Get to know the World Youth Choir alumni invited as soloists for our concert tour this Summer.
Praised by the international press for her authentic, vulnerable interpretations Iris Hendrickx is being recognised as an exciting soprano on the rise. Iris is a full lyric soprano who knows how to perfectly embody the great romantic music. Her recently released album French Opera Arias is the purest proof of this. (Amazon)
Iris has sung in opera houses and concert halls all over the world including Opera Vlaanderen, Opéra de Lille, Opéra de Wallonie, Opéra Bergen, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Pollack Concert Hall Montreal and Palais des Beaux Arts Brussels. Acclaimed as a versatile lyric soprano she has been invited by numerous International Festivals such as Ottawa International Chamber Festival, KLARA Festival, Rotterdamse Operadagen, Bergen International Festival, Festival International du Domaine Forget and The Musimars Festival Montreal.
In 2017 Iris Hendrickx “beniamina del pubblico francofono” (vivimilano.it) was discovered by Maestro Patrick Fournillier. Together they have a great love of the major French operatic literature and it shows in the warm, passionate performances that were recorded live in Milan for Iris' debut CD French Opera Arias (Amazon).
Iris Hendrickx made her debut at Opera Vlaanderen at a very young age singing Emmie in (Albert Herring) and was invited again to sing the roles of Sister and Bum in the world creation of "The rage of Life" by E. Kats Chernin. As a member of Opéra McGill Montreal, she interpreted the roles of Baronnes de Gondremarck (La vie Parisienne), Bat & Owl (L'enfant et les sortilèges) and Despina (Cosi fan tutte) and covered the roles of Alcina and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi).
Iris has been an award and scholarship winning member of The International Vocal Arts Institute Montreal, OperaWorks Los Angeles and The Meditteranean Opera Studio singing the roles of Violetta (La Traviata), Mimi (La Bohème) and Laititia (The old maid and the Thief).
As a concert singer Iris has performed live for CBC Radio, Klara and Musique 3 the Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 (Villa Lobos), Frauenliebe und Leben (Schumann), Liederkreis Op.39 (Schumann), Fiancailles pour rire (Poulenc) and Sieben frühe Lieder (Berg). On the concert stage Ms. Hendrickx has appeared in recital at Concertgebouw Brugge, Bozar, De Grote Post, DeSingel and Pollack Hall and as a soloist in The Saint John's Passion (Bach), Requiem (Brahms and Mozart), The Messiah (Handel), Gloria (Poulenc), 9th Symphony (Beethoven) and Carmina Burana (Orff) with orchestra's such as Brussels Philharmonic, Jerusalem Philharmonic Orchestra, The National Orchestra of Belgium, The Delphi Consort, Brussels Choral Society, Nuove Musiche and Anima Eterna.
Conductors with whom she has collaborated with include Richard Hetherington, Julian Wachner, Philippe Herreweghe, Marc Shanahan, Daniel Inbal, Stefan Blunier, Aharon Harlap, Jos Van Immerseel, Frieder Bernius, Giovanni Reggioli and Giuliano Carella.
Iris was captured live in a song recital with world famous pianist Helmut Deutch and recorded a full CD of songs by Francis Poulenc and Ben Moore with Inge Spinette. She was featured in a new composition "Creating Chances" by Frank Vaganée with Brussels Philharmonic and Brussels Jazz Orchestra and was captured in a Schumann recital at Concertgebouw Brugge with Peter Jeurissen.
Ms. Hendrickx holds a Master degree in Music from The Royal Conservatory of Antwerp and an Artist Diploma in Opera from McGill Schulich School of Music Montreal. She was a singer of the World Youth Choir in three sessions of the programme: in 2002, 2003 and 2005.
Award winning Taiwanese mezzo-soprano Jo-Pei Weng, was recognized as one of the leading mezzo-sopranos in her generation soon after her opera debut as Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana in 2002. She has then successfully portrayed Dorabella in Così fan tutte, La zia Principessa in Suor Angelica, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Amneris in Aïda, and the significant title role in Carmen, among others.
Ms. Weng won the first prize of the Young Artists Showcase from Bank SinoPac; winner of the 12th Neue Stimme competition (Asia region) in Yokosuga, Japan in 2007. Her oratorio credits include performances with the Taipei Gloria Oratorio Choir, Moment Musical Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra and Taipei National University of the Arts, Peabody Institute, Baltimore Concert Singers. She was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award by Taipei National University of the Arts in 2012.
In March 2014, Weng was invited to sing Olga in Eugene Onegin at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, a joint-production with the Mariinsky Theatre in Russia. In July 2014, renowned conductor Valery Gergiev invited Weng to perform at the Mariinsky, making her the first Taiwanese vocalist to perform in St. Petersburg’s White Nights Festival.
Ms. Weng received her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a BFA from the Taipei National University of the Arts. She is now on faculty at the Taipei National University of the Arts.
Ms. Weng was a singer of the World Youth Choir in seven sessions of the programme, from 1997 to 2003.
