From September 2019 onwards, a new team will be responsible for the singing department of LUCA Music. New teachers Thomas Blondelle and Ilse Eerens, both very present on the international podia, will be involved in a close cooperation with main subject teacher Catherine Vandevelde. In this way, students will be taught by a particularly complementary team, an idea in which LUCA strongly believes. Together with recently appointed chair of vocal studies Peter Jeurissen a bright future lies ahead.
After having received various national and international awards (including IMKEB '92), Belgian coloratura Catherine Vandevelde experienced a flourishing concert practice that brought her from everywhere in Europe to Brazil (Brazil – tour with Coro Santa Cecilia of Rome led by J. Greeves-Smith). She worked with conductors such as N. Cleobury, Y. Levi, G. Octors, M. Soustrot, A. Rahbari, ... and also made various Radio-, TV- and CD- recordings. For her rendition of Queen of the Night / Mozart, Diario de Avila spoke of an ‘Esplendida Reina de la Noche’. La Dernière Heure titled ‘Divine Susanne’ (Le Nozze di Figaro) and De Morgen wrote "... a very beautiful voice that can show off a sparkling coloratura" (Mater Dolorosa / Sternefeld). In addition, she taught for many years at the samw Tielt, the Municipal Conservatories in Bruges and Hasselt as well as at the Royal Conservatory Antwerp. Since she became professor of singing at LUCA School of Arts / Campus Lemmens six years ago, many of her students have found their way to the stage and have won prizes at major competitions.
Belgian tenor Thomas Blondelle studied singing with Catherine Vandevelde. At the Catholic University of Leuven he obtained a master's degree in musicology. He was awarded the Prize for a Young Promising Contestant at the Viñas Competition (Barcelona) and the Second Prize at the Concours Reine Elisabeth in Brussels, as well as the Belvedere Competition in Vienna. While still studying, he made his debut at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels). He left for Germany in 2006, where he sang at the Staatstheater Braunschweig. In the recent past, he was invited by many opera houses, orchestras and festivals, amongst others the Bayerische Staatsoper in München, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, the Volksoper in Wien, La Monnaie in Brussels, the Komische Oper in Berlin, the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan, the BBC Proms, the Edinburgh Festival, the Schleswig Holstein Festival, the Staatsoper Stuttgart, Opéra National du Rhin, Cincinnati Opera and the New York Philharmonic. He gave recitals in Japan for the Tokyo Musashino Foundation, Le Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris), in Berlin and China.
Belgian soprano Ilse Eerens began her vocal studies at the age of 14 at the Lemmens Institute in Louvain/Belgium with Lieve Jansen. She then joined the New Opera Academy in The Netherlands as a student of Jard van Nes. Equally sought-after as a concert performer, Ilse Eerens’ repertoire ranges from Bach to Honegger and contemporary works. She performed on many national and international podia, such as Muntschouwburg Brussel, Salzburger Festspiele, Covent Garden, Theater an der Wien, Bregenzer Festspiele, Opéra de Lyon and New National Theatre Tokyo. Ilse Eerens has also worked with conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Hartmut Haenchen, Philippe Herreweghe, Kazushi Ono, Lorenzo Viotti and Frans Brüggen. Awards include the Arleen Auger prize in the International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands and the 3rd prize at the ARD Musikwettbewerb 2006. Last year she was awarded by Klara as soloist of the year.