Georges Bizet | Carmen
Carlo Rizzari has conducted many important orchestras such as the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Suisse Romande Orchestra, Graz Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of San Carlo Theatre in Naples, Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, the Orchestra Regionale Toscana (Regional Tuscan Orchestra), the Orchestra of the Bellini Theatre in Catania, the Italian Swiss Orchestra, Pomeriggi Musicali Orchestra in Milan and many others.
A material point for his training is the experience fully grown, since 2006, as Antonio Pappano’s Musical Assistant at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. With the same he was invited by Claudio Abbado for a concerts series in Bologna and Lucerna with the Orchestra Mozart.
He regularly conducts the Accademia di Santa Cecilia Orchestra during the symphonic seasons and for the Family Concerts, working with great soloists as John Osborn, Barry Banks, Celso Albelo, Sonia Ganassi, Lang Lang.
He was invited at the 2009 edition of Knowlton Festival and began an important collaboration with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, conducting inside the new Performing Art Center (February 2012) a program dedicated to Respighi (Fontane di Roma, Pini di Roma) with an enthusiastic standing ovation of the audience.
He inaugurated, in Rieti, the Reate Festival editions 2009, 2010 and 2011 conducting, inside the Flavio Vespasiano Theater, Donizetti’s “Il Campanello”, Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi”, Ravel’s “Heure Espagnole”, Rossini’s “Adina” and a precious music programme dedicated to the “Risorgimento” period: arias, choir pieces and symphonies from the most renowned Verdi’s operas.
As a Belcanto expert he conducted “Don Pasquale” at the Sao Carlo Theater in Lisbon, the Rossini’s opera “Il Signor Bruschino” in Rome, Puccini’s “La Bohème” at the Bellini Theater in Catania, Rigoletto in Bari (Petruzzelli Theater) and Genua (Carlo Felice Theater) and inaugurated the Rome edition of the Belcanto Festival with the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia in a successful “Three Tenors of Belcanto Concert” with John Osborn, Barry Banks and Celso Albelo.
In June and July 2012, Carlo Rizzari has been the main artist of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Summer Season, in different concerts with the pianist Lang Lang (with Beethoven Concerts n. 1 and n. 5) and facing the five Beethoven odd symphonies, gainig a great success of audience and critics.
In december 2012 he was invited by the Petruzzelli Theater in Bari for the second concert of the new symphonic season with a programme focused on Beethoven 5th and 7th symphonies. He has been one of the four conductors of “Play It!”, the festival held by the Orchestra Regionale Toscana in Florence dedicated to the new italian composers, winner of the prestigous Abbiati price 2014.
Carlo Rizzari is the artistic and musical director of the Young Talents Orchestra EY, the youth orchestra of the Ernst & Young Company in Italy.
Born in Brno, Czech Republic, Pavel Cernoch has in recent seasons made important debuts at leading opera houses around the world and has established himself as one of the leading tenors of his generation.
After his debut at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich in 2009 as Števa in Jenufa he is regularly invited to leading European opera houses, like Teatro alla Scala in Milan,Teatro San Carlo Napoli, Berlin State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Hamburg State Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Cologne Opera, Opernhaus Zurich, Théatre La Monnaie in Brussels, Opéra National in Paris, Opéra de Lyon, Teatro Real Madrid, Bolshoi Theatre Moscow, the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki and the Glyndebourne Festival appearing in roles of the Italian, French and Slavic repertoire. He was heard as Alfredo (La Traviata), Gabriele Adorno (Simon Boccanegra), Don Carlos (title), Rodolfo (La Boheme), Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Faust (Gounod and Berlioz), Lenski (Eugene Onegin), Vaudémont (Iolante), Lykow (The Tsar’s Bride), Stewa and Laca (Jenufa), Albert Gregor (Vec Makropulos), Boris (Katá Kabanova), Prince (Rusalka) and Jenik (The bartered bride).
Future appearances will bring him to the Bregenz Festival, Bavarian State Opera Munich, Opéra National Paris, Royal Opera House London, Hamburg State Opera and Opera Amsterdam in roles like Don Carlos, Don José, Lenski, Amleto (title), Boris and Vladimir (Prince Igor).
Pavel Cernoch frequently appears as concert soloist with leading orchestras like the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Proms, Bergen Festival and Verbier Festival. He has collaborated with eminent conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Kirill Petrenko, Simon Rattle, Andris Nelsons, John Eliot Gardiner, Charles Dutoit, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Vassily Sinaisky, Jiri Belohlávek, Tomáš Hanus und Jakub Hruša and many others.
Cernoch made his professional debut in his native city in The Magic Flute, followed by appearances in Prague, Riga, Cagliari, Athens, Graz and Wiener Volksoper.
