Schuichi Takahashi Bass-baritone JPN
1st prize Sona Ghazarian Soprano  LBN
2nd prize Christiane Issartel Soprano  FR
2nd prize Georgette Sezonov Soprano  USA
1st prize Not awarded    
2nd prize Helen Attfield  Alt-mezzo  UK
1st prize Not awarded    
2nd prize  Charles Corp Tenor
2nd prize  Soto Papulkas  Tenor
1st prize  Schuichi Takahashi Bass-baritone JPN
2nd prize Erich Knodt  Bass GE
Patricia Barham Soprano USA
Lilleba Lund Soprano NO
Hiroko Ochiai Soprano JPN
Gerd-Werner Nel Baritone SA
  Tom Haenen Baritone NL
Not awarded
Jacqueline Jacobs Soprano NL
Ingrid Kremling Soprano GE




The sensational Schuishi Takahashi

  • Schuishi Takahashi
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‘The Jury motivated it’s choice for Schuishi Takahashi as First Prize Winner and Best Singer in the Competition with praising his great noble sound, exquisite technique, intelligent control of means, and touching diction. Your critic wholly agrees, as did each and every member of the audience. […] In fact, Takahashi’s appearance made such a profound impression that one wondered why on Earth he was still bothering himself with a competition – in fact, why isn’t he already world famous? It is really seldom that one gets to experience a singer who is so complete in such an immaculate way. With his intelligence and control he can sing Philip’s ‘Ella giamai m’amo’ from Don Carlo motionless, while shaping the entire drama in his musicality. He is more than just a noble singer, his is a noble soul.’ (Leo Hanekroot, Brabants Dagblad, September 7, 1970)

‘During the second day of the semi-finals, the audience could finally warm up in the light of a Japanese sunrise that broke through a cloud of mediocrity. It was around 3 PM when the bass Schuishi Takahashi and his wife-accompanist Takako appeared. On the rays of a gorgeous timbre, the bass aria from Verdi’s Requiem lit up, followed by extremely convincing renditions of arias from La bohème and Il barbiere di Siviglia.’ (Johan van Dongen in Eindhovens Dagblad on the semi-finals)

‘An artist of the highest standing, who managed to sing with warmth, atmosphere, color and most of all, with an important artistic expression.’ (Piet Pijnenborg, De Volkskrant, September 7, 1970)

Leo Hanekroot’s description of Schuishi Takahashi's appearance at the 17th IVC paints a colorful picture of an unusually tall Japanese bass, who appeared in the Japanese national costume, including an oversized Japanese sword, bringing along ‘a teeny-tiny puppet wife’ as accompanist. He was not only ‘dressed to kill,’ but also optimally prepped for the vocal combat. He chose his weapons of choice as wisely as he sang. Hanekroot: ‘Our samurai had it all – he sang to kill.’ Reading the universal and exceptional praise for Takahashi makes one curious, not just for the voice, but also for the almost complete intractability of a career. Here was the new Chaliapin, a bass whose vocal palette reminds one of the description one would apply to a Nicolai Ghiaurov. He came, saw and conquered Den Bosch and then completely vanished, except for the recordings that were preserved of the concluding IVC Gala Concert, and a broadcast of Bruckner’s Te Deum, recorded on October 1, 1968 in Tokyo. Conducted by Lovro von Matacic, this NHK broadcast shows Takahashi was well into his Japanese career by the time he arrived to Den Bosch. Other than that, even his two IVC pictures, one from the awards, the other his stock PR photograph, were not in focus; a photo of Takahashi in the mentioned samurai costume I have never seen. In the medley below, we focused on Takahashi’s voice rather than keep the order of the fragments. Thus it starts with Takashi’s solo line ‘Ed rege eos,’ after which we hear his replies to the tenors ‘Salvum fac populum’ and ‘Te ergo quaesumus.’ Takahashi’s most impressive moment arrives in the final bars of ‘In te, Domine,’ where his voice rises above the full orchestra and the choir. Here he truly shows his metal, and it is possible to grasp a forecast of the overpowering bass that would conquer Den Bosch two years later:

Schuishi Takahashimp3
Brückner: Te Deum (Bass part medley)
Eika Katanosaka, (soprano), Yonako Nagano (contralto), Kiyoshi Igarashi (tenor), Shuishi Takahashi (bass), Kunitachi Music College Chorus, NHK Symphony
LOrchestra - Lovro von Matacic (conductor), Tokyo, Kosei Nenkin Hall, October 1, 1968.


