Anna Castro Grinstein (Argentina) and Lucie Leguay (France) were selected among 37 candidates to participate in the second edition of the Mentorship for Women Conductors, a programme created by the Académie du Festival d'Aix-en-Provence.
They will perform in concert at the Festival d’Aix on 10 July, at the Hôtel Maynier d'Oppède, at 9pm.
Following upon the success of the first edition in 2021, the Mentorship for Women Conductors will be holding its second edition in 2023. This programme — in line with the Festival d'Aix’s proactive approach to promoting women in the field of opera — offers experienced women conductors a unique opportunity to expand and perfect their professional experience in opera.
During a three-week residency in the heart of the Festival, the selected participants will take part in meetings and work sessions with lyrical artists, experienced opera conductors, and other professionals in the sector. Drawing on these exchanges, which will be reinforced by advice from the programme’s musical director Thomas Hengelbrock, the two women will be conducting the Balthasar Neumann Orchestra during a concert in the enchanting courtyard of the Hôtel Maynier d’Oppède. They will be joined by the vibrant voices of soprano Jacquelyn Stucker (Poppea in L’incoronazione di Poppea, 2022 Festival d'Aix) and mezzo-soprano Ema Nikolovska (a former artist of the Académie) in a repertoire of works with orchestra that has assembled specifically for them. Conducting the two soloists and this prestigious orchestra offers Anna Castro Grinstein and Lucie Leguay an unequalled opportunity to showcase their talents, and represents a vital springboard for the development of their careers in opera.
Launched in September 2022, the call for applications for the Mentorship for Women Conductors generated 37 applications from 24 nationalities. After pre-selection, 10 applications were considered jointly by managing members of the Académie and conductor Thomas Hengelbrock. Their discussions on selection criteria focused on the candidates’ artistic and technical qualities, and on the current status of their careers. The final selection reflects the exacting standards of the application review process, and thereby ensures that the programme will be relevant to the artists at this stage in their careers.
This mentorship is such a unique opportunity to obtain invaluable experience and advice while being immersed in an incredibly vibrant opera festival. I am looking forward to work in collaboration with Thomas Hengelbrock and the musicians of the Balthasar Neumann Orchestra and to meet fellow participants of the Académie from different backgrounds and with a shared passion for opera making. Getting to experience some of the exciting performances and artists that are a part of this festival’s edition will be the cherry on the top.
Anna Castro Grinstein
I am looking forward to the Festival d'Aix en Provence for the 2023 season and to the opportunity to assist Thomas Hengelbrock with the Balthasar Neumann Orchestra. It is a chance to live such an experience and to exchange with musicians specialized in period instruments. I am also looking forward to meeting artists and singers from all over the world, to be nourished by all these encounters and to evolve in this total art that is opera.
Mentorship for Women Conductors is supported by Adami. Adami, long-time partner of the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, once again marks its commitment to the service of performers through the mentoring programme for Women Conductors developed by the Festival Academy since 2021. Adami is thereby participating in the training, promotion and career development of a new generation of Women Conductors.
TÁR IN THEATERS: ECHOES OF THE ACADEMIE'S ACTIVITIES
With Todd Field's film Tár in theaters, the Académie's Mentorship Women Conductor program is in the cultural spotlight. The film tells the story of a conductor at the height of her career caught in her own power play. But behind the actress Cate Blanchett is the conductor Natalie Murray Beale. Former participant in the Académie's 2019 Women Opera Makers program, she coaches the actress during filming for rehearsal scenes with the musicians.
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