Katalin Halmai

Department of Vocal and Opera Studies
Born: 1964, Jászberény
 
Academic degree, university position: senior lecturer, DLA
 
Subjects: Solo Singing
 
Studies:
Franz Liszt Academy of Music – singer and singing teacher
Postgraduate studies: Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart – Lied-Klasse (opera degree)
 
Teaching activities:
Since 2002: external lecturer of chamber singing at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music
Since 2004: tenured lecturer of solo singing, senior lecturer
Since 2014 as the member of the Doctoral Council leader of the Oratorio and Lied singing programme.
 
Invited lecturer, master classes:
Master class at the summer academy of Pécel (Hungary)
Since 2006: singing course at the Sopron Early Music Days
As a guest lecturer she teaches on the summers of 2014 and 2015 at the Summer Seminar of the Kodály Institut.
 
Major concerts, performances:
She has performed:
At the Budapest Spring Festival, at the chamber concerts and orchestral evenings of the Budapest Festival Orchestra (conductor: Iván Fischer)
At the concerts and chamber music evenings of the Hungarian Radio Orchestra
At the concerts of the UMZE ensemble – e.g.: songs of Schoenberg and Gurre (conductor: Zoltán Kocsis)
At the concerts of the Orfeo Chamber Orchestra and Purcell Choir (conductor: György Vashegyi)
At the oratorio evenings of the Stuttgart Bachakademie (conductor: Helmuth Rilling)
At the concerts of the Munich Kammerorchester (conductor: Christoph Poppen)
With the orchestra of the Leipzig Gewandhaus (conductor: Herbert Blomstedt)
At the orchestral evenings of the Süddeutsche Rundfunk and the Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk
At the concert of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra
At the concerts of the Golbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon (conductor: Michel Corboz)
At the Ittingen Festival: lied and chamber concerts (piano: Dénes Várjon)
 
Since 1995 she has been a soloist of the Wiener Staatsoper and the Volksoper.
 
Major roles:
 
Mozart:
Le nozze di Figaro - Cherubino
Don Giovanni – Zerlina/Elvira
Cosi fan tutte – Despinetta/Dorabella
Die Zauberflöte – 2. Dame/Papagena
La clemenza di Tito – Annio/Sesto
Rossini: La cenerentola – title role
Offenbach: Les contes d'Hoffmann – Nicklausse/Muse
Gounod: Faust – Siebel
Berg: Lulu – Gymnasiast
Wagner:
Rheingold, Götterdämmerung – Wellgunde
Walküre – Siegrune
Tannhäuser – Hirt
 
Reviews:
 
"For me the striking artistic superiority of Katalin Halmai had been obvious since her first few notes. She was the one who sang Mahler, and interpreted the Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen in an astonishingly mature performance. Halmai knows a lot about singing and knows a lot about Mahler. She can sing with the simplicity of folk songs and likewise with the dramaticality of operas, but while she fills her every note with expression, she is able to remain within the fragile boundary lines of the Lied-form. The veiled mezza voce shading of the fourth lied's ‘Auf der Straße stand ein Lindenbaum'-passage remains, for me, the most memorable moment of the whole final."
Péter Halász /MUZSIKA/
 
„One of the greatest pleasures of this moving performance was a chance to hear the Hungarian soprano Katalin Halmai. She is an exciting performer with a powerful, vibrant sound. Her 'Laudamus te' suggested a bright future"
Elaine Guregian/The Akron Beacon Journal/ about Mass in C minor with the Clevelend Orchestra
 
„Über zarteste Schattierungen und Wärme verfügt Katalin Halmai als Annio"
Fritz Herzog /Pressespiegel / International Beethovenfest / über La clemenza di Tito
 
„Die Mezzosopranistin Katalin Halmai (Tamiri ) erwies sich am lyrisch kopfigen Belcanto-Ideal geschuhlt, zeigte aber auch Talent zur dramatischen Koloraturattacke…"
Stefan Rütter /Köln Musik/ über Il re pestore von Mozart in der Kölner Philharmonie
 
„Die ungarische Mezzosopranistin, Katalin Halmai verhilft zu einer würdigen Uraufführung, weil sie den zuweilen wunderbaren, spätromantisch-wehmühtigen Duktus Sommers mit logischer Inbrunst, aber ohne Pathos trifft. Unter Jubel wird sie aus dem vollen Saal entlassen."
Leipziger Volkszeitung/ über Hans Sommer Lieder mitdem Gewandhaus Orchester unter H. Blomstedt
 
Recordings:
Hungaroton HCD 31 585, 1996: With French horn from Schubert to Strauß
EOS ECD 1006, 2001: „Voyage" – vocal chamber music, solo CD
Hänssler classic CD 98-486, 2003: Mendelssohn: Athalia oratorio /Rilling
Hungaroton HCD 32013, 2002: Sándor Veress: Chamber music
CPO 999844-2, 2003: Siegfried Wagner: Die heilige Linde op.15 /WDR-Albert
EOS ECD1011, 2006: solo CD with guitar A.Vivaldi – A.Scarlatti
Hungaroton HCD32489, 2007: compositions of J. Spech / Anikó Horváth – fortepiano
Hungaroton HCD32480, 2008: Georg Lickl: Missa Solemnis
Hungaroton: A complete edition of the compositions of Kodály – contributor
 
Awards and decorations:
1990: Erkel-Kodály singing contest – 2nd Prize, "Kodály" special prize
Internationale Hugo Wolf Wettbewerb – 1st Prize
 
Contact:
Katalin Halmai: 1077 Budapest, Rózsa u. 10-12. VI. 41.
E-mail: katalin.halmai64[at]freemail.hu
Mobil: +36-30/982-5797

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