Great success of the Somewhere Over the Voices international project

26. May 2017

The joint student production of the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik and the Liszt Academy was held May 9-14, 2017.

Photo: Liszt Academy / Andrea felvégi (For the gallery click on the photo)


‘Not a closing concert but an opening one’ – agreed Andrea Meláth, Head of Voice Department at the Liszt Academy of Music, and Anna Korondi, Professor of Voice at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik, in their welcome speech at the beginning of the gala concert which was the peak event of the Somewhere Over the Voices opera project. Between 9-14 May 2017 voice and stage directing students and professors of the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik and the Liszt Academy of Music met in Budapest to create a truly unique joint production featuring famous opera arias. During the 5-day workshop participants followed a busy schedule – including both music and stage rehearsals from early morning to late evening – to set an eventful yet fully complete piece on stage. Thanks to the professional excellence, dedication and genuine enthusiasm of all participants, the students and professors could work together effectively, while keeping the level of concentration and spirit high.

The outcome exceeded all expectations as the performance turned out to be an excellent, engaging and lively production which reflected the general good vibes that characterised the whole rehearsal period. Hence the evening was a real treat for opera lovers as in the top-notch opera carnival the most loved arias were brought together to turn the „opera as an impossible genre” into the best show possible. The frame of the production was a grand party where famous opera characters gathered to face the eternal – and oftentimes heated - challenges the relationship between man and woman entails – a timeless theme familiar to us all. As the evening enfolded, episode after episode emerged from well-known operas such as The Magic Flute, The Bat, Don Giovanni, The Barber of Seville, Fidelio or La bohème. Each scene had its distinct character thanks to the memorable performance of the singers and each director’s – Prof. Claus Unzen and students Zsófia Geréb, Ádám Tulassay,– individual take on staging the scenes.


Photo: Liszt Academy / Andrea felvégi (For the gallery click on the photo)


The collaboration, however, is not without precedent. Between 21-28 April 2017 students of the Liszt Academy travelled to Berlin to take part in Thomas Quasthoff’s Lied masterclass, while students of the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik were familiarized with authentic ways of singing Kodály and Liszt songs in the masterclass of Katalin Halmai, Voice Professor of the Liszt Academy. The project ended with the success of a joint concert and the returned visit: after the Lied workshop in Berlin this time in Budapest arias were in the focus.


Photo: Liszt Academy / Andrea felvégi (For the gallery click on the photo)


Hence the gala concert of Somewhere Over the Voices was indeed rather an overture; the overture of a hopefully regular series of events the two music academies wish to organize jointly in the future in order to facilitate the exchange of ideas, working methods and experiences between their students and faculty, both on a professional as well as on a personal level. The programme of the concert is available here.



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