Manuela

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Manuela lives and works in Netherlands since 2002. Her singing career spans over 20 years. She sang important roles as a soloist in renowned opera houses and concert halls, particularly in Germany. In addition to her performances, she has always taught. After building her vocal studio Manuela Ochakovski’s directive is focused entirely on giving singing lessons to professionals and amateurs and to coaching professional singers.

The soprano Manuela Ochakovski is of Romanian origin. She graduated with honors from the musicacademy in Iasi (Romania). Following her studies, she was employed from 1986 to 1991 as an opera singer at the State Opera of Timisoara (Romania) where she, among others, sang the roles of Queen of the night, Gilda, Olympia and Rosina. During this period she was frequently invited by the most important Romanian symphony orchestras for gala-concerts and tv appearances.
In the two subsequent seasons she sang as a guest at the Städtischen Bühnen in Regensburg as Gilda in ‘Rigoletto’ and Lucia in ‘Lucia di Lammermoor ‘. From 1993 to August 2000 she was connected with the Oldenburg State Theatre where she built up a large repertoire, including the role of Sophie (‘Der Rosenkavalier’, directed by Brigitte Fassbender) and Rosina (‘Il Barbiere di Seviglia’, with Dietrich Henschel as Figaro).
She obtained a great success in the world premiere ‘An den schönen blauen Donau’ by Franz Hummel (conductor Peter Kuhn, director H. Lukas-Kindermann) in Dortmund and two premieres in Stuttgart with the Stuttgarter Philharmonie (conductor Lothar Zagrosek). In Frankfurt am Main she sang the role of Leila in ‘Die Wände’ by Adriana Hölszky (conductor Bernhard Kontarsky, director Hans Hollmann).
She filled in the season 2001-2002 in the Staatstheater Hannover one of the leading roles in the spectacular world premiere of John Cage’s Europeras I-‘ V ‘ (conductor Johannes Harneit, director Nigel Lowery). In 2002 she was engaged as a soloist at the Zeitgenössische Oper Berlin, as Isolde in ‘Le Vin herbé’ by Frank Martin.
Manuela Ochakovski works closely with the composers H.J. Hespos, Adriana Hölszky and Violeta Dinescu. Many concert tours brought her to Italy, the United States, Canada, Austria, Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. Guest appearances and concerts were booked in Regensburg, Trier, Lübeck, Rostock, Stuttgart, Dortmund, Weingarten, Aachen, Frankfurt am Main and Berlin. There are several radio recordings made by Manuela Ochakovski’s rendition of the music of H.J. Hespos at the Südwestfunk and Radio Bremen.
Manuela Ochakovski is already active as a singing teacher since 1986. Her singing studio ‘il Portamento’ grows slowly to an international reputation. In addition to the singers from the Netherlands many others from Belgium, England, Switzerland and Canada have already found their way to ‘il Portamento’. Some of them are now employed as a soloist on national and international stages.

 Manuela and Javier Camarena

Noémie Degilles
My encounter with…
Manuela can be summarized in three words:
SINCERITY, KNOWLEDGE, GENEROSITY
Knowledge: because this woman knows what singing means, her knowledge is global. She brought me through all, and I mean ALL aspects of the vocal technique, not just bits and pieces. None of my questions remained unanswered. Nothing is just due to just luck, or too much garlic the night before.
Generosity: She could feel what a I was feeling and was able to guide me. For that, she used all her energy, concentration and will. She never hid any information from me and I sensed that she did pass on all that she had learned so that I could sing better and better.
Sincerity: This means no lies, no hiding, no guru feeling to mask some weakness. I wanted to learn, really go to the bottom of it and she did understand, no great speech about my voice. No, she just truely and sincerely worked with great patience on my voice without presuming what it should or would be. She took all tensions one by one. A year later, my real voice came out of its hiding.
These three aspects bring me to two more words: MUSICALITY and INTELLIGENCE
Manuela embraces a person not as a voice or potential star student but as a whole human being. And when sincerity, knowledge, experience, generosity, concentration, work and patience are there, everything becomes clear and connected, and she did help me to create something real, true and let the music shine and vibrate and live through my real voice and personality.
But, Manuela, the most amazing gift you gave me is the capacity to listen, to feel much more deeply, clearly and fiercely the beauty and love that singing and music can bring. Because now I know, what it takes, you answered all my questions, there is no secret. Now, I can breathe and feel the music with an inside eye. How can a feeling be greater than that: Thank you Manuela   Noémie Degilles, soprano, Montreal

Keith Tillotson
Why is working…
with Manuela so special? Well, I could write tomes on the subject. But let me just mention these four reasons:
1) Manuela respected the positive aspects of my previous training. So I didn’t feel that I had to start all over again from zero, forget everything I’d ever learned, or join a vocal sect. That made it easy and natural for me to trust her fully, right from the start.
2) Manuela prefers not to go for quick fixes or miracle solutions, but rather to work in small-but-challenging steps. She meets me where I am and then helps me to move toward where I’d like to be. Though the results are immediate, I always feel free to progress at my own pace.
3) Manuela has helped me to simplify singing to a set of basic principles, which I can then apply to any style of music. No matter what I’m performing, these principles always serve me well. One of these, for example, is that less is often more.
4) Manuela encourages me to integrate body, mind and soul in my singing. She has a rare gift for hearing and expressing what is authentic, essential and true in a voice, a text, a musical phrase, or a dramatic moment. So it is always a joy for me to prepare a new piece or a new role with her.
After several years of lessons, I feel that we’ve only just begun our journey together. That means the best is yet to come!   Keith Tillotson, Bass, Brussels