Sona Ghazarian

  • Sona Ghazarian
  • Sona Ghazarian2
  • Sona Ghazarian3
  • Sona Ghazarian4
  • Sona Ghazarian 1970 Press Pic
  • Sona Ghazarian at IVC 1970
  • As Violetta in Hamburg

‘Brilliant operatic material, intelligent use of technique, paired with excellent diction. Master of the scene.’ (IVC Jury President Manus Willemsen)

‘A bit over-dramatizing, yet with a beautiful sound.’ (Johan van Dongen in Eindhovens Dagblad on the semi-finals)

Sona Ghazarian received her First Prize on the ground of an excellent reading of texts. She ahs a gorgeous, sprinkling sounds that indulges the ear.’ (Piet Pijnenborg, De Volkskrant, September 7, 1970)

Coloratura soprano Sona Ghazarian (September 2, 1945) was born into an Armenian family in Beirut where she studied psychology at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. She started her vocal studies at the National Conservatory there, where she was a pupil of Badia Haddad until 1967. She continued her studies at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena where she was a pupil of Giorgio Favaretto, following which she completed her training at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. She studied acting with IVC 1973 Jury member Gino Bechi. She made her stage debut in 1969 in a minor role at the Viennese State Opera. Testing her grounds in vocal competitions, she won Second Prize in the Viennese Musikverein competition, and First Prize ate the IVC Den Bosch 1970. Judging from the Dutch newspapers, Ghazarian made quite an impression in Den Bosch, although Leo Hanekroot for Brabants Dagblad thought her performance of Zerbinetta’s aria during the finals overlong, and her technical ability not yet on a par with her interpretative skills. If that may have been true at this early point in her splendid international career, then the Jury may have followed the rules in gymnastics, where the challenge taken by any given athlete is part of the valuation. In terms of bravura and self assuredness, Ghazarianwas definitely ‘master of the scene’ in Den Bosch. Her exotic appearance may have further helped her in captivating the hearts of the audience, although Johan van Dongen simply thought her a compelling artist:

‘The Lebanesee soprano won her First prize with a mesmerizing performance of an except from Menotti’s The telephone, and ‘Caro nome’ from Verdi’s Rigoletto.’

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Soon after her IVC victory, Ghazarian’s career took wing, and by 1972 she received a contract with the Vienna State Opera, where she soon established herself as a favorite with the audience, especially as Oscar in Un ballo in maschera (her debut in a major role there), and Violetta in La Traviata. She made her Salzburg Festival debut in 1973 as Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro. She returned to Salzburg in 1975 as Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and in 1983 as Marzelline in Fidelio. Her Metropolitan Opera debut came in 1987 as Adina in L'elisir d'amore. She returned there in 1989 as Musetta in La bohème. Other companies that she sang with include the main opera houses in Milan, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Paris, Geneva, and Brussels. In addition to her impressive operatic career, she was also a star of the concert scene, appearing throughout Europe, the USA, and Russia, among others. Her official discography is not exceptionally large, but her fan base was strong enough to spark over 50 televised 1970’s and 80’s performances making it to tube channels. These show her as Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Violetta in La traviata, Micaela in Carmen, Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro, Liu in Turandot, to mention but a few. Other roles in her repertoire were Musetta in La bohème, Amina in La sonnambula, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Fiakermilli in Arabella, and Gilda in Rigoletto.

Sona Ghazarian5

On television and in concert she also excelled in countless operetta excerpts ranging from the ‘Vilja song’ to ‘Meine Lippen sie küssen so Heis,’ or ‘Heia heia, in den Bergen,’ to mention but a few. During these telecasts, often filmed in the typical 1970’s style, either in glittering studios, or on folkloristic locations, she also sang many a popular song, ranging from the Bach-Gounod ‘Ave Maria’ to ‘Heitschi Bumbeitschi,’ and Lieder by Robert Stolz. All of these can be accesses online in fine television quality. Later on she started teaching singing in Vienna, but she was occasionally still performing around 2014.

