Der Kaiser von Atlantis – Lyon

I am currently middle in the run of shows here in Lyon. Today we had the 5th show of 7 in total. We had 2 shows already for schoolchildren, all very noisy, but rewarding in terms of applause and reactions.

Tomorrow and friday we have a lunch concert in the amphitheatre in the Opera de Lyon, with the studio members of Der Kaiser Von Atlantis. There we will be performing songs of jewish composers around the second world war and Theresienstadt.


Hate and violence

Sadly the premiere in Lyon with “The man who mistook his wife for a hat” was to be the only performance that we will have here. Due to the horrible acts of violence and terrorism in Paris, all of our remaining shows were cancelled yesterday, in respect of the dead and their families. It’s a country struck with terror and destruction, and even though I am not in the city where it happens, it affects me and my colleagues’ in such a profound way. I really understand why they decided to cancel the shows, but still, it’s sad that the terrorists in a way got exactly what they wanted. They wanted to spread fear, chaos, grief and pain. And by not performing up to 4 days after this incident, we of course show respect for all the grieving families and friends out there, but we also decide to stop doing what society now even more than before needs, making beautiful art. Art that transports people, that brings them out of the harsh reality, and just for a moment maybe, brings them to a place of peace.

If we still were permitted to perform in these sad days following the horrible attacks, I know we would have made music with every fiber of our being, as Bernstein so perfectly put it: “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before”

The man who mistook his wife for a hat – Michael Nyman

I just finished a great run of shows in Annecy at Bonlieu scene national of “The man who mistook his wife for a hat”
The 1 hour long opera contains only 3 roles, Dr. P (The man who mistook his wife for a hat) Mrs. P (His wife) and Dr.S (Oliver Sacks, played by me)
This makes it a very compact show, since we never leave the stage in that hour.
But the music really beautiful, and the musicians are top notch, so it’s so much fun to sing.

The production continues in “Theatre croix rousse” in Lyon. We have 5 shows there, and then 2 more shows in “Theatre de la Cornouaille” in Quimper.

Endings / New beginnings

On friday is the last day of school for me at the Norwegian Academy of Opera in Oslo.
2 years have come to an end. I have gotten to know so many wonderful people. Made so many new friends, and I have so many new great colleagues!
I have learned so much, about singing and everything connected to that, but also about myself. I feel very ready to move on now.

New colleagues, friends and challenges await me in this next chapter of my life.
Opera Studio Lyon, and freelancing. I can’t wait!

My project with “Scenes for Fritz and Suzel” from L’Amico Fritz is coming along great!
We have gotten several concerts now:

12. 06
We will show an excerpt at the ending-party at the Opera Academy in Oslo
21. 06
A full performance at “Bjerkebæk” the home of the Norwegian writer Sigrid Undset
25. 07
A full performance at the balcony in the aula in the Norwegian Opera in Oslo.


We are working to promote the project even more.


Scenes for Fritz and Suzel Meet the artists

Ivi Karnezi - Suzel

Ivi Karnezi – Suzel

The Greek-Norwegian soprano Ivi Karnezi began her vocal studies at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo in 2004. Two years later she continued her studies at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin, Germany with Professor and opera singer Norma Sharp. During her time in Berlin, she received the RWE Dea and Norwegian Research Councils scholarship for Norwegian music students in Germany.
In 2010 she was accepted as a member of the Opera Studio of Opéra National de Lyon, where she sang in several operas in various styles, such as “Von Heute auf Morgen” by Arnold Schönberg, “Parsifal” by Wagner, “Suor Angelica” by Puccini and “Der Kaiser von Atlantis” by Ullmann. Her full scale opera debut was in 2011, at the Opernfestival Gut Immling in Germany, as Donna Anna in Mozarts “Don Giovanni”.
She has sung with conductors, such as Kazushi Ono, Bernhard Kontarsky, Gaetano d’Espinosa, Jean-Michael Lavoie, and stage directors David Pountney, John Fulljames, Richard Brunel and Jean Lacornerie.
In 2014 she received scholarships from the Norwegian Arts Council.
In June 2015 she will take part at the Nordisches Kammermusikfestival in Kiel, Germahy, together with pianists Caspar Frantz and Lilit Grigoryan, and Oslo String Quartett, performing Lieder by Brahms, Sinding, Grieg, Schubert and Fauré

