Megan Kahts

mezzo soprano
Megan-web-9599 Kopie_small

Photo: Xavier Saer

“A wonderful mezzo, internationally already well established especially in the baroque genre, and here is a devilishly good Cherubino, a scallywag, a rascal. Megan (…) sings and plays everyone against the wall, it’s surprising that this little devil was not put against the wall by the count. Superb and light-hearted and funny; a great voice and Mozart par excellance!“

Der Online Merker

That’s the thing with love: on the one hand, it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world. On the other hand, love is often complicated, sometimes exhausting, and in some instances even fatal – especially on stage – or leaves one feeling lonely. Very lonely. Some of the theatrical lovers which South African singer Megan Kahts has assembled on her new CD know this all too well. This promises to be pure drama for the ears. What could be more exciting?


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Joseph Haydn‘s cantata ‘Arianna a Naxos‘ marks the origin point for this program. Originally written for piano and soprano, it is presented here in an adaptation by one of Haydn’s contemporaries. The famous title heroine is abandoned by Theseus and is left behind alone on an island, where she perishes, grief-stricken by pain and loss. The titular hero of Händel‘s cantata has a similar fate. This time, it is the sorceress Armida who is left behind in a ravaged land by her lover Rinaldo. What both dramatic cantatas have in common is that the action escalates towards an essential conflict, dramaturgically as well as musically.

Two ‘forest arias‘ by Georg Friedrich Händel complete this program: ‘Ombra mai fu‘ stems from the opening scene of the opera Xerxes. Nowhere else has the shadow of a tree – in this case, a sycamore tree for which the title hero as developed strong feelings – been sung about this beautifully. ‘Verdi prati‘ from Alcina is a quiet moment within the opera: the hero realizes and accepts the truth, upon which he requires a calm moment to reflect on his loss.

For Megan Kahts, this repertoire is a labour of love. At the same time, recording the cantatas was a deeply emotional process: “The emotional journey which the heroine needs to suffer through is something that I believe every adult human has likewise had to go through. It is a tough moment in life when someones leaves you, and as a performer, I am always honest when interpreting such emotions. I step into these roles, and they are the same types of feelings twice, just written differently.“ The South African singer is accompanied by the Carestini Ensemble Vienna. The ensemble, which plays on historical instruments, is named after the eunuch Giovanni Carestini and is dedicated to the kind of repertoire which was composed approximately around the years of Carestini’s lifetime.

Mezzo soprano Megan Kahts, born in South Africa, received her education at the University for Music and Performative Arts in Vienna, where she has been living since 2009. She performs on international stages, specializing in old and contemporary music. Megan Kahts has won sought-after awards at renown competitions. She is a passionate stage artist and a chamber musician at heart who began her musical education as a pianist and started her singing career as a teenager in South Africa. In 2023, she gave her debut at the Bregenzer Festspiele in a newly composed opera by Fabian Panisello for the Neue Oper Vienna. Feeling equally at home on opera stages and in concert halls, Megan Kaht’s regular Lieder recitals can be heard as part of various international concert series.

Her excitement for German Lieder, performed mostly with pianist Stephan Matthias Lademann, is at the core of her musical talent. Megan Kahts has a masters degree in Lied and Oratoria Singing, was taught by chamber singer Robert Holl and specialized in historical performance practice with Stefan Gottfried. Megan Kahts is also a popular vocalist for church music and oratorios. Between her engagements, Megan Kahts participated in many competitions. She has been nominated by the chamber opera Schloss Rheinsberg and the Alte Musik Festival Aria Borealis Bodø. Likewise, she won first prize at the International Lied Duo Competition in Sofia (Bulgaria) and third prize at the International LiederDuo Competition in Groningen (Netherlands).

The Carestini Ensemble Vienna was founded by Megan Kahts and consists of musician colleagues with whom she has worked closely on baroque opera and chamber music projects. The ensemble specializes first and foremost on works composed during the 18the century. Händel, Hasse, Gluck, Caldara and other composers wrote parts and roles for the voice of eunuch Giovanni Carestini, after whose memory this ensemble was named. All members of the ensemble live in Vienna, specialize in historical performance practice, and play historical instruments.