Sona Ghazariancover

Her recordings include two solo recital LP’s, one with opera arias and the other with Johan Strauss selections. Both albums were been used for the mentioned telecasts with filmed settings of the LP selections. Notable complete opera recordings are Beethoven’s Fidelio (Decca; with Theo Adam, Hildegard Behrens, and Peter Hofmann under Sir Georg Solti), Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Gala CD; Ottavio Garaventa, Agnes Baltsa, Kurt Rydl under Giuseppe Patané, 1977), Mozart’s Il re pastore (DGG LP; Arlen Augér, Edith Mathis, Peter Schreier under Leopold Hager), Puccini’s La bohème (Melodram CD; Ileana Cotrubaș, Giacomo Aragall under Carlos Kleiber), Strauss’ Arabella (Decca DVD; Gundula Janowitz, René Kollo, Edita Gruberova, Bernd Weikl under Sir Georg Solti), Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera (Decca CD; Montserrat Caballé, José Carreras, Patricia Payne, Ingvar Wixell under Sir Colin Davis). In addition, there are more than one hundred live radio recordings of her in circulation among collectors.


 Helen Attfield

  • Helen Attfield
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  • Attfield at the IVC Den Bosch 1970
  • Attfield at the IVC Den Bosch 1970

‘The only alto in the semi finals, Helen Attfield, paired an important timbre with outstanding musicianship, especially so in an aria from Händel’s The Messiah, and the ‘Inflammatus’ from Dvorak’s Stabat Mater.’ (Johan van Dongen in Eindhovens Dagblad on the semi-finals)

‘Gracious and ringing.’ (Piet Pijnenborg in De Volkskrant, September 7, 1970)

In Brabants Dagblad critic Leo Hanekroot mentioned that Helen Attfield was one of the last singers to specialize in oratorio, and with that notion he signaled a changing taste in the taste of audiences around the world, perhaps especially so in new markets, where opera ruled. Attfield studied at the Royal Academy of Music before embarking on a tour of Vocal Competitions, with her Second prize in Den Bosch as perhaps her finest result. On leaving the Royal Academy she joined the English Opera Group and sang in the world premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Death in Venice. She sang major roles inPelléas et Melisande with De Munt Brussels, in Rigoletto with the Welsh National Opera, Don Carlos with the Dorset Opera,Albert Herring for Opera de Bauge (France), Semele with the Handel Opera Society and Madame Butterfly, The Magic Flute, Il Trovatore and Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen under Reginald Goodall with the English National Opera. In the latter performances she performed Floßhilde in Rheingold and Götterdämmerung, along with Schwertleite in Die Walküre. Recorded for EMI these English language productions were among the traceable highlights of her career. They were rereleased on CD in 2001 by Chandos. Our brief excerpt from Das Rheingold features her in dialogue with Alberich, sung here by 1957 IVC 2nd Prize Winner Derek Hammond-Stroud.

Helen Attfield mp3
Wagner: Das Rheingold ‘Excerpt Scene I’
Helen Attfield (Floßhilde), Derek Hammond-Stroud (Alberich), English National Opera – Reginald Goodall (conductor), 1975(© Chandos 2001)

 Charles Corp

Charles Corp

‘The English tenor Charles Corp had a beautiful voice which floated on an outstanding breath control; he proved himself as a gifted oratorio singer.’ (Piet Pijnenborg in De Volkskrant, September 7, 1970)

Johan van Dongen noted in Eindhovens Dagblad that Charles Corp was the true winner of the new rules, since he only rose to the challenge during the finals, with a convincing rendition of ‘Every valley’ from Händel’s The Messiah. That was also his chosen aria for the IVC Winners Gala Concert of September 9, which is currently the only recording of Corps voice known to us. Van Dongen’s quote and Corp’s appearance at the Gala Concert reveal that he had true potential in oratorio and concert repertoire. What we do not know is if he managed to develop his talent onwards in life. All data of him post the 1972 IVC Den Bosch are lacking. Additional info on/recordings and photos of Charles Corp are therefore very welcome at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Christiane Issartel

  • Christiane Issartel
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‘The French Christiane Issartel made a profound impression by her sense of style and her refined way of phrasing, with attention for detail. The way in which she performed ‘Chérie, c’est toi’ was of such dramatic potential, that she moved the audience.’ (Piet Pijnenborg, De Volkskrant, September 7, 1970)

