26 singers and pianists from across the world have been invited to participate in the inaugural Melbourne International Festival of Lieder and Art Song (MIFLAS).
One of the world’s leading accompanists, and Schubert and Lieder authority, Dr Graham Johnson OBE, and internationally renowned baritone Dr Stephen Varcoe are the festival’s special guest artists.
The focus for the Festival is the songs of Franz Schubert and Gustav Mahler and on art song in English.
‘As the only festival of its kind in Australia, we have been delighted by the high calibre of applications here at home and from across the globe,’ says Artistic Director, Patricia Price. ‘Moving the Festival from WA to Victoria was risky, continues Price, ‘but the enthusiasm and depth of applications have paid heed to that concern. I’m confident that we will grow and build upon this.’
All events in the festival are open to the public and include:
In Conversation with Dr Graham Johnson and Dr Stephen Varcoe, followed by Welcome Drinks, Saturday 7 July, 4–6.00pm
Dr Graham Johnson and Stephen Varcoe: two of the greatest names in the history of art song performance on the international stage. This is your opportunity to find out more about the men behind the names. What drew them to this art form? What keeps their passion alive? And what do they believe is the future of art song, not just in Australia, but world-wide?
Masterclass series with Dr Graham Johnson
Sunday 8 July, 10.00am–1.00pm; Monday 9 July, 2.30–5.30pm; Tuesday 10 July, 10am–1.00pm; and Wednesday 11 July, 2.30–5.30pm
Recognised as one of the world’s leading vocal accompanists, Graham Johnson has worked alongside a veritable who’s who of distinguished singers. He has been a mentor and coach to many pre-professional singers and pianists in his role as Senior Professor of Accompaniment at the Guildhall School of Music, and as a guest artist at the Vancouver International Song Institute and Songfest Los Angeles.
Masterclass series with Stephen Varcoe
Sunday 8 July, 2.30–5.30pm; Monday 9 July, 10.00am–1.00pm; Tuesday 10 July, 2.30pm–5.30pm and Thursday12 July, 10.00am–1.00pm
Stephen Varcoe is known around the world for his work in concerts and recordings. He has appeared with many leading orchestras in the UK, Europe, Japan and North America. Stephen is also known for his recitals of poetry and song in a wide range of themes and styles. He completed a PhD at the University of York in 2009, and he writes and lectures on various aspects of singing, especially English song. He teaches at the Royal College of Music.
MIFLAS Showcase, Thursday 12 July, 7.30–9.30pm
After a week of inspiring masterclasses in art song performance with international stars of the talented young participants of the Festival will have the opportunity to strut their stuff on the stage of Melba Hall. This will be an inspiring evening of beautiful words and music.
MIFLAS Gala Concert, Friday 13 July, 7.30–9.30pm
The MIFLAS Gala Concert represents the culmination of a week of masterclasses. A select group of Melbourne International Festival of Lieder and Art Song participants will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share the concert platform. Graham Johnson will host the concert, guiding the audience on a journey through the story of art song. Stephen Varcoe will also join the proceedings, leading the way for these aspiring young artists of the future.
Founded in 2014 by Patricia Price as the WAAPA International Art Song Academy, in 2018 the newly named Melbourne International Festival of Lieder and Art Song will be hosted by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) at the University of Melbourne.