Alice in Wonderland …
Gingerly, with much admiration and a great deal of passion, I surrendered to a beautiful world, when I started studying with the well-known Dutch contralto, Aafje Heynis.
She also taught me that singing is not only about voice training and singing technique, but much more than that. It is also about diving into one’s own inner self and being in touch with your emotions. “You will probably cry a river of tears,” she said, and today I can still feel the truth behind these words. Sometimes by journeying through my inner self to reach those pristine depths that can be touched when singing, I am able to experience the music more intensely, so that not only the interpretations that are sung triumph through their various layers and credibility but, to the same extent, the music enriches my everyday life with its many colors and voices sung together in canon.
My life is a life immersed in music but, at the same time, it is a life full of joy and lightness. I left the Netherlands to stay for an indeterminate period in Italy and it was there that I became acquainted with Verdi’s and Puccini’s world of opera from up close. I studied under the Italian heroic tenor Giovanni Mastino in Verona, and then I felt like one of the family as I listened zealously to the operas that were sung in the Arena di Verona.
My German teachers encouraged me to trust my inner voice and to follow it, and so I continued my studies by participating in courses and Master classes in the “Barocke Vokalmusik” and in Belcanto at the Accademia Lirica per Il Belcanto in Italy.
As a result, the thoroughness of my voice studies, combined with my all-round interests in singing, also makes it possible for me to sing in a wide array of musical productions and concerts. Again and again, the German press mentions my voice’s ‘melodiöse Leichtigkeit’, which is anchored in “einer ausbruckstarken Warme im Klang”.
I experience great pleasure in working together with small instrumental ensembles and choirs at home and abroad. Often the creations that are performed together touch the hearts of the audience once again, and in the end that is the real essence of music to me.
As a professional singer and as a singing teacher I have been noticing lately how, in my own way, I am able to bring joy to others. Every time this happens I derive great pleasure and I am grateful when I see how singing can inspire others and how this joie de vivre can be transmitted during concerts and in the individual lessons or the choral workshops that I organize. Often when I teach singing to others, my own previous voice studies come in handy. Many a time, vocal training combines an intense relationship with one’s own body while at the same time it provides a healing path for the soul. Guiding this process to fruition means a great deal to me.
In regard to the near future, I have promised myself to fulfill this wish in singing workshops ‘à la Catharina’ in Italy and France.