Of Christiane Issartel's career following her second Prize at the 1970 IVC Den Bosch, little concrete is known. She had a career in the French provinces, starting in comprimario and second soprano roles. The closest preserved performance to her IVC award is as Marie-Anne in Hahn’s O mon belle inconnu, for Radio France, 1973. In 1974 she is First Ange in Massenet’s Le jongleur de Notre Dame from 1974 (with Alain Vanzo; released on CD by Gala), Goulgouly in Chabriers unfinished opera bouffe Fisch-Ton-Khan, and Une suivante d'Urgande in Lully’s Amadis, all for radio France. In 1977 she sang at Covent Garden’s Bach Festival, in Rameau’s La Princesse de Navarre. In 1982 she was Toinette Xavier Leroux’ Le Chemineau, Nane in Maurice Yvain’s opérette Oh! Papa!, and a Water Sprite in Dvorak’s Rusalka. After that we have no more entries of her as a singer, but her name shows up again in 1984, when she appears in Tours as the stage director for their La traviata production. In 2014 she appeared as director on the roster of the Aix en Provence Festival.

Christiane Issartel mp3
Hahn: O mon belle inconnu ‘Est-ce qu'il est mal? Est-ce qu'il est bien?’
Christiane Issartel (Marie-Anne), Orchestre lyrique de l'ORTF – Claire Gibault (conductor), 1973

Erich Knodt

Erich Knodt

‘An impressive Sarastro.’ (Piet Pijnenborg in De Volkskrant, September 7, 1970)

‘The Japanese bass Takahashi did not win his First prize lightly, for the heavy-voiced German bass Erich Knodt gave him a hard fight. He wholly deserved his Second prize.’ (Johan van Dongen, Eindhovens Dagblad, September 1970)

German bass Erich Knodt (1946) studied with Christo Bajew before debuting as Ramphis in a Koblenz production of Aida in 1970. That was also the year that he won Prizes at the Sofia Vocal Competittion, and the IVC Den Bosch, and then later also in Rio de Janeiro. Until 1972 he remained with the Koblenz Opera, from 1972-1976 he sang in Wuppertal, following which he became First bass in the National Theatre Mannheim for a long term engagement that lasted from 1976 until 1987. His Mannheim engagement proved a fine basis for an international career that brought him guest appearances with the Hamburg State Opera, the Rhine Oper Dusseldorf-Duisburg, Vancouver (1978), Theatro Liceu Barcelona (1979, 1986, 1988), Bregenzer Fesrpielen (1985, as Sarastro), Opéra de Paris (1986), Bern (1986), Teatro Comunale Bologna (1987), The Munt in Brussels (1989), Aix en Provence (1989, as Sarastro), Bodeaux (1989, as Ramphis), then also the Rhine Opera Strassburg, and the Operas of Madrid and Lissabon. A landmark performance proved his Fafner in the San Francisco production of Der Ring des Nibelungen. Knodt’s repertoire was versatile. His most famous parts apart from Ramphis en Sarastro were Commedatore in Don Giovanni, King Philip II in Don Carlo, Boris Godunov, Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Don Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro (1993 Montpellier), Bacquo in Macbeth, König Marke in Tristan und Isolde (1985 Lisbon; 1996 Trieste), König Heinrich in Lohengrin (1986 Barcelona), Pogner in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1992, Trieste), Hunding in Die Walküre (1989 Lisbon), Hagen in Götterdämmerung, and Gremin in Evgeni Onegin. He also aprticpated in a number of special performances, among the Mussorgsky’s Sallambo in Paris 1986.

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A noted guest performance in Rome 1991 was as Peneios in Daphne. In 1995 he participated in the Italian premiere of Zemlinsky’s Die Traumgörge in Teatro Politeama Palermo. In addition he was also a noted concert bass. Of his activities on the concert platform, an interesting recording remained of Schoeck’s Vom Fischer und seine Frau (1986, Bern). His official discography includes Daland inDer fliegende Holländer on Naxos CD. In addition, there are a handful of private recordings around, including a video of his Nireno in Gulio Cesare from Barcelona 1982, Sarastro from the Bregenzer Festspiele 1985, and Grand Inquisitore in Don Carlo from Bordeaux 1992. Knodt is married to the soprano Antonie Knodt.

