Heidi Trautmann

564 - Laden Ince, Free Lance Opera Singer, Soprano

Lifestories of people living in our midst

Laden Ince, Free Lance Opera Singer, Soprano

born in Kizilbaş/Nicosia in 1986


The true task of an opera singer is to communicate through music


Listening to her warm voice recounting the first chapters of her life story I try to imagine the scenery she grew up in, a house in Kizilbaş/Nicosia with her parents Ayla and Ünsal Ince and her elder sister and younger brother and with her cousins living next door, the two gardens being the playground for the many children.

“My sister and one of my cousins were four and five years older than me, they were close friends and did everything together, they were not really interested in me the baby; they both had piano lessons at our house and I was left out again; they did not do it intentionally, they loved me as what I was in their eyes: the little one; they just did not realize that it made me very lonely. But it caused me to think deeply about what I could do to be included in their circle, so I asked my parents to allow me also to have piano lessons and I was very ambitious because I wanted to be respected, I wanted to get out of the isolation. My first private music teachers were Zehra Topçuoğlu and Yildan Birand.”

Were your parents in any way active musicians or music minded; I asked her.

“My mother was a physiotherapist, she loved music though,  but my father, a civil engineer, was the one in the family who was an eager music listener and I remember all the family driving to Famagusta in the car and listening to a wide variety of music including classical music, I was a small child still, and I got to know all the composers such as Mozart, Beethoven…. and I started to dream along with the music, made true scenarios, saw myself act in them. The music stirred my emotions and I transposed them into colours and images and I always saw myself on stage, beautifully dressed, sharing my emotions with others, in my imagination, mind.” There must have been deep inside Laden the opera singer she is today although it took a while yet until she realised that.


“My father had always dreamt to study music and he was the one who had over all the years supported me from childhood on. The only other artistic members of family are my uncle and his daughter, the painter Türksal Ince, and the piano teacher Simge İnce Yıldız.  We always went to visit them in Famagusta. My uncle’s art impressed me very much” Me too, I know Türksal Ince’s work and I would love to meet him personally, I said. Laden promised to introduce me.

How were your school years, did you get out of your shyness and loneliness?

“I went to Şehit Tuncer Primary School and there I had a special key experience which I will never forget. I had won a story telling competition, perhaps I was eight years old, and I had to go on stage to recite my story, and I had the extraordinary sensation of having the stage for myself, the moment was mine, I could tell everything to the audience, the audience was mine, I felt my presence, so I had found my own language and courage. I actually was a good student, I loved sciences and we all thought I would one day go for that. That was at Turk Maarif College. I was very ambitious and had very good marks in order to qualify for scholarship, and we thought, it would be America for me. But then, it was in 2002 and I was 16 years old, on the occasion of receiving a scholarship to attend the SIT -School for International Training  for a bi-communal gathering of 20 Greek Cypriot and 20 Turkish Cypriot youngsters to go to Boston for two weeks,  and there, in that camp, we did music and I played the piano for all of them and they loved it. That must also have had an influence on my later decision to say NO to sciences and NO to America. But the actual reason behind my decisions was the will to discover my inner being: “what would -I- like to be?” “How would -I- like to spend my life?” … I tried to explain to my father that all of a sudden I had realized that Sciences was not to be my road and he said YES, he understood,  I had entered open doors, he saw me taking the chance to study music, the chance he hadn’t had. In that last school year I had taken up singing lessons with my piano teacher Yildan Birand who confessed that she had missed a singing career herself and I should not hesitate to follow the voice of my heart. I had felt that there was more than piano and neither myself nor any other would have expected that my real talent was my voice; it had just wanted to come out.”

The story of Laden’s childhood is very important, to go back to the very beginning, how she grew from an extremely shy and lonely girl to a young woman of 16 where she definitely decided to become an opera singer; the desire had grown slowly but steadily until it became a ripe fruit and from there she followed the voice of her heart.

I am sitting opposite this young woman of today in October 2013 in a café in Kizilbas. She is a beautiful woman sitting very erect, very conscious of her movements, especially her arms and hands that rise in a certain theatrical manner when she speaks about music or a scene on stage, and sometimes, and very softly, she sings a part of an aria. But let us continue to unroll the thread of her life.


In 2003 she successfully came through the auditions for Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatoire, Opera Vocal Department. Her subjects were a long list of disciplines such as music theory, voice, acting, diction, phonetics, harmony, piano, development of repertoire, ensemble singing and Italian language etc.

