Meesters&Gezellen is a series of concerts by young professional singers (Gezellen) and experienced colleagues (Meesters). Twenty Gezellen and four Meesters from Cappella Amsterdam will prepare a challenging programme under the musical direction of chief conductor Daniel Reuss. They will perform eight concerts throughout the Netherlands.

The project’s goal is to offer young singers experience in ensemble singing at a high level, in addition to their solo-singing education. Participants will become acquainted with the Dutch repertoire, sound and way of working together.

Tettix in mythology

Tettix is the ancient Greek word for cicada. These insects can live underground as a larva up to ten years. Once they emerge above ground they only have a few days of life left, which they then spend singing with all their heart. In Greek mythology the following story is told about these fascinating creatures:

In the beginning, before the existence of muses, cicadas were human just like everyone else. Once the muses arrived however, mankind learned how to sing and there were some who could not contain their excitement. They would do nothing but sing and, caught up in the moment, forget to eat and drink, thus finally dying of exhaustion. It is they who would become the forefathers of the modern-day cicadas. The muses gave them an extraordinary privilege: once born, they would not feel the need to feed, but would instead start singing immediately. With an emtpy stomach and a dry throat, they’d keep doing so until their final hour. After passing away, they would then tell the muses who on earth still worship them and who don’t.

Young singers tell why they participated

Meesters&Gezellen 2015 in retrospect

Listen to fragments of the 2017 edition