Soto Papulkas

  • Soto Papulkas
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  • Soto Papulkas as Ernesto in Don Pasquale (Courtesy of Deutsche Oper Berlin)

Soto Papulkas has a beautiful timbre, although he still needs to of gain in terms of musicality.’ (Johan van Dongen in Eindhovens Dagblad on the IVC Den Bosch 1970 semi-finals)

Piet Pijnenborg noted in De Volkskrant of September 7, 1970, that Greek tenor Soto Papulkas (February 3, 1943 Florina) had been slightly indisposed during the IVC Den Bosch 1970 finals, but that there was no doubt that he was a radiant lyric tenor. Johan van Dongen noted in Eindhovens Dagblad that his singing in ‘Una furtive lagrima’ during the finals was worthy of his Second Prize, even though he was indisposed. Papulkas studied with Josef Metternich in Cologne, and by the time he reached Den Bosch he was already well into his career. His debut had taken place in 1967, as Alfredo in La traviata at the Städtische Bühnen in Flensburg. Not very much is know about his career, other than that he sang with the Deutsche Opera Berlin, among others as Ernesto in a 1977 run of Don Pasquale; in Staatstheaters am Gärtnerplatz he sang Huon in a historic 1980 SWF broadcast of Wranitzky’s influential 1789 Singspiel Oberon, which inspired Schickaneder to write the libretto for Die Zauberflöte. From 1986 to 1988 he sang with the Flemish Opera, Other places where he appeared were National Theatre Athens,​ Barcelona,​ Dortmund,​ Flensburg,​ Köln,​ Gärtnerplatz Theatre Munich,​ Nürnberg,​ Straßburg,​ and Volksoper Vienna. His German career brought him the title Kammersänger. Papulkas major roles were Donizetti’s Ernesto inDon Pasquale, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, and Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor; Lortzings’ baron Kronthal inDer Wildschütz; Mozart’s Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Belmonte inDie Entführung aus dem Serail, Idamante in Idomeneo, and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte; Nicolai’s Fenton in Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor; Puccini’s Rinucio in Gianni Schicchi; Rossini’s Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Lindoro in L’Italiana in Algeri; Johan Strauss’ Alfred in Die Fledermaus; Richard Strauss’ Italienische Sänger in Der Rosenkavalier; Tchaikovsky’s Lenski in Evgeni Onegin; Verdi’s Alfredo in La traviata. Post career Papulkas taught Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen, where tenor Andreas Post was among his many pupils.

Soto Papulkas mp3
Wranitzky: Oberon ‘Ermudens, von den Schicksals Schlägen’
Soto Papulkas (Hüon), Chor und Orchester des Staatstheaters am Gärtnerplatz – Alicia Mounk (conductor), Schwetzingen, 1980.

 Georgette Sezonov

Georgette Sezonov

‘Formidable technical virtuosity and a great artistic talent.’ (Piet Pijnenborg, De Volkskrant, September 7, 1970)

Piet Pijnenborg’s accolades make one curious after Georgette Sezonov, although very little is known of her subsequent career, other than that she continued to sing until well in the 1990’s. Following her IVC Den Bosch 1970 award, she made a promising appearance at the Salzburg Festival in July-August 1971. She was the soloist there in Mozart’s Motets for soprano ‘Venti, fulgura, procellae,’ on July 30, in the Kollegienkirche/Universitätskirche, accompanied by the Camerata Academica Salzburg, conducted by Ernst Hinreiner. With Mihoko Aoyama-Schaffler (Alt), Kurt Equiluz (Tenor), Hartmut Müller (Bass) and Ernst Hinreiner conducting she appeared there on the same night as the soprano lead in Mozart’s Missa, Nr. 4 ‘Dominicus-Messe.’ The next entry we have for Miss Sezonov is a 1991 appearance at the installation of some new members of the Sarasota Opera Guild. Her chronology to date concludes with a 1994 performance in the Sarasota Music Club. Her discography is limited to the radio recordings of her Salzburg performance, and her IVC Gala Concert appearance.

Should you have additional info/photos/recordings of Georgette Sezonov, you may contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Jacqueline Jacobs

IVC 1972 Jacqueline Jacobs PHOTO

‘Dutch mezzo soprano Jacqueline Jacobs, who favors song, proved very musical in Wolf, and even better in a jolly song by Henk Badings, although her limitations were finally revealed in an aria from Lortzing’s Der Waffenschmied. Should she not make it into the finals, then a scholarship or a Prize from the Foundation of Dutch Musical Interests would still be legitimite.’ (Johan van Dongen in Eindhovens Dagblad on the semi-finals)