“It was a good time for me, discovering myself and I had the best of understanding with my teachers but unfortunately I was confronted with the jealousy and antipathy of my student colleagues, especially the girls, which made me very unhappy and lonely again. However, supported by my teachers, I had all the opportunities to get on, to sing in productions, even at the Ankara State Opera. Despair and unhappiness is obviously the bitter and daily bread artists of exceptional talents have to live with and we have to consider her age, she was just 17 years old.


“My teachers advised me to seek another international conservatoire to continue my education under better conditions and so I left Ankara after four years at the Conservatoire instead of seven years and went to England where my elder sister was studying Civil Engineering; she was the one to push me and encourage me to enter the multi-module auditions at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, short RNCM which is regarded as one of the leading conservatoires of the world. I’ll never forget how my sister stood by me in that time. I was frightened, I am telling you, I would not have believed it myself, that I would make it, among hundreds of international candidates I was not only awarded a place at the RNCM but was also given the ‘Outstanding Ability and Potential Award’ and it is recorded that I was and am the only North Cypriot resident at the RNCM. This time, just shortly before the auditions, was a deep personal fight, I stood long hours at my room window with self-doubt in my heart, but then I took all my courage together and believed in my leitmotiv of life, that there is always a light at the end of a tunnel. My strength is my deep involvement with the music I am singing, and as already as a child, I completely absorbed the role of the character I was acting, I lived the emotions, and so my recital became true and honest.”

So Laden entered the very happy phase of her life to have the opportunity to study in such an elite school with teachers of international reputation such as Peter Wilson (Tenor, Royal Scottish Opera), Ann Taylor (Mezzo-Soprano, Opera North), Sandra Dugdale (Soprano, RoyalOpera House, Covent Garden) Thomas Schulze (Berliner Musikhochschule), Alexander Crowe (Royal Academy of Music. She was highly praised in the internal competitions in the RNCM and had the chance to attend the masterclasses of namely Sir Willard White (MET, Covent Garden, Paris Bastille) Julius Drake (Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music) Anthony Spiri (Cleveland, US, Mozarteum) Moreover she was selected to take part in four complete opera productions in the RNCM: Die Fledermaus, Katya Kabanova, La Belle Hélène, La Clemenza di Tito.

“I have to express the importance of my years there, it was professionalism and friendship that I received and I lost my shyness and gained self-confidence. It was a new life for me, a new Laden Ince was born who felt free and grateful to continue learning because I was thirsty and hungry for knowledge, for more. I am still in touch with the friends I made there; it was also a school for life for me.”

I need to ask a very practical question, how was the education at such an institution financed?

Laden Ince takes a deep breath and answers a little under pressure: “This is a painful question for me to answer, as it has cost my parents dearly, I also took up a loan which I am still paying back. When I had asked my family if they would see a chance to allow me this special high standard education, my father said: I will somehow make it possible, I don’t know how, but I will, go ahead. I am deeply indebted to my parents and I took my studies extremely serious because for me it was the only way to pay back what they had given me.”

I had met Laden Ince already in 2010 when she represented the TRNC in the Türksoy Opera Days in Bellapais (Türksoy is a Turkish cultural organization that has brought together artists of Turkic communities, especially of those countries that were part of the former Soviet Union, to preserve art, culture and traditions, one section was exclusively for opera singers who went on tour to perform together, see my reviews on my website). We had then talked only very briefly. “It was my first time that I sang for the Cypriot audience after seven years of absence, a very special proud moment for me.”

Only shortly after she had returned from Cyprus in 2010 she was accepted as Ersamus exchange student to the Verona Conservatoire in Italy for one academic year.

“I fell in love with Italy, the architecture, the cobbled streets, the arts and its people, so warm and full of joy of life, and I had a wonderful and successful time there besides studying with Maria Noto Sokolinska (Arena di Verona) Paolo Facincani (Arena di Verona) Prof. Luisa Zecchinelli and others. After winning an audition with the presence of the artistic director of the Conservatoire, I was offered to sing 25 performances, in and out of the city of Verona, in highly regarded venues such as the Duomo di Verona and other places.”

During her time in Italy she was employed as the soloist soprano in two of the main churches in Verona where she regularly performed in Sunday mass.

