"An effect à la Mirella Freni, that always touches me as a listener, because that is exactly what makes the inner 'diapason' of my feelings vibrate." - Opera Magazine - Alessandro Anghenoni
Radio 4 programme "Passaggio" discusses the cd for the entire week!
On the 15th of December the CD Entartete Seelen will be released and presented.
Announcement concert 15 December 2022 and CD presentation
After performances in the Netherlands with the programme Entartete Seelen, featuring unknown works written in Theresienstadt, the artistic director of Ensemble Nova Sonantia has made it possible to record these wonderful pieces - some of them have never been recorded before! So .. we have a cd coming out soon! A Presentation concert will duely follow and will be announced as soon as possible.
Free the spirit
With Ensemble Novalis we perform the Romancen by Shostakovich in a programme highlighting composers in exile or under political pressure.
Nationale Herdenking - National Remembrance Day
4th of May. In Holland it is 75 years ago since the end of WWII. And I was watching the ever so poignant ceremony in deserted Amsterdam from my home in Berlin..
Even during lockdown, the liberties in life are vast and majestic and should never ever be taken for granted.
I wanted to share the music of Strauss.. " Transfiguration" from Death and Transfiguration in chamber music setting for voice/string quartet/piano.
May all rest in peace and never be forgotten. And may all nations continue to be ever joined in liberty together furthermore.
Diggers' Requiem now available on SOUNDCLOUD
The Guardian's Top Ten of 2018
The opera production Le Cid, in which I sang L'Infante alongside esteemed colleagues as Lee Bisset, Leonardo Capalbo and Paul Gay, has been chosen into the Top Ten of Classical Music in 2018 by the Guardian! Guardian Top Ten 2018
Leaving for a two month tour in Australia
Early September I will fly 'down under' to start rehearsing for a recital called 'Five Senses'. It is the title of a cycle written by Ross Edwards, a celebrated Australian composer, whom I have met in 2010. In honour of his 75th Birthday this year I have gathered English, American and Australian songs around the theme of all the five senses.
I will give this recital on the 16th of September together with another Australian composer and pianist, whose own songs will be concluded as well. Calvin Bowman has earned himself a place as a song composer, having just released his first CD with DECCA and Universal Music.
Part of this recital will be performed in an all Ross Edwards celebration concert at the Sydney East Recital Hall on the 20th October, whereafter a studio recording will be made by the ABC of the song cycle Five Senses. For both these occasions Bernadette Harvey will be the accomplished pianist.
The Diggers Requiem is back and because of the huge success in France earlier this year, a small scaled version with band only, will be made to tour and give performances in both Sydney and Melbourne.
The full orchestra and choir version however will be performed and recorded in Canberra on the 6th of October.
Diggers Requiem in Amiens was an enormous success!
Standing ovations for the première of the Diggers Requiem in Amiens. It is to be performed in Australia in September and October 2018 as part of the Centenary Projects of the Government Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Australian War Memorial. Chris Latham has herewith created the second of seven Peace Symphonies. Here the reportage of France 3 - Picardie about the concert.
Dorset Opera Festival again!
Happy to return back to Dorset Opera Festival1 This time I will be singing L'Infante in Le Cid by Massenet. It will be a British Premiere with a stellar cast, including Lee Bisset, Leonardo Capalbo and Paul Gay, conducted by Jeremy Carnall. Opening night is on the 24th of July (19.00), further performances on the 26th of July (19.00) and 28th of July (14.00) More information on the website: Le Cid
Happy to be back in Canberra for The Healers, a pocket opera, honouring the work of Red Cross nurses in WWI. See the article in City news:
'The soprano's closeness to the work she'll be singing will combine with what Latham calls her ability to "feel the emotion of her roles more than any other person I've met."'
It's a coming home to Dorset Opera
The last time was seven years ago. Due to unforeseen circumstances only a few years ago an earlier come back was not possible, but 2017 sees Simone Riksman return to Dorset Opera for the role of Siebel in Faust. Director Roderick Kennedy has been running Dorset Opera, which has become a Festival in the meantime, firmly, and it is a real honour to be part of the family again! Shows are 26, 28 and 29th of July. Come and join us on the amazing grounds of Bryanston School. All further details: https://www.dorsetopera.com/productions/faust/
Operetta Research Center Amsterdam
An interview by Kevin Clarke of the Operetta Research Center Amsterdam about operetta in general, Gräfin Mariza in particular and many other subjects.
Schwesterlein Lisa in Gräfin Mariza
The operette by Kálmán is opening on the 20th of December in Theater St Gallen. An overwhelming production by Stefan Huber - director, and Danny Costello - choreographer, featuring Tobias Bonn (Geschwister Pfister), Siphiwe McKenzie or Ilia Papandreou in the demanding main parts. I will play Lisa, the little sister of Tassilo (Tobias Bonn), desperate for love, but in the meantime capable of keeping her brother's secret!
