Special Plenary Session
(8 Sep 2017, 8:45 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.)
Topic: A well-being focused approach to teaching and learning in and through the arts.
Dr Thomas Markus Manhart studied Opera, Oratorio and Lied at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich and in Vienna with Hanno Blaschke and Helena Laszarska, and privately and in masterclasses with Sabine Schütz, Donald George, Martin Hummel and Paul Esswood. His interest for early liturgical music led him to monasteries in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain for courses in Gregorian chant, and Renaissance and Baroque singing.
Beside voice performance, Thomas concentrated on vocal therapy and vocal education as well as ethnomusicology. He obtained a teaching degree from the Bavarian Ministry of Education for music, religious sciences and German and English language, a Master of Arts in music (vocal) education, psychology and theology from Passau University as well as a PhD in Southeast Asian Music from the National University of Singapore. Thomas has been a private vocal coach and lecturer for ethnomusicology, Gamelan, and German Vocal music at all five major institutes of music education in Singapore. In 2013, he joined the School of the Arts, Singapore, as full-time music faculty supervising the voice program and world music. Since 2015, Thomas is the Head of the Music Faculty at SOTA.
His performances include solo parts as bass, later alto, in numerous sacred music concerts, e.g.Händel's Messiah, Charpentier´s Te Deum, Buxtehude´s Membra Jesu Nostri, and Vivaldi's Magnificat. He sang Colas in Mozart's Bastien and Bastienne in Germany and Purcell's Fairy Queen under Charles Brett in Spain. As recitalist, he ventures more and more to the extreme ends of music history with medieval chants and German contemporary song. In 2008, Thomas gave a joint recital with Baritone Ralph McDonald with repertoire spanning from 12th century English songs over Caldara Cantatas to songs by Weil&Brecht. In 2013, Thomas was one of the two singers in the Asian first performance of Steve Reich's "Drumming" for 10 percussionists and 2 voices, and in 2015, he was singer and celempung player in the new composition project by Dirk Stromberg and Robert Casteel at the Arts Science Museum Singapore. In 2017, Thomas sang with the opera company L'Arietta 'The Bass' in an Asian premiere of Tom Johnson's "The Four Note Opera".
His appearances as Gamelan player include the opening of Esplanade in Singapore and regular performances at the Asian Civilisations Museum, and various Scared Music and Worldmusic festivals in the region with the NUS Singha Nglaras Gamelan group and the NAFA Gamelan Ensemble, which he directed 2005 - 2013.
Thomas was co-founder and president of the chamberopera group "operastudio", and is the director of the Center for World Music, Singapore. He has also founded and registered his own voice studio, Artyfakt SingShui, providing voice lessons, vocal coaching, and German Phonetic tuition locally and students internationally via e-learning.
Please note that there are Theatre workshops delivered by ISTA on these dates. See here for more information