Mikkel Skorpen - FritzMikkel Skorpen – Fritz

The norwegian tenor Mikkel Skorpen, is a young aspiring artist currently living in Oslo, Norway. He has been studying at the Opera Academy at the National Academy of the arts for the last two years with the teachers   Matthew M. Marriott and Elizabeth Norberg-Schültz.
Prior to hisstudies in Oslo, Mikkel studied 4 years in Zwolle, at ArtEZ Hoogeschool voor de kunsten in The Netherlands. During these years, Mikkel performed as a soloist with multiple choirs with oratorio repertoire, and also gained a lot of experience in the lied repertoire.
From august 2015 he will be a part of the Opera Studio in Lyon, where he will gain experience and work on two modern operas:
Viktor Ullmanns “Der Kaiser von Atlantis” as Harlekin and A Soldier, and Michael Nymans “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat” as Dr. S.

L’Amico Fritz – Scenes for Fritz and Suzel

After having a successful and rather short run of L’Incoronazione di Poppea, singing the role of emperor Nerone, I started last week with preparing and promoting my upcoming project;



I have formed a group which we have called “Veroverismo” It consists of:

Mikkel Skorpen
Artistic and General manager / Fritz Kobus
Ivi Karnezi
Dorina Komani
Haley Peterson
Costume design/making
Arnaud Miquel
Photography/Graphic design

The way I make the pastoral lovestory of Fritz an Suzel come together is that I have split the whole piece into 4 parts:

1. The first meeting
2. Falling in love
3. Breakdown
4. The confession

Between the 1st and 2nd and 2nd and 3rd part we will explain the story during the performance. The 3rd and 4th part are connected.

Our first performance of the project (10-15 minutes excerpt) will be the 12th of june, at the opera academy in Oslo.

Follow veroverismo:



Premiere of L’Incoronazione di Poppea

Yesterday was the premiere of L’Incoronazione di Poppea at the Opera Academy in Oslo.
All in all it was a very good performance, and people were very excited about the show.

So many great people have been working extremely hard to make the production to the wonderful whole it has become. I felt so grateful to be standing on the stage among the beautiful set designed by Nikolaus Webern, and in the amazing costumes by Haley Peterson.

Working with our director, Jacopo Spirei, has probably been the best experience in my career as a singer so far. His professionalism and understanding of the piece but also the connection to us as artists and students in the most sympathetic way was truly a wonderful experience. It was sheer joy working with him, and hopefully it is not the last time!

I also had a talk after the performance with two people from the “Bundesagentur für Arbeit”the ZAV, which came to see the show. They gave me their card and invited me to come audition for agents when I had the time in between projects in Lyon. They seemed very excited and interested.

My last performance is on monday, I can’t wait to take it to even greater heights!

“Ascendi, o mia diletta,
Della sovrana altezza
All’apice sublime”

Opera Studio Lyon 15/16 – Nerone

I am very happy to announce that I have accepted the place in the opera studio in Lyon for the 15/16 season.

I will sing the following roles:

– “Dr. S” in Michael Nymans “The man who mistook his wife for a hat”

– “Harlekin” and “A Soldier” in Viktor Ullmanns “Der kaiser von Atlantis”.

Very excited!

The next thing coming up now is the premiere of L’Incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi at the opera academy. As this will be my last production there, I see it as my master-production. So happy to have the lead role of Nerone! It is such a huge challenge, and I love it!

I will sing the following dates: 24th of April, and 27th of April.

Stay tuned,


Auditions and Preparation

I just came out of a production of Die Csardasfürstin at the Norwegian Academy of Opera, where I sang the role as young count Edwin. It was a great success, and the whole production and the cast and crew were very pleased with what we made together. We had 4 performances in a row, which was a great challenge, but non the less, a good way to experience what professional life might be like.

I will be doing some auditions now the coming week, and I will post here when I know the results. So much exciting stuff happening right now!

The next role I am singing is now in the preparation stages; Emperor Nerone in the opera “L’Incoronazione di Poppea” by Monteverdi. I am really looking forward to working with Clemens Flick again on this beautiful music, and perform it with orchestra this time, since it is the master-production.

Stay tuned!