Mrs. Venus - Sophie Daneman, Sopran

Mr. Mars - Adrian Schvarzstein, actor

Cupid - Johanna Falkinger, Sopran

Mr. Adonis - Dietrich Henschel, Bariton

Mr. Shepherd - Valdemar Villadsen, Haute-Contre

Mr. Hunter - Dominik Wörner, Bariton

Pupils - pupils of the Albert-Einstein-Schule Laatzen

Orchester - la festa musicale, concert master Anne Marie Harer

Set - Lilli Hartmann

Dramaturgy & Direction - Thomas Höft

Co-dramaturgy & Viola da Gamba  - Georg Kroneis

Interactive Concept & Direction - Adrian Schvarzstein

Musical direction - Michael Hell

la festa musicale

la festa musicale was founded in 2014 and has performed at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Handel Festivals in Halle and Göttingen, the Early Music Days in Knechtsteden, the Lower Saxony Music Days and the Early Music Days in Regensburg, among others. The North German baroque ensemble stands for first-class artistic quality, which is reflected in creative, interdisciplinary concert formats and top-class collaborations. The musicians are charismatic representatives of a new generation of historical performance practice. Concertmaster Anne Marie Harer is the artistic director.

la festa musicale has been institutionally supported by the City of Hannover since 2021 and has been part of the federal initiative "Germany's Excellent Orchestral Landscape" since 2022. Since 2020, la festa musicale has regularly released CDs on the Audite label, which have been enthusiastically acclaimed by listeners and the press. On 2 June 2023, the new CD of the baroque ensemble will be released: ANTONIO: Lotti - Caldara - Vivaldi. Together with the internationally acclaimed countertenor Alex Potter, it is an album full of virtuoso and touching musical treasures by the three Antonios from the Grand Canal.

Sophie Daneman

© Juliette Le-Maoult

Mrs. Venus - Sopran

The British soprano Sophie Daneman studied at the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama and became known worldwide in the early 1990s as an interpreter of baroque works, which she performed mainly under the direction of William Christie. She has also worked on roles such as Susanna in Mozart's Figaro and Debussy's Mélisande, and has appeared in works such as Leonard Bernstein's Wonderful Town and Tod Machover's Skellig. Sophie Daneman has performed with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and with conductors such as John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe and Neville Marriner. She is also a successful lied singer and has recorded works by Mendelssohn and Schumann on CD. For some time now, Sophie Daneman has also been emerging as a director: most recently, she staged Mozart's La finta giardiniera for Les Arts Florissants in 2019, with performances in Valencia, Paris and Vienna.

Johanna Rosa Falkinger

© Theresa Pewal

Cupid - Sopran

Johanna Rosa Falkinger is a versatile singer with a soft spot for early music. She graduated from the Musikgymnasium Linz and studied concert singing and vocal pedagogy with Christa Ratzenböck at the Anton Bruckner Private University Linz, with a focus on piano and choral conducting and a semester abroad at the Sibelius Academy Helsinki. She completed master classes with Kurt Widmer, Emma Kirkby, Wiliam Mason, Ulrike Hofbauer, Soile Isokoski, Ulrike Sych and Christiane Iven. In 2022 she completed her master's degree in early music singing with Roberta Invernizzi at the Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität der Stadt Wien (MUK) with distinction. In 2023 she completed her Master's degree in vocal pedagogy with Tanya Aspelmeier at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (mdw).

Engagements at the Salzburg Festival, Opera Wuppertal, Baroque Opera Festival Bayreuth, Early Music Festival Helsinki, Tage Alter Musik Herne, Donaufestwochen Strudengau, Wiener Konzerthaus, Musikverein Wien, Burgtheater Wien, and Brucknerhaus Linz enabled her to collaborate with L'Orfeo Baroque Orchestra, Finnish Baroque Orchestra, Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble 1700 and the Company of Music. In 2021 she won the 2nd prize at the "Concours Corneille"(Int. Competition for Baroque Singing in Rouen, FR). In 2022 she won the 1st prize and the audience prize at the Baroque Days at Melk Abbey and was named winner and "orchestras favourit" at the international Aria Borealis Singing Competition in Bodø (NO).

