James Vaughan – vocal coach
Leading recitalist and vocal coach, James Vaughan studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. After graduating with an honours degree in Musicology and Composition from Trinity College Dublin, he continued his studies with Norma Fisher in London and with Riccardo Brengola on an Italian Government Scholarship at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Despite many appearances as soloist, his preference for working with singers soon led him to appointments as vocal coach at the Vienna State Opera and as Head of Music Staff at the Vienna Chamber Opera.
Since then, he has worked regularly with leading singers and conductors including Abbado, Mehta, Harnoncourt, Chung, Pretre and Giulini, as well as Domingo, Carreras, Netrebko, Gheorgiu and Kaufmann.
In 1998 he was invited to be Head Coach at La Scala Theatre in Milan by it’s Musical Director, Riccardo Muti. Since then, he has participated in over seventy productions for the theatre, touring with the La Scala company regularly throughout Europe, Asia and Australia. He has appeared regularly in recital with Leo Nucci, Fiorenza Cedolins, Barbara Frittoli, Jessica Pratt and Pretty Yende in venues such as the Musikverein in Vienna, the Pushkin Museum and Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, and in London at the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall and St John’s Smith Square.
He has worked regularly in masterclasses with singers such as Sena Jurinac, Christa Ludwig, James King and Renato Bruson and has held his own masterclasses frequently throughout Europe and Asia.
He has recently featured in a special documentary film to celebrate La Scala theatre called “The Temple of Music” which was shown in cinemas throughout the world, and further television work for Sky Arte is scheduled for January 2016. In January 2016, he was awarded the Triumph International Award in Rome with Ennio Morricone and actor Michele Placido. He has been invited regularly to act as juror in vocal competitions including the Vinas in Barcelona, the Belvedere in Japan and the Vidisc International in Dublin.
Damian Iorio – Conductor
Damian is one of the founders of the IntensivOpera project.
Born in London into a distinguished family of Italian and English musicians, Damian Iorio is a dynamic and gifted conductor, and enjoys an international career. Having begun his professional life as a violinist, following studies at the Royal Northern College of Music and Indiana University, Damian went on to study conducting at St Petersburg State Conservatoire whilst serving as a member of the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Damian has worked with some of the world’s greatest orchestras and opera companies including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, San Francisco Symphony, Opéra National de Paris, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, BBC Symphony, Philharmonic and Scottish orchestras, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Belgique and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. His most recent credits include engagements with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia.
Damian’s opera work saw him returning to the Opéra national de Paris for Boris Godunov in summer 2018, where he has also conducted Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, and he made his debut with Welsh National Opera in 2019 conducting Mozart’s Magic Flute. He has conducted Verdi’s Macbeth at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Puccini’s Turandot at Bonn Opera, and many different productions at Helikon Opera in Moscow.
He has been Music Director of the Milton Keynes City Orchestra since 2014, helping the orchestra build a strong reputation as an integral part of cultural life in the city and surrounding region. The MKCO consistently showcases highly creative and engaging performances with internationally-acclaimed soloists, resulting in a rapidly growing audience. Damian was previously Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Murmansk where he was the catalyst of its success and growth in both opera and concert performances.
Damian is a passionate advocate for music education and the right for anyone to access music. He has been involved in education projects with Milton Keynes City Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and further international orchestras. He is also currently Music Director of the National Youth String Orchestra of Great Britain.
Damian received the Knight of the Order of Sant’Agata from the Republic of San Marino in recognition for his services to music. He is also an avid cyclist and especially enjoys riding in the mountains.
Katrin Kapplusch – Vocal coach
German dramatic soprano Katrin Kapplusch is a former ensemble member of the Aalto Theater in Essen, where she appeared as Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Leonore in Fidelio, Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos, Kostelnička in Jenůfa, the title role in Manon Lescaut, Die fremde Fürstin in Rusalka, Chrysothemis in Elektra, the title role in Tosca, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, Sieglinde in Die Walküre and Giulietta in Les Contes d’Hoffmann.
Other engagements include the title role in Turandot at the Bregenzer Festspiele, her house debut in the same part at Opéra national de Montpellier, Chrysothemis in Elektra at the Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and at Theater Basel, Sieglinde in Die Walküre at Oper Graz, the title role in Manon Lescaut at Oper Graz and at Theater Bonn and the title role in Turandot at the Opéra national de Lorraine in Nancy.
Most recently, Mrs Kapplusch appeared as Turandot and Lady Macbeth at Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen, under Joana Mallwitz in a new production by Benedict Andrews, returned to Opéra national de Montpellier as Ortrud in Lohengrin, a role she also sung at the Aalto Theater Essen, performed Lady Macbeth at the Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Amelia at Staatstheater Darmstadt and Leonore/Fidelio at the Nationaltheater Weimar and gave her house debut at the Opera de Lyon as Chrysothemis, conducted by Hartmut Haenchen.
Concert appearances include Verdi’s Requiem with the Brussels Philharmonic, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and at the Konzerthaus Berlin, Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with the Hofer Symphoniker, and Leonore in a semi-staged production of Fidelio with the Orchestra of the 18th Century.
Katrin Kapplusch has worked with conductors such as Michael Schønwandt, Tomas Netopil, Michael Boder, Paolo Carignani, Johannes Fritzsch, Stefan Blunier, Daniel Klajner, Michel Tabachnik, Steven Sloane and directors like Stefan Herheim, Christine Mielitz, Robert Carsen and David Herrmann, amongst others.
A student of Josef Metternich in Cologne, Ms Kapplusch started her professional career in the ensemble of Theater Zwickau/Plauen, where early roles included Tatjana in Eugene Onegin, Agathe in Der Freischütz and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, later followed by Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Amelia, Tosca and others.
Jonas Olsson – Pianist
The Swedish pianist Jonas Olsson has established a dual career as a sought-after chamber musician and accompanist, and as one of the most adventurous piano soloists on the Scandinavian new music scene today.
Having initially studied with Hans Pålsson in Gothenburg, finishing with a soloist diploma and making his debut with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in 2007, he moved to Germany for a year at the International Ensemble Modern Academy in Frankfurt, followed by two years with Pierre-Laurent Aimard in Cologne, specialising in contemporary solo repertoire.Another important influence came from working intensely with Pierre Boulez as a member of the Lucerne Festival Academy between 2006 and 2009, where he took on several big solo parts, including “sur Incises” and “Répons” by Boulez and “Des canyons aux étoiles” by Messiaen.
Based alternately in Sweden and Germany, Jonas enjoys a busy concert schedule, appearing at major venues such as Lucerne Festival, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Aldeburgh Festival, Carnegie Hall and the NY Phil Biennial. Recent highlights include the complete Boulez sonatas at Copenhagen’s Klang Festival in 2015 and a Rebecca Saunders portrait concert at the Aldeburgh Festival in 2016.
Jonas’ repertoire comprises a large selection of works from the most important late 20th century composers such as Boulez, Stockhausen, Messiaen, Berio, Nono, Ligeti, Carter, Lachenmann (with whom he has worked closely on several occasions), Ferneyhough and Sciarrino. Equally important is his commitment to a younger generation of composers, often collaborating closely on exploring new playing techniques.
Jonas is a founding member of the Gothenburg-based contemporary music ensemble Mimitabu and works since 2016 in a full-time position as repetiteur at Norrlandsoperan in Umeå. Since 2010 he has been the sole official accompanist (for all instruments) of Sweden’s most important youth competition, Polstjärnepriset.