Leo Hanekroot further noted that he had delighted in listening to Jacqueline Jacobs from Hoensbroek, whose talent was as convincing as her voice. He wished for her a study allowance, and she ultimately received the Prize of the Dutch Society for Promoting Musical Interests, together with Ingrid Kremling. The cheerful Badings song that Jacobs impressed with during the semi-finals was ‘Maggy and Millie and Molly and me,’ although Johan van Dongen noted that she did not live up to the expectations in the finals, where she lacked control over her voice. In 1972 she participated again, with the following result:

‘Although no Dutch participants made it to the finals, Jacqueline Jacobs received the Toonkunst Prize for young talent.’ (Chris de Jong-Stolle, NRC, September 11, 1972)Very little is known of Jacqueline Jacob's further career, except that she sang small parts in six productions with the South Dutch Opera from 1968 until 1987, which means that she started singing prior to her two IVC enlistings in 1970 and 1972. Both times she won a PRize, the first time the Prize of the Foundation of Dutch Musical Interests, and the second time the Prize of Foundation 'Toonkunst.' Her career with the SOuth Dutch Opera started with Henri in Heuberger's Der Opernball (1968, Eindhoven), via Jette/Mimi in Zeller's Der Vogelhändler (1970, Tilburg), Kate Pinkerton in Puccin's Madama Butterfly (1972, 1982, Heerlen), Annina in Verdi's La traviata (1977, Sittard), 2nd Lady in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte ( (1983, Sittard), and Orestes in Offenbach's La belle Hélène (1987, Roermond).

Any further info, recordings or photographs of Jacqueline Jacobs are very welcome at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ingrid Kremling

Ingrid KremlingLyric-dramatic soprano Ingrid Kremling Domanski (1948 in Nuremberg, Germany) excelled in opera, recital and concert. She trained at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, and continued her studies in Amsterdam, Salzburg and Zurich. Subsequently, she won in numerous vocal competitions, including those in Vienna, Berlin, Hannover, Zurich and Paris. At the IVC Den Bosch 1970 her talent was recognized with the Prize of the Dutch Society Promoting the Music Industry, a Prize that had its origins in the first years of the IVC. Kremling then sang on all the great and important opera stages, such as Antwerp, Chicago, Berlin, Hamburg, London, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Vienna and Warsaw. In her debut as Arabella at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the American press enthusiastically hailed her as a world-class soprano. As a concert and recital singer, she was particularly known as a Mozart and Strauss specialist. By 1987 she became professor of singing at the Academy of Music and Theatre in Hamburg, where she became a highly respected singing teacher. She also gave master classes at home and abroad. Many of her students have won prizes at international competitions, are soloists at the most prestigious opera houses as Deutsche Oper Berlin, Chicago opera, Covent Garden London, La Scala in Milan, Metropolitan Opera in New York, Opera de Paris, Staatsoper Hamburg and Vienna, Salzburg Festival, Opera Festival Munich, Teatro La Fenice. Among them the likes of Angela Denoke, Aleksandra Kurzak, and Elena Pankratowa, who achieved world careers.

Ingrid Kremling cover

In her active career as a soprano, Kremling made several television appearances and appeared in a number of radio broadcasts, although very few of them are accessible today. There is an official cd/cassette from Wiesbaden 1990, where she is accompanied on the piano by Makiko Takeda in Chopin songs. She also appears on Toni Volker’s CD Chamber Music II, and in a recording of Cherubini’s Cuacilien Messe 8 Messe Nr 4. In terms of live recordings, there is an interesting appearance in a 1988 Cologne Opea House appearance as Gertrude in Franz von Suppé’s Lohengelb, a brilliant Wagner parody about Knight Lohengelb who arrives on the back of a sheep in the Dutch Mountains, where he saves Elsa of Dragant!

Ingrid Kremling mp3
Franz von Suppé: Lohengelb ‘Erhebe dich Genossin einer Schmach’ (Act II)
Ingrid Kremling (Gertrud, Niederländische Hexe), Heribert Fiedler (Mordigall) – Cologne RSO – Jan Stulen (conductor), 1988.

Sally le Sage

‘Sally le Sage, who has won the Second Prize here some yeas ago, has returned with much more volume than she previously had.’ (Johan van Dongen in Eindhovens Dagblad on the semi-finals)

Regrettably for Le Sage (1937, Farnborough, Kent, England), the IVC rules did not foresee in cases where a former Second Prize winner returned in better shape, while at the same time facing much stronger competition than had been the case the first time.

