Monika Kertész Hungarian-Bulgarian born mezzo-soprano is recognized for her velvety warm voice and for her stage presence with deep emotionality and musicality. Monika expresses her musical versatility in numerous forms starting from opera, operetta, oratorio and song repertoire to contemporary music, and she also reaches out for new innovative projects. Based on this interest she founds her own performing arts collective called In-Pact with the aim of expanding the possibilities between classical music, opera and contemporary performing arts. Monika started the season of 2019/2020 with a concert series in Bulgaria with a concluding opera recital in the Bulgaria Hall at the Sofia Philharmonics presenting her favorite arias from the opera and Hungarian operetta literature. Her collaboration as a soloist with the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra continues with singing in Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri” and she is invited for the season of 2020/2021 to sing in Mozart’s Requiem (which was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic). In 2019 she sang the title role of Rossini’s La Cenerentola at the National Theatre of Pécs, Hungary. Winning the “Ambition” prize for realizing new productions in Bethlen Theater Budapest, she also made an interdisciplinary performance debut with the show Desdemonium, where her role involves contemporary dance elements, movement theatre and improvisation. The performance will be presented all over Europe from 2020 and was recently premiered at the International Shakespeare Festival Gyula. Upcoming projects for 2021 will be created on Kurtág’s Kafka-Fragmente, Ligeti’s songs and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s castle.
Monika’s opera repertoire includes the roles of Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, Flora in La Traviata, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Örzse in Kodaly’s János Háry, Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Lisetta in Haydn’s Il Mondo della Luna, Junon in Rameau’s Platée and Lisetta in Galuppi’s Il caffe di campagnia. She regularly performs in the National Theatre of Szeged, Royal Palace Baroque Theatre, National Theatre of Pécs, Savaria Festival, Budapest Spring Festival, Jewish Cultural Festival, Budapest Summer Festival. As a concert singer, she appeared around Europe and on the most prestigious stages in Hungary: Palace of Arts (Mupa) Budapest, Grand Hall of Franz Liszt Music Academy, Erkel Theater and Budapest Music Center. Monika recently sung Kodály’s Te Deum with the Hungarian National Radio Orchestra conducted by the renowned Tamás Vásáry and Haydn’s Die sieben Worte des Erlösers am Kreuze with the National Philharmonic Orchestra led by György Vashegyi. She appears also with Savaria Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gergely Madaras, Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, Savaria Baroque Orchestra, Orfeo Orchestra and Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra.
Starting to play the piano at age of 8, Monika completed piano and voice studies at the Hungarian State School of Music in Budapest. In parallel she gained Masters degrees in Linguistics and Pedagogics. Although she was offered the opportunity to conclude a PhD as a Linguist, instead she commits herself to music, singing and performing and chooses to continue her training as a singer. She was accepted to the Operastudio Opera Viva in Budapest led by András Kürthy stage director, former program director and chief dramaturge at the Budapest State Opera. In the Studio Monika was trained by musical and artistic professionals from the Hungarian State Opera and the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. She prepared the roles of Dorabella Cosi fan tutte, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Örzse in Kodály’s János Háry.
She studied in Budapest with Bernadett Wiedemann, in London with Marilyn Rees from RWSMD, and Idit Arad later in Italy with Enza Ferrari from Accademia della Scala. She takes part at the Rossini Academy’s training program in Pesaro with Alberto Zedda and at the masterclasses of Julia Hamari, Walter Moore and Katalin Schultz.
Monika is 2nd prize winner at the 29th International “Piero Boni” Opera Competition as the best female singer. She is finalist at the International Rotary Opera Contest in Lisbon and was chosen to sing at the gala concert in Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos. In 2015, she was a finalist at the International Opera Competition in Clermont-Ferrand. She receives the talent support award from the Hungarian Rotary Foundation and her recital series were supported by Kogart Artistic Foundation.