Tora Augestads

Tora Augestad’s versatility inspires composers, theatre directors and conductors. By commissioning new works and through the collaboration with her various ensembles she continuously seeks new challenges and the exchange of artistic ideas. She knows how to be theatrically convincing and how to engage her vocal capabilities, which defy easy classification, in a compelling manner.

Born in Bergen in 1979, the singer/actress Tora Augestad studied classical music and jazz singing in Oslo and Stockholm, devoting herself principally to repertoire of the 20th and 21st centuries. While studying in Berlin and Munich she intensified her involvement in German music before graduating in cabaret singing from the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.

Tora Augestad has become a regular guest in her native Norway and the rest of Europe, sharing the podium with musical partners such as the Ensemble Modern (Weill’s Three Penny Opera), Ensemble Contrechamps (Gardner’s No Thanks), Klangforum Wien (Grisey’s Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil), Remix Ensemble (Berio’s Folksongs), Finnish Chamber Orchestra (Paus’ Hate Songs), NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester (Widmann’s Dunkle Saiten), Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne (Manoury’s Lab.Oratorium), the Bamberg Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins), NRK Norwegian Radio Orchestra (Hillborg’s …lontana in sonno…), the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Hellstenius‘s As if the law is everything) and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. She performed the premiere of an opera she commissioned herself at the Bergen Festival 2015: Cecilie Ore’s Adam & Eve.

The collaboration with the Swiss director Christoph Marthaler, which began in 2010 with the premiere of Beat Furrer’s Wüstenbuch, has become a constant in Tora Augestad’s artistic life. After the success of Marthaler’s Meine faire Dame, a take on My Fair Lady, at the Theater Basel in 2012 with guest appearances in Naples, Avignon, Edinburgh and Paris, the homage to Verdi’s Lo Stimolatore Cardiaco in Basel and the Zurich Opera House production of Sale with music by Handel followed. The staged Lieder recital King Size went on tour to cities including Hamburg, Prague, Moscow, Geneva, Turin, Rotterdam, London (Royal Opera House), Santiago de Chile, Sao Paulo and Jerusalem. The production Last Days. An Eve was performed at the Wiener Festwochen 2013, the Festival d’Automne Paris and at the Staatsoper Berlin. Recent productions at the Volksbühne Berlin included Hallelujah, Bekannte Gefühle, Gemischte Gesichter and Tessa Blomstedt gibt nicht auf, which was also invited to Mexico in 2016. In 2017, Mir nämeds uf ois was presented at the Schauspielhaus Zurich and in 2018 the Charles Ives-tribute Universe, Incomplete at the RuhrTriennale followed, for which she has been nominated Singer of the Year 2019 by Opernwelt.

In 2004, Tora Augestad founded the ensemble MUSIC FOR A WHILE, made up of high-class musicians from the Norwegian jazz scene. After the release of their CD Weill Variations, the singer was awarded the renowned Lotte Lenya Prize in 2008. Their album Graces That Refrain followed in 2012 and the CD Canticles of Winter in 2014. The ensemble has already appeared at the Kurt Weill Festival Dessau, Bergen International Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Dresden Music Festival, Handel Festival Halle, Musikfest Stuttgart and the Kissinger Sommer. Her BOA TRIO released its debut album mOOn Over tOwns in 2013 and has performed at the Ultima Festival Oslo, Radialsystem Berlin, Klangspuren Schwaz and Wien Modern. Her first ECM CD Rumi Songs was released in 2016. The solo-CD Portraying Passion (LAWO Classics, Oslo Philharmonic featuring works by Weill, Ives and Paus) has been nominated by the German Record Critics’ Award as best recording 2019 and been chosen as star/recording of the month by Fono Forum and Opernwelt magazine. It also has been awarded the Spellemannprisen 2019, the Norwegian Grammy. In 2019, her latest CD DIALOGUES has been released at Grappa.

In the season 2020/21, Tora Augestad will return to the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne for a New Year’s Concert with conductor Joshua Weilerstein at the Kölner Philharmonie and to the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra for Reinbert de Leeuw‘s Im wunderschönen Monat Mai for the inauguration festival of the new Munch Museum Oslo. She will also present the Handel-programme As on a Sunshine Summers Day together with the Lautten Compagney Berlin at the Mercatorhalle Duisburg as well as Marthaler‘s King Size at the Théâtre Les Celestins Lyon and the Landestheater Bregenz i.a..