In 2012, when the Erasmus year in Italy was over, Laden returned to her Conservatoire in Manchester to prepare herself for her graduation.  In the meantime destiny had handed out a severe blow to the family with the illness of her mother, and that was for Laden like a shock, for weeks she could not continue her work, felt guilty, how can she study music under these conditions. But her healthy mind saw again the light at the end of the tunnel and she vowed to herself: I am going to go through with it, I will make my graduation a present to my mother, I will win and she will be proud of me. And she did. Even today it is hard for her to talk about it, so I am telling it for her.

“When I returned, the first thing I did in March 2012, was to organise and perform a chamber music recital “Voice and Harp” for those fighting with cancer, I had the feeling I had to do it. For my graduation I chose a very special repertoire, I emptied my sadness into it, I sang Wiegenlieder/cradle songs, songs with the theme of mother and child, so full of emotion and I gave my whole being to my performance, it was my message for my mother. I successfully completed my degree at the RNCM and obtained the title of ‘Professional Opera Singer’.” I can see that she is reliving the situation and I feel with her.


In the academic year of 2012/2013 she obtained her post-graduate diploma in ‘Performance and Interpretation’ at the Lugano Conservatoire in Switzerland. She is proud to a be a student of the famous soprano Monica Trini (La Scala Theatre in Milan)  where she focused on advance bel canto technic, advance interpretation principles and repertoire for Dramatic Colorature Soprano voice.


We have arrived with our talks in Cyprus again, she had come here to perform in Bellapais for a concert on 21 September.  Unfortunately I have not heard her sing then. She will soon return to Switzerland where she has several engagements.

“I plan to come back to Cyprus, this is my home country and I want to meet the audience in North Cyprus more often. My deep wish and dream, however, is to go on tour around the world with the order to represent my country, the TRNC, and also to include some Cypriot music in my programme. That is the task I have set for myself to use my music and voice to communicate with the people of the world.


On my website you will find more photos and Ince Laden’s complete biography and CV.







Laden İNCE                                     


Qualification:                        Professional Opera Artist                                                              

Voice type:                 Dramatic Coloratura Soprano

Vocal range:              A to g’’’


Home address:          PO Box 522, Lefkosa, KKTC, Turkey

Term addess:            Lugano, Ticino, Switzerland

E-mail address:         ladenince@gmail.com

Tel:                             (0090) 0 533 834 61 48

Nationality:                Cypriot (EU)


Complete Opera Roles

G. Verdi                       Violetta from La Traviata *

G. Donizetti                 Lucia from Lucia di Lammermoor *

G. Puccini                   Lauretta from Gianni Schicchi

                                    Musetta from La Boheme                  

W. A. Mozart               Zerlina from Don Giovanni

                                    Despina from Cosi Fan Tutte

                                    Pamina from Die Zauberflöte

Operatic Repertoire

W.A. Mozart                Königin der Nacht’s aria from Die Zauberflöte *

                                    Donna Anna’s aria from Don Giovanni *

V. Bellini                      Composizioni da camera

                                    Amina’s arias from La Sonnambula

                                    Giulietta’s aria from I Capuletti e i Montechi

G. Donizetti                 Lucia’s aria from Lucia di Lammermoor

                                    Lucrezia’s aria from Lucrezia Borgia *

                                    Norina’s aria from Don Pasquale

                                    Adina’s aria from l’Esir d’Amore *

G. Verdi                       Gilda’s arias from Rigoletto

                                    Elena’s aria from I Vespri Siciliani

                                    Medora’s aria from Il Corsaro *

G. Puccini                   Magda’s aria from La Rondine *

                                    Lauretta’s aria from Gianni Schicchi

                                    Musetta’s aria from La Boheme

J. Strauss                    Adele’s aria from Die Fledermaus

C. Gounoud                Juliette’s aria from Romeo et Juliette *

Other Repertoire       Recital Repertoire, Chamber Music, Sacred Music

Various composers       German Lieder, French Chanson, Spanish Songs, Russian Songs, English Songs, Italian Arie Antiche, Neapolitan Songs, Sacred Songs

Solo Performances (some of the main appearances only)

2013                            “Klasikten Etniğe...” Solo performance in the first half of the concert, Bellapais, Cyprus