Pavel Cernoch began singing as a child when he became a member of the famed Cantilena Chamber Choir. He studied at the Janacek Academy Brno and went on to continue his vocal studies in Italy with Paolo de Napoli, who remains his mentor today.
Ukrainian baritone Vitaliy Bilyy has performed at some of the most prestigious opera houses in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera House, Teatro San Carlo in Napoli, Opera de Paris, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, and many others.
Bilyy’s engagements for the 2015/16 season included Miller in “Luisa Miller” at San Francisco Opera, Il Conte di Luna in “Il trovatore” at the Metropolitan Opera and Opera National de Paris, Germont in “La traviata” at Staatsoper Hamburg and Semperoper in Dresden, and Escamillo in “Carmen” at Staatsoper Hamburg. He will soon sing Amonasro in “Aïda” at Opera National de Paris. Future engagements include Germont in “La traviata” at Semperoper Dresden, Alfio in “Cavalleria” “Rusticana” at Opera National de Paris, and Escamillo in “Carmen” at Bayerische Staatsoper and Staatsoper Hamburg.
In the 2014/15 season, Bilyy sang Renato in “Un ballo in maschera” at Opera Toulouse, Paolo in “Simon Boccanegra” at Teatro alla Scala, Germont in “La traviata” at Wiener Staatsoper, Il Conte di Luna in “Il trovatore” at Bayerische Staatsoper, and Miller in “Luisa Miller” at Teatro di San Carlo in Naples and San Francisco Opera. In the 2013/14 season, he sang Il Conte di Luna in “Il trovatore” at Teatro Municipal de Santiago and Bayerische Staatsoper, Germont in “La traviata” at the Bolshoi and Teatro Verdi di Trieste, Alfio in “Cavalleria Rusticana” at Teatro alla Scala, Vincenzo Gellner in “La Wally” at Grand Theatre de Geneve, and Renato in “Un ballo in maschera” in Toulouse, where he has also sung “Il trovatore”.
Other recent engagements from the 2012/13 season included Ezio in “Attila” at Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Escamillo in “Carmen” at Bayerische Staatsoper, and his debut as the title role in “Macbeth” at Teatro alla Scala. In the 2011/12 season, he also sang Miller in “Luisa Miller” at Teatro alla Scala and Il Count di Luna in “Il trovatore” in both Venice and Toulouse. In recent years, Bilyy has performed many roles at the Metropolitan Opera, including Il Count di Luna in “Il Trovatore”, Rodrigo in “Don Carlos”, Germont in “La traviata”, and Shaklovity in Mussorgsky’s “Khovanshchina”.
Bilyy is a graduate of the Vocal Department of the Odessa Conservatory and has won many International Competitions, such as the Placido Domingo Operalia Competition, Elena Obraztsova Competition in St. Petersburg, Francisco Vinas International Singing Contest in Barcelona, and Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competition in Andorra.
In the 2012/2013 season, Vitaliy Bilyy gave his debut as the title role in Macbeth at the Teatro alla Scala. In January of the same year, he took on the role of Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen at the Bayerische Staatsoper.
In recent years he has performed in many roles at the Metropolitan Opera, including as Count di Luna in Il Trovatore in 2010, as Rodrigo in Don Carlos, as Germont in La Traviata, and as Shaklovity in Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina in 2012. In the 2011/2012 season he also performed in Il Trovatore in both Venice and Toulouse, and was a success in the role of Miller in Verdi’s Luisa Miller at the Teatro alla Scala.
Bilyy is a graduate of the Vocal Department of the Odessa Conservatory and has won many International Competitions, such as: Elena Obraztsova (St. Peterburg) - Operalia Placido Domingo, F. Vinas (Barcellona), M. Caballe (Andorra).
Der finnische Tenor Markus Nykänen begann seine musikalische Ausbildung im Knabenchor seiner Heimatgemeinde Espoo bei Helsinki und studierte am Kungsvägen Musikinstitut Gesang. Er ergänzte seine Studien durch Unterricht mit Susanna Eken, Petri Lindroos, Margareta Haverinen-Brandt, Sherman Lowe, Mariella Devia, Vittorio Terranova, Norman Reinhardt, Kiri te Kanawa, Thomas Allen und Tom Krause und Rita Ahonen.
2005-2012 arbeitete er als Schauspieler und Musicalsänger und gab sein professionelles Debüt am Theater Viirus in Helsinki; es folgten Engagements am Klockriketeatern, am Wasa Teater und am Svenska Teatern in Helsinki. 2009-2012 war er Mitglied der freien Improvisationstheatergruppe Stjärnfall.
Er debütierte als Opernsänger 2011 als Azael in Debussys „L’enfant prodigue“ in Raseborg, Finnland. Im Sommer 2012 beim Festival della Valle d’Itria wirkte er an der Uraufführung von Marco Tarallis zeitgenössischer Oper „Nur“ mit.
