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Mezzo soprano Cora Burggraaf has sung all over the world in leading opera houses such as Royal Opera House (London), Bayerische Staatsoper (Munich), San Francisco Opera, Salzburger Festspiele and Netherlands Opera. She has also given numerous songs recitals and chamber music concerts with some of the most wonderful pianists and instrumentalists, in halls such as the Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, The Frick Collection in New York.

In the last few years she has also initiated her own projects – sprung from her wish to find new presentation formats for vocal music. In these projects she’s not shy of experimenting and for instance explores new ways for the recital format and the contact and interaction with the audience, using for instance theatrical elements. Her endeavours resulted in: a solo-performance with spoken and sung words about Ophelia, to name one. Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins, with added new texts about what would be the deadly sins of our time, to name another. The Roaring Twenties with reed quintet Calefax, where music, theatre and show overlap. La voix humaine by Poulenc in a setting where she can’t hide, as her every single move is registered by a camera. Bloot zijn en beginnen: songs presented together with diary fragments from the wonderful writer Oek de Jong. And the experiment which she names The Music is Present, where she gives songs away as presents, from one person to another, up close and personal. In the summer of 2018 she made and performed Miroir de peine et d’amour for Theatre Festival Boulevard, with music by Hendrik Andriessen and a self-written monologue. For Philharmonie Zuidnederland she adapted the monologue for Beethoven’s Egmont from the perspective of Clärchen; Egmont’s lover. Her future plans include Offers; a performance about Elsa Diepenbrock and the art of altruism – and Dag Anna; about the forgotten composer Anna Stibbe, and the right to disappear.

In reaction to the corona crisis which caused havoc in the cultural sector, Burggraaf build – together with two friends – a new non-profit platform to help freelance artists: www.samenuitthuis.nl. This is a booking website where private individuals can now book carefully selected artists directly for a performance in their private home, garden or office. The platform turned out to be a great success: many bookings are being made and the site is turning into a household name.

photo: Merlijn Doomernik