Anne Marie Harer

© Nils Ole Peters

Artistic direction la festa musicale - Violin & Flute

Born in Northeim, Anne Marie Harer received her training at the Hanover University of Music and Drama with Prof. Ulf Schneider, where she obtained her artistic diploma in violin with distinction in 2008. She also studied recorder with Stefan Möhle, chamber music with Prof. Volker Jacobsen and baroque violin with Prof. Anne Röhrig. In February 2012, she successfully completed her studies with the concert exam in violin. Anne Marie Harer performs internationally as a soloist, concertmaster and chamber musician in various early music ensembles and chamber orchestras and appears at renowned festivals such as the Göttingen and Halle International Handel Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Bach Festival Leipzig, Usedom Music Festival, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg. She has appeared in television and radio recordings for NDR, SWR, BR and Deutschlandfunk, among others, and her discography includes recordings for the Audite, CPO, Rondeau and Accent labels.

Anne Marie Harer is artistic director and concertmaster of the baroque orchestra la festa musicale, sought-after guest concertmaster with, among others, the lautten compagney BERLIN, Schola Heidelberg, Das kleine Konzert, Cantus Cölln and a member of the Orchester im Treppenhaus.

Since December 2021 she has been a Dorothea Erxleben scholarship holder and lecturer for baroque violin at the Institute for Early Music at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media.

Lilli Hartmann

© Lilli Octubre

Set, costume and stage design

Lilli Hartmann was born in Rosenheim. The artist completed her master's degree at the Royal College of Art in London and her Bachelor of Arts Degree at Chelsea College of Art in London. Her installations and performances have been shown internationally in group and solo exhibitions, including Murmansk Art Museum, Castlefield Gallery Manchester, Flaggfabrikken Kunsthall Bergen, Beaconsfield London, CA2M Móstoles and Neue Froth Kunsthalle in Brighton. Her videos have been used in the following film festivals: BFI Film Festival London, LLFF Film Festival in Canada and NIO Video Festival in Pereira, Colombia. Lilli Hartmann worked and lived in Madrid for ten years, where she designed and directed several plays, such as "Momo" at the Conde Duque Cultural Centre and "The Last Assembly" at the Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático de Madrid. Today, she has moved back to Bavaria.

Michael Hell

© Johannes Gellner

Musical Direction & Harpsichord

Michael Hell works as musical director of innovative music theatre projects as well as orchestral and chamber concerts, as harpsichord soloist and passionate basso continuo player, and as a passionate recorder player. Music theatre is a central focus in Michael Hell's artistic biography. Since 2020, he has been the musical director of the ensemble Ārt House 17, an artists' collective that explores the connections between the arts beyond the boundaries of music. A close collaboration links him in particular with the director and dramaturge Thomas Höft and with the director and actor Adrian Schvarzstein. He is also professor of harpsichord and basso continuo at the Institute for Early Music and Performance Practice at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.

Dietrich Henschel

© Susanne Diesner

Mr. Adonis - Bariton

As a regular guest on the great opera stages, as a lied and oratorio interpreter and in his multimedia projects, the baritone Dietrich Henschel fascinates audiences worldwide with a repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to the avant-garde. Born in Berlin, he made his debut at the Munich Biennale for New Music in 1990 and became internationally known in 1997: At the Deutsche Oper Berlin he sang the title role in Henze's "Prinz von Homburg", staged by Götz Friedrich, and in Busoni's "Doktor Faust" he shone at the Opéra de Lyon and the Théatre du Chatelet in Paris. He was awarded a Grammy for his interpretation of the title role in this production. Dietrich Henschel pays special attention to the theatrical and multimedia presentation of vocal music.

Thomas Höft

© Georg Kroneis

Dramaturgy & Direction

Thomas Höft works as an author, director and dramaturge in very different areas of the arts. He is responsible for large historical thematic exhibitions in museums and writes non-fiction books. Above all, however, he has become known for numerous plays and opera libretti, including for the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Komische Oper Berlin and the Bregenz Festival. The highlight to date was the world premiere of Thomas Höft's opera "Pünktchen und Anton" after Erich Kästner to music by Iván Eröd at the Vienna State Opera in 2010. Since 1994 Thomas Höft has worked as dramaturg of the Styriarte Graz Festival, and since 2003 he has also been dramaturg of the Easter Festival Psalm Graz. In 2018 and 2019 he is responsible for the dramaturgy of the Potsdam Sanssouci Music Festival. As founder and board member of the Cologne Offenbach Society, Thomas Höft was instrumental in the major Offenbach anniversary in 2019. In 2021, "Bach's Apocalypse - The Opera Bach Never Composed" was published in collaboration with the Nederlandse Bachvereniging and Opera2day with a new text by Höft.