Johan van Dongen had soothing words for her, saying that she might find consolation in the sympathies of the audience. At her first appearance in Den Bosch, in September 1967, Le Sage’s beautiful timbre impressed both Van Dongen and Hanekroot. Even though her voice wasn’t overtly large, Van Dongen was pleased with her semi finals rendition of ‘Rejoice greatly,’ from Händel’s The Messsiah. She convinced in Debussy’s ‘L’extase,’ brilliantly accompanied from Georges van Renesse. As for Hanekroot, his fretting over her small volume gradually took on the form of a lament, in the context of the sheer beauty of her voice. This beauty can fortunately still be traced today, since Le Sage made a fine career in the English hemisphere, after completing her studies at the Royal College of Music, and with Pierre Bernac on a scholarship in Paris. The beginnings of her career antedated her IVC participation, since from 1964 to 1967 she sang with the Deller Consort, with whom she recorded a good number of baroque pieces. Following her IVC victory, she appeared in concerts throughout Britain, Europe and the USA, including at the Vienna, Aix, Ghent and Three Choirs Festivals. She participated in Many BBC concerts and recitals. We mention specifically L'Enfant et les Sortileges in Leeds with Simon Rattle; Haydn’s Nelson Mass at Carnegie Hall, New York; Beethoven's Symphony Nr. 9 for Dutch Television in Amsterdam; Mozart's C minor Mass at the Royal Festival Hall with Charles Groves; Tippett’s A Child of Our Time in Stockholm, conducted by the composer; Händel’s Messiah with the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester; Gustav Mahler's Symphony Nr. 8 at the Albert Hall in London. She had opera appearances with Scottish Opera: The Woodbird in Siegfried, Covent Garden and Glyndebourne; Teofane in George Frideric Handel's Ottone at Sadler's Wells Theatre; Ann Trulove in The Rake's Progress at Cambridge Arts Theatre. Her Deller Consort recordings are mostly ensemble pieces. Likewise, her Anna in a 1971 Maria Stuarda with Montserrat Caballé, Shirley Verrett, and José Carreras hardly serves to sample her voice. This changes with her Teofano in Händel’s Ottone. Here, in a cast with Josephine Barstow as Gismonda, we have a beefy part for Le Sage:

Sally le Sage mp3
OHändel: Ottone ‘Falsa immagine’
Sally Le Sage (Teofane), Handel Opera Society at Sadlers Wells Theatre, 1971 (40DutchDivas.nl archives)

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Tom Haenen

Tom Haenen

‘Tom Haenen still sounded very young, although his voice had bite and character.’ (Piet Pijnenborg, De Volkskrant, September 7, 1970)

The Dutch bass Tom Haenen (1948) studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory, following which he came into the program of the Dutch Opera Studio. Following his Encouragement Price of the Dutch Society Promoting Musical Arts at the 1970 edition of the IVC Den Bosch, he started a long career with the Dutch National Opera. He sang bass parts in opera’s like Tosca (Sagristano), Pelléas et Mélisande, La clemenza di Tito, La bohème,Il trovatore, The consul, La vie Parisienne, and in 1984 Walton in Bellini’s I puritani. He sang the Notar in Der Rosenkavalier on many occasions, also in televised productions, as well as the Gamekeeper in Janacek’s Cunning little vixen. In Maastricht he sang Vaudemont in I vespri Siciliani. Concerts and guest performances abroad further consolidated his career.

Tom Haenen mp3
Puccini: Tosca ‘Sagrestano’s part’
Tom Haenen (Sagrestano), Michail Svetlev (Cavaradossi), Stadschouwburg Amsterdam, 1978.


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Gerd Werner Nel

‘The Jury rightly promoted him to the finals, although he shouldn’t have touched Rossini’s Figaro. Nicely sung but outside the scope of his voice. His is a light baritone, as Fischer-Dieskau’s young voice, with a remarkable expressivity.’ (Leo Hanekroot, Brabants Dagblad, September 5, 1970)

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Patricia Barham

‘Clear, controlled coloraturas’ (Piet Pijnenborg, De Volkskrant, September 7, 1970)

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Lilleba Lund

‘Lilleba Lund brought a surplus of personality to the stage, along with a sympathetic musical expression.’ (Piet Pijnenborg, De Volkskrant, September 7, 1970)

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Hiroko Ochiai

‘An Honorary Diploma for Hiroko Ochiai, a still lilly white but enchanting voice.’ (Piet Pijnenborg, De Volkskrant, September 7, 1970)

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