CELEBRATION OF THE DAY OF INDEPENDENCE AND UNITY
Katja Konvalinka, soprano
Irena Yebuah Tiran, mezzo-soprano
Klemen Torkar, tenor
Darja Mlakar Maležič, piano
Graduated from the Ljubljana Academy of Music in 1999 with a degree in piano (in the class of Prof. Acij Bertoncelj) and in 2000 in solo singing (in the class of Prof. Eva Novšak Houška). She continued her studies of opera and concert singing at the College of Music and Fine Arts in Graz with prof. Ulf Bästlein. There, in 2004 she received her master’s degree with honors in opera and in 2006 also with honors in concert singing. She completed her specialization with soprano prof. Vlatka Oršanić at the Ljubljana Academy of Music. She has performed in opera houses in Slovenia, Austria and Croatia. This year at the SNG Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, she sang Ana in Frid’s mono opera The Diary of Anne Frank, before that she performed there as Fanny (Rossini’s Marriage Contract), Princess Ninetto (In Love with Three Oranges by S. Prokofiev), the first forest fairy ( Dvořák’s lyrical opera Rusalka), Frasquita (Bizet’s Carmen), Pedro (Massenet’s Don Quixote) and Anna (Verdi’s Nabucco). At the summer festival in Split she sang Zerlino in Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, at the Leoben City Theater she was Marinka (Smetana’s comic opera The Bride), Gretchen (Lortzing’s comic opera The Wild Hunter) and Hortense (Heuberger’s operetta Opera Dance). At the Theater im Palais in Graz, she has performed in several of Mozart’s operas (such as Despina in Così fan tutte, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Servilia in La clemenza di Tito). She performed at the SNG Maribor Opera in the role of the first lady (Mozart’s Magic Flute) and Frasquite in Carmen. Since 2011 he has been running the Slovenian Chamber Music Theater. She co-produced it with Cankarjev dom in Menotti’s operas Telefon (Lucy, 2011) and Zmikavt in stara devica (Laetitia, 2014), in Gluck’s Deceived Judge (Fatima, 2012), Piccinni’s opera La Cecchina (Vitez Armidoro, 2014), Cui’s fairy-tale opera Little Red Riding Hood (2013), presents Directing Exercise for the opera The Maid’s Maid (Pergolesi – The Mistress’s Maid, Serpina, 2015). She was also Primadona in Strniša’s chamber opera Mnemosyne, which was selected in 2007 at the Kranj Week of Slovenian Drama for the best performance based on an original Slovenian text (I. Lovrić). She also sang the role of Bastien in Mozart’s one-act play Bastien and Bastienne and the role of Metka in an adaptation of Humperdinck’s fairy-tale opera Janko and Metka. She performed as a soloist at the New Year’s concert with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra 2012 in Rutter’s Magnificat (conductor: Martina Batič), in Mahler’s Mourning with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra (2011), in Bach’s Passion after St. John with the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra (both under the baton of Uroš Lajovic), in Mahler’s Second Symphony in Graz, in Saint-Saëns’s Christmas Oratorio with conductor Igor Švara, in the cantata Anna Akhmatova by composer Tina Mauko with conductor Marko Letonba, in Pergoles Aleksandar Spasić and in several Mozart and Haydn masses around Slovenia. She also performs intensively with solo songs: she has given full-length recitals in Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Italy and Serbia. She has recorded CDs entitled Shepherd on the Rock and Mnemosyne (chamber opera by Gregor Strniša).
Irena Yebuah Tiran
After graduating from high school, Irena Yebuah Tiran started singing with prof. Dorothea Cestnik Spasić at SGŠ in Ljubljana. She graduated with honors from the Salzburg Mozarteum with prof. Ingrid Mayr and completed postgraduate studies – solo in the class of prof. Wolfgang Holzmair. She is the recipient of several awards. She attended several master classes (Marjana Lipovšek, Breda Zakotnik, Alfred Burgstaller). She also studied at Grace Bumbry in Salzburg. In 2000, she performed for the first time on the boards of the Ljubljana Opera in the role of Kerubin in Mozart’s Figaro’s Wedding. She has collaborated with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the Klagforum Wien ensemble and conductors such as Jonatan Nott, Riccardo Chailly, Emilio Pomarico, Donald Runambles, Evan Christ, Marko Letonja,… She is a member of the vocal ensemble Nova in Vienna (performances at the Salzburg, Bregenz Festival, Styriarte, Ruhrtrienal, Styrian Autumn Festival, Wien Modern, Wiener Festwochen, …). In the 2007/08 season, she performed with the ensemble in the Berio Symphony for 8 soloists and orchestra with the Vienna Philharmonic, and in the premiere of Haas’ opera Melancholia at the Opera national de Paris. Irena also dedicates herself to performing contemporary music both at home and abroad. She has participated in numerous premiere performances by Slovenian composers (Petrič, Stanič, Sojer Voglar, Dekleva, Habet, Kumar, Vrhunčeva,…) and foreign ones (Furrer, Haas, Lang, Haubenstock, Hoellskyeve…). She teaches solo singing at the music school in Novo mesto and gives concerts as a soloist and a member of chamber ensembles both at home and abroad.
Tenor Klemen Torkar began his singing career with baritone Jakob Jeraša at the Tržič Music School, and continued with prof. Marjan Trček at the Ljubljana Conservatory of Music and Ballet. He completed his singing studies at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana with prof. Matjaž Robavs and prof. Pija Brodnik. He received the Prešeren AG Award in Ljubljana for his role as Orpheus in the Monteverdi Opera of the same name. In SNG Maribor, he played the role of the Puss in Boots (C. Cui: The Puss in Boots) and the role of the Priest and the Gunsmith in Mozart’s Magic Flute. In the SNG Opera and Ballet Ljubljana he performed in the role of the Shepherd in the opera of the same name by P. Šavli. Under the auspices of SKGG he appeared in the roles of: Judge (Ch. W. Gluck: The Deceived Judge), Wolf (C. Cui: Little Red Riding Hood), Marquis of Conchiglia (N. Piccini: La Cecchina) and as a Hero in the contemporary opera by Tomaž Svete Hero of our time. At TEMSIG in 2013, he took the highest ranking in the highest category. The most important concert performances are a tenor solo in Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, a concert of opera arias conducted by Marko Letonja, a solo recital in the Knight’s Hall of Ljubljana’s Križanke and a guest appearance in Monteverdi’s Evenings of the Blessed Virgin in Berlin.
Darja Mlakar Maležič
Darja Mlakar Maležič began her musical education at the age of nine by playing the piano (with Prof. Marjana Križman), and later the cello. She graduated from the High School of Music under the mentorship of prof. Gite Mally.
In 1999 she graduated with honors from the Academy of Music in Ljubljana in the class of prof. Dubravka Tomšič-Srebotnjak, and in 2002 from piano pedagogy. Already during her studies, as well as after, she had several solo and chamber concerts in Slovenia, Austria, Croatia and Italy. In addition to her studies, she received additional training in master classes with Jacob Lateiner, Martyn van den Hoek, Robert Ward and Arnulf von Arnim.
She is currently an accompanist and piano teacher at the Conservatory of Music and Ballet in Ljubljana, where she focuses mainly on working with young singers. She also collaborates with established singers, both at concerts and master classes. She regularly performs in children’s opera performances (Humperdinck: Janko and Metka, Mozart: Bastien and Bastiena, Cui: Little Red Riding Hood), and this season also in the performance of the Slovenian Chamber Music Theater Zmikavt and the Old Virgin, G.C. Menotti.