                                    Solo recital, Mansarda, CSI, Lugano, Switzerland

                                    “Passeggiata Musicale”, solo appearance, Bellinzona, Switzerland

                                    Krambambuli, vocal ensemble concert, Bern, Switzerland

                                    Krambambuli, vocal ensemble concert, Chur, Switzerland

                                    Krambambuli, vocal ensemble concert, Untervaz, Switzerland

                                    “The Singing Class of Maestra Trini”, Lugano, Switzerland

2012                            Final Recital, RNCM, UK

                                    “Awakening of Sleeping Charms”, soprano and harp recital, RNCM, UK

                                    Opera Scenes, Flora from The Turn of the Screw, RNCM, UK

2011                            “Liszt tra Weimar e Parigi”, chamber music recital, Verona, Italy

 “Le Tre Ore”, Oratorio, Soprano Solo, Chiesa di San Lorenzo, Verona, Italy

“Via Crucis”, Soprano Solo, Duomo of Verona, Italy

“Via Crucis”, Soprano Solo, Duomo of Brescia, Italy

“Via Crucis”, Soprano Solo, Duomo of Vicenza, Italy

                                    “Singing Class of Maestra Sokolinska”, Verona, Italy

2010                            “XIII. Turksoy Opera Days”, in Turkey and Cyprus

                                                [Representing North Cyprus among 9 countries]

Vocal Tutors

2012-2013                   Monica Trini (Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland)

2009-2012                   Peter Wilson (RNCM, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK)

2010-2011                   Maria Sokolinska Noto (Conservatorio di Verona, Verona, Italy)

2008-2009                   Ann Taylor (RNCM, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK)

2003-2007                   Nilgun Akkerman & Prof. Sibel Jagoda (Hacettepe Conservatory, Turkey)


2011                            Annunziata Lia Lantieri (Conservatorio di Padova, Italy)

2010                            Prof. Daphne Evangelatos (Hochschule for Musik, Munich, Germany)

2010                            Christian Buechel (Austria-Switzerland)

Professional Work

2013                            Soloist in the vocal ensemble Krambambuli (Switzerland)

2012                            Student Ambassador in the RNCM (UK)

2011                                  Soloist in the Church of Sant’Anastasia (Verona, Italy)

Soloist in the Church of San Pietro Apostolo (Verona, Italy)

Higher Education

2012-2013                         Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland

(Postgraduate specialization in interpretation and performance,

Completed with Distinction, June 2013)

2008-2012                         Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK

(Bachelor of Music with Honours, School of Vocal and Opera Studies)

Conservatorio Statale di Musica E. F. Dall’Abaco, Verona, Italy

(Erasmus Exchange Student, completed with Distinction)

2003-2007                   Hacettepe University State Conservatory, Ankara, Turkey

(Pre-professional School in Music Performance, completed with First Class Degree)

2000-2003                   Turk Maarif College, Lefkosa, Cyprus

                                    (High School in GCE Science, completed with First Class Degree)

Complete Opera Performances (as a chorus singer)

2010                            La Clemenza di Tito, W.A. Mozart, Opera Theatre, RNCM, UK

2009                            La Belle Helene, J. Offenbach, Opera Theatre, RNCM, UK

                                    Katya Kabanova, L.Janacek, Opera Theatre, RNCM, UK

2008                            Die Fledermaus, J. Strauss, Opera Theatre, RNCM, UK

International Competition

2011                             Semifinalist Villa in canto (among around 100 international singers, Verona, Italy)

2008-2012                   RNCM Internal Competitions (Manchester, UK)

Language Skills

2012                            Pronunciation for Singers: Italian, German, French, English (RNCM, UK)

2010                            Italian - Upper Intermediate Level (Lingua IT, Verona, Italy)

2007                            English - GCSE and TOEFL (international qualifications)

Referees                     Available (Please contact Miss Ince, as appropriate)

Recordings                Available on request




Last updated: October, 2013


*  : currently in the course of preparation




Biography - Laden İnce, Soprano


Born in 1986 in Lefkoşa, as the daughter of Ayla-Ünsal İnce, Laden started her very first music training by taking piano courses from Zehra Topçuoğlu and Yıldan Birand. She did her initial singing lessons with Yıldan Birand and notably she was highly influenced by Birand’s dramatic timbre. 


In 2003, she was successful at the auditions for Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatoire, Opera-Vocal Department. In this conservatoire, she had the honour to work with Nilgün Akkerman (Voice – Ankara State Opera and Ballet, Prima Donna), Gürçil Çeliktaş (Stage – Ankara State Opera and Ballet, Stage Manager), Fügen Yiğitgil (Repertoire – Ankara State Opera and Ballet, Chief Correpetitor), Murat Akar (Acting), Dr Neslihan Değirmencioğlu (Phonetics and Diction), Çetin Işıközlü (Harmony), Burhan Önder (Musicianship) etc. During her time in the Conservatoire, she has appeared in numerous events and concerts, including her appearance in Ankara State Opera.