2012 bis 2014 war Markus Nykänen Mitglied des OperAvenir des Theater Basel, wo er in der Spielzeit 2014/2015 als Cassio in Verdis „Otello“ (Regie: Calixto Bieito, Dirigat: Gabriel Feltz) gastierte. Im Sommer 2015 sang er den Bräutigam in Jean Sibelius‘ Oper „Jungfrau im Turm“ samt eine Rolle in der neuen Oper von Seppo Pohjola unter der Leitung von Sakari Oramo beim Kokkola Opernfestival. Im September 2015 debütierte er an der Hamburgischen Staatsoper unter der Leitung von Kent Nagano als Iopas in Berlioz‘ „Les Troyens“ und war im November 2015 als Remendado in „Carmen“ ebenfalls an der Hamburgischen Staatsoper zu hören.
Zu seiner Konzerttätigkeit gehören Liederabende und Kirchenkonzerte. Er trat 2010 beim Gedenkkonzert für Jussi Björling und 2014 beim Gedenkkonzert für Tom Krause auf. Mit dem Kammerorchester Steffisburg sang er 2013 in Franz von Suppés „Die schöne Galathée“ den Pygmalion. Im Oktober 2014 war er Solist in Pehr-Henrik Nordgrens Werk „Taivaan valot“ mit Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra unter der Leitung von Sakari Oramo.
2016/17 übernimmt er an der Hamburgischen Staatsoper die Rollen des Cassio in „Otello“, Remendado in „Carmen“ und Der Bucklige in „Die Frau ohne Schatten“ .
Viktor Rud studied choral conducting at the National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music in his native Kyiv, Ukraine and graduated with Masters Diploma with Honours. From 1999 to 2002 he led Ukrainian National Technical University Chorus as its Artistic Director. In 2002 he moved to London to pursue vocal studies at the Royal Academy of Music. He graduated from the RAM in 2006 receiving Special Prize of HRH Duchess of Gloucester, President of RAM. In 2009 Rud was elected Associate of RAM. He completed his vocal studies in Britain at the National Opera Studio. Viktor Rud moved to Germany in 2007 to become a member of the Staatsoper Berlin International Opera Studio for its inaugural season. The IOS was founded by Daniel Barenboim and supported bei Liz Mohn Foundation. Among many roles performed in Berlin were: Mr Astley in Prokofiev “The Gambler“ (conducted by Daniel Barenboim and directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov) and Mamma Agata in Donizetti “Viva La Mamma!“. In summer of 2008 Rud was a member of the Montblanc Young Singers Project at Salzburg Festival. Since 2009 Viktor Rud has been a soloist at the Hamburg State Opera, where his roles include: Figaro “Il Barbiere di Siviglia“, Conte Almaviva “Le nozze di Figaro“, Guglielmo “Così fan tutte“, Poeta Prosdocimo in “Il Turco in Italia“, Harlequin in “Ariadne auf Naxos“, Silvio “Pagliacci“, Schaunard “Bohème“, Dr Falke “Fledermaus“, Ned Keene “Peter Grimes“, Fernando in Händel “Almira, Königin von Kastilien“, Dandini “Cenerentola“, Belcore “L’Elisir d“Amore“, Agamemnon in Offenbach “La Belle Hélène“, Lord Byron in Aribert Reimann “Unrevealed“, Graf Luna in Pfitzner “Palestrina“, Morales ”Carmen“, Henry Cuffe in Benjamin Britten “Gloriana“, Alex Duval in Brett Dean “Bliss“.
Viktor Rud is the recipient of several awards including the Marilyn Horne Foundation Prize, the William Matheus Sullivan Prize, the International Mozart Competition and the Opera Rara Bel Canto Prize. Viktor Rud has appeared as a guest soloist at La Scala, Milan (Mr Astley “The Gambler“ with Daniel Barenboim), as Don Fernando “Fidelio“ also with Barenboim in a European tour of the East-West Divan Orchestra including the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, London, the Salzburg Festival and Teatro Maestranza, Seville. He sang Fernando in “Almira, Königin von Kastilien“ for the Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik, Guglielmo for Staatsoper Hannover, Shaunard for Oper Leipzig and Oper Graz, Herr Fluth in Otto Nicolai „Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor“ for Operklosterneuburg and “Viva la Mamma“ in Dresden.
In the season 2015/16 in Hamburg he sung Figaro in “Barbiere“, Conte Almaviva in ”Le nozze di Figaro“ and Poeta Prosdocimo in “Turco in Italia“. He also performed Hiroto in the world premiere “Stilles Meer“ by Toshio Hosokawa conducted by Kent Nagano and directed by Oriza Hirata.
