Giacomo Puccini | Madama Butterfly
Johannes Fritzsch was born in Meissen, Germany, in 1960. He received his first musical tuition in piano and organ from his father, a Cantor and Organist. He also studied violin and trumpet. His higher education was received at the Carl Maria von Weber Music Academy in Dresden, majoring in conducting and piano.
In 1982, after completing his studies, Maestro Fritzsch was appointed 2nd Kapellmeister (Conductor) at the Volkstheater in Rostock. In 1987, Fritzsch accepted the position of Kapellmeister with the Staatsoper Dresden, Semperoper, where he conducted more than 350 opera and ballet performances within five years.
After the German reunification, Fritzsch was able to accept engagements outside of Eastern Europe. In 1992/3 he worked as 1st Kapellmeister at the Staatsoper Hannover. During that time, Fritzsch was appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Director at the Städtische Bühnen and the Philharmonisches Orchester in Freiburg. There he remained until 1999 enjoying widespread acclaim. The Verband Deutscher Musikverleger (association of German music publishers) honored his 1998/99 season with the distinction of having the “Best Concert Program”.
Fritzsch has performed with many orchestras, both within Germany and internationally. These include: Hamburger Sinfoniker, Düsseldorfer Sinfoniker, Philharmonie Essen, Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim, Staatskapelle Schwerin, Berliner Sinfonie Orchester, Staatskapelle Dresden, Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, Staatsorchester Halle, the Swedish Radio Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique Strassbourg, the Orchestra National de Montpellier, the Orchestra National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmanian, Queensland and West Australian Symphony Orchestras and Orchestra Victoria.
Opera Companies with which he has worked include: Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden, Opernhaus Köln, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Komische Oper Berlin, Opera Bastille Paris, Grazer Oper, the Royal Opera Stockholm, Malmö Operan and Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne (including Wozzeck, Don Giovanni, Carmen, Tosca, Rigoletto, Salome, Der Rosenkavalier).
Mo. Fritzsch recently held the position of Chief Conductor of the Grazer Oper and Grazer Philharmonisches Orchester, Austria; from 2008-2014, he was Chief Conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and was recently appointed Conductor Laureate. In 2015, he conducts the Queensland, Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras and leads performances of “La traviata” for Opera Queensland.
Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian has quickly established herself as one of the world’s leading interpreters of Verdi and Puccini.
In the 2016-2017 season, Haroutounian returns to the Royal Opera House to reprise Leonora in “Il Trovatore” and to the Teatro Real as Desdemona in David Alden’s production of “Otello”. At the San Francisco Opera, she sings “Madama Butterfly”, a role with which she will also make her debuts at the Seattle Opera and the Staatsoper Hamburg.
The 2015-2016 season saw Haroutounian star as Leonora in David Bösch’s new production of “Il Trovatore” at the Royal Opera House and as Amelia in an acclaimed revival of “Simon Boccanegra” opposite Placido Domingo and conducted by James Levine at the Metropolitan Opera. She also sang Mimì in “La bohème” at Opera Australia, Melbourne. Haroutounian’s concert work included the title roles of “Madama Butterfly” with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, “Adriana Lecouvreur” at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, and “Iolanta” with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra.
Haroutounian gained international recognition in 2013 when she replaced an ailing colleague as Elisabetta in Verdi’s “Don Carlo” at the Royal Opera House conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. Following her instant success as Elisabetta, the Royal Opera House invited her to perform the role of Hélène in Stefan Herheim’s new production of “Les Vêpres Siciliennes” (a performance captured on video by Warner Classics) and the final revival of John Copley’s beloved production of “La bohème”. Highlights from Lianna Haroutounian’s previous opera seasons include: Elisabetta at the Metropolitan Opera conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, at the Opernhaus Zürich conducted by Fabio Luisi, and at the Verbier Festival; Tosca at the San Francisco Opera; Desdemona at the Teatro di San Carlo and Opera Australia; Hélène at Oper Frankfurt; Nedda in “Pagliacci” at the Teatro Regio di San Carlo; and Marguerite in “Faust” at the Opéra de Massy.
An avid concert singer, Haroutounian’s vast repertoire includes the Verdi Requiem, Rossini’s “Stabat Mater” and “Petite Messe Solennelle”, and Dvorak’s “Stabat Mater”. She has also given numerous recitals in France, Spain, Italy, and her native Armenia.
