Nina van Essen, in what is, remarkably, her role debut as Rosina, makes the part sound as if it was written for her, with clarity, wit, lyricism and charm. Financial Times, 20 January 2020
Since the 2019/2020 season, Nina van Essen is a member of Staatsoper Hannover, where her repertoire includes Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Rosina in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia and Il piacere in an adapted version of Handel’s La bellezza ravveduta nel trionfo del tempo e del disinganno. She performed Gwendolen Fairfax in the Swiss premiere of Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest at Théâtre Equilibre Fribourg, followed by the French premiere at Théâtre de l’Athénée in Paris in 2019.
During the 2016/2017 season, the Netherlands mezzo-soprano performed Madrigalist in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut at Dutch National Opera in a production by Andrea Breth. In 2017, she sung Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel at Grachtenfestival Amsterdam and made her debuts at Théâtre Equilibre Fribourg and Théâtre de L’Athénée in Paris singing Masha in Shostakovich’s Moskwa, Tscheremuschki. In 2018, she performed the title role in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at Dutch National Opera Academy, followed by Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen at Bredeweg Festival and Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte at Muziekzomer Gelderland as well as several parts in Delius’ A Village Romeo and Juliet at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.
As soloist, Nina van Essen performed with Krashna Musika under the baton of Ruben de Grauw, at Salone dell’Opera and performed at Concertgebouw, Muziekgebouw aan het IJ, Tivoli Vredenburg dnd de Doelen . Her concert repertoire includes Bruckner’s Requiem, Franck’s Die sieben Worte Jesu am Kreuz, Mozart’s Mass in c, Palmeri’s Misa Buenos Aires, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël.
Nina van Essen performed under the baton of conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Hartmut Haenchen, Antony Hermus, Alexander Joel, Reinbert de Leeuw, Andrea Quinn and Servaas Schreuders and was accompanied by Het Residentie Orkest, Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest, philharmonie zuidnederland and Radio Filharmonisch Orkest.
This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced. © Artistainternational, July 2020.
Three questions to mezzo-soprano Nina van Essen:
A composer: Mozart and Massenet!
What was your calling to become a singer? I think I was born with a natural feeling for music. Even as a little girl I could get completely lost in stories, books, films or theatre. I am moved when I hear someone tell a story honestly. Ever since I became a singer, this world of stories has become my home. I love the many elements of self-reflection and self-criticism that this profession brings with it. It’s a journey through myself. Sometimes it’s a fight, but most of the time I really enjoy it. The theatre / stage stole my heart. Being a singer is not just about singing well, it is about being in complete harmony with yourself, having a healthy mind, healthy body, enduring criticism but also being honest and open to keeping in touch with your own emotions, being a good actor, travelling a lot and being alone. Combining all of these elements is the ultimate challenge for me.
To be a singer – in three words: love, dedication, sacrifice.