STEPHANIE HOUTZEEL: Nostalgia
Stephanie Houtzeel, mezzo-soprano · Charles Spencer, piano
‘I am neither an Athenian, nor a Greek, but a citizen of the world’, Socrates is said to have uttered. He described himself as a cosmopolitan. A cosmopolitan was somebody who wanted to annul the dichotomy between being a polis member and a polis non-member by positioning himself in the overarching order of the cosmos. Along these lines, the mezzo-soprano Stephanie Houtzeel may, of course, describe herself as a cosmopolitan. Born in Kassel, she was raised in the vicinity of Boston, where she initially studied political science and French, then music at the New England Conservatory and the Juillard School in New York (she was the first winner of Juilliard’s Vocal Arts Debut Award). Since the autumn of 2010, she has been a member of the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera. So, the dramaturgically meticulously composed programme of her first recital should be viewed as being cosmopolitan. It is a journey through three stations, three world metropolises, Vienna, New York and Buenos Aires.