Raised in Metsamor, Haroutounian studied Voice and Piano at the National Conservatory of Yerevan. She continued her studies at the Centre de Formation Lyrique de l’Opéra-Bastille. Haroutounian is based in France.
Die rumänische Mezzosopranistin Cristina Damian studierte an der Musikakademie Cluj-Napoca und begann ihre Karriere an der dortigen Staatsoper. Sie trat dort in Partien aus Belcanto- und Mozartopern ebenso auf wie in selten gespielten Stücken wie „La Cantatrice chauve“ von Dan Voiculescu, „María de Buenos Aires“ von Astor Piazzolla oder „Candide“ von Leonard Bernstein.
In den Spielzeiten 2008 bis 2015 war die Sängerin Ensemblemitglied an der Hamburgischen Staatsoper. 2010 wurde sie mit dem Dr. Wilhelm Oberdörffer-Preis der Stiftung zur Förderung der Hamburgischen Staatsoper ausgezeichnet. In Hamburg gab sie ihre Rollendebüts als Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) und Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos) und interpretierte unter anderem Carmen, Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Olga (Eugen Onegin), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Kontschakowna (Fürst Igor), Waltraute (Die Walküre) und 2. Norn (Götterdämmerung). Großen Beifall erntete sie in der Spielzeit 2013/14 für ihre Darstellung der Margarita in der Hamburger Erstaufführung von York Höllers Oper „Der Meister und Margarita“.
Gastengagements führten die Mezzosopranistin unter anderem in ihr Heimatland Rumänien und ans Teatro Comunale di Triest.
Soprano Narea Son, 24, was born in Seoul, South Korea. She received her Bachelor's in Voice from Seoul National University.
She sang Mimi in "La Bohème" in 2012, Donna Elvira in "Don Giovanni" in the 2013 Seoul University Opera and Le feu, La Princesse and Le rossignol in "L'Enfant et les Sortilèges" in 2014 at Hamburg University.
She is currently pursuing her Master's in Opera at the Hamburg University of Music and Theatre with Professor Gundula Schneider. She has taken part in Master classes with Edda Moser, Cheryl Studer, Bruna Baglioni and Mariella Devia.
Narea is a winner of several voice competitions. She was a finalist at the International de chant de Toulouse competition in 2014, first place in both the "Elise Meyer competition" in 2014 and "Maritim Music Competition" in 2013, Hamburg, and she received a special price in the "F.P Tosti international Competition in Asia" 2010 Japan.
Argentine tenor Marcelo Puente is rapidly gaining recognition as an important lirico-spinto tenor at such theaters as the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Stuttgart, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, State Opera Prague, and several others. In the 2016/17 season, he will make his debuts at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Hamburg State Opera, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, and New National Theater in Tokyo.
Puente began his 2015/16 season as Manrico in “Il Trovatore” at Opera de Toulon and Pinkerton in “Madama Butterfly” at Opera Leipzig and Gothenburg Opera. He also sang Cavaradossi in “Tosca” in the summer of 2015 at the St. Margarethen Festival. Puente will make his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in the spring of 2017 as Pinkerton, opposite Ermonela Jaho and conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. He will sing the same role for his debut at the Hamburg State Opera, followed by an appearance at Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf as Cavaradossi. Puente will make his Japanese debut in concert performances of “Carmen” in Tokyo under Charles Dutoit with the NHK Orchestra. He will subsequently sing Pinkerton for the New National Theater, also in Tokyo, and make his North American debut as Don Jose in “Carmen” for the Michigan Opera Theater.
Recent engagements have included Don Jose in “Carmen” at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Rodolfo in “La bohème” at Oper Stuttgart, and the title role in a new production of Verdi’s “Don Carlos” at the State Opera Prague. Puente starred as Riccardo in “Un ballo in maschera” at Teatro Colon in his native Argentina and Rodolfo in “La bohème” in Montevideo, Uruguay. He has also performed “La bohème” at the theaters of Lucca, Pisa, Ravenna and Livorno, Macduff in “Macbeth” at Opera de Lima, and Cassio in “Otello” at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia.
Marcelo Puente studied at the Córdoba Conservatory and Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, with Renato Sassola. Other roles in his developing repertoire include Turridu in “Cavalleria Rusticana”, Maurizio in “Adriana Lecouvreur”, and Calaf in “Turandot”.