Georg Kroneis

© Helmut Pratl

Co-Dramaturgy & Viola da Gamba

Georg Kroneis studied electrical engineering and biomedical engineering (MSc) at Graz University of Technology and viola da gamba (MA) at Bruckner University Linz as well as social media management at MIT - Sloan School of Management in Cambridge (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and completed a 4-year training as a Feldenkrais teacher in Vienna. He is represented by the Berlin-based acting agency Filmgesichter, which has so far placed him in international productions by Netflix, Amazon Prime, ZDF, SkyOne, among others, as well as in independent feature film productions. He is an author and dramaturge and sings and plays viola da gamba and double bass in his ensembles ĀRT HOUSE 17, ĀRT HOUSE OPERA, FETISH BAROQUE, in the music theatre production Musica Fugit with Kamchàtka and the circus theatre production Seasons by Cirque Noël, at festivals such as the styriarte, the Psalm Festival Graz, the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, the Utrecht Early Music Festival, the KoncertkirkeCopenhagen, the National College of Art - Lahore, the Zoukak Theatre Beirut, and many more.

Adrián Schvarzstein

© Stefan Flach

Interactive concept & Direction

Adrián Schvarzstein, by his own definition a mixture of Argentinean, Spanish and Italian, is a clown, actor, circus and theatre director - in short, a real multi-talent and a truly energetic entertainer and showman. He originally studied classical archaeology in Israel and the art of Commedia dell'Arte in Italy, but in the course of his now 30-year professional career he has been influenced by all varieties of European theatre, as well as by the street theatre troupes, circus groups and opera companies with which he has performed, including many years with Circus Ronaldo from Belgium. He was assistant to Dario Fo and in the ensemble of the Tel Aviv Opera. In 2004 Schvarzstein founded Circus Klezmer. His multi-award-winning solo programmes "The Greenman", "The Bed" and "Dans" focus on interaction with the audience. Most recently, the artist created his own street theatre company "Kamchàtka" in Barcelona, which was awarded the Miramiro Prize in 2008. Together with the artists of the Austrian collective ART HOUSE, he has realised many projects with street theatre and music in recent years. The team has become particularly well-known through the sensational production MUSICA FUGIT, in which the audience is sent on a wild, humorous flight through various cities (2016/2017 Cologne, 2018 Utrecht, 2021 Graz). Her opera productions "La Barca" by Adriano Banchieri or "Il Ciarlatano" by Pergolesi became bestsellers and euphorically reviewed.

Valdemar Villadsen

© Würglers Verden

Mr. Shepherd - Haute-Contre

The Danish tenor Valdemar Villadsen is known as both an opera and oratorio singer. He has worked with conductors such as Julius Rudel, Fabio Luisi, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Christina Pluhar, Václav Luks, Paul Hillier, Andrew Lawrence-King, and with directors Vasily Barkhatov, Lucinda Childs, Elisabeth Linton and Sir David McVicar. The 2022 season included the lead role in the world premiere of Signe Lykke's opera Nordkraft at the Royal Opera Copenhagen and Copenhagen Opera Festival, Gualtiero in Bellini's opera Il Pirata at Open Air Opera in Berlin, a Bel Canto Gala Concert at Zaragoza Concert Hall, the tenor roles in Mozart's Requiem, Dvorak's Stabat Mater and Handel's Messiah with South Denmark Philharmonic, and several Bach concerts throughout Europe. Villadsen is also an accomplished stage director and has staged plays, cabaret shows and opera productions at theatres such as the Hamburg Chamber Opera, the InnovationArt Theatre in Berlin and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London.

Dominik Wörner

© Wolfgang M. Schmitt, Kindenheim

Mr. Hunter - Bariton

The bass-baritone Dominik Wörner studied church music, musicology, harpsichord, organ and singing in Stuttgart, Fribourg and Bern. His main teacher in singing was Jakob Stämpfli. He completed the master class for Lied with Irwin Gage in Zurich with distinction.

Dominik Wörner laid the foundation for his international career by winning first prize at the renowned International Bach Competition in Leipzig in 2002. The singer has performed the great oratorio roles in his field in the world's most important concert halls, such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Royal Albert Hall London, Théâtre des Champs Elysées Paris, Lincoln Center New York, Sydney Opera House and Tokyo Suntory Hall. In addition, he has a special passion for Lied singing. Dominik Wörner is the founder of the Kirchheimer VokalConsort, the Kirchheimer BachConsort, the Kirchheimer DübenConsort, co-founder of Sette Voci and, in addition to his solo career, an enthusiastic consort singer in various formations. As artistic director of the "Kirchheimer Konzertwinter", which he initiated, he has successfully organised a much-acclaimed concert series (not only) for early music in his Palatinate home for over 25 years.