Within the last 5 years the tenor Xavier Moreno has sung the main leading roles of his repertoire and received critical acclaim at renowned international opera houses. Born in Barcelona, he studied voice, piano and choral conducting at the "Conservatori Superior del Liceu" and finished with highest distinction.
Starting his career, he went to the Mannheim National Theatre and established there between 2003 and 2008 a remarkable repertoire. Furthermore he was invited as guest to perform at such venues like Opera National de Paris (Bastille), Teatro Real (Madrid), Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona), Copenhagen Royal Opera, Teatro Solis (Montevideo), Hungarian State Opera (Budapest), Opera de Strasbourg, Croatian National Opera (Split), Theater Bern, Seoul Opera House, Latvian National Opera (Riga), Tel Aviv, as well as at the Opera theatres of Leipzig, Cologne, Hannover, Wiesbaden, Augsburg, Dortmund, Saarbrücken, Karlsruhe, Darmstadt, Mainz, Heidelberg, Halle, Hagen, Rouen, Limoges, Rennes, Maribor and at the Ruhrtriennale.
Rennes, Maribor and at the Ruhrtriennale.
His opera repertoire comprises roles such Don Alvaro (La Forza del destino), Don José (Carmen), Cavaradossi (Tosca), Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Don Carlo (Don Carlo), Werther (Werther), Manrico (Il trovatore), Gabriele Adorno (Simon Boccanegra), Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Rodolfo (La Bohème), or Alfredo (La Traviata) a.o.
His concert repertoire comprises works such as Requiem (Verdi), The Creation (Haydn), Messa di Gloria (Puccini), “Christus am Oelberge” and 9th Symphony (Beethoven), Petite Messe Solenelle ( Rossini), “The Dream of Gerontius” (Elgar) as well as Stabat Mater and Requiem (Dvorak). These works he performed at such venues like the Suntory or City Opera Hall (Tokyo), “Beethovenhalle” (Bonn), Konzerthaus Berlin, "Philharmonie Köln", or the “Tonhalle” (Zürich) and with orchestras like the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Symphonic Orchestra, the Orchestra and Chorus of the Arena di Verona, the Hamburger Symphoniker, the Bochumer Symphoniker or the Camerata Jerusalem.
Mr. Moreno was a singer of the World Youth Choir in two sessions of the programme, from 1997 to 1998.
Johannes D. Schendel was born 1975 in the south of Germany in Kaufbeuren where he took his first singing lessons with Gabriele Hahn, graduating from Gymnasium Marktoberdorf in 1994. Since 1995 Schendel did worldwide tours with the World Youth Choir, also as a Soloist to Canada, Scandinavia, Japan, Taiwan, South-East-Asia, Europe and South-Africa.
From 1996 to 2003 he studied singing at the “Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst” in Frankfurt/Main with Michael Schopper. From 1999 he specialized in Lied with Pianist Charles Spencer, Oratorio with Rolf Reinhardt and was admitted into the chamber-music-class of Rainer Hoffmann. In April 2000 he became scholarship holder of the “Studienstiftung des Deutsche Volkes”. In 2001 he took part at the German Music Competition of German Music Council were he won a scholarship for the selection „young artists concerts“ together with his pianist Hilko Dumno, followed by a tour of 28 Lied-Recitals all over Germany.
In summer 2003 he graduated “summa cum laude” in concert singing (Lied and Oratorio). One year later he became Laureate of the “Queen Elisabeth Singing Competition 2004” in Brussels. In 2003 he taught singing majors at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst Frankfurt before he became a permanent member of the RIAS Chamber Choir Berlin in 2007 where he also frequently performs as a soloist.
Schendel was engaged as the soloist in the opening concert of the Telemann-Festival Magdeburg 2000 with the Magdeburger Philharmonic, as „Papageno“ in Mozarts „Zauberflöte“ in Frankfurt, as the title role in Rossini’s “Barbiere di Siviglia” at the Frankfurt Chamber Opera, as Soloist at the „Schwetzinger Festspiele”, the “Steirischer Herbst” in Graz, in Paris and the Lincoln Centre Festival in New York, with Salvatore Sciarrinos „Macbeth“. He did Lied recitals at the Schwetzinger Festspiele, the Dresdner Musikfestspiele, the Festival VoceVersa Vigevano (Italy) and the Opera de la Monnaie/ Brussels.
Schendel sang as a soloist under conductors such as René Jacobs, Sylvain Cambreling, Sigiswald Kuijken, Lothar Zagrosek, Michael Schneider, Masaaki Suzuki, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Paul Goodwyn and Robin Ticciati and his Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin.
Schendels solo-repertoire contains important Lied cycles from Schubert, Schumann, Wolf, Mahler, Ravel and Barber as well as all of Bach’s Oratories, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Orff’s “Carmina Burana”, Hector Berlioz’ “L'enfance du Christ” and Brahms’ Requiem, just to name a few, spanning his performances from historically informed early music until contemporary compositions. Schendel worked with numerous radio-stations, such as NDR, HR, SWR, ORF, RAI, VRT.