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After piano and violin lessons, Maria Portela Larisch was accepted into the children’s choir of the Theatre of La Monnaie at the age of eight. She soon received her first singing lessons from Eunice Arias before starting to study at the IMEP (Namur, Belgium) in 2015.

Having integrated the Choir Academy of La Monnaie (MM Academy) in 2016, Maria Portela Larisch had the opportunity to work with conductors such as Michel Plasson, Antonello Macacorda, Alain Altinoglu, Paolo Carignani, Hervé Niquet, Ben Glassberg and stage directors such as Andrea Breth, Romeo Castellucci and Christophe Coppens.

Since 2018, Maria Portela Larisch has been studying at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, first with Prof. Christoph Prégardien and then with Prof. Kai Wessel. She has also developed a keen interest in improvisation with the mentorship of Michael Gees.

September 2023, she premiered the role of Hans in the opera “Gorgon” from the artist Marianna Simnett at the Berlin Art Week. In April 2024 she will premiere the role of Die Angst in Anna Korsun’s opera „Keine Angst. Sagte die Angst” commissioned by the Deutsche Oper am Rhein.

She received the Richard Wagner Verband Köln Scholarship in 2019 and the first prize in duo with Jou-an Chen at the internal Lied Competition of the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln in 2023. They were also selected to be part of the Dutch association Vrienden van het Lied in 2024.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Having time to read, to think, to stop and not do anything, surrounded by loved ones.

What is your greatest fear?

The death of people I love

Which talent would you most like to have?

Being able to change myself into any animal I would like

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

A music instrument played by a sweet musician

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Slavery and torture

What do you most value in your friends?

Their generosity

Your favourite colour?

The blue the water reflects

How would you like to die?

Old but still healthy of body and mind with loved ones near me

A ritual before singing a concert?

I like listening to the song “Practical arrangement” sung by Anne Sofie von Otter with Brooklyn Rider

What helps against stage fright?

The confidence to know that one has done everything one could to be as prepared as possible

meet Veronique & Mathilde
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