Alexey Bogdanchikov is a young Russian baritone. Born in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) in 1985. In the 2011/2012 season he embarked upon his first resident contract in the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Alexey Bogdanchikov previously studied at the Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Centre and the Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow, where, in October 2012, he returned to complete his master’s degree in music. In September 2012 he won the 2nd prize in the prestigious European Vocal Competition “Debut”. He has also taken part in various Russian vocal competitions and won prizes in Smolensk (2006) and Rusa (2007). In 2010 he was winner of the Armel Opera Competition in Hungary, which led to his engagement in the role of Barrett in Marco Tutino’s opera “The Servant” at the Armel Opera Festival in Szeged. He sang this role again in Pilzen, Czech Republic, and, in, 2011, in Lugo, Italy. In January 2011 Alexey Bogdanchikov made his debut at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna as Wolfram in “Tannhauser”.
Alexey Bogdanchikov’s repertoire includes number of important roles in Russian, Italian and German operas like Onegin in "Eugene Onegin", Robert in "Iolanta" and Prince Eletsky in "The Queen of Spades" by Tchaikovsky, Belcore in "L’elisir d’amore" by Donizetti, Marcello in "La Boheme" and Ping in "Turandot" by Puccini, Wolfram in "Tannhauser" by Wagner and Barrett in Marco Tutino’s "The Servant". In June 2013 he represented Russia at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Guest contracts in 2013/2014 included Marchese in "La Traviata" in Guangzhou Opera House, at The Teatro Luciano Pavarotti in Modena and at the Teatro Municipale in Piacenza Alexey made his debut as Paolo Albiani in "Simone Boccanegra" next to Leo Nucci and Carlo Colombara. Also Teatro Delle Muse, Ancona, engaged Alexey to sing the role of Belcore in "Elisir d’amore" and Teatro Dell’Opera di Roma to do Morales in "Carmen". Also Alexey sang the role of Onegin in Astrakhan opera house and in Magnitogorsk. From 2014 Alexey Bogdanchikov is a member of ensemble of Moscow Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre where he made his debut in the title role in "Eugene Onegin" by Tchaikovsky. In the season 2014/2015 he made his debutes as Conte in "Le Nozze di Figaro", as Prince Eletsky in "The Queen of Spades" and as Mercutio in "Romeo and Julliete" by Gounod.
In 2015/16 he joined the ensemble of the Hamburg State Opera.
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Il Principe Yamadori
Peter Galliard was born in Chur, Switzerland. He studied under Rico Peterelli, at the Conservatory in Feldkirch under Maria Eibenschütz and at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg under Rudolf Knoll. In 1985 he won First Prize at the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg. In 1986 Rolf Liebermann invited him to join the Hamburg State Opera where the tenor has been working until today. In Hamburg he sang roles such as Tamino in “Die Zauberflöte”, Jaquino in “Fidelio”, Cassio in “Otello”, Froh, Loge and Mime in “Das Rheingold”, Augustin Moser in “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”, Alfred and Eisenstein in “Die Fledermaus”, Peter Iwanow in “Zar und Zimmermann”, Bardolfo in “Falstaff”, Captain in “Wozzeck”, the Witch Knusperhexe in “Hänsel und Gretel”, Lenskij in “Eugen Onegin”, Narraboth in “Salome” and Don Basilio in “Le Nozze di Figaro”.
In Amsterdam he sang the Prince in “Lulu and the Captain”. Peter Galliard also sang L'Aumonier in “Dialogues des Carmélites“ and Melot in “Tristan und Isolde“, Walther von der Vogelweide in “Tannhäuser“, Wolfgang Capito in “Mathis der Maler“, Goro in “Madame Butterfly“, Red Whiskers in “Billy Budd“ and Demon in “L'Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe“. Concert performances of “Siegfried” and “Das Rheingold” led him to Lisbon, Australia, Rome and Lucerne.
Peter Galliard performed at opera houses in Germany (Staatsoper and Deutsche Oper Berlin, Frankfurt, Dresden and Leipzig), Japan, Spain, France and Israel. The tenor worked with famous stage directors such as August Everding, Johannes Schaaf, Harry Kupfer and Peter Konwitschny as well as with renowned conductors such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Christian Thielemann, Ingo Metzmacher, Simone Young and Kirill Petrenko.
