2nd AccompaMe contest:
Offenbach’s Ave Maria + 2 Rilke songs by Felix Ming

The 2021 AccompaMe competition of rediscovered Jacques Offenbach’s Ave Maria and of two of Felix Ming’s „Rilke Lieder“ took place in April and May 2021. Free scores and accompaniments were available on AccompaMe. We are excited to present to you the winning performances and the singers behind them.

Competition songs:
1) Jacques Offenbach’s „Ave Maria“
2) Felix Ming’s „Die armen Worte“
3) Felix Ming’s „Sieh`, wir wollen heute beim Altane uns begegnen“

Jacques Offenbach – Ave Maria

Luz Maria Castillo Medina is a Venezuelan soprano and violinist. She began her musical studies at the age of 11 and singing studies at the age of 13. She sang for the first time with the Symphonic Orchestra of Aragua at the age of 14. She has performed as a soloist with repertoire such as Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah. She has participated in singing classes and master classes with maestros William Alvarado, Idwer Alvarez, Nlbelis Peraza, Mónica Pérez and Robert Giron. She completed the first years of piano accompanist with Prof. Cheila Quiñones and Maritza Sánchez. and also received violin lessons for 7 years with the teachers Wendy Ocando and Yuruby Guerrero, then playing with the Symphonic Orchestra of Aragua. She has received choral and orchestral conducting lessons with Iraida Pineda and Pablo Castellano. Currently Luz María is part of the „Lola Linares“ lyrical singing class at the Escuela de Música Maestro Primo Casale, with the Venezuelan tenor Robert Girón.

Duo Lyrique: Italian born tenor Fabio Antoniello studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London with professor Philip Doghan and coach Jonathan Papp. Ex Alumni of the Georges Solti Academy, He debuted in the roles of Lenski in Eugene Onegin and Catone in Utica at the Dartington  Festival and at the famous BFM in Geneva. He performs regularly (as Duo lyrique) with the pianist Julia Froschhammer, award winner of the Wolfgang Jacobi Chamber music competition and the Paderewski Prize. Julia and Fabio appear as chamber music duo in concert events around Switzerland.

Felix Ming’s Rilke Songs

Anna Ihring , coloratura soprano graduated from the Franz Liszt University of Music, made her debut at the Vienna State Opera in Manfred Trojahn’s opera „Orest“ as the „First Female Voice“, in Vienna she sang György Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre and at the Konzerthaus Klagenfurt Gliere’s Concerto for for coloratura soprano and orchestra. In 2021 the coloratura soprano sang the first compositions, to which Karsten Oppitz’s Vokalismen is dedicated because of her secure extreme high notes. Anna Ihring is grateful that she was able to get to know Felix Ming’s Kunstlieder.
Annika Egert studied singing with Iris Vermillion and Prof. Manuela Uhl. Her previous engagements have taken her to the Kurhaus Wiesbaden, the Sendesaal, the Landestheater Detmold, the Theater Winterthur (Switzerland), the Theatro del Libertador San Martin (Argentina) and the Bulgaria Hall Sofia (Bulgaria). There she worked with conductors such as Donald Runnicles, Jonathan Nott, Joseph Bastian, Ulrich Windfuhr and Dario Salvi. In January 2020 Annika Egert sang the part of „Freda“ in the operetta „Waldmeister“ by J. Strauss in Sofia (Bulgaria) in a CD recording for the record label NAXOS.
This recording took place with the Sofia Philharmonics under the direction of Maestro
Dario Salvi. The CD will be released in September 2021.

JURY

Ekaterina Shelehova began studying music when she was 3 years old. She grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, (Canada). During her high school years, she studied at the Conservatory of Music in Toronto and later finished her studies in Piano and received her diploma for ARCT in Piano Pedagogy. From 2014 to 2019 Ekaterina completed both her Bachelors and Masters in Opera performance at the Conservatorio G.Verdi in Milan, Italy, with highest honours. She has won several competitions, including the Young  Opera Hope award at the Magda Olivero International Competition in 2016 and The Public Choice Award at the Giuditta Pasta Competition in 2018. In 2020 she won the first prize at the first international AccompaMe competition.  Ekaterina explores many different genres besides opera, currently with an improvisation concerts series where she creates her own music. Her improvisation on „Italy’s got talent“ has won her international fans, with over 28 million views after only a few weeks.

Michéle Rödel is a German soprano known for performing forgotten works from great composers. She finished her studies in vocal performance in 2004 at the music college of Kronach, Germany. From 2005-2009 she continued her studies under professor Peter Maus (UdK Berlin), and from 2009-2013 under professor Helga Samson (Sängerakademie Hamburg). In addition, she attended master classes with various singing personalities (including Gundula Janowitz). She has performed with several renowed ensembles and orchestras, including the „Babelsberger Filmorchester“, „Johann-Strauß-Ensemble Linz“,„Musica Juventa“ (Halle) and the „Brandenburgische Philharmonie“. In 2005 and 2006 she won the international singing competition of the Kammeroper Schloß Rheinsberg. She performed all seven Rilke Lieder of rediscovered composer Felix Ming in a concert series in 2015.