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Axel Everaert

The musical education of Axel Steven Everaert (born 1965) began at the National Opera House in Brussels. During his years at the University of Louvain, he focused on singing and chamber music, graduating in 1987 with a Bachelor’s degree in Musicology. From 1987 to 1990, Everaert continued to study Voice in Rome under Maestra Gianella Borelli and Loredana Franceschini-Shenker. He underwent further voice training with Ré Koster, Sylvia Geszty and Ileana Cotrubas from 1990 to 1995, with additional coaching from Irwin Gage in Zurich.

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Jeremy Hulin

Jeremy Hulin (born 1956) has been working at Conservatorium Maastricht since 1998. In 2005 he became Musical Director of the Opera department. He is also the opera accompanist.

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Frans Kokkelmans

The lyric baritone Frans Kokkelmans (born 1954) teaches Solo Singing and Chamber Music in the Classical Music department of Conservatorium Maastricht.

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Yvonne Schiffelers

After completing her vocal studies at Conservatorium Maastricht, Dutch mezzo-soprano Yvonne Schiffelers (born 1958) was immediately engaged as a member of the Opera Studio in Cologne. After these two years she began her illustrious career at the National Theater in Mannheim (Germany).

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Susanne Schimmack

When German soprano Susanne Schimmack performed in the 1997 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, she was pronounced “the Rolls Royce of voices”. Born and raised in Witten, Germany, Schimmack received her artistic education in the United States, at the University of California Irvine. She continued her vocal work and development from alto to dramatic soprano with Ks. Martha Dewal and Ks. Ileana Cotrubas in Vienna.

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Roger Smeets

Dutch baritone Roger Smeets (born 1960) studied at Conservatorium Maastricht, where he now teaches Directing and Drama in the Classical Music department. In 1989 he won the Dutch Music Prize at the International Vocal Competition in ’s-Hertogenbosch. He worked for the opera studio (then Young Talent Section) of the Dutch National Opera Foundation in Amsterdam from 1983 to 1986. Since then, he has regularly performed with DNO (now Dutch National Opera & Ballet) in productions including Parsifal, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Un ballo in Maschera, La Traviata, Rigoletto, De Neus, Pique Dame, Capriccio, Tristan und Isolde, Salome, Dialogues des Carmélites, Madama Butterfly, Die Gezeichneten, Kát’a Kabanová, Die Frau ohne Schatten, La Fanciulla del West, Turandot, Les Vêpres Siciliennes, Billy Budd, Jevgeni Onjegin, De Speler Arabella, Lulu, and the world premieres of Gassir, the Hero (Theo Loevendie), Rosa, a horse drama (Louis Andriessen), HIER° (Guus Janssen) and Adam in Ballingschap (Rob Zuidam).

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At the Bachelor’s level, students of vocal studies can choose Opera as a specialization.
In the Master’s programme you can select Opera as the main subject.

The Conservatorium Maastricht opera class consists of solo singing students in both the Bachelor’s and the Master’s programmes. These students follow solo singing lessons with Axel Everaert, Frans Kokkelmans, Yvonne Schiffelers or Susanne Schimmack.
The solo singing programme at Conservatorium Maastricht has had an opera training programme for more than 50 years. Opera is an art form which not only requires singers to be highly trained vocally, but also makes heavy demands on their theatrical abilities.
The many professional opera houses in the neighboring country of Germany mean that this country scores high in terms of the quality and quantity of operas. The opera programme at Conservatorium Maastricht takes care to promote quality, which is why many of our singing students find employment in Germany.
Opera combines many art forms: libretto, vocal and instrumental music, declamation, acting, dance, direction, dramaturgy, scenery, and lighting.
Merely being able to sing recitatives and arias is not a sufficient basis for an opera career. Genuine professional employment can only be obtained when the other aspects of the field are included in the study programme. The Maastricht Academy of Music has provided this complete course successfully for many years, and has therefore built up a strong national and international reputation.


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General admission requirements
Specific admission requirements