Micaela in Carmen
A new production by Nicola Berloffa is being prepared, with a stellar cast of Alex Penda/Gala El Hadidi (Carmen), Aris Argiris/Jordan Shanahan (Escamillo), Ladislav Elgr/Derek Taylor (José) conducted by the wonderful maestro Modestas Pitrenas. Opening night for me is 25th of October!
Das Schlaue Füchslein
Première of my newest debut of the title role in Janaçek's opera The Cunning Little Vixen (Das Schlaue Füchslein in a musical arrangement for chamber music ensemble, by Jonathan Dove) will be on the 19th of February in LOK, the new theatre venue of Stadttheater St Gallen. For further dates click here. A very demanding role, both physically and vocally, being prepared with me by director Nicola Raab and conductor Attilio Tomasello. Come and see!
Opera magazine has reviewed the new production of Don Giovanni by Guy Joosten. Please click on the link to read the entire review (in dutch).
The season is starting with a new production of Don Giovanni by the great director Guy Joosten, in which I will make my debut as Zerlina. Very exciting!
Première is on Friday 6th of September. For more information click here
Dear all, the new theatre season is starting.. and it will be one busy year! Four new and exciting roles to learn and perform, as well as two "Wiederaufnahmen".
We start rehearsing with La Wally, in which I will perform Walther. The internationally acclaimed Guy Joosten will be the director, the conductor being Modestas Pitrenas.
Soon we will re-open Die Zauberflöte. I have performed the role of Pamina numerous times in the Bernd Mottl-production last year, and will take on all of the performances this season as well!
Eine Nacht in Venedig of Johann Strauss will be my first official operetta to "dive into". An exciting piece, full of wit and of course.. catching tunes. Opening night is 22nd of December.. Not to be missed!
Then a new Mozart role is awaiting for me: Sandrina -the title role in La Finta Giardiniera. It will be an already existing production from Lydia Steier, all led by Maestro Jeremy Carnall.
Un Ballo in maschera by Verdi is also being revived this year, meaning I will sing Oscar alongside Luca Grassi and Paolo Gavanelli.
Last, but by no means least.. my very first Richard Strauss opera. Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos. This production will be led by the new Music Director of Theater St Gallen, the fellow Dutchman (!) and extremely gifted Otto Tausk. Can't wait!
All of the above information can of course be found on the theatre's website:
Hope to meet you at one of my performances. Please, check the websites for updated information, or contact me by email.
Fairy Queen by Purcell
It is the first time that Theater St Gallen engages everyone to participate in this wonderful piece by Purcell. The theater's actors, dance company and the opera ensemble joining each other to make Shakespeare's Midsummernight's Dream come to life. It is a fantastic process working with all of them, and am looking forward to the Première on the 10th of March, conducted by Robert Howarth, directed by Johannes Schmid and choreographed by Marcel Leemann. More information and dates as usual to be found on the website of the theatre.
Verdi - Un Ballo in Maschera
My first Verdi opera to sing is the gorgeous opera Un ballo in Maschera. Starring Héctor Sandoval, Katia Pellegrino, Liuba Sokolova and Luca Grassi, conducted by Henrik Nánási. My Oscar debut will be on the 5th of February. Further details on http://www.theatersg.ch/spielplan/un-ballo-maschera-ein-maskenball
Première of Die Zauberflöte
On the 17th of december I will sing Pamina in the première of Die Zauberflöte, in St Gallen. The new setting of stage director Bernd Mottl promises to be a very energetic and colourful show, conducted by british conductor Jeremy Carnall.
Further info at: http://www.theatersg.ch/spielplan/die-zauberflöte
Recital in Concertgebouw with Jean-François Lapointe
Representing the Netherlands Opera (DNO) at the UITmarkt - a three day long festivity to celebrate the opening of the new theater season -, I will give a mini recital in the Concertgebouw, together with star baritone Jean-François Lapointe.
