Mezzo-soprano Yvonne Fontane began her musical career as a flautist at the conservatoire in Munich and the Mozarteum Salzburg, before receiving her diploma at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1991. She went on to win the 1993 ESSO/NFMS Young Concert Artist Award and a commendation award from the San Francisco Opera Centre.
At the Banff Summer Arts Festival in Canada, Fontane performed her first operatic role whilst still a student. Since then she has sung a range of roles, including Cherubino at Opera Holland Park, Carmen in Raymond Gubbay’s Royal Albert Hall production, Dorabella for Stowe Opera, and Amneris in Belgium and Germany.
Fontane has given 150 performances as Carmen, and explored the character deeply. She naturally turned to the other characters in the opera, examining how they interact with Carmen, and also with each other. This study led to her directorial debut, an original production of Carmen for Stowe Opera in 2004, described in Opera Now as a ‘revelation’.
Bayerischer Rundfunk Klassik called the Munich-born singer ‘highly musical’ and ‘deeply moving’.
This summer sees her long awaited return to Stowe, where she will direct Mozart’s comic masterpiece, Le Nozze di Figaro , and perform the role of La Contessa. Yvonne’s exploration of the piece will involve a study of the pain of the invisible length of time which took place between the end of The Barber of Seville and the start of Le Nozze di Figaro , revealing a poignant take on a much beloved and familiar opera.
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