Born in Limburg, Julia Kleiter studied with William Workmann in Hamburg and with Klesie Kelly-Moog in Cologne and debuted 2004 as Pamina at Opéra-Bastille in Paris under Jiri Kout. In the meantime she has sung this role in several productions in Madrid, Zürich, at the Edinburgh Festival, in New York, Munich and at Salzburg Festival with conductors such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Marc Minkowski, Claudio Abbado or Adam Fischer.
2005 she was heard as Giunia in Lucio Silla by Johann Christian Bach under Theodor Guschlbauer with Zurich Opera in Winterthur, in Zurich she performed 2006 Serpetta in under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, 2007 Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier and Zdenka in Arabella La Finta Giardiniera unter Franz Welser-Möst and 2010 Ilia under Harnoncourt.
Other highlights of her operatic career were Papagena under Claudio Abbado in Ferrara, Baden-Baden and Modena, Susanna in in Verona, Reggio Emilia, Dresden and Paris, Celia in Mozart’s in Lucio Silla Le Nozze di Figaro unter Tamas Netopil in Venise and at the Salzburg Festival, Amor in Orfeo ed Euridice under Ricardo Muti in Florence and Euridice under Thomas Hengelbrock in Paris, Marzelline in Fidelio in Ferrara, Baden-Baden and Madrid under Claudio Abbado and in Paris under Sylvain Cambreling, Händel’s Acis und Galathea in concert in Göttingen, Ilia under Harnoncourt in Graz, Ännchen in Der Freischütz (Hengelbrock/Wilson) in Baden-Baden and Dortmund, Zendka under Ulf Schirmer and Sophie under Donald Runnicles at Deutsche Oper Berlin. 2012 she debuted highly successfull as Almirena at Lyric Opera of Chicago in Händel’s Rinaldo and returned to Paris as Zdenka under Philippe Jordan.
As a concert singer and recitalist she is guesting in all major concert halls and is working with conductors such as Helmut Rilling, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Jeffrey Tate, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Marc Minkowski, Ivor Bolten, René Jacobs, Christoph Poppen, Daniel Harding or Marek Janowski.
Several dvd and cd recordings are proving her artistic variety.
Michael Gees’ biography certainly justifies the term: exceptional. Few others can claim to have a career already behind them at the tender age of fifteen: Born in 1953 into a world of sound and music,
both parents are singers, the piano is his favourite toy at age three. Formal piano lessons follow at age five, and the young musician subsequently goes on to win the Steinway Competition at age eight and
receives a scholarship at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. The child prodigy is hailed as “Westphalian Mozart“, takes up studies at the conservatories in Detmold and Vienna and it seems as if he is fast on his way to become an internationally acclaimed pianist.
Were it not for the gifted child’s longing to explore the world of sound on his own terms, to playfully experience his self like the great masters’ music, to invent their music all over again, note for note instead of limiting himself to a technical practice regimen. Michael Gees flees the pressure of a predetermined competitional career at the age of fifteen, leaves school, conservatory and home behind, supports himself through odd jobs, works as archeological assistant and, in the process, for the duration of two full years, becomes a sailor.
Chance leads him back to the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, where he resumes his compositional studies and eventually graduates. He now develops first rate pianistic chops on his own, composes a number of works, gains international renown as lied accompanist of extraordinary proportions with Christoph Prégardien and also appears in concerts globally; in Paris, London, New York and Tokio. All the while, he nurses and feeds his preference for combining the performance of music of past masters with living inspiration, thereby creating remarkable performances with his instrument.
Turin reviewer N. Campogrande speaks of his “ingenious passion“ and goes on to write: “Gees’ playing throughout the evening seemed as if he were the creator of these compositions and kept watch hence everything might fall into place as imagined by him before his inner ear. His eyes were not those of an artist intent on reproduction, but rather shone in the lambent look of passion, so like our idea of the composer as creator.”
In 1989, Gees founds “forum kunstvereint“ in his adopted hometown of Gelsenkirchen; the Consol Theater, also installed by him, opens its doors in 2001 on the confines of the former mining area Consolidation. There, music, dance and theatre projects take shape, where children, youths and adults alike are incited and encouraged to discover and realize their own artistic impulses. A steady number of CDs have been released from 1996 onward on Kunstvereint, CPO, EMI and Challenge Classics, showcasing Michael Gees’ range.