Posts Tagged ‘HE John Griffin’


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The City of Pécs invites anyone who has the touch for old and new to pay a visit between

September, 7 – 23. 2012.  to the  Heritage Festival at the Zsolnay Quarter!

Updates to  Saturday, September, 8. 2012.

… The weather was probably the last days of the hot summer nights with clear skies and twinkling stars. Down here on the stage at the Pirogranit courtyard  “shinning stars” from the Plácido Domingo Operalia 2012 competition held in Beijing arrived  to Pécs.  The Zsolnay Quarter, was honored to welcome the presence of the young adult opera singers who gave an unforgettable opera concert with gently resting, melodious songs from Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, J. Strauss and Bizet . The hosted highly gifted  “early-stage” opera singer’s this was their  1st. stop on their concert tour. These “shinning stars” definitely are the upcoming opera voices of to-day and surely will be heard many times in the future all around the world.

The gala concert was contributed by the MAV Symphony Orchestra.

Conductor: Mr. Nicholas Milton
Australian-born, with Hungarian roots.

The concert patrons were:

The Australian Ambassador to Hungary, HE Mr. John Griffin , Mr. Szabolcs Takács – Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy State Secretary for Global Affairs, Mr. Tamás Nádasi –  Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and president of the branch of the Hungary-Chine,  Dr.István Kéri – President of the Pécs-Baranya Chamber of Commerce, Dr Zsolt Páva – Mayor of the City of Pécs.

The Chinese baritone, Mr. Yunpeng Wang, received the Don Plácido Domingo, Zarzuela Prize, along with the 2nd prize from the public preference in Beijing. Caught Mr. Wang for a minute, but by the end it was several minutes. Asked him how and when he decided to be an opera singer. He said the following: „I was around 4years old when I started „singing” opera melodies,or should I say mimicking my father. He loved opera melodies and day-by-day listened to the recordings and sang along with the grand opera singers. So, I joined him and soon sang  the words even not knowing the meaning of them. I might aswell say, sang opera melodies before knowing to read or write. Then, as the years went by I only sang at home. Did not really took it seriously, but  getting close to  the end of my high-school years I considered more seriously to studysinging and to use my voice properly. I just finished my high-school  2 years ago and since then being invited to a attend a scholarship in New York, I moved over to the States and I am taking my second year at the Manhattan School of Music”.  Wonderful talent young adult and as his first dream had come true wish him a lot of success and to reach his second dream, to take a leap step up on the hard boards at the sophisticated Opera Houses.

There were two 3rd Prizes, one of the awards went to the Russian mezzo-soprano, Ms. Nadezhda Karyazina, Moscow Grand Theatre Bolsolj young mezzo-soprano artist. Speaking with her she told me this is her first time to visit to Hungary, but have to come back someday, because upon arrival she was taken to a quicky sightseeing and then drove to Pécs where she has been rehearsing for the evening ’s performance. Had not seen too much neither in Budapest nor here at Pécs. She was telling me, how sad she  to be leaving the next day during the afternoon hours, so reach her flight back to Moscow. She mentioned how tasty and rich in flavors are the wines from the vineyard  here at Pécs, as she heard are from the  former vulcano Vilány Hills and the fresh fruits here in Hungary are amazingly rich in flavors.” Ms. Karyazin graduated in 2008, by taking faculty in musical and received her diploma at the Russian Academy of Theatrical Arts in Moscow. Since then performed in many roles and her favorite was performing as Laura, in Tchaikovsky’s Iolantha. She was an extremely friendly and her kindness simple radiated. I am not a fortune-teller but having heard her performance, I have a strong feeling she is going to leave her footprints on many…many boards at the world’s  well known opera houses.

Ms. Ekaterina Lekhina, a GRAMMY Award Winner in 2011 at the Best Opera Recording nomination. In 2007 she was the 1st. prize winner at Placido Domingo’s Operalia Competition in Paris.  Also in 2005 gain the 1st. prize at the international competition, St. Petersburg. She is considered as to-day’s most famous opera singer. Ms. Lekhina has already appeared on the stages at the summer opera festival in Klosterneuburg, Austria – 2006. Followed by contracts in Tel-Aviv – 2007. Volksopera Vienna  – 2007. The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London – 2008, where she received enormous success. She also admitted, just like her motherland singer Ms. Karyazina, that their Budapest  visit was extremely short, but she will stay for a couple of days in Budapest after  leaving Pécs. She has deep hopes of coming back to Hungary again  and hopefully she will have a bit more time to have a longer stay at  historical sites in Hungary and  see the fastinating views on both side of the banks at the River Danube.

Oh Yes … The Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s energetic , sweeping chief conductor and artistic director Nicholas Milton made everybody’s evening in the Zsolnay’s courtyard at the Gala Concert  conducting the marvelous MAC Symphonic Orchestra  with the superb opera voices.  His charisma arrow the audience, that’s for sure.  Couldn’t  resist not have a chat with him, knowing his roots lay in Hungary. He told me:” My parents left Hungary to Australia in ’56. Being born later, have no memories of that age, but I am certain many have lived through those times who have their own stories of those dark days. My parents didn’t speak, seemed like taboo, of those 1956 days. I am living in Germany, but each season I travel home to visit my Mum and  two brothers  in Australia.” Asked him how come his  family name is not Hungarian?   Me: “Do you know what was your Hungarian family name?” He smiled and with an Aussie accent said: “Sure I do, it was “Molnár” … “O.K. …got it and what happened to Molnár?”  Well, it was pretty hard to pronounce it by the Mates Downunder and since the Molnár in English language stands for Miller and my father was not really keen with  to be called as a “miller”, he decided to make a twist in the name  change it to Milton”.  … “So, I see, sounds more like a British family name”.  Saw Mr. Milton agreed with me giving a wide smile, saying “YES”.  Asked him how he felt conducting the Hungarian MÁV Symphonic Orchastra and leading the opera singers. He said: “These young singers are absolutely first-class singers, you cannot say, they are just on the beginning on the road which leads to the famous grounds at the Opera Houses. Amazingly talented opera singers and the opera lovers will surely enjoying every minute of their performances no matter where they will show up  on stage.” Usually the conductors “just conduct” not making any sound beside the orchestra playing the instruments, but seeing Mr. Milton moves, sometimes I really saw him as a showman, a wink, a  wide smile, calling in the next performers by waving his hands and so forth, but in a very good sence he was also a “shinning star”.

The eveing’s  Opera Gala would not have been complete without not having a young in age, aHungarian opera talent  on stage. Ms. Ildiko Jakab, winner in 2012 at the Luciano Pavarotti International Youth Singing Competition  was invited to be with and together with the “shinning stars. ”

Ms. Ildikó Jakab, as a young lyric soprano, was a student in the class of  Ms. Éva Marton and completed her opera faculty with honors in 2012 at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of  Music. The Liszt Academy is situated in Budapest and is the unique place for higher music education. Ms. Ildikó Jakab was happy to tell: „This coming season I will be performing four-times at the Hungarian National Opera House, debuting in the The Marriage of Figaro, in role of Barbara.  At her evenings concert she won hearts and acclaimed great success by the domestic and foreigner audience.

The concert master of evening was Mr. István Trejer, violinist, who is the concert master since 1989 at the MÁV Symphonic Orchastra.  After his diploma, as a young artist Mr. Trejer, was called to sign a contract at the Academy of Music and since then he achieved excellent recognitions at many international chamber music competition .  As a soloist , he regularly plays domestically and abroad.

At the end of this awesome opera concert the opera singers, of course the Aussie conductor and other prominent, VIP personals were  invited  to a reception.

Update and snaps Aggie Reiter