Richard Wagner | Das Rheingold
Der in Hamburg geborene Dirigent studierte an der Hochschule für Musik und Theater seiner Heimatstadt und wurde 1974, nach einer kurzen intensiven Anfängerzeit in der sogenannten Provinz, als Deutschlands damals jüngster Generalmusikdirektor an das Saarländische Staatstheater Saarbrücken berufen. In gleicher Position war er auch von 1977 bis 1986 für das Badische Staatstheater in Karlsruhe und die dortige Badische Staatskapelle verantwortlich, ebenso wie ab 1993 für die Staatsoper Hannover und zuletzt bis 2011 für das Staatstheater und die Bayrische Staatsphilharmonie in Nürnberg.
Christof Prick dirigierte regelmäßig an der Wiener Staatsoper, als Staatskapellmeister der Deutschen Oper Berlin, an der Hamburgischen Staatsoper und leitete als ständiger Gastdirigent für fünfzehn Jahre zahlreiche Abende und eine jährliche Neueinstudierung an der Sächsischen Staatsoper in Dresden.
In den USA stand Christof Prick dem Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra und später ab 2001 für zehn Jahre dem Charlotte Symphony Orchestra als Music Director vor und war zudem regelmäßiger Gast am Pult der Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Für einen langen Zeitraum leitete Christof Prick Arbeitsphasen, Konzerte und Reisen des deutschen Bundesjugendorchesters als dessen ständiger Dirigent und wurde zudem im Jahr 2001 von der Hochschule für Musik und Theater als ordentlicher Professor für das Hauptfach und die Meisterklasse Dirigieren seiner Heimatstadt Hamburg berufen.
2014 leitete Christof Prick an der Deutschen Oper Berlin die Wiederaufnahme und Vorstellungen der „Meistersinger“ , später das War Requiem von Benjamin Britten in New York , sowie eine Neuproduktion und Aufführungen des „Rosenkavalier“ mit der Cincinnati Symphony und Opera in den USA .
Im November 2014 standen Aufführungen an der Wiener Volksoper (Zauberflöte) und erneut für das Staatstheater Karlsruhe (Rosenkavalier) auf dem Terminplan. 2015 wurde mit einer Wiederaufnahme von „Hänsel und Gretel“ die Verbindung zur Wiener Volksoper fortgesetzt, während eine weitere „Freischütz“ -Wiederaufnahme mit mehreren Abenden den Dirigenten an die Staatsoper in Hamburg führte. Darüber hinaus ist Christof Prick auch weiterhin ständig als Dirigent sinfonischer Musik auf den Konzertpodien in Europa und den USA unterwegs. In der Saison 2016 / 2017 übernahm Christof Prick als Chefdirigent die künstlerische Leitung des Beethoven Orchesters Bonn.
Russian bass-baritone Vladimir Baykov has been a resident artist at the Staatsoper Hamburg since autumn 2015. He has made his name in last years with dramatic parts such as Wotan and Wanderer. His guest appearances have led him to the Mariinsky Theater, De Nederlandse Opera, Vlaamse Opera, Oper Bonn, Oper Köln, Oper Frankfurt, Staatstheater Darmstadt, Theater Erfurt, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, Teatro Regio di Torino, Finnish National Opera, Opera Malmö, Aalto Theater in Essen, English National Opera in London, Teatr Wielki in Warzaw, Teatro Nacional de Saõ Carlos in Lisbon, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Bruxelles, Theater an der Wien, Theater St.Gallen, Tyrolean Festival in Erl.
Vladimir Baykov’s repertoire consists of bass-baritone, dramatic baritone and bass roles with a wide spectrum from Alidoro, Leporello, Peter (Hänsel und Gretel), to Heerrufer, Donner, Jochanaan, Gunter, Wotan and Wanderer, Ruprecht (Prokofiev’s “The fiery angel”), Tomsky (The Queen of Spades), and to Kaspar (Der Freischütz), Silva (Ernani), Vodnik (Rusalka), Méphisto, Colline, Oroveso, Boris Godunov, Pimen and Varlaam. In 2015 he portrayed the title role of A. Lubchenko’s opera “Dr.Zhivago” in the world premiere at Theater Regensburg.