Tora Augestad was co-artistic director of the Hardanger Music Festival in Norway between 2015-2020. She was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize 2015, the most important cultural prize in Scandinavia, and was awarded as Performer of the Year by the Norwegian Composer Society in 2018.

Sofia Vinnik

Sofia Vinnik, mezzo-soprano, born 1996 in Munich, started her studies as a junior student at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich with her teacher Marilyn Schmiege. Since 2016 she is studying at the University Mozarteum in Salzburg with Christoph Strehl and in the Lied class of Pauliina Tukiainen. She sang in the Bad Reichenhall Theater with the Bad Reichenhaller Philharmonie and in the Philharmonie Gasteig with the Salzburg Orchestra Soloists. In addition to opera, the young singer also has a great passion for Kunstlied. She performed songs of G. Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn as part of the Concert Series of the Gesellschaft für Musiktheater Wien, since 2017 she is giving recitals at the Mittwoch Klassik in Ingolstadt. In 2019 Sofia Vinnik performed songs by I. Aboulker, P. Viardot and C. Schumann at the Bonner Schumannfest. She is one of the finalists of the Louis Spohr Singing Competition in Kassel 2018 and the International Singing Competition for Baroque Opera Pietro Antonio Cesti in Innsbruck 2018. In November 2018 she won the LOTTO Foundation’s Sponsorship Prize in the German Singing Competition of Bundeswettbewerb Gesang 2018 in Berlin. Sofia Vinnik is a scholarship holder of the Bad Reichenhall Vocal Academy and works in conjunction with the Gstaad Vocal Academy  and the Cecilia Bartoli Music Foundation with Silvana Bazzoni-Bartoli. Since July 2018 she is a scholarship holder of Yehudi Munuhin’s Live Music Now Foundation in Salzburg.

Irena Weber

Irena Weber was born in 1990 in Novi Sad, Serbia and was raised since the age of 10 in Hungary, where she began singing lessons alongside many years of violin studies and was awarded numerous prizes at an early age.

She has been studying voice at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts since 2011, where she completed her Bachelor’s degree with distinction. Since 2016, she has been in the master’s program in Lied and Oratorio.

She attended master classes and received a scholarship from the Thyll-Dürr Foundation in 2014/15. In 2020/2021 she was a scholarship holder of the Lied Academy of the Internationales Liedzentrum Heidelberg under the direction of Thomas Hampson.

In 2018, she won the first prize of the George London Foundation and the audience award in a competition organized by the Friends of the Vienna State Opera.

The young mezzo-soprano has already sung in various opera productions in Vienna and at the Schönbrunn Palace Theater.

Irena Weber has appeared on numerous concert stages, including Austria, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Ukraine and Romania.

Magdalena Kožená

Magdalena Kožená was born in the Czech city of Brno and studied voice and piano at the Brno Conservatory and later with Eva Bláhová at Bratislava’s Academy of Performing Arts. She has been awarded several major prizes both in the Czech Republic and internationally, culminating in the Sixth International Mozart Competition in Salzburg in 1995.

Magdalena was signed by Deutsche Grammophon in 1999 and immediately released her first album of Bach arias on its Archiv label. Her recital debut recording, an album of songs by Dvořák, Janáček and Martinů, appeared on Deutsche Grammophon’s yellow label in 2001 and was honoured with Gramophone’s Solo Vocal Award. She was named Artist of the Year by Gramophone in 2004 and has won numerous other awards since, including the Echo Award, Record Academy Prize, Tokyo, and Diapason d’or. In 2017 she began a long-term relationship with Dutch classical music label Pentatone. In May 2019 she released her first album with them; ‘Il Giardino dei sospiri’ with secular cantatas on tragic love by Handel, Leo, Marcello, Gasparini, Vince and Sarro, accompanied by harpsichordist Václav Luks and the Czech baroque orchestra Collegium 1704.

Magdalena has worked with many of the world’s leading conductors, Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Mariss Jansons, Sir Charles Mackerras and Sir Roger Norrington. Her list of distinguished recital partners includes the pianists Daniel Barenboim, Yefim Bronfman, Malcolm Martineau, András Schiff and Mitsuko Uchida, with whom she has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, and at the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh and Salzburg festivals. Magdalena’s understanding of historical performance practices has been cultivated in collaboration with outstanding period-instrument ensembles, including the English Baroque Soloists, the Gabrieli Consort and Players, Il Giardino Armonico, Les Musiciens du Louvre, La Cetra Barockorchester Basel, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Venice Baroque Orchestra and Le Concert d’Astrée. She is also in demand as soloist with the Berlin, Vienna and Czech Philharmonics and the Cleveland, Philadelphia and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras.

