A native of Belgium with roots in France, Kristof Van Grysperre is a conductor, vocal coach, and pianist living in California. In addition to his work conducting operas such as The Consul (Long Beach Opera, Chicago Opera Theater) and Fallujah (New York City Opera), Kristof Van Grysperre serves as the artistic director of Angels Vocal Art, which recently produced an opera called Anya17.
Angels Vocal Art is an organization that stages new and older works of opera in order to work with emerging artists to promote the art form in the community through excellent performances. Anya17 was composed by Adam Gorb with a libretto by Ben Kaye. The opera was written to help raise awareness of the issue of sex trafficking across the world and is the first opera to tackle this difficult subject.
The opera, which premiered in Liverpool in 2012, has been performed all over the world. The story, which is based on extensive research into the topic, follows four young women from Eastern Europe who are sold into sexual slavery and must find a way to survive. The opera has won the Best Stage or Film Production Media Award from the Human Trafficking Foundation and was nominated for the prestigious Classical Music Award from the UK’s Royal Philharmonic Society.