Vladimir Baykov graduated from the Moscow State Conservatoire in 2001. He is a prizewinner of several competitions, such as Mirjam Helin Competition 1999 in Helsinki, “Neue Stimmen” 1999 in Gütersloh, Maria Callas Competition 2001 in Athens, Belvedere Competition 2001 in Vienna and Queen Elizabeth Competition 2004 in Bruxelles.
Turkish Baritone Kartal Karagedik joined the ensemble of Hamburg State Opera at the beginning of season 2015/16 where he made his debuts in the new production of “Les Troyens” (Chorébe) under the baton of Kent Nagano and as Il Conte Almaviva in Stefan Herheim’s production of “Le nozze di Figaro” with Ottavio Dantone, as well as Lescaut in Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” and Guglielmo in “Così fan tutte”.
Karagedik’s highlights of season 2016/17 included the title role of Don Giovanni at Savonlinna Opera Festival, Dandini, Marcello, Belcore at Hamburg State Opera, Escamillo at Komische Oper Berlin and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 under Kent Nagano at Elbphilharmonie.
Before joining the ensemble of Hamburg State Opera, Karagedik was a member of Theater Magdeburg and Theater Erfurt. Guest engagements brought him to stages of Teatro Communale di Bologna, Puccini Festival Torre del Lago, Oper Leipzig and Staatstheater Braunschweig. He had interpreted a very wide range of repertoire including Eugeny Onegin, Don Giovanni, Enrico, Riccardo ,Valentin, Albert, Carlo Gérard, Sharpless, Besenbinder, Michonnet, Simon Boccanegra, Germont , Rodrigo in “Don Carlo” and many others.
Karagedik was born in Turkey and completed his vocal studies in his hometown Izmir. In addition to his artistic career as a singer, he is a prizewinner story telling photographer. Since 2014 his photography exhibition “Emotions IN motion” has been met with widespread public acclaim.
photo: Maria Chabounia
Oleksiy Palchykov was born in 1986 in Kiev. In 2006 he started his studies at the vocal faculty of the National Musical Tchaikovskiy Academy. In 2004 he is the recipient of the “Art of XXI century” international competition. He made his debut in 2008 singing the roles of Trike and Lenskiy in “Eugeny Onegin” (Tchaikovsky) at the National Shevchenko Opera Theatre and Lykov in “The Tzar’s Bride” (Rimskiy-Korsakov) with the Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet M. Dzhalil Theatre (Kazan, Russia) and the Shaliapin festival of opera singers.
In 2010 he received the Grand Prix of the XVI International Lydia Abramova vocal student’s competition “Bella voce” (Moscow, Russia), the Grand Prix for the best Tchaikovsky music performance in the National Tchaikovsky Musical Academy vocal faculty competition, the Third Prize of the “International Vocal Competition in Memory of Antonina Nezhdanova” (Odessa , Ukraine), the Special Award of the festival “Tournament Tenors” (Szczecin, Poland), the Special Prize of the Jury at the International Vocal Competition “Debut” (Wiekersheim, Germany). In 2011 he was awarded with the Grand Prix International Vocal Competition Ivana Alchevskogo “Alchevskiy Debut” (Kharkov, Ukraine). He is finalist of the International Vocal Competition in the Opera Festival in Savonlinna (Finland).
He has toured with the Kiev Musical Theatre performing the role of Alfredo in Verdi’s “La traviata” in Switzerland (Theatre du Leman in Geneva, Palazzo dei Congressi in Lugano, Theatre de Beaulieu in Lausanne, Theâtre du Passage in Neuchatel). He performed in France the roles of the Second Policeman, the Second Gentleman, the First Dandy in the “The Nose” of Shostakovich (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence 2011 and the Opera de Lyon) with Kazushi Ono as conductor and William Kentridge as director, the roles of the Third Esquire in “Parsifal” (Opéra de Lyon) with Kazushi Ono as conductor and François Girard as director. With the Symphony Orchestra of Thessaloniki (Greece) performing “Jewish Songs” by Dmitry Shostakovich, conductor Alexander Myrat in 2012.
In October 2012, he joins the Atelier Lyrique of the Opéra National de Paris. He sang the role of Gernando at La Ferme du Buisson and Théâtre Firmin Gémier / La Piscine and Ecclitico at the MC93 Bobigny.