The Bulgarian bass-baritone Denis Velev was born in 1992 in Plovdiv and moved to Russia with his family in 1996, where he started playing piano at the age of 6. He then started singing in a children choir and took over his first solos with 12 years and won several prizes in singing contests for children.
In 2012 he entered the Russian University of Theatre Art (GITIS) in Moscow, where he studied with Tamara Siniavskaya and was starring in several theatre and opera productions. He moreover debuted in Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre in Moscow with „Die Zauberflöte“ (Mozart), „The Secret Mariage“ (Cimarosa) and „Orfeo and Euridice“ (Gluck).
In 2015 he graduated from the Russian University of Theatre Art and entered Galina Vishnevskaya's Opera Center, where he debuted especially in parts of Russian operas such as “Iolanta” (Tchaikovsky), “The Tsar's Bride“ (Rimsky-Korsakov), “Onegin” (Tchaikovsky) and “Rigoletto” (Verdi).
Since 2016/17 Denis Velev is part of the International Opera Studio at the Hamburg State Opera.
Foto: © Kartal Karagedik
Zachariah Njoroge Kariithi was born in 1987 in Nairobi, Kenya. He started his musical training at the age of 12 by taking private piano lessons. He later joined the Kenya Conservatoire of Music, where under the guidance of his teacher, Gachigi Kungu, continued his piano playing and also started taking voice lessons.After two years he successfully completed the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exams in voice and piano, which he passed with distinction and with merit, respectively. He later went on to represent Kenya in the World Youth Choir session in the summer of 2008.
Zachariah was a student and scholarship recipient at the Buchmann Mehta School of Music in the Tel Aviv University, Israel, and was part of the Adler Buchmann International Program for Outstanding Foreign Students since 2008.
He was under the guidance of Prof. Tamar Rachum.
He is also a Master's graduate student from the Hochshule für Muzik und Theater Hamburg 2013-2015. His voice teacher was Prof. Carolyn James.
Zachariah performed with the Buchmann Mehta School of Music Symphony Orchestra as a soloist under the direction of Maestro Zubin Mehta.
He, under the baton of Prof. Zeev Dorman, performed as a soloist in the famed Carnegie hall in New York. He also performed with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra and the Haifa Symphony Orchestra in several programs.
Zachariah was also a scholarship recipient from the Hermann und Milena Ebel Stipendium 2014-2015 and the Hamel stiftung Hannover 2015-2016.
Zachariah has taken part in important masterclasses in Europe that involved working with great artists such as Willy Decker, Bo Skovhus, Edda Moser, Renate Behle, Charles Spencer, Verena Keller and Ulf Baestlein.
Zachariah is a winner of several competitions. Zachariah is currently part of the International Opera Studio at the Hamburg State Opera.
Foto: © Kartal Karagedik
Mezzosoprano Elena Zhidkova made her debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Career highlights include appearances at the Bayreuth Festival, concertante “Parsifal” with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic, Schuhmann’s “Scenes from Goethe’s Faust” and also Abbado’s farewell concert. She also sang in Handel’s “Jephta” with Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
In 2004, she made an acclaimed debut as Waltraute (Gotterdammerung) at the Teatro Real Madrid, where she returned to sing Brangane (Tristan und Isolde). At the New National Theatre Tokyo, Elena Zhidkova sang Octavian (Rosenkavalier) and Fricka (Ring des Nibelungen). In 2008, she was Judith in an extremely successful production of “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle” at La Scala in Milan, a role, which she recently performed with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Hall London. A live recording was released on CD.
For her interpretation of “Judith” (Duke Bluebeard’s Castle) at Marinskij Theatre she was awarded with the prize “Goldene Maske”. She performed the role also with Seiji Ozawa at Saito Kinen Festival, which was released on CD. She sang Fricka (Ring des Nibelungen) at Deutsche Oper Berlin and in the new production of the tetralogy in Geneva. She appeared at Semperoper Dresden as Venus in “Tannhäuser” with Gustavo Dudamel. She sang Marie (Wozzeck) with BBC Orchestra and Donald Runnicles. As Kundry (Parsifal) she performed in Lyon, Mannheim and Düsseldorf. Her recent successes include La Principessa di Bouillon (Adriana Lecouvreur) and The Foreign Princess (Rusalka) at Vienna State Opera, Charlotte (Werther) with Michael Plasson, Santuzza at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Opéra Bastille Paris but also her debut as Ortrud (Lohengrin). She was cheered as Didon in Berlioz’ “Les Troyens” at Hamburg State Opera.
Future projects include Carmen at Hamburg State Opera and Eboli (Don Carlo) in Wien.