Magdalena’s operatic engagements include the Salzburger Festspiele, the Glyndebourne Festival, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Staatsoper Berlin to name but a few.

Magdalena was appointed a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2003 for her services to French music.

Elisabeth Kulman – La femme c’est moi

If you choose to buy tickets for five different events of our »Neuland.Lied«-series by telephone you will recieve 25% discount. Call us from Mo – Fri from 10 am to 6 pm: 0049 (0)6221 – 584 00 44. This discount is not available online.

Elisabeth Kulman

Elisabeth Kulman is one of today’s most sought-after singers and leading authorities in the international classical music scene. She impresses audiences and critics alike with her rich, colourful timbre, her charismatic stage personality and her musical versatility.

She studied voice with Helena Lazarska at the Vienna Music University, made her debut as Pamina in 2001 at the Volksoper in Vienna and enjoyed early success as a soprano. Since 2005 Elisabeth Kulman has been singing the major parts of the mezzo and alto repertoire and quickly became a favourite of the audience. Her operatic repertoire, which she established in large parts as a member of the ensemble at the Vienna State Opera, includes works from Gluck, Wagner and Verdi to Weill. Her symphonic repertoire ranges from the Passions by Bach, Beethoven’s Missa solemnis, Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder, Dvořák’s Stabat mater and Mahler’s Lieder for orchestra to Schnittke’s Faust-cantata.

Since 2010 Elisabeth Kulman has been working as a freelance artist. She is a much sought-after soloist in the metropolitan centres of the music world: Vienna, Paris, London, Munich, Berlin, Tokyo, Salzburg, Moscow, etc. She works regularly with world-class orchestras and conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Kirill Petrenko, Christian Thielemann, Philippe Jordan, Herbert Blomstedt, Mariss Jansons, Kent Nagano and Marek Janowski. She enjoyed a particularly close collaboration with Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

Since 2015 Elisabeth Kulman has been focusing her artistic activities on recitals (together with her longtime accompanist Eduard Kutrowatz), concerts and operas in concert. She is especially devoted to unconventional projects: “Mussorgsky Dis-Covered” with an international jazz quartet, “Mahler Lieder” and “Wer wagt mich zu höhnen?” with the ensemble Amarcord Wien as well as “Hungaro Tune with symphony orchestra and jazz soloists. In her latest solo programme, the music show “La femme c’est moi”, Elisabeth Kulman joyfully correlates different genres with each other in a very personal way, always meeting the highest artistic standards. Arranged for chamber orchestra by Tscho Theissing she performs famous opera arias (not only from the mezzo repertoire), classic “Lieder”, show tunes as well as songs by the Beatles and Michael Jackson.

Ema Nikolovska

Born in Macedonia, Ema Nikolovska grew up in Toronto where she studied voice with Helga Tucker and completed an undergraduate degree in violin at The Glenn Gould School.  She received her Masters at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (with Professors Susan McCulloch and Rudolf Piernay) where she won the Guildhall Wigmore Prize, and is currently on the Opera Course.

Ema is a BBC New Generation Artist and a YCAT artist. Awards include the 2019 Ferrier Loveday Song Prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards with Gary Beecher; Gerald Moore Award Singers’ Prize; 2nd Prize at the 2018 Helmut Deutsch International Lied Competition with Michael Sikich; and First and Audience Prizes at the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards.

Highlights over the last year include a Schubert recital with Malcolm Martineau at the Pierre Boulez Saal, her debut at Wigmore Hall with Dylan Perez, singing in the Guildhall Gold Medal Final, a recital with Joseph Middleton at the Glenarm Festival of Voice, and a performance of Ligeti’s Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel broadcast by BBC Radio 3. Ema also joined Verbier Festival’s Atelier Lyrique and the Creative Dialogue XI Symposium led by Kaija Saariaho in Finland.

Among other song activity, Ema has been part of Graham Johnson’s Song Guild at Guildhall, Thomas Hampson’s Lied Akademie at the Heidelberger-Frühling Music Festival, the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme, and the Franz-Schubert-Institut.

Upcoming performances include the role of Celia, Haydn La fedeltà premiata (Guildhall Opera); Sister Edgar, Lliam Paterson The Angel Esmeralda; Beethoven Symphony No.9 in Berlin Cathedral; a recital at Lille Opera House with Simon Lepper; and Mahler songs with the BBCSO.