In 2014 and 2015, he made his debut at the Opéra National de Paris in the role of the Messenger (Aida, October 2013), then sang the Male Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia) at the Théâtre de l’Athénée and Don Ottavio in (Don Giovanni) in Bobigny, Ecclitico in Haydn’s “Il mondo della luna”, Scaramuccio (Ariadne auf Naxos) at Paris Bastille, Pylade (Iphigénie en Tauride) with the Atelier Lyrique, Ferrando (Così fan tutte) with the Atelier Lyrique of the Paris Opera in Paris.
In 2014 he received the Prix Lyrique du Carpeaux and Prix Lyrique de L'AROP. In the Summer of 2015 he was among the 5 finalists of the prestigious "BBC Singer Of World" singers competition. In October 2015 he covered Roberto Alagna in the role of Nemorino at Opéra Bastille.
Since 2017 he is member of the ensemble of the Hamburg State Opera where he sings such parts as Tamino, Lensky, Ferrando, Nemorino, Steuermann, Eurimaco (Il ritorno d’Ulisse).
Seit 1991 ist Jürgen Sacher Mitglied der Hamburgischen Staatsoper. Hier ist er seitdem in zahlreichen Rollen aufgetreten, so als Andres in „Wozzeck“, Maler in „Lulu“, Truffaldino in Prokofjews „Die Liebe zu den drei Orangen“, Monostatos und 1. Geharnischter in „Die Zauberflöte“, Valzacchi in „Der Rosenkavalier“ und David in „Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg“. Zudem interpretierte er Junger Mann (Moses und Aron), Steuermann (Der fliegende Holländer), Peter Iwanow (Zar und Zimmermann), Pedrillo (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Walther von der Vogelweide (Tannhäuser), Goro (Madame Butterfly) und Graf Elemer (Arabella). Weitere Partien im Rahmen seiner Ensembletätigkeit sind die Knusperhexe in „Hänsel und Gretel“ und Raoul de St. Brioche in „Die lustige Witwe“. In der Hamburger Neuinszenierung von Wagners „Ring“ übernahm Jürgen Sacher in der Premierenserie des „Rheingold“ die Rolle des Mime. Außerdem war er als Loge in „Das Rheingold“ und als Mime in „Siegfried“ zu erleben. Zu seinen jüngsten Erfolgen in Hamburg zählen seine Rollendebüts als Herodes (Salome) 2010 und als Novagerio in einer Neuproduktion von „Palestrina“ 2011. In einer Neuproduktion von Telemanns „Flavius Bertaridus“ interpretierte er mit großem Erfolg Orontes. Außerdem wirkte er in „Der Meister und Margarita“ als Asasello, in „Ariadne auf Naxos“ als Tanzmeister, in Aribert Reimanns „Lear“ als Graf von Kent sowie in „Peter Grimes“ als Reverend Adams mit.
Regelmäßige Konzertauftritte gehören ebenfalls zu den Verpflichtungen des Tenors. Gastspiele führten Jürgen Sacher unter anderem an die Berliner Staatsoper, nach Brüssel, Barcelona, Kopenhagen, an die Mailänder Scala sowie zu den Salzburger Festspielen.
2010 sang er in zwei Neuproduktionen am Theater an der Wien: den Tanzmeister in „Ariadne auf Naxos“ und L´Aumonier in „Dialogues des Carmélites“.
Neben seinen Aufgaben an der Hamburger Staatsoper hat er den Herodes in der Saison 2013/14 auch an der Budapester Staatsoper und im Herbst 2014 unter John Neschling in einer Salome Neuproduktion am Teatro Municipal in Sao Paulo gesungen. Im Juni 2015 gastierte Jürgen Sacher beim Wagner Festival in Budapest unter Adam Fischer als Mime im Ring des Nibelungen und 2016 als Goro in Puccinis Butterfly an der Berliner Staatsoper sowie als Aegisth in Richard Strauss´ Elektra abermals am Teatro Municipal in Sao Paulo unter John Neschling.
Am 9. Dezember 2017 wurde Peter Galliard vom Hamburger Senat ausgezeichnet und erhielt den Titel des Kammersängers für seine anerkannt hervorragenden Verdienste auf dem Gebiet der Musik.
