ornamentation and so on. A lot! And I keep learning every time I'm there. It so rewarding to be on stage, making theatre. Tthe directing isn't something vague or abstract that you can't understand... sometimes it's more like a dance, a choreography, which of course baroque opera often can be and is written as thus. But sometimes it is more clean - just acting, which is so beautiful and amazing - you get to try so many things. That is why I returned there a second time, both for an Opera Academy and then to perform at the Grimeborn Festival. And then I returned there a third time. And I probably will keep going if they ask me, because it's so rewarding. You get to meet so many amazing people, and find more and more new friends. It makes me feel sometimes that I wished I lived in London, England.