HSOA Testimonials

Testimonials 2014

What can I say about these amazing few days? Together with a group of incredible individuals, I reconnected with my passion for singing and rediscovered the joy that made me fall in love with opera in the first place. By focusing on the Self as a whole, the voice naturally falls into place. I was so excited and thrilled to work with my colleagues each day, and I treasure each and every one of them. This was an experience I'll never forget! (Chelsea Feltman, aspiring professional coloratura soprano)

The Härnösand Summer Opera Academy is a safe haven for growth and exploration equipped with a world-class team that is invested in the technical and artistic evolution of each participant.  What is remarkable is that you have a group of very talented pedagogues who are ready to work: no ego, no agenda. Just great singing.  (Zachary Wilder, professional tenor)

Härnösand Summer Opera Academy has been a totally fantastic experience for me.  I have developed in ways I did not know were possible: some as a singer, some as a person.  To get to work with such high level teachers has allowed me to fell immensely fortunate and privileged.  That the students were all so extremely talented made the process totally amazing for an amateur like me.  It was a very emotional journey, as singing itself is, and the support that we received from each other and from the team of teachers was truly unbelievable.  I believe we all developed as singers and human beings in ways that none of us could have accomplished alone.  The skills that each member of the teaching team brought to the experience were formidable.  Imagine getting to work with such unbelievably clever, capable and even compassionate people!  In the beginning it felt difficult to be comfortable among such professional level singers (who took the course to advance their own skills), but when we got to know eachother, which occured very quickly, it became relatively easy.  The acceptance and intimacy between students and teachers made it such that everyone dared to throw himself into unknown terrain in order to push himself much further away from his comfort zone than he ever thought possible.  It made it such that students and teachers alike grew wonderfully together.  I am forever thankful this experience: one of the greatest experiences of my life!  (Pontus von Schoenberg, amateur singer)

Apart from the very high class educative content in the Härnösand Summer Opera Academy 2014 I would like to highlight the extremely positive spiral of energy that surrounded this year's academy. It was a stroke of genius to mix happy amateurs, singers in study and professionals in the same group. This created a very unpretentious and honest environment where everyone took part in building everybody. The amount of honest encouragement (important to separate from sheer useless flattering words) combined with the skill of the teachers/faculty enabled for individual growth at a speed not supposed to be able in only two weeks. The faculty was amazing as well. It didn't really matter which pianist/singer you had as a teacher since everyone always had a different perspective to add. You simply got a chance to expose and feel every part needed for singing. This is one of the most positve experiences I've ever had and I learned a bunch. The gang was amazing and this is the nicest people I've ever met. We also were very fortunate with the weather. (Martin Lissel, aspiring professional baritone)

Die Härnösand Opera Academy war für mich sehr bereichernd und brachte mich auf meinem Weg als professionelle Sängerin ein paar entscheidende Schritte weiter. Besonders die Qi gong und Tai chi Übungen haben mir einen anderen, ruhigeren Weg zur sängerischen Atmung gezeigt. Die szenische Arbeit und Übungen dazu eröffneten mir einen tieferen Zugang zu meinen Emotionen und halfen mir die Stimme in Farbe, Phrasierung, Dynamik vielfältiger, differenzierter und ausdrucksstärker zu benutzen. Die Möglichkeit in so kurzer Zeit mit mehreren GesanglehrerInnen zu arbeiten hat mir viele neue Wege aufgezeigt, wie ich technisch weiter an meiner Stimme arbeiten kann. Die unterschiedlichen Herangehensweisen habe ich dabei als wunderbare Ergänzung empfunden. Auch die Repetitionen von zwei ganz unterschiedlichen Maestri haben sich ergänzt und waren hilf- und aufschlussreich. Nicht zuletzt ist dieser Ort, die Folkhögskola, bestens für so eine Akademie geeignet. Die Unterbringungsmöglichkeit auf dem Geländer der Schule sorgt für kurze Wege und die Tatsache, dass viele Studenten und auch Lehrende der Schule an der Akademie teilhatten, gaben mir das Gefühl willkommen und gut aufgehoben zu sein. Es waren zwei sehr intensive Wochen, aus denen ich mir einiges mitnehmen kann. (Nathalie Senf, professional mezzo-soprano)

De twee weken Härnösand Opera Summerschool zijn als een droom voorbij gegaan. Ik wist heel zeker dat ik hieraan mee moest doen, alles klopte. Ik heb genoten van de sfeer, de natuur, de mensen. Het belangrijkste waren de aanstekelijke passie van de docenten van hoog niveau en de essentiële fysieke en mentale lessen van Sifu. Mijn lijf en geest zijn werkelijk veranderd. Ik heb kunnen groeien. Ron, ik voel me door jou gezien, als mens en als zangeres, veel dank daarvoor. Toen ik me liet gaan uit frustratie heb je me, terecht aangesproken. Dank voor je wijsheid. De rust was louterend en de verzorging uitstekend.  Zoveel geleerd, gelachen en nieuwe vrienden voor het leven gemaakt.  Ik ben heel gelukkig met mijn besluit twee maanden in Zweden te gaan studeren. Ik voel me sterk in mijn keuzes en klaar voor de toekomst. Tack so mycket! (Esther van Zijl, aspiring professional coloratura soprano)