The concerts in Italy were a great joy and a huge success. Both locationwise and musically an unforgettable experience. After what felt as too short a time to enjoy beautiful and inspiring Italy - which included a visit to Verdi's house in Sant Agatha! - it is back home to start work in what is our biggest house: The Netherlands Opera. Here I will make my debut as First Priestess in Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride, conducted by Marc Minkowski. It promises to be very exciting! Performances are from the 7th of september onwards, starring Mireille Delunsch, Yann Beuron, Laurent Alvaro and Jean-Francois Lapointe. SR 07'11
Cultura in Musica Limes
Cultura in Musica Limes is an International Chamber Music Festival organised around Lake Garda, Italy. With Ensemble Novalis I will perform Respighi's Il Tramonto and several songs by Mendelssohn, arranged for string quartet by Aribert Reimann. For more information look here. On the 17th and 18th of July we will perform in resp. Caldonazzo and Gargnano. For an impression of the location, click here. SR 06 '11
Mendelssohn's Symphony 2 Lobgesang
On the 7th of July Mendelssohn's second symphony will be performed as festive conclusion of the St Galler Festspiele in the Kathedrale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. Maestro David Stern will lead the orchestra. I'm looking forward working with the Maestro again, performing such music at such an occasion and such a site. Look for more information at the website of Theater St Gallen! SR 06 '11
Debut The Netherlands Opera (DNO)
It is signed and sealed, my debut at our own biggest opera company in Amsterdam. In september 2011 they will perform a double-bill of both Gluck's Iphigenie opera's: Iphigenie en Aulide and Iphigenie en Tauride. In the latter I will perform First Priestess. I am looking forward very much to start working at this wonderful company! SR 08/02/'11
Reprise of the wonderful Janacek program with the Doelen Quartet
Finally there is a small tour going through the Netherlands with one of the most special programs made around the two big string quartets of Janacek. Janacek wrote an enormous amount of music, inspired by the woman he loved from a distance, but with a fire.. This is shown in his letters he wrote to her, read by me as a lead into the music he basically wrote for her, his Muse. Together with Folksongs, a big project he worked on for more than 20 years, "Kamilla" wanders through all his letters to find and listen to "her" music.
Performances are in Zeewolde, The Hague, Nijmegen and Maassluis. Hope to see you there!
Dorset Opera has started Bizet's Carmen
Having arrived in Bryanston in Dorset, rehearsals have begun for Bizet's Carmen, in which I will sing the role of Micaela. It promises to be wonderful already, with Paul Higgins, house director of Covent Garden, as the director, and some wonderful singers as Franco Pomponi and John Hudson, all casted by Dorset Opera's Artistic Director Roderick Kennedy. Performances will be 30th and 31st of August, both in the evening at 7 PM. SR 18/07/'10
Festspillene i Nord Norge
And what a success it was! A 1000 people on their feet, overwhelmed by what was truely a wonderful night. Performing beautiful ensembles of the opera repertoire together with some of the most famous aria's, gave the public but also us as performers and friends an evening to not easily forget.
The review gave some wonderful words about me as well -"Simone Riksman's performance of the Mimi aria was enchanting". And "it was when Audun Iversen entered the stage with Simone Riksman that the magic began".
Here a first glimpse of a wonderful Gala evening! www.nrk.no
More details are coming, but preparing first for the next exciting concert!
The Canberra International Music Festival was a great success in many ways. Working together with the most brilliant musicians, mostly of Australia and New Zealand and the extraordinary programming, I think something quite special was shared with the audience. The musical partnership with Tamara Anna Cislowska was something worth to be repeated, and the encounter with one of Australia's best composers Ross Edwards, will have a follow up for sure!
Pictures and recordings will be coming, but first I am preparing immediately for the next exciting concert:
the Opera gala at the Festspillene i Nord - Norge, or the Festival of the North of Norway in Harstad. Dear friend and colleague Audun Iversen has invited his friends to be part of the Carte Blanche he has been given by the Festival, being an extraordinary talent. Magnus Staveland, Timo Riihonen and many others will perform in what is to become an exciting evening, all in the setting of the famous Midsummer... SR 10/06/'10
Last preparations for the Canberra International Music Festival
The last days of preparations, before I leave for Australia. That is, when the ash cloud coming from Iceland will allow it! Following the news closely therefore, but am still very excited going "Down Under".
I'll be performing at Queensday and Memorial Day at the Dutch Embassy and at the Canberra International Music Festival mid May. This is a very exciting Festival with special programs created by its Director Christopher Latham. Have a look at their website to get a feel!
I hope to be updating from Australia as well, but who knows, that might be difficult. I'll be exploring this hugely interesting, vast continent as much as I can of course!! All best, Simone SR 24/04/'10
The CD of Opera Trionfo has been released!
Finally the CD has been released. It can be bought online and will be in the store soon. Here you find a link to one of the selling websites. Hope you will enjoy! SR 20/04/'10
An EXTRA performance of Medea in Corinto
A surprise on the 29th of December, when due to illness of her colleague, Simone jumped in for another Medea in Corinto performance, the day after Cosi fan tutte. An absolute delight of an evening, sharing the stage with Elzbieta Szmytka, Mark Milhofer and Lawrence Brownlee. SR 05/01/'10
There are still some performances left at Theater St Gallen, Switzerland!!
I am enjoying the performances in Theater St. Gallen. Despina in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte runs until february with a single and wonderul cast, including Netta Or and Arthur Espiritu.
Only one performance left for me of the wonderful Creusa in Medea in Corinto by Giovanni Mayr on the 20th of January 2010. Set by the famous director David Alden, conducted by the Chef David Stern or Jeremy Carnall, singing from the new edition by Ricordi. It's an absolute must! SR, 16/12/'09