Music Drama Basic Training
Marie Helle started her teaching career shortly after having graduated in drama and voice from the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart, where she was immediately hired to offer courses for singers. Simultaneously she worked as a director, playwright, actress and singer for musical theatre, musical and spoken theatre for numerous organizations. She was a director for contemporary and historical musical theatre (premiere of „Four Saints in three Acts“, Thompson/Stein, Stuttgart, „Rappresentatione“, Cavalieri, Aachen, „Le Retour de Printemps“, Fiocco, at the Flanders Festival in North-Rhine Westphalia), musical (Westside Story, Trossingen, Germany), theatre for children/puppet theatre (FITZ, Stuttgart), cabaret and performed solo programmes (literature and music )in a variety of venues. Moreover she set work for vocalists, for example at the Semperoper in Dresden.
As an actress and singer she performed at the Staatstheater Stuttgart, the Altes Schauspielhaus Stuttgart, the Theaterhaus Stuttgart, the Theater im Westen and the Renitenztheater in Stuttgart, just to name a few. For “Musik der Jahrhunderte” Stuttgart she played the lead in the world premiere of “Des Kaisers neues Kleid” by Manuel Hidalgo, directed by Christian Kohlmann. Between the years 1989 and 2008, Marie Helle produced and directed her own plays and music theatre programmes for the Forum Theater Stuttgart. She received the renowned grant for performing arts from the Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg for her work as singer-performer and writer.
She was commissioned by the cultural office of the city of Stuttgart, Department Music School, to write lyrics and be the dramatic adviser for the musical “Zeit Show”. Her mise-en-scène of the opera “Orfeo ed Euridice” by Christoph Willibald Gluck, performed at the Goethe Gymnasium, was awarded the first prize in the “School Award of the district Ludwigsburg” competition, praising the successful combination of didactics and art.
In celebration of the Schiller Year 2009, she was commissioned to conceptualize and direct the “Schiller Musical” in Marbach am Neckar.
She created and directed “Europa rennt, und wo bin ich?” within the cultural framework programme of the International Charlemagne Prize of the City of Aachen, combining experimental and improvisational theatre with classical art songs.
Her specializing in scene work with singers made her an expert to work creatively in individual coaching situations for acting professionals to prepare for concerts, song cycles or operas. Furthermore Marie Helle was employed by the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) to provide training for priests in the field of presentation skills and text studies in group and individual trainings. In addition, she held courses for voice training and body awareness during the intensive stages of the rehearsals of the Camerata Nova, Junger Süddeutscher Kammerchor and the Motettenchor der Stadtkirche Ludwigsburg.
Marie Helle was on faculty at three well-known Universities (Stuttgart, since 1991- present, Cologne/Aachen 1998-2012, Frankfurt 2009-2012). She works in the fields of scene interpretation, opera and musical theatre, conceptualisation and presentation of art songs and aria, body and voice training as well as stage and audition training. Since 1991 she has been developing the newly introduced scenic lessons for the Opera School and the faculty for vocal arts . These courses were being held at the transition from the bachelor programmes to the opera school in Stuttgart.
Marie Helle’s teaching includes all basic elements of acting training, from body awareness, breathing techniques and improvisation to traditional acting techniques. In both theory and practice she coaches and conceptualizes both interpretation and staging of opera scenes. Her pedagogical approach has always been to modify these elements in order to fit them to the specific needs of singer performers.
In 1998 she took on an additional teaching assignment at the Academy of Music and Dance Cologne/Aachen and 2009 she started teaching at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt- thus offering courses at three professional cultural education centres. Ever since she has been combining the various information she received from her students, to develop new approaches and special synergies within her field of work.
She conceived the newly introduced course “Directing Opera” for the Department of Musicology at the Goethe University Frankfurt and the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt, in which an important bridge was built between theoretical and practical education for future opera directors and dramaturgists.
In 2012 she started teaching at the Department of Voice and Music Theatre of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. Within the Bachelor Programme Voice she holds the course Music Drama Training. She offers individual and group trainings.
In addition to her academic career in Germany and Austria, Marie Helle offers workshops and classes internationally (Conservatory Zagreb, Croatia; Academy Ochsenhausen, Germany, Symposium for Vocal Coaching at the University of Vienna, Austria, to name a few).