”Varied experience, superb artistic vision and rehearsal technique, excellent communication skills and compelling plans for the future,” Artistic Director Ville Matvejeff lists the merits of the newly recruited chorus master of the Savonlinna Opera Festival. Jan Schweiger, 42, was selected for the position unanimously. Starting in his role immediately, he will steer the choir toward next summer’s festival.
“We will have an inspiring and fulfilling time together, there is no question about that,” Jan Schweiger says. “In my audition I immediately noticed that this chorus isn’t only made of excellent voices but also of singers passionate about opera. This means that besides singing, these people want to tell a story with their entire being. The best opera choruses manage to live the opera on stage and have an even bigger impact on the audience without losing any of their musical excellence. I really feel this strongly and we will make the most of it, together with the fantastic conductors and directors who will be working with us.”
Austrian-born Schweiger, who has studied choral and orchestral conducting, graduated with honours from Mozarteum University Salzburg. He has worked as the choirmaster and conductor of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen in Belgium since 2014. Prior to this, his engagements have included conducting the Heidelberg Opera choir and singing in the acclaimed Arnold Schoenberg choir in Vienna. While conducted by Schweiger, the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen Chorus was nominated for an International Opera Award in London in the Best Chorus category. Schweiger has also won a young artist’s award in Heidelberg in 2009.