British-Canadian soprano Jessica Muirhead completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music from McGill University in Montreal, under the tutelage of Mrs. Lucile Villeneuve Evans. Since completing her studies in 2005, Jessica has been busy singing across Europe and North America.
Since August 2015 Jessica has been engaged as lead soprano at the Aalto-Musiktheater in Essen, she has performed Donna Anna in “Don Giovanni”, Violetta in “La Traviata”, Mimì in “La Bohème”, Marguerite in “Faust”, Antonia in “Les Contes d’Hoffmann”, Contessa in “Le Nozze di Figaro” and added the role of Katerina from Martinu’s “The Greek Passion” to her list of leading ladies.
In season 2016/2017 she looks forward to two more important role debuts: Elsa in Wagner’s “Lohengrin”, and Vitellia in Mozart’s “Clemenza di Tito”, as well as a debut at the Philharmonie in Essen. The season includes a return to Welsh National Opera, as Mimì in “La Bohème”, which will also tour to Dubai.
Jessica’s professional debut at the age of 24 as Pamina at the Vienna Volksoper, led to subsequent invitations for roles including Micaëla, Antonia, Agathe, and most recently Fiordiligi. Career highlights include performing Musetta in “La Bohème” at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich alongside star singers Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja, Marguerite in “Faust” and Mimi in “La Bohème” at the Semperoper Dresden, Alice in “Falstaff” with Glyndebourne on Tour in England, Vreli in A Village Romeo and Juliet with Wexford Festival Opera, Contessa Almaviva in “Le Nozze di Figaro” at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlo in Lisbon, as well as Contessa Almaviva, Donna Anna in “Don Giovanni” and Micaëla in “Carmen” all at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, her hometown.
On the concert stage, Jessica has appeared with the Hamburger Symphoniker, the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center, the Bayerischer Rundfunkorchester, the OFUNAM Symphonic Orchestra in Mexico City, the Flanders Symphony and l’Orchestre Chambre de Genève, among others, her repertoire including Brahms’ “Requiem”, Haydn’s “Die Schöpfung”, Fauré’s “Requiem”, Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”, Beethoven’s “9th Symphony” & “Missa Solemnis”, Verdi’s “Requiem”, Berg’s “Sieben Frühe Lieder”, Britten’s “War Requiem” and Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. 14”, to name a few. Jessica can be found in a new recording released through Naxos and Musica Omnia of works by Julian Wachner, with whom she has also performed in recital in New York City.
In March 2017 she received the George London Award for a Canadian Singer at the George London Foundation Competition in New York City, and was awarded the Grand Prize of the Concours de Chant in Toulouse, and 2nd Prize as well as the Audience Favourite award in the Francesco Viñas International Singing Competition in Barcelona. Jessica is also a Grand Prize winner of the Elora Festival Competition, Les Jeunes Ambassadeurs, and National Music Festival Competitions in Canada.
Praised by the New York Times for her “sweet-voiced soprano,” lyric soprano Heather Engebretson is quickly becoming known for her "overwhelming power" (ITÄ-SAVO, Savonlinna) and her "long lines and beautiful sound." (Helsingin Sanomat, Helsinki)
In 2016, Ms. Engebretson makes a return to the Royal Opera stage in the role of Sophie (Werther), which will also serve as her HD Cinema debut. Thereafter, Engebretson debuts as Liù (Turandot) for l'Opéra Royal de Wallonie Liège, and joins the solo ensemble of Staatsoper Hamburg, where her roles will include Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) and Musetta (La bohème). She will also return to Wiesbaden in the title role of La traviata. Future seasons include Ms. Engebretson's highly-anticipated role debut in the title role of “Lulu”.
In the 2015-2016 season, Ms. Engebretson made her debut with Royal Opera Covent Garden as Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro). Other notable debuts in the 2015-2016 season included Frasquita (Carmen) for Staatsoper Hamburg and the soprano solo in “Messiah” with the Dresdener Philharmonie.
Before joining the solo ensemble in Hamburg, Ms. Engebretson spent two seasons in the solo ensemble of Staatstheater Wiesbaden where she appeared in such diverse roles as Violetta in “La traviata”, the title role of “Alcina”, Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Euridice (Orfeo ed Euridice) and Musetta in “La bohème”. Prior to her time in Wiesbaden, Ms. Engebretson was engaged by Staatsoper Hannover.
In the summer of 2012, Ms. Engebretson was the first place winner of Finland’s prestigious Savonlinna Opera Festival Competition. She was also awarded the Sonderpreis der Oper Graz in the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition, after which she appeared in concert at the Stadttheatre of Baden bei Wien. In the 2012-2013 season, Ms. Engebretson’s appearences included her Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium debut as the soprano soloist in Schubert’s G Major Mass, Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel) with the Macon Symphony Orchestra, the title role (cover) in The Cunning Little Vixen at Juilliard, the soprano solo in Verdi’s Requiem with Kirchenmusik an St. Sebald in Nürnberg, and the soprano solo in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Virginia Consort.
