“A voice that apparently can do anything” — mezzo-soprano and improviser Bella Adamova grew up in Prague, Czech Republic torn between, and surrounded by many cultures. This has translated to a versatility as a musician – always occupying the space somewhere in between genres. She completed her Bachelor’s in Vocal performance in London’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and her Master’s in Cologne, Germany.
The art song is a focal point for the singer. Her repertoire ranges from Bellini to George Crumb, encompassing German Lied as well as Russian romances. Laureate of the International Robert Schumann Competition in 2021, the Czech Song Prize at the Emmy Destinn Awards in London, the Martinů Prize at the International Dvořák Competition, and a finalist at the 2020 Bundeswettbewerb Gesang in Berlin. Bella sings and improvises in duo with pianist Michael Gees, their debut album Blooming was released in 2019 on Challenge Records. She made her debut with the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava performing Mahler’s Rückertlieder under Chuhei Iwasaki. With conductor Tomáš Netopil and harpsichordist Barbara Maria Willi she appeared at the Maraton Hudby Brno, and Hudební Kroměříž festivals. Upcoming highlights include a return to Fondation Royaumont for a Mahler recital as well as a debut at the Rudolfinum singing de Falla’s El Amor Brujo with Radek Baborák for the Czech Chamber Music Society.
During her studies she was involved in a number of operas, notably singing Hermia in Britten’s A midsummer night’s dream and Celia in Haydn’s La fedeltà premiata at Theater Aachen. In the coming season she will appear as the Third wood sprite in Rusalka at Theater Bielefeld. Most recently, Bella was a finalist at the international Cesti competition at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music.
Her first encounters with free improvisation were with Paulo Álvares, which she continued studying at the Basel Music Academy under Fred Frith and Alfred Zimmerlin. As an improviser she loves to explore the possibilities of using the voice acoustically, often using text in various chamber ensembles, and as a soloist. Performing contemporary music has always been a part of her concert life, recently, she was the vocal soloist in the Basel version premiere of Kagel’s La Trahison Orale lead by Jean Pierre Drouet and has performed in a newly devised interdisciplinary work curated by Hannes Seidl at the ZeitRäume festival.
Bella has had the privilege of learning from, amongst others, Lynton Atkinson, Thomas Piffka, Anne Sofie von Otter, Thomas Hampson, Christoph Prégardien, Klesie Kelly, Eva Nievergelt, Dalia Schaechter, Simon Keenlyside, Josef Protschka, Christian Immler, and Kateřina Kněžíková.