Richard Wagner | Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman)
Johannes Fritzsch was appointed Conductor Laureate of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in November 2014, after his seven years tenure as their Chief Conductor.
From 2006 – 2013 he was Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Oper Graz, Grazer Philharmonisches Orchester. Prior to his appointment in Graz, Johannes held the position of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Staatsoper Nürnberg.
From 1993 until 1999, he was Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Städtische Bühnen and the Philharmonic Orchestra in Freiburg, enjoying widespread acclaim.
Johannes was born in 1960 in Meissen, near Dresden, Germany, where he completed his musical education. In 1982 he startet his fist position as 2nd Kapellmeister at the Volstheater Rostock. From 1987 to 1992 he held the position of Kapellmeister at the Staatoper Dresden where he conducted more than 350 performances. He has worked with numerous great orchestras and major opera companies around the world including Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Royal Opera Stockholm, Opera de Paris, Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne
In January 2015, Johannes joined the University of Tasmania as Adjunct Professor, Conservatorium of Music, Tasmanian