The 2011-2012 season marked Ms. Engebretson’s debut with the Saint Louis Symphony as the Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte) and Alice Tully Hall debut as soloist in Bach’s Magnificat. She appeared as Li in the American premiere of “Kommilitonen!” with Juilliard Opera in November, and covered the role of Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) at Juilliard in April. Previously performed roles include Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos), the Queen of the Night and Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Grilletta (Lo Speziale), and Amahl (Amahl and the Night Visitors).
As a 2009 Crested Butte Music Festival young artist, Ms. Engebretson performed the role of Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro). She returned for the 2010 season to perform the roles of Dew Fairy (Hansel and Gretel) and Musetta (La bohème). In the 2011 season, Ms. Engebretson was a Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis where she covered Yniold (Pelleas and Melisande).
In the spring of 2013, Ms. Engebretson earned a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School where she studied with Edith Wiens and coached with Steven Blier. Her studies at Juilliard were supplimented with frequent work with New York area coach Earl Buys.
Prior to her studies at Juilliard, Ms. Engebretson earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied voice with Mary Schiller and violin with David Russell. While at CIM she also completed a minor in music theory. An accomplished violinist, Ms. Engebretson has appeared on National Public Radio's From the Top, and studied with esteemed pedagogues Connie Heard and Robert Lipsett. Ms. Engebretson's studies were made possible in part by The Davidson Institute, by whom she was awarded the Davidson Institute Laureate Fellowship in 2006.
Ms. Engebretson still studies with world-renowned soprano Edith Wiens.
Russian born Mezzo Soprano Nadezhda Karyazina was born in Moscow and trained at the Russian Academy of the Theatrical Arts in Moscow. Upon graduation, she attended the Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Centre.
She has won multiple prizes including a Diploma at the Russian Theatrical Competition 'Capital Renaissance' (2008) and second prize at the Savonlinna Opera Competition in Finland (2012). She was also a prize winner at the prestigious Operalia and Neue Stimmen competitions (2012).
She was a member of the Young Artist Program of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, where she has taken part in master-classes with Gloria Guida Borelli, Laura Claycomb, Elena Obraztsova, Eugeny Nesterenko, Luba Orfenova, Diane Zola, Richard Bado and Ann Hallenberg among others. Her debut at the Bolshoi was as Petronova “The Tsar’s Bride”, conducted by Vasily Sinaisky.
She was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (2013/14) and made her stage debut there as Mercedes (Carmen). Other operatic roles there included Flora (La Traviata), Madrigal Singer (Manon Lescaut), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Second Lady (Die Zauberflote), Bersi (Andrea Chenier), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly) and Meg Page (Falstaff). She has also sung Polinesso (Ariodante) and Charlotte (Werther) at the Salzburger Landestheater, Lel (The Snow Maiden), Soneyetka (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk) and Princess Clarice (The Love of three Oranges) at the Bolshoi Theatre.
She has performed the roles of Marquise Melibea in scenes from “Il viaggio a Reims” by Rossini at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow with the 'Moscow Soloists' Chamber Orchestra under Yuri Bashmet. In March 2011 she sung the part of mezzo-soprano in Mozart's Requiem at the Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre.
She continues her work this season at the Hamburgische Staatsoper and will make her debut at the Festival Opera New Zealand in “Carmen”.
Veselina Teneva stammt aus Sofia, Bulgarien. Ihr Gesangstudium absolvierte sie an der Staatlichen Musikakademie in Sofia. Bereits während ihres Studiums erhielt sie ihr erstes Engagement am Staatlichen Musiktheater Sofia. Von 2003 bis 2008 war die Sängerin Ensemblemitglied am Theater Erfurt. Dort übernahm sie u.a. die Partien von Aninna in „Rosenkavalier" (R.Strauß), Dritte Dame in „Das geheime Königreich" (Krenek), Agricola in „Eine Nacht in Venedig" (J.Strauss) und wirkte bei verschiedenen Urraufführungen und den Domstufen-Festspielen mit.
Veselina Teneva hat auch am Festival für junge Sänger der Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg mit der Partie der Gismonda in der Oper „Ottone" von Händel, unter der Regie von Harry Kupfer mitgewirkt. Die Sängerin hat erfolgreich an Gesangswettbewerben teilgenommen. Im Jahr 2000 gewann sie den 1. Preis beim Sv. Obretenov Wettbewerb in Bulgarien, dann folgte im Jahr 2010 der 2 Preis beim „Lauritz Melchior" Wagner Competition in Dänemark. Seit März 2009 ist Veselina Teneva Mitglied des Opernchores der Hamburgischen Staatsoper wo sie auch ihr Solo-Debüt in der Oper „Katja Kabanova" von Janacek gemacht hat.