Werner Van Mechelen
Multi-faceted bass-baritone Werner Van Mechelen has achieved great success in opera as well as in concerts and as a recital singer. He has been awarded a several singing competitions such as the Queen Elisabeth Prize (Brussels), the International Vocalists Competiton (‘s-Hertogenbosch), the Vinas Competition (Barcelona) and the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
His lyric repertoire extends from the baroque to masterpieces of the 20th century and world-creations. A focus is on the German repertoire of Wagner and Strauss: the role of Alberich in Wagner’s "Ring Cycle" he has sung all over Europe. He sang his first Wotan in "Rheingold" at the Wagner Festival in Sopot. In his Strauss repertoire you can find: Faninal, Musiklehrer, Jochanaan and Mandryka.
Werner Van Mechelen has a close relationship to the opera houses of Belgium and Holland, La Monnaie, Brussels, the Vlaamse Opera, Antwerp as well as the Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam. Further invitations to the Opéra d’Avignon, the Gran teatro del Liceu as well as to the opera houses of Paris, Zürich, Cologne etc.
The artist has a particular affection for concerts and Lied- recitals:
His concert repertoire extends from Bachs "St John Passion" through romantic works such as "Elijah" and Bachs "Requiem", to the song Cycles and symphonies of Mahler and to composers of the 20th and 21st Century.
His Lied repertoire includes not only the great song cycles of Schubert, Schumann and Brahms but also repertoire by less known composers.
Thomas Ebenstein wurde 1979 in Kärnten geboren und erhielt seine Gesangsausbildung an der Wiener Musikuniversität bei Helena Lazarska.
Seit der Spielzeit 2012/13 ist der Tenor Ensemblemitglied der Wiener Staatsoper, von 2003 bis 2012 war er Ensemblemitglied der Komischen Oper Berlin. Gastengagements führten ihn unter anderem an die Staatsoper Unter den Linden, die Semperoper Dresden, die Staatsoper Hamburg, die Deutsche Oper am Rhein, das Grand Théâtre de Genève, das Theater an der Wien, die Volksoper Wien; die Carnegie Hall New York, das Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, die Philharmonie Berlin, die Laeiszhalle Hamburg, das Concertgebouw Amsterdam, den Wiener Musikverein & Konzerthaus; zur Ruhrtriennale Bochum, zu den Wiener Festwochen, den Osterfestspielen Salzburg, den Salzburger Festspielen, den Seefestspielen Mörbisch, zum Bergen International Festival und zum Hong Kong Arts Festival.
Sein Repertoire umfasst Partien wie Pedrillo (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) – u.a. bei den Salzburger Festspielen, auch als DVD bei Arthaus Musik, David (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Steuermann (Der fliegende Holländer), Tanzmeister (Ariadne auf Naxos), Truffaldino (Die Liebe zu den drei Orangen) und Alfred (Die Fledermaus).
In der Spielzeit 2017/18 ist er in den Stücken „Fidelio“, „Eugen Onegin“, „Das Rheingold“ und „Le Nozze di Figaro“ zu erleben.
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.
photo: Kartal Karagedik
Alexander Roslavets graduated from the vocal department of the St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory in 2014 where he studied under Professor Nikolai Okhotnikov.
While studying at the Conservatory he was a soloist of the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory theatre where he appeared on stage as Malyuta Skuratov in “The Tsar's Bride” by Rimsky-Korsakov and sang at the numerous festivals and concerts. In July 2013/14 he took part at the open-air opera festivals in Saint Petersburg where he sang the parts of Mephistopheles in the opera “Faust” by Ch. Gounod and King Dodon in the opera “The Golden Cockerel” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov conducted by Fabio Mastrangelo. In April 2014 he made his debut on the stage of the Mikhailovsky Theatre as Tom in “Un ballo in maschera” by Verdi.
In the seasons 2014/15-2015/16 he was an artist of the Young Artist Program of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia. In 2015 he made his debut on the stage of the Bolshoi performing the part of Marchese d'Obigny in “La Traviata” by Verdi under the baton of Tugan Sokhiev.
In November 2015, he debuted on the stage of the Bolshoi theatre of Belarus singing Don Basilio in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” by Rossini.
