Ilanah Lobel-Torres, Soprano
From New-York City, Ilanah Lobel-Torres began her musical education with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus (singing and piano). After graduating, she joined Carole Haber's class at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She then attended Arthur Levy's classes at the Mannes School of Music where she obtained her master's degree. She sang the first witch in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni. In 2018, at the National Opera Center (OPERA America) in New York, she sang Gretel in Hänsel and Gretel and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte. In 2019, she was Rose Maurrant in Street Scene. Ilanah Lobel-Torres joined the Paris Opera Academy in September 2019.
Ramya Roy, Mezzo-soprano
Born in India, Ramya Roy studied economics at the University of New Delhi. She began classical singing in Delhi before entering Valérie Millot's class at the W. A. Mozart Local Conservatory in Paris in September 2014. In 2016, she entered the Regional Conservatory (CRR) of Paris. She graduated in 2017 and joined Mireille Delunsch's class at the National Conservatory of Music and Dance of Lyon. She then performed Madame de la Haltiere in Cendrillon by Massenet, Giustina in Il Flaminio by Pergolese, Didon in Dido and Aeneas by Purcell, the Third Lady and the Third Knabe in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Gertrude in Gounod's Romeo and Juliet. She performed in recitals with the Debussy String Quartet and the tenor Julien Behr in a program of Lieder and Mélodies by Schubert and Mozart. She sang the alto parts in the requiems of Saint Saëns and Jomelli, Rossini's Petite messe solennelle, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater and Mahler's Eighth Symphony. In 2018, she won the Special Jury Prize at the International Singing Competition in Marseille and was a finalist at the Avignon Raymond Duffaut – Young Talents contest. Ramya Roy joined the Paris Opera Academy in September 2019.
Tobias Westman - Tenor
Born in Sweden, Tobias Westman is graduated from the University of Stockholm in singing. He debuts on main Scandinavian stages singing Gennaro from Lucrezia Borgia by Donizetti at Malmö Opera House and as Albert in Die tote Stadt at Wermland Opera. After interpreting B.F. Pinkerton in a concert version of Madama Butterfly by Puccini, he takes the role of Gastone in the staging by Olivier Py of La Traviata at Malmö Opera. Last summer, he was Tamino in Die Zauberflöte at Opera pa Skäret Festival.Tobias Westman joined Paris Opera Academy in September 2019.
Mateusz Hoedt, Bass baritone
Mateusz Hoedt was born in Wroclaw, Poland, and graduated from the local University of music where he studied with Bogdan Makal. In 2014, he he joined the Academia Operowa of the Grand Theater of warsaw, under the tutelage of Eytan Pessen. He sang the following roles: Bryndas from Krakowiacy i Górale by Jan Stefani, Masetto and Il Commendatore from Don Giovanni, Don Alvar from Les Indes galantes, le Garde-forestier from Rusalka, le Vieux Gitan in Aleko de Rachmaninov, Dbalski d’Agatka, ou l'Arrivée du Maître de Jan Dawid Holland. He takes part in many concert as a soloist in prestigious places such as the Grand Theater of Warsaw, the Verbier Festival, the Wrocław singing the solo parts of Fauré’s Requiem, Mozart’s Die Krönungsmesse, Astorga’s and Bononcini’s Stabat Mater. He joined the Paris Opera Academy in September 2016. He took part to the concerts at the Amphitheater and on the stage of the Palais Garnier. With the Academy he sang on tour the solo parts of Mozart Requiem in Lourdes, Verdi’s Requiem in Pau and Pamplona with the Orchestra of Pau Pays de Béarn, The Little Match Girl Passion by David Lang for Simon Valastro’s creation on Garnier’s stage. Since the end of his residency, he took part in different shows of the National Opera of Paris such as Gianni Schicchi and Don Carlo. Mateusz Hoedt has today a worldwide career and can be seen on the stages of the Teatro Madrid, the Wielki Theatre of Warsaw and the Semperoper of Dresden.
Edward Liddall was born in London and began his musical training at the Royal College of Music in 2001. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music at King’s College, Cambridge in 2011 under the guidance of Thalia Myers. In 2014, he graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the guidance of Caroline Palmer. During his training, he took part in the Prussia Cove International Music Seminar where he followed the masterclasses of Thomas Adès and Malcolm Martineau. In 2015, he won first prize for accompanying pianist at the Maureen Lehane Awards and, in 2017, he was a finalist in the Young Classical Artists Trust at Wigmore Hall. He also accompanied the violinist Amarins Wierdsma on tour in the Netherlands and Slovakia as part of The New Masters project. He then played a musical and dramatic role in the Iain Burnside play Why Does The Queen Die? at the Oxford Lieder Festival. In 2014, he performed in the production of Jean-Luc Révol’s Où donc est tombée ma jeunesse? at the Comédie de Picardie with tenor Edmund Hastings and violinist Michael Foyle. He makes regular radio appearances on music programmes for the BBC (Radio 3) and for Dutch National Radio. In July 2018, he participated in The Art of Recital summer residency at the Aix Festival where he accompanied the soprano Louise Kemény under the direction of Stéphane Degout and Alain Planès. Edward Liddall is joining the Paris Opera Academy in September 2018.
Toufic Maatouk, conductor
Born in Lebanon, Toufic Maatouk, is one of the most compelling conductors of his generation. In the 2012 season, Maatouk began his tenure as Artistic Director of Beirut Chants Festival in Lebanon. He is also Guest Conductor of the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra since 2013 and Guest Conductor of the Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra Orchestra since 2017. Maatouk was appointed Artistic Director and Choir Master of the Antonine University Choir, in August 2005 and Head of the vocal department in the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music since October 2015. He holds a PhD in Musicology from the Istituto Pontificio di Musica sacra (Pims) in Rome where he conducted and published different studies on the syro-maronite chants.
