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FAVA 2023 in France
June 11 to July 6

Voice and Interpretation

Hubert Weller, Bass-baritone

Born in Montreal, Canada, the French-German Bass-baritone studied voice at the Conservatoire d’Aix en Provence, then at the CNIPAL in Marseille, and acting at the Cours Florent in Paris.He made his debut in the French capital in 1988 at the Comédie Française as an actor-singer in Esther by Racine and also in La Cagnotte, a vaudeville by Labiche. Other appearances in various operas and operettas followed during six years with the Company Opéra Eclaté, touring in France and Spain.He has sung more than a numerous different roles in many Offenbach’s operettas in Paris with the Philipppe Ermelier Company. For 25 years, he is also a successful singing teacher, working with singers from various horizons: opera, baroque music,operettas, melody, musicals, but also from the Moulin Rouge and the Lido.

Voice and Stage Direction

Dr. John A. McGuire, Tenor and Stage Director

Dr. John A. McGuire is an active teacher, director and performer. Dr. McGuire has been on the faculty of the William Lewis School of Opera as an Opera Director and Professor of Applied Voice in both France and Austria. Directing credits include, Les Contes D’Hoffmann, La belle Hélène, La Périchole, Leçons de Francais Au Étudiants Américains, The Impresario, and Le Nozze di Figaro. John has performed with several opera companies and orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. Most recently he performed the role of Emperor Altoum in Virginia Opera’s production of Turandot. Some of his other leading operatic roles include Tamino, The Magic Flute, Idomeneo, Idomeneo, Sultan, Zaide, Pedrillo, The Abduction from the Seraglio, Lippo, Street Scene, Martin, The Tender Land, Ferrando, Così fan tutte, Don José, Carmen, and Rodolfo, La Bohème. Dr. McGuire is on the music faculty of Christopher Newport University (CNU) as an Assistant Professor of Voice and the Director of Opera CNU. Operas he has directed for Opera CNU include Die Fledermaus, The Old Maid and the Thief, Così fan tutte, The Whole Truth and Gianni Schicchi. Dr. McGuire is also a member of CNU’s Torggler Summer Vocal Institute faculty where he conducts Master Classes, Private Lessons and presents an Opera Workshop seminar. He has taught voice at the University of Texas at Austin, Northwestern University, and maintains a private voice studio

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Master Class Guests

Isabelle Aboulker, Composer

Isabelle Aboulker was born in 1938 into a family of artists and musicians. Her grandfather Henry Fevrier was a renowned composer and student of Massenet, Faure and Messager. Her father Marcel Aboulker was a cinematographer and writer. She studied piano, accompaniment and composition at the  Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, while composing for the cinema, theater and television. Early in her career she decided to dedicate her time to collaboration with singers, as the heiress of French Art Song tradition.

Anne Grappotte, Pianist Coach

Mrs Grappotte is a Professor of Vocal Accompaniment at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, where she teaches art song repertoire to pianists and singers. She worked in master class with Christa Ludwig, Gerard Souzay, Regine Crespin.She has taught French art song in the Musikhochshule of Vienna, the Hochschule für Musik of Frankfort, the Northern Royal College of Music of Manchester and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.


Mahour Arbabian, Collaborative Pianist

After obtaining her Bachelor's Degree at the University of Tehran, Mahour Arbabaian she continued working there as a professional studio pianist and also began serving as music theory faculty at the Tehran Conservatory of Music.


Mahour moved to the United States in 2018 to pursue a Master's Degree in Collaborative Piano at the University of Michigan under renowned pianist and vocal coach, Martin Katz, where she also earned a Specialist Degree in vocal coaching in 2022. She enjoys working as a coach and répétiteur, and has played multiple opera productions at the university as well as the Aspen Music Festival and School. Mahour moved to Vienna, Austria in Fall 2022 to pursue a Postgraduate Certificate in Opernkorrepetition (opera coaching) at MDW (Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien). 

Sofija Nedic, Collaborative Pianist

Sofija Nedic graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with the Master Degree in Piano Performance and

 is a prize winner of over 20 international piano competitions in Italy, France, Austria, Serbia, Greece, Slovakia and in the USA. She performed as a soloist with the San Jose Youth Symphony Orchestra in California Theater and at their European Tour in Prague, Bratislava and Ljubljana.

Sofija gave numerous recitals in Belgrade, Paris, Vienna and San Francisco. She has been actively engaged as the accompanist at renowned music competitions and concerts internationally.

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