Der ungarische Bariton Julius Vecsey ist seit 2012 Mitglied des Opernchores der Hamburgischen Staatsoper. Er legte 2010 sein Gesangsdiplom an der Franz Liszt Musikakademie in Budapest ab sowie 2012 das Exzellenzprogramm Barock Vokal, Kolleg für Alte Musik an der Hochschule für Musik Mainz. Ein Schwerpunkt seiner musikalischen Arbeit liegt im Bereich der barocken und bel canto Buffo-Partien. Seine musikpädagogische Arbeit mit Telemannschen Kantaten für Kinder und Jugendliche wurde mit dem akademischen Preis der Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz ausgezeichnet.
Er engagiert sich leidenschaftlich im Musikkindergarten, besucht Grundschulklassen im Rahmen des Projekts „Sängerpate“ und ist aktiver Teilnehmer bei Programmen der Musiktheaterpädagogik an der Hamburgischen Staatsoper.
Chorsoli übernahm er unter anderen in „Peter Grimes“, „I due Foscari“, „Don Carlos“, „Carmen“, „Les Troyens“, „La Bohéme“ und „Die Arche“.
Catalin Mustata ist seit August 2013 zweiter Tenor im Chor der Hamburgischen Staatsoper. Zuvor war er Sänger am Stadttheater Gießen. Nach seinem Diplomabschluss für Gesang bei Professor Ionel Voineag am staatlichen Konservatorium George Enescu in Bukarest 2008, absolvierte er 2011 den Master für Operngesang bei Professor Thomas Heyer an der Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main.
Zu seinem Repertoire gehören Bretans „Arald“ (Arald), Donizettis „L’Elisir d’Amore“ (Nemorino), Gounods „Mireille“ (Vincent), Lehars „Die lustige Witwe“ (St. Brioche), Mozarts „Die Hochzeit des Figaro“ (Don Curzio) sowie „Die Zauberflöte“ (Tamino, Monostatos), Rossinis „Il Barbiere di Siviglia“ (Almaviva), Tschaikowskis „Eugen Onegin“ (Lenski), Strauss‘ „Der Zigeunerbaron“ (Barinkay), Gottfried von Einems „Der Besuch der alten Dame“ (Der Sohn), Alban Bergs „Lulu“ (Der Maler, Neger, Journalist) und P. Maxwell Davies‘ „Kommilitonen“ (Christoph).
Neben den genannten Opernpartien sang Mustata bereits verschiedene Oratorien und Messen, darunter Mozarts „Requiem“ und „Messe Brevis in C“ (Spatzenmesse), Rossinis „Stabat Mater“ sowie „Petite Messe Solennelle“, Saint-Saens Weihnachts-Oratorium, Ariel Ramíres‘ „Misa Criolla“ und Liszts „Graner Messe“.
Mustata nahm zudem an zahlreichen Wettbewerben teil und erhielt mehrere Preise. 2009 partizipierte er beim Operalia Wettbewerb in Budapest, nachdem er 2007 den Sonderpreis beim internationalen Gesangswettbewerb „Joseph Schmidt“ in Suceava, Rumänien gewann. 2006 nahm er am internationalen Gesangswettbewerb für Tenöre „Traian Grozavescu“ in Lugoj, Rumänien teil und gewann Sonderpreise, gesponsert von Ionel Pantea aus Luxemburg, Toma Popescu aus Wien und der Romania International Television.
Mark Bruce was born in Rochester, N.Y., USA. He studied Philosophy and Music at Yale University and at the Musikhochschulen in Detmold and Hamburg with, among others, Jacob Druckman and Giselher Klebe (composition), as well as Blake Stern and Claus Ocker (Voice). He has been a member of the Chorus of the Hamburg State Opera since 1985. His repertoire includes Bass and Bass-Baritone roles ranging from Monteverdi to Mark Anthony Turnage´s “Greek”. Recent appearances include the role of Sarastro in Canberra, Australia, Osmin in the Music Festival “Klassik am Meer” and operas by Britten, Strauss and Henze on his home stage. In addition, his main artistic focus belongs to modern music. Critics and audience greeted Mark Bruce’s production of John Cage’s “Song Books” together with Joan La Barbara at the Hamburger Musikfest 2002 with enthusiasm. As a concert singer, he has performed in numerous world and regional premieres, including works by John Cage, Tania Léon and Aaron Jay Kernis. He founded the Cage Ensemble Hamburg as its artistic director in 1992. His CD with works by John Cage, “ear for EAR” appeared by telos music in 2016.
