Michel Fenasse-Amat, writer-composer-performer

He was born in Toulouse in 1969 and studied the piano and voice in his home town alongside his time at school and university. He was a baritone and graduated from the Conservatoire Regional de Musique de Bordeaux. He then went on to finish his training in the opera masterclasses Bonaldo Giaiotti on the Francisco Viñas foundation in Barcelona.

He has won international prizes for voice including 3rd prize in the « San Remo International Musical » which he won at the Festival della Lirica in San Remo (Italy) in 2000.

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He has performed on some of the greatest stages of classical music and opera : the Teatro Alfieri di Torino, the Auditorium del Conservatori del Gran Teatre del Liceu de Barcelona, at the festival Les Nuits Musicales de Nice, the Opéra de Montpellier, the Halle aux Grains de Toulouse, the Salle Jacques-Thibaud now called the Théâtre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, the Cité de la Musique et de la Danse de Strasbourg… Among his performances : Figaro in the Marriage of Figaro, the vicar in Albert Herring by Britten, the grandfather clock in l’Enfant et les Sortilèges by Ravel or even Le Travail du Peintre by Poulenc…

In 2008 he founded the Compagnie Alma Cantoa which he directs and performs in, with works such as the opera Orfeo written around music by Vivaldi (Salle Gérard-Philipe de Martignas-Bordeaux/Auditorium Maison des choeurs de Montpellier) or El Café de Chinitas based on music by Garcia Lorca at the Théâtre des Mazades in Toulouse or Le Petit Rousseau Musical Illustré at the Comédie Bastille in Paris and on tour afterwards around France…

In 2014 he founded the Festival Musical et Littéraire d’Arnaga which he also directs (in the museum villa of Edmond Rostand in Cambo-Les-bains, Basque country – under the label Maisons des Illustres du Ministère de la Culture).

As writer and composer, he wrote the album Aria Pirenèus which came out in 2016 (label Agorila).

Pierre Csillag, arrangements and music direction

Pierre Csillag was born in Budapest (Hungary) in 1938. He studied music at the Béla Bartók Conservatory in Budapest (piano and composition) then at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris (piano and conducting).

Alongside the music, he studied to be an engineer and went as far as getting a doctorate in engineering at ENSEEIHT in Toulouse. He then worked as a researcher and teacher in 3 of the high schools in Toulouse until his retirement.

During his career as a teacher and researcher he pursued his passion for music at a very high level and notably:

  • Musical director of the Toulouse University orchestra for 22 years
  • Pianist at the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse for over 40 concerts.
  • Piano accompaniment (and occasionally for the Conservatoire Régional de Musique and the Toulouse International  Voice competition).
  • He often goes back to Hungary to do piano accompaniments at the International Music Academy in Balassagyarmat.

He is also a composer and has written works for piano and a variety of wind and string instruments including the Hungarian cimbalom. Among his many compositions are pieces for voice, choir, string orchestra, chamber music ensembles… some of which have been edited in Hungary and in the US.

Pierre Csillag has written arrangements and orchestrations of the opera Orfeo (this opera was instigated and founded by Michel Fenasse-Amat around music by Vivaldi and other compositions from the XVIIIth century).

He has also done the arrangements and orchestrations for the Aria Pirenèus

The singers on the album :

The choir of Alma Cantoa (singers from the region of Occitania and Spain)
The vocal ensemble Le Diapason Villefranchois (Villefranche-de-Lauragais)

Extras for concerts :
The men’s choir Asphodèle (Soual, Tarn)
Choir Ultreia (Lézignan-Corbières)
Les Chœurs de Carcassonne

Guitar and mandolins quintet from the album

Mandolins : Mireille Bazan e Maeva Dupuy
Mandolas : Michel Calpena e Jordane Ensergueix
Guitar : Bernard Saubion e Jean-Luc Bazan

All the musicians are from the mandolin and guitar orchestra Estudiantina in Saint-Girons (Couserans, Ariège).

Conjunt Orquestral

Véronique Bracco, piano
Sébastien Lopez, violin
Nathalie Ouradou, cello
Pascal Lawrynowicz, percussion
Patrick Mandrou, horn
Eric Rutschle, horn