Lo zio Bonzo
Tigran Martirossian was born in Armenia, where he studied physics. Following this, he began his musical studies at the Gnesin State Academy of Music with Prof. Artur Eizen and Prof. Pavel Lisitsian. During his studies, he made his operatic debut at the Moscow Municipal Theatre where he performed numerous roles including Salieri in Rimski-Korsakov's “Mozart and Salieri“, Gremin (Eugen Onegin), Farlaf (Ruslan and Lyudmila), Cecil (Maria Stuarda) and Stromminger (La Wally). In 1995 he was invited to perform at the Bolshoi Theatre, where he sang Ramfis (Aida), King Rene (Iolanta), Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor), as well as Pimen (Boris Godunov) and Galitsky (Prince Igor). In 1998 he made a highly successful debut as King Treff in Peter Ustinov’s new production of Prokofiev's “The Love of Three Oranges“. In 1993 he won the first prize at the “Competition of Russian Music“ in Moscow. In 1994 he was awarded a special prize and diploma at the “X. International Tchaikovsky Competition“. He took the second prize winner at the “Neue Stimmen“ Competition in Guetersloh in 1997 and in 1999 he won the first prize at the “Ondina Otta Competition“ in Marburg. In 2000 he was a finalist at Placido Domingo's “Operalia“ in Los Angeles, after which he was invited to perform Verdi's “Requiem“ in Washington conducted by Placido Domingo.
His engagements include concerts of Pulcinella at the Salzburg Festival, his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich's King Lear conducted by Rostropovich and concerts of Shostakovich's Suite on verses by Michelangelo Buonarotti with the LSO. He also made his debut at the BBC Proms in the premiere of a contemporary Russian piece written by Gerard McBurney. In 2003 he sang two concerts of “Les Troyens“ in London and Birningham. The recording of this Opera with the LSO won the “Grammy Award for Best Classical Recording and Best Opera Recording“. 2003 also brought him debuts at the Lyric Opera Chicago and at Covent Garden. Tigran Martirossian joined the ensemble of the Hamburg State Opera in 2005/06 where he has sung Selim (Il Turco in Italia), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Sagrestano (Tosca), Soljony in Peter Eötvös’ “Tri Sestri“, La Voce (Idomeneo), Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra), Dulcamara (L’Elisir d’Amore) and Sulpice (La Fille du Régiment). In the new production of Wagner’s Ring he sang Fasolt (Das Rheingold).
Il Commissario Imperiale
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.
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
For 188 years, the Philharmonic State Orchestra has embodied the sound of the Hansa City. The orchestra’s origins go back to the year 1828, when a “Philharmonic Society” was founded in Hamburg, soon becoming a meeting-place for important artists, for example Clara Schumann, Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms. Great artist personalities conducted the orchestra – Piotr Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Sergey Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky among them. The year 1902 already saw the 500th concert of the Philharmonic Society, and in 1908 the Laeiszhalle was inaugurated with a gala concert. Since the 20th century, chief conductors such as Karl Muck, Eugen Jochum, Joseph Keilberth, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Gerd Alrecht, Aldo Ceccato, Ingo Metzmacher and Simone Young have shaped the orchestra’s sound. Conductors such as Otto Klemperer, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Bruno Walter, Karl Böhm and Horst Stein gave brilliant guest performances.
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 addition to the traditional Philharmonic Concerts, Kent Nagano has initiated a new project, the Philharmonic Academy at St. Michaelis, focusing on experimentation and chamber music. Another new format is “Music and Science”, an interdisciplinary cooperation with the Max Planck Society.
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. Thus, the Philharmonic offers approximately 30 orchestral and chamber music concerts per season. Furthermore, the Philharmonic State Orchestra performs more than 200 opera and ballet performances per year at the Hamburg State Opera, making it Hamburg’s busiest orchestra. The stylistic bandwidth covered by the 125 musicians, ranging from historically informed performance practice to contemporary works, from concert to opera repertoire, is unique throughout Germany. 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 symphonies of Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner, as well as a complete Ring by Wagner and works by Mahler and Hindemith.
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, Musikkontakte encompasses a broad education effort including school and kindergarten visits, patronage for music projects, introductory events for children and family concerts. The Philharmonic’s musicians thereby make an equally enjoyable and valuable contribution to tomorrow’s music education in the music metropolis of Hamburg.