In 2008, Laden attended the multi-module auditions in the Royal Northern College of Music –RNCM- which is regarded as one of the leading conservatoires in the world, and among hunderds of international candidates she was not only awared a place to join the RNCM, but also she won the “Outstanding Ability and Potential Award” from the RNCM. The official records claim her as being the one and only Northern Cyprus resident to win such a place.


In the RNCM, Laden had the privilege to work with, notably, Peter Wilson (Tenor, Royal Scottish Opera), Ann Taylor (Mezzo-soprano, Opera North), Sandra Dugdale (Soprano, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), Thomas Schulze (Berliner Musikhochschule), Alexander Crowe (Royal Academy of Music) etc. She was highly praised in the internal competitions in the RNCM and had the chance to attend the masterclasses of namely, Sir Willard White (MET, Covent Garden, Paris Bastille), Julius Drake (Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music), Anthony Spiri (Cleveland, US; Mozarteum) etc. Moreover, she was selected to take part in four complete opera productions in the RNCM; Die Fledermaus, Katya Kabanova, La Belle Helene, La Clemenza di Tito.


In 2010, when Laden was only in her second year in the RNCM, she was auditioned and selected to represent Northern Cyprus in the international Turksoy Opera, XIII.


In 2010-2011 academic year, Laden was accepted to the Verona Conservatoire in Italy as an Erasmus Exchange Student where she worked with Maria Noto Sokolinska (Arena di Verona), Paolo Facincani (Arena di Verona), Prof Luisa Zecchinelli and many more. When she was exceptionally successful in the auditions in Verona, she was offered to sing 25 performances in and out the city of Verona, in highly regarded venues such as Duomo di Verona, Duomo di Brescia, Duomo di Vicenza. Furthermore, she was semifinalist in the international singing competition “VillaIncanto 2011” among 92 singers. During her time in Italy, she was employed as the soloist soprano in two of the main churches of Verona- Sant’Anastasia and San Pietro Apostolo where she regularly performed in the main mass on Sundays.


In 2010, she worked with Prof. Daphne Evangelatos (Hochschule für Musik, München, Germany) and Christian Buechel (Bregenzer Festspiele, Switzerland); in 2011 with Lia Annunziata Lantieri (Conservatorio di Padova, Italy) and in 2012 with Fiorenza Cedolins (Teatro alla Scala, Arena di Verona).


In March 2012, in the RNCM, she organised and performed a chamber music recital, “Voice & Harp”, for those fighting against cancer. In June 2012, she successfully completed her degree in the RNCM and obtained the title of “Professional Opera Singer”. 


In 2012-2013 academic year, Laden obtained her post-graduate diploma in “Performance and Interpretation” in Lugano Conservatoire in Switzerland (Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana, CSI). In Lugano, Laden had the opportunity to be a singing pupil of the famous soprano Monica Trini (Teatro alla Scala, Milan) where she focused on advance “bel canto” technic, advance interpretation principles, and repertoire for “Dramatic Coloratura Soprano” voice. In Switzerland, Laden was employed as a soloist soprano in a private ensemble called “Krambambuli” with whom she regularly performed in Bern, Chur, Lugano, ect.


In September 2013, Laden sung the first half of a concert in Bellapais, Cyprus. Organized by the collaboration of Istanbul and Lefkosa Rotary Clubs, she participated in this concert as a fully volunteer artist in order to aid those with Diabetics.


Currently, Laden is looking forward to her performances in Switzerland which will take place in 2013-2014. As a last word, Laden would like to share that her greatest wish is to be able to build a connection with her audiences and to obey the real task of making art, which is: “to communicate through music”. 


Last updated: October, 2013

A concert in Bellinoza, Switzerland
A concert in Bellinoza, Switzerland

Getting ready for stage - here: Fledermaus
Getting ready for stage - here: Fledermaus

Happy Laden with her audience in Bellapais 2010
Happy Laden with her audience in Bellapais 2010

Laden and her mom in front of the RNCM Conservatory
Laden and her mom in front of the RNCM Conservatory

Laden Inci at the Bellapais Türksoy Opera Days 2010
Laden Inci at the Bellapais Türksoy Opera Days 2010

Happy Days - in front of the Conservatory
Happy Days - in front of the Conservatory

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