Maatouk made his American orchestral conducting debut with the New England Symphonic Ensemble in Carnegie Hall (New York). Maatouk’s international engagements in the 2018–2019 season included Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra Christmas season concert, return appearances with the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, jury member of the Presti-Lagoya competition in Nice (France).
He collaborated with several orchestras and festivals including Orchestra di San Carlo (Napoli), Orchestra Giovanile Mediterranea (Palermo), Orchestra Roma sinfonietta (Rome), New England symphonic ensemble (New York), Orchestra Los Angeles sinfonietta (Los Angeles), Saint Petersburg Symphony Orchestra (Russia), Kiev symphony orchestra (Ukraine)…Al-Bustan International Festival, Baalbeck International Festival, Byblos International Festival (Lebanon), Festival d’ile de France (Paris), Carnegie hall (New York), Teatro dell’Opera di Roma (Roma), Teatro di San Carlo (Napoli), Académie de l'Opéra de Paris, Festival d’Aix en provence (France), Romanian Radio (Bucharest), Al-Ain International music festival (UEA), Bahrain International Music Festival (Bahrain).
For the upcoming season 19-20 Maatouk, will conduct several international Orchestra including La Scala Orchestra, Orchestra della Toscana, Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra, Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra and he will be jury member at the “Ottavio Ziino” prestigious vocal competition (Rome) and Biennale des cordes at the Philharmonie de Paris.
ANTONINE UNIVERSITY CHOIR
Antonine University Choir, that is an integral part of the Faculty of Music and Musicology, is celebrating this year its 41th anniversary of foundation. The choir has contributed since the eighties in the cultural enrichment of the Lebanese musical life with its repertory, by focusing on the Antonine musical tradition and by being faithful to the monastic tradition of the Antonine Maronite Order. Its repertory is very rich in classical and contemporary music. The Choir of the Antonine University has performed concerts and done tours in: Rome, Milan, Nice, Lyon, Monaco, St. Étienne, Doha, Dubai, Al Aïn in United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Tbilisi, Paris, New york, Los Angeles, Muscat, Naples, Venice and Helsinki. It has participated in the Classical Music Festival of Al Ain (United Arab Emirates 2008-2009), Al Bustan International Festival (2009/2019), Byblos International Festival (2010-2011-2013-2014), Baalbeck International Festival (2011-2018- 2019), Beirut Chants Festival-Lebanon (2008/2018), Ehdeniyat (2016), Tbilisi Opera Festival (2012), Festival d'Ile de France (2012-2013), and Bahrain International Music Festival (2013). In May 2010, April 2013 and May 2015, the choir performed at the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York. It made its Los Angeles debut in April 2014, performing at the Marsee auditorium at El Camino College, and the LA City Hall. In November 2016, the choir also made its debut at the San Carlo opera house performing Mozart’s “Requiem” together with the choir of Teatro Di San Carlo at the Duomo in Naples. In addition, the choir has represented Lebanon in the opening of the Lebanese Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in May 2017 and performed the premiere of “ŠamaŠ Itima” (Obscure sun), a 32 voices a cappella piece composed by Zad Moultaka. Lately, the choir has reproduced ŠamaŠ Itima in Helsinki, Verdi’s Traviata at Al Bustan festival and Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte with the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra.
Antonine university Choir just performed his Brazilian concert tour to be the first Lebanese Choir to perform at the Iconic Amazonian Opera House Teatro Amazonas in Manaus (Brasil).
The Choir performed with several orchestras such as the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Romania Timisoara (Qatar), Orchestra of Teatro di San Carlo (Naples), New England symphonic ensemble (New York), Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra (Georgia), Musica Sinfonia de Los Angeles, The State Youth Orchestra of Armenia, Orchestra dei pomeriggi Musicali (Milano), Orchestra Giovanile Mediterranea (Palermo) United Strings of Europe Orchestra, Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra (Bucharest) and Novi Sad Opera house Orchestra (Serbia).Upcoming engagement includes Bach’s Magnificat with Ettihad Chamber Orchestra in Amman (Jordan) in December 2019.
The numerous CDs of the Maronite religious traditions of Antonine University’s choir have been produced by the university itself.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Mass in C Major op. 86
No way was Beirut Chants going to miss out on the 250th anniversary of a composer so close to its heart. Especially with an opportunity to take on one of Beethoven’s more rarely performed works. Less performed indeed than the Missa solemnis, the Mass in C Major is a key work about which Beethoven himself said: “I am reluctant to say anything about my Mass, or indeed about myself, but I do believe that I have treated the text in a manner in which it has rarely been treated”. There is little doubt then that Beethoven was aware of the magnitude of the score, equally imposing for its religious fervour.
With its tonal language of subjective avowal, the first of Beethoven’s two masses opens up new worlds of expression for the liturgical texts of the Mass which are expressly modern and point towards the future. Not to be considered a preliminary work to the Missa solemnis, it is an entirely independent work which set standards for the further development of settings of the Mass in the 19th century. Its newness, of which the composer himself was fully aware :“I do not speak gladly of my Mass, or of myself, but I do believe that I have treated the text in a manner in which only few have treated it.”
The general character in the Kyrie is heartfelt resignation, from where the depth of religious feelings without, however, being sad, gentleness is the basis of the whole work, although yet there is cheerfulness in the whole. The Kyrie Eleison is likewise the introduction to the whole mass; with such strong expressions little remains over for the places where they should really be strong.
Today, the mass is appreciated by critics but is probably one of the least performed of Beethoven's larger works. Michael Moore has written, "While [it] is often overshadowed by the immense Missa Solemnis, written some fifteen years later, it has a directness and an emotional content that the latter work sometimes lacks."
6- Agnus Dei
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