Stefanie True - Soprano
Stefanie True, soprano, has performed extensively around Europe, North, and Central America, appearing in operas, oratorios, festivals, and solo recitals.
As a soloist she has appeared in the major works of Bach including St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion,Mass in B Minor, Christmas Oratorio, and several cantatas, as well as Mozart's Requiem and Coronation Mass, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Graun’s Der Tod Jesu, Handel’s La Resurrezione, and Faure’s Requiem.
Past opera experience includes roles such as Cephise in Campra’s L’Europe Gallante with William Christie (Ambronay Festival), Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aneas (York University), as well as various roles in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, and Adelaide in Handel’s Lotario (Opera Concertante).
Her discography includes Aci in Handel’s Aci, Galatea e Polifemo, Maddalena in Handel’s La Resurrezione, and a solo recording of Handel’s early Roman Cantatas, all under the direction of Marco Vitale with Contrasto Armonico. She is also awaiting the release of a recording of Lully’s Italian Ballets de cours under the direction of Fabio Bonizzoni with La Risonanza.
She has received scholarships to participate in several young artist programs, including Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute (Canada), Gregynog Festival Masterclasses (Wales), and the Britten-Pears Young Artist Program (UK).
Stefanie completed her BFA in music at York University (Toronto, Canada) studying with the Canadian mezzo-soprano, Catherine Robbin in 2003. In 2007 she completed her B.Mus. in Early Music and an Artist’s Diploma in Classical Singing at the Royal Conservatoire, Den Haag, studying with Diane Folano, Barbara Pearson, Jill Feldman, and Michael Chance, and will finish her MA in Early Music at the same institution in 2009.
Michaela Riener - Mezzo-soprano
The Austrian vocalist Michaela Riener was trained from an early age as a pianist and flutist. Recipient of a prestigious scholarship from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, she received her master's degree in pedagogy in 2004.
She received her Bachelors Degree in Classical Singing and Early Music Singing from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague in 2008, studying with Lenie van den Heuvel and Gerda van Zelm, and is further pursuing advanced studies in singing and historical performance practice, working with Jill Feldman, Michael Chance, and Peter Kooij.
A versatile artist, Michaela Riener is constantly expanding her vocabulary and technique. Her passion for chamber music has led to her involvement in several unique ensembles, including the Austrian Early Music group EnAMus (Ensemble für Alte Musik) and the Austrian Ensemble Neuma, which performs Medieval Repertoire. Riener is an interpreter of the English lute song, performing with the ensemble Queen’s Delight with lutist Reinhard Bartl.
She also works with the ensemble Vox Luminis, a group of eight singers with continuo, specializing in late renaissance and early baroque music. Riener further sings with Cappella Amsterdam and De Nederlandse Bachvereniging, working with conductors such as Rinaldo Allessandrini, Frans Bruggen, Marcus Creed, Richard Egarr, Daniel Reuss, Masaaki Suzuki and Jos van Veldhoven. Together with Fortepianist Constanze Lee, she gives classical Lied recitals.
She performed together with L’Arpeggiata (Christina Pluhar) in the Sablé-Early Music Festival (France) and in the Utrecht Early Music Festival (NL), together with Il Trionfo del tempo in the Festival van Vlaanderen and together with Les Muffatti (Peter van Heyghen) in the Festival Musica Sacra in Maastricht (NL).
With her Anstatt dass Trio, Michaela Riener takes yet another direction. With a saxophonist and a marimba player, the trio performs music from the twenties and thirties, interpreting Brecht’s texts in songs by Eisler, Dessau, and Weill.
Michaela Riener is a dedicated advocate of contemporary music and works closely with composers. In 2006, she joined the well-known new music group ELECTRA, a virtuoso four-member ensemble that has performed in festivals and venues throughout the world.
Recent solo engagements include performances of works by Steve Reich and Hanns Eisler with the Asko Ensemble and Louis Andriessen’s “La Passione” at Prague Spring Festival 2008. With Ensemble Klang, she performed Martijn Padding’s work “Speculum inversum” at festivals in the Czech Republic and in The Netherlands. Under the direction of David Robertson, Riener soloed in Louis Andriessen’s work TAO, together with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Michaela Riener is currently collaborating with New York-based composer Michael Gordon and the dance company EmioGreco / PC in “Popopera”, with performances in the Holland Festival and worldwide.
Constanze Lee - fortepiano & Ensemble management
Constanze Lee graduated from the Royal Conservatoire The Hague in 2007, where she obtained her Master’s degree of Music (with Distinction) in fortepiano and historical performance practice. In the conservatoire, she received prestigious guidance from her teachers, the renowned Dutch fortepianists, Dr. Bart van Oort and Mr. Stanley Hoogland.
Constanze was born in Hong Kong. She began to have piano lessons since the age of five. Later, she studied piano performance in the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 1996 with Mr. Gabriel Kwok, where she was awarded her Diploma in Music and Bachelor degree in Piano with Honours.
She also received the diploma of Licentiate in Piano Performance (with Distinction) from the Trinity College of Music, as well as the Advanced Certificate of Piano Performance (with Distinction) from the Royal Schools of Music (UK).
During her studies, Constanze was awarded several prestigious scholarships, including the Bloomberg Scholarship and a scholarship from the Liberal Arts department leaded by Prof. Betty Wei, where she toured Europe in summer 2000 with her research in fine arts. Later on, when she pursued her studies in the Netherlands, in 2001 to 2004, she received the two times continuously the honoured full scholarships from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund.
Constanze enjoys performing solo and chamber repertoire. She has given numerous concerts in Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria. She has performed in the Grachten Festival Amsterdam, Utrecht Early Music Festival’s fringe concert and in the Austrian Carinthia’s Music festival with the Hong Kong Academy Orchestra.
In 2006, she performed a Mozart’s concerto with the Royal Conservatoire Orchestra, conducted by Ryo Terakado to celebrate the 250 anniversary of Mozart’s birthday, where she received comments from music critics that ‘Constanze Lee performed the concerto in a magisterial manner’. (HAGAZ!INE, January 2006)
In 2008, Constanze gave concerts regularly with her vocal ensemble, featuring with a Canadian Soprano, Stefanie True and an Austrian mezzo-soprano, Michaela Riener. They performed throughout the Netherlands, including in the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, the Muziekcentrum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht. Besides, Constanze also performed with the Dutch opera singer, Franciska Dukel, as a duo, specializing Dutch and German lieder from the 19 century and 20 century.
Constanze was the pianist and harpsichordist in the Hong Kong Sinfonietta from 2001 to 2003. About her teaching experience, she worked as a coach in ensemble performance practice at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2003. From 2001 on, Constanze has been the accompanist of the Henry Blackmon Singers and currently she has her private teaching studio for teaching piano, fortepiano and music theory in the Hague.