Ema is grateful to the Sylva Gelber Grant, Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund, Shipley Rudge Scholarship, London Syndicate, and The Countess of Munster Musical Trust for supporting her studies.


Giulia Laudano

Mezzo Soprano, Giulia Laudano has been singing since she was eight and was a chorister with International Voices of Enfield Choir. She was a Music Scholar at Dame Alice Owen’s School, Hertfordshire and studied concurrently at the Royal College of Music Junior Department. Her awards have included the National Association of Choirs Cup for Future Talent, the Smythe Cup for Excellence, the John Rutter Award for Superb Musicianship, the Jack Petchey Leadership Award and the Elena Gerhardt Lieder Prize 2017.

She is now in her fourth year on the BMus programme at the Royal Academy of Music studying with Catherine Wyn-Rogers and Chad Vindin.

Giulia will be working on the role of Sesto from Handel’s Giulio Cesare at RAM’s Opera scenes and has also worked on the roles of Dorabella and Meg in scenes from Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte and Verdi’s Falstaff on an Italian Intensive Opera Course run by Isabella Radcliffe and Philip Thomas. She also participated in a workshop on The Magic Flute with British Youth Opera, singing the role of Third Lady.

Giulia is a soloist and chorus member in the Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series at RAM and is also a member of the Royal Academy Song Circle where she recently performed in a concert with them at the Austrian Cultural Forum.

She has also recently participated in a masterclass with Angelika Kirschlager at the RAM.

Giulia has already gained much experience on the concert platform at venues including the Austrian Cultural Forum Knightsbridge, the Salvation Army Hall Oxford Street, Eton College Chapel, Selwyn College, Cambridge, il Duomo in Milan, and several cathedrals in the UK.
Giulia will be performing as a soloist with the Enfield Chamber Orchestra in November singing a selection of songs from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn and a collection of Mozart arias.

Adèle Charvet

Adèle Charvet is a young mezzo soprano. She studied at the Paris National Conservatory CNSMDP (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris) with professor Elène Golgevit.

Very passionate about the Song and Lieder repertoire which she studied with David Selig and Anne le Bozec, she formed in 2015 a duo with pianist Florian Caroubi with whom she obtained the Mélodie prize at the International Lied and Song Competition Nadia and Lili Boulanger in Paris, and, in 2016, the Grand duo prize of the International Vocal Competition in ’s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, as well as the Junior Jury Prize, the prize for the Contemporary piece, the Dutch friend of Lied prize and the Press prize.

Adèle’s very first musical experience on stage is in the children’s opera Brundibár by Hans Krása, in which she sang the leading role Pepíček. From this enriching experience, she developed and irrepressible passion for Opera.
With the Opéra 3. Company, she sang the role of Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. In 2016 she sang the role of Frau Reich in Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor by Otto Nicolai, in a production of the CNSMDP, staged by Emmanuelle Cordoliani.

She made her debut at the Dutch National Opera, singing the Polovtsian Maiden in Borodin’s Prince Igor, stage by Dmitri Tcherniakov and conducted by Stanislav Kochanovski.

Last July, Adèle had the unique opportunity to study in both Lied and Opera Academy of the Verbier Festival where she sang the role of Filypievna in Eugene Oneguine by Tchaikovski. There, she sang in Masterclasses with Thomas Hampson, Thomas Quastoff, Sir Thomas Allen and Anna Tomowa-Sintow. She was awarded the «Yves Paternot » prize for the most outstanding musician of the Academy.

Next November, she will be Adele, in Bellini’s Pirata at the Opéra de Bordeaux, and in February 2018, she will make her Covent Garden debut in Carmen, singing the role of Mercedes.

Bethan Langford

British mezzo soprano Bethan Langford is a recent graduate of the opera course at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where she was the recipient the Paul Hamburger Award for lieder, Violette Szabo Award for English Song, and the Susan Longfield prize for accomplished female singer.
A Samling Artist and alumna of the Verbier Festival Academy, Bethan is enjoying the beginnings of a varied career on both the opera and concert platforms. Recent engagements include Noble Orphan Der Rosenkavalier and Lehrbuben Die Meistersinger for Glydnebourne Festival Opera, Dorabella Cosi fan tutte for Bury Court Opera, a recital of Schubert songs at the Wigmore Hall, her debut recital for the Aldeburgh Festival, Angel 2/Marie Written on Skin at the Mariinsky Theatre, Magt in Elektra at the Verbier festival conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Messiah with Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, understudy Proserpina Orfeo for Royal Opera and various concerts and recitals for the Oxford Lieder Festival.