Chor der Hamburgischen Staatsoper
The chorus members appear on stage at the Hamburg State Opera in a different role almost every night. From one day to the next, they might be sailors, gypsies, pilgrims or conspirators, then courtiers, hunters, the deranged or the imprisoned. In the role of crusaders in I Lombardi alla prima Crociata they travel to Jerusalem, other nights they are invited to Madama Butterfly's marriage or acclaim Prince Igor. The ladies and gentlemen of the opera chorus demonstrate their artistic prowess, their flexibility, and their love of the stage in every performance.
With a membership around 70, the chorus of the Hamburg State Opera has been one of the world’s best opera choruses for many years. The varied repertoire – almost always in the original language – is multifaceted and includes baroque operas and dramatic operas, major works by Verdi and Wagner as well as contemporary pieces. At the start of the 2013/14 season, Eberhard Friedrich took over the post of Chorus Master.
Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg
The Philharmonic State Orchestra is Hamburg’s largest and oldest orchestra, looking back on many years of musical history. When the “Philharmonic Orchestra” and the “Orchestra of the Hamburg Municipal Theatre” merged in 1934, two tradition-steeped orchestras combined. Philharmonic concerts have been performed in Hamburg since 1828, artists such as Clara Schumann, Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms being regular guests of the Philharmonic Society. The history of the opera company goes back even further: Hamburg has been home to musical theatre since 1678, even if a regular opera or theatre orchestra was only formed later. To this day, the Philharmonic State Orchestra has embodied the sound of the Hansa City, a concert and opera orchestra in one.
During its long history, the orchestra encountered great artist personalities. Apart from composers of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, such as Georg Philipp Telemann, Piotr I. Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Sergey Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky, since the 20th century chief conductors such as Karl Muck, Eugen Jochum, Joseph Keilberth, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Horst Stein, Gerd Albrecht, Ingo Metzmacher and Simone Young have shaped the orchestra’s sound. Renowned conductors of the pre-war era such as Otto Klemperer, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Bruno Walter, Karl Böhm and Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt gave brilliant performances, as did outstanding conductors of our times: suffice it to mention Sir Neville Marriner, Christian Thielemann, Semyon Bychkov, Kirill Petrenko, Valery Gergiev and Sir Roger Norrington.
Starting with the 2015/2016 season, Kent Nagano has taken on the position of Hamburg’s General Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Philharmonic State Orchestra and the Hamburg State Opera. In his first season Kent Nagano initiated a new project, the Philharmonic Academy at St. Michaelis, focusing on experimentation and chamber music. In 2016 Nagano and the Philharmonic undertook a successful three-week concert tour in South America. Since 2017 Kent Nagano and the Philharmonic State Orchestra have continued the traditional Philharmonic Concerts at the new Elbphilharmonie, for which they commissioned Jörg Widmann to compose the oratorio ARCHE, which was given its world premiere during the hall’s opening festivities.
The Philharmonic State Orchestra offers approximately 35 concerts per season and performs more than 240 performances per year at the Hamburg State Opera and the Hamburg Ballet – John Neumeier, making it Hamburg’s busiest orchestra. The stylistic bandwidth covered by the 134 musicians, ranging from historically informed performance practice to contemporary works and including concert, opera and ballet repertoire, is unique throughout Germany. Chamber Music has a long tradition at the Philharmonic State Orchestra: what began in 1929 with a concert series for chamber orchestra has been continued since 1968 by a series of chamber music only, which celebrates its 50-year anniversary in 2017/18.
In 2008 Simone Young and the Philharmonic State Orchestra won the Brahms Award of the Schleswig-Holstein Brahms Society. In 2012 Simone Young received a Helpmann Award for performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and Wagner’s Rheingold with the Philharmonic in Brisbane, Australia. The orchestra has recorded the complete Ring by Wagner as well as the complete symphonies of Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner – the latter in the rarely-performed original versions – as well as works by Mahler, Hindemith and Berg, and has released DVDs of opera and ballet productions by Hosokawa, Offenbach, Reimann, Auerbach, J.S. Bach, Puccini, Poulenc and Weber.
The members of the Philharmonic State Orchestra feel equally beholden to the Hansa City’s musical tradition and responsible for the city’s artistic future. Since 1978 the musicians have been participating in education programmes in Hamburg’s schools. To this day, the TV format Musikkontakte initiated by Gerd Albrecht during his tenure as General Music Director is unforgotten. Today, the orchestra maintains a broad education programme, including school and kindergarten visits, patronage for music projects, introductory events for children and family concerts. The orchestra’s own academy prepares young musicians for their professional careers. The Philharmonic’s musicians thereby make an equally enjoyable and valuable contribution to tomorrow’s music education in the music metropolis of Hamburg.
Foto: © Foto: Monika Rittershaus