In June 2016 he performed the part of Duke of Cornwall in the World Premier of S. Slonimsky`s King Lear on the stage of the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall conducted by Vladimir Jurowsky.
In July 2016 he covered the part of Mephistopheles in the new production of “La damnation de Faust” staged by Peter Stein in the Bolshoi. He sung the part of Brander in the premiere conducted by Tugan Sokhiev.
In October 2016 he joined the ensemble of the Hamburg State Opera.
Alexander took part in several international competitions among which in 2014 the 42nd Russian National Vocal Graduates Competition in St. Petersburg where he won the Grand Prix and the 1st International Christmas Vocal Competition in Minsk where he was awarded a special prize. In 2015 he took part in the 10th International competition of E. Obraztsova in St. Petersburg where he was awarded a diploma and he won the first prize in the 7th International Competition of Opera Singers «Saint-Petersburg». In 2016 he won the second prize in the 6th Galina Vishnevskaya International Opera Singers Competition in Moscow and the Grand Prix and the Audience Prize in the II International Eva Marton Competition in Budapest. He is the laureate of the Special Foundation of the President of Belarus, which supports young talents.
Born in Hanover, Katja Pieweck completed her studies in 1996 at the Hamburg Academy for Music and Theater. From 1997 to 1999 she was a member of the International Opera Studio at the Hamburg State Opera which eventually led to her engagement as an ensemble member in 1999. Here she has performed many roles including Mercedes (Carmen), Siegrune (Die Walküre), Magdalene (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Annina (Der Rosenkavalier), Mutter (Hänsel und Gretel), Fenena (Nabucco), Suzuki (Madame Butterfly), Mère Marie (Dialogues des Carmélites), Meg Page (Falstaff) und Marquise des Berkenfield (La Fille du Régiment). Katja Pieweck has made numerous appearances on prestigious opera stages including the Berlin Staatsoper, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and the Hanover State Opera. In addition to her activity as an opera singer She is a regular guest on the concert stage. Her repertoire includes works from all eras. Her career has been accompanied by numerous prizes and awards including the "Körber Foundation Oberdörfer Prize 2007" and the "Kulturpreis der Berenberg Bank Hamburg". In 2005 Katja Pieweck worked with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Symphonic Orchestra for a concert performance of Janácek’s "Jenufa". In February 2006 she sang with the Philharmonic Orchestra Hamburg in Hindemith’s "Sancta Susanna" under Simone Young’s baton. In 2007 the mezzo-soprano performed as Elvira in "Don Giovanni" at the Herrenchiemsee Festival. She also sang the part for mezzo-soprano in Bach’s "Christmas Oratorio" – a new Hamburg Ballet production – choreographed by John Neumeier. 2008 Katja Pieweck sang Fricka (Das Rheingold, Die Walküre) in the production of Wagner’s "Ring".
Iulia Maria Dan
Romanian Soprano Iulia Maria Dan graduated from the National University of Music in Bucharest as a student of Maria Slatinaru-Nistor. In 2011, she became a member of the Opernstudio of the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, where she was also a member of the Ensemble. In August of 2015, Ms. Dan became a member of the Ensemble at Staatsoper Hamburg. Her engagements there included First Lady in a new production of “Die Zauberlföte”, Mimi in “La Bohème”, Contessa di Almaviva in “Le nozze di Figaro”, Helena in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, Mathilde in “Guillaume Tell”, Rosalinde in “Die Fledermaus”, Fiodiligi in “Cosi fan tutte”, Tatyana in “Eugene Onegin” and Agathe in “Der Freischütz”. She also sang Ofelia in Franco Faccio’s Amleto at the Bregenz Festival in Austria. In the 2014/15 season, Ms. Dan made a successful debut as the title role in Massenet’s “Manon” at Oper Graz in Austria. She also sang Waldvogel in “Siegfried” at the Bayerische Staatsoper and premiered “Francesca da Rimini”, music by Stefan Wirth, at the Münchner Opernfestspiele. In August of 2014, Ms. Dan sang Aminta in “Il re pastore” at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, an appearance received with great reviews. In the 2013/2014 season, as a member of the Ensemble at the Bayerische Staatsoper, she sang Frasquita in “Carmen”, Giannetta in“ L’elisir d’amore”, La contessa di Ceprano in “Rigoletto”, and Dama di Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s “Macbeth”. Ms. Dan’s 2012/13 engagements at the Bayerische Staatsoper included Hilda Mack in Hans Werner Henze’s “Elegie für junge Liebende”, Jano in Janácek’s “Jenufa”, Papagena in “Die Zauberlföte”, and Füchslein Schlaukopf in Janácek’s “The Cunning Little Vixen”.
Iulia Maria Dan has performed in concerts in Bucharest, Modena, Gdansk, Milan and Munich. In 2010, she sang the Soprano solo in the world premiere of acclaimed Romanian composer Felicia Donceanu’s “Salbe – Monodrama for Soprano and Orchestra” at the Bucharest Radio Hall. In 2011, Ms. Dan debuted with great success as Gilda in “Rigoletto” at the Romanian National Opera. That same year, she received a Special Award for Most Promising Young Artist at the renowned Hans Gabor Belvedere International Singing Competition in Vienna, where she was also awarded the Graz Opera Special Prize and the Soroptimist Prize.
In 2010, Ms. Dan won the Grand Prize at the Ionel Perlea National Song Competition and Second Prize at the Hariclea Darclee International Singing Competition in Romania. That same year, she won a Special Prize at the Arta Florescu Masters of the Lyrical Art International Competition in Bucharest. In 2008, Ms. Dan won First Prize in the Orange Young Musicians Competition, First Prize in the Romanian Song Festival and Competition, Special Prize for “Interpretation of Music by Mozart” in Mihail Jora and Dinu Lipatti’s National Competition, and Special Prize for “Chamber Music Style – Martha Joja” in the Ionel Perlea International Song Festival and Competition.
photo: Kartal Karagedik
German mezzo-soprano Doris Soffel first studied violin at the Munich Academy of Music, then singing with Marianne Schech. She made her debut at the Bayreuth Youth Festival, singing the leading role in Wagner´s Liebesverbot. Wolfgang Windgassen engaged her at the Stuttgart opera ensemble. During the following years she could build up a broad repertoire, including protagonist roles like Carmen, Eboli (Don Carlo) and Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier).
With her success at Covent Garden as Sesto in Mozart´s Titus 1983 and as Orlofsky in Fledermaus (conductor Domingo) 1984 her world career was launched. Sawallisch gave her a lasting guest contract at the Bavarian State Opera, Munich. Since then she has made regular appearances in all important opera houses and concert halls of the world. In the 1980ies Doris Soffel became the only German mezzo-soprano with a world career in coloratura roles (bel canto-operas like L´Italiana in Algeri and La Cenerentola by Rossini as well as Donizetti and Bellini operas). Her cooperation with Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge has been well documented. In French repertoire she conquered the International audience not only as Carmen, but also with roles like Charlotte in Massenets Werther (with Alfredo Kraus) and Marguerite (Berlioz Damnation de Faust). Her exceptional musicality and vocal flexibility also led to cooperation with contemporary composers like Reimann, Henze and Penderecki. She had successes at world premieres, e.g. at the Munich Opera Festival in 1986 as Kassandra in Reimanns Troades.
With a combination of passion, creativity and great voice, demonstrated already in the Italian and French roles, Doris Soffel grew into one of the most significant Wagner- and Strauss singers of our time. Her early successes as Fricka (Rheingold and Walküre) with Solti in Bayreuth and her Waltraute (Götterdämmerung) with Mehta were confirmed later, at Carsens Cologne-Ring, at Audis Amsterdam Ring, at the Dresden Ring and in 2010 at La Scala with Barenboim and at Deutsche Oper Berlin with Rattle. Her Kundry (Parsifal) with Thielemann and her Ortrud (Lohengrin) with Luisi are legendary. Doris Soffels artistic curiosity has also brought her in recent years to the Slavic repertoire: Marfa (Mussorgskis Khovanschina), Jezibaba (Dvoraks Rusalka), Kabanicha (Janaceks Katia Kabanova) and The Countess (Pique Dame).
Today, with her strong vocal expressive power, with her charisma and with stunning acting performances, she creates strong Strauss roles like die Amme in Frau ohne Schatten (debut in Los Angeles 2004), Herodias (Salome) and Klytämnestra (Elektra).
Doris Soffel has sung with legendary conductors such as von Karajan, Celebidache, Solti, Giulini, Sawallisch, Maazel, Mehta, Sinopoli, as well as Thielemann, Jordan, Luisi, Nagano, Rattle and Barenboim. Working from the beginning of her career with such significant stage directors as Rennert, Ponnelle, Friedrich, Lehnhoff and Kupfer had a great formative influence on her artistry and today she works with directors like Konwitschny, Carsen, Herheim, Zambello and Tscherniakov.
Doris Soffel also has an impressive career as concert- and Lied-singer, main focus on Mahler, Brahms and Strauss. A discography (more than 60 CDs) as well as many DVD productions and Youtube performances testify to her versatility and the beauty of her voice. She is German “Kammersängerin” and in 2001 she was awarded with the Royal Swedish Northern Star Order for her important artistic contributions to Swedish music life.
Future plans include Herodias (Salome) in Amsterdam, Zurich and Torino, Adelaide (Arabella) in Munich, Contessa de Coigny (Andrea Chenier) in Munich, Klytämnestra (Elektra) in Munich and Berlin and The Old Lady (Candide) in Barcelona.
Doris Soffel is married and has one daughter. She lives in Berlin.
photo: Boris Streubel
The Korean Soprano Hayoung Lee was born in Seoul and absolved her vocal studies at Yon-Sei University and at the Korean National University of Arts.
Before her debut in Europe she had engagements at the Seoul Arts Centre, the Peking Opera and with the Tokyo National Theater.
In 2001/02 she attended the National Opera Studio in London. This was followed by her participation in the Vilar Young Artist Programme at the Covent Garden Royal Opera House where she sang Violetta (La Traviata), Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), Clorinda (La Centerola), Ophelie (Hamlet), Sophie (Werther) and Woglinde (Das Rheingold).
In 2005 Hayoung Lee received the Audience Prize at the “BBC Cardiff Singer of the World” competition. In the same year she sang in Fauré’s “Requiem” in a benefit concert for the tsunami victims that was broadcast by the BBC.
The Korean soprano is a member of the Hamburg State Opera since the 2005/06 season where she has sung the roles of Marzelline (Fidelio), Soeur Constance (Dialogues des Carmélites), Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel), Karolka (Jenufa), Nannetta (Falstaff), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Badi’at (L’Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe), Tytania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Violetta Valery (La Traviata).
Die aus Moskau stammende Mezzosopranistin Ruzana Grigorian begann ihr Gesangsstudium im Alter von 16 Jahren an der Russischen Akademie für Theaterkunst (GITIS). Im Rahmen des dortigen Opernstudios wirkte sie in Purcells „Dido and Aeneas“ mit und sang die Rolle des Orpheus in Glucks „Orfeo ed Euridice“.
Von 2007 bis 2015 war sie Solistin im Orfey Theater in Russland und nahm an der Sommerakademie der GITIS unter der Leitung von A. Kalyagina teil. Im Rahmen eines Projekts übernahm sie die Titelpartie der Carmen in der gleichnamigen Oper. 2011 war sie am Moskauer Musiktheater als Maddalena in Verdis „Rigoletto“ zu hören, bevor sie im Jahr 2012 die Partie der Olga in Tschaikowskys „Eugen Onegin“ im Orfey Theater sang.
Seit Oktober 2015 studiert Ruzana Grigorian Gesang am Mozarteum in Salzburg, zunächst bei Prof. Barbara Bonny, aktuell bei Prof. Mario Diaz. Im Jahr 2016 debütierte sie in der Rolle der Bianca in Brittens „The Rape of Lucretia“ in einer Opernproduktion der Universität und 2017 als Filipjewna in Tschaikowskys „Eugen Onegin“ am Mozarteum Salzburg.
Ruzana Grigorian gehört ab der Spielzeit 2017/2018 zum Internationalen Opernstudio der Staatsoper Hamburg.
photo: Kartal Karagedik
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.
In 2015, she became a member of the ensemble at Staatsoper Hamburg. Her engagements for the 2016/17 season included Mercédès (Carmen), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Emilia (Otello), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Kontschakowna (Prince Igor), Pauline (Pique Dame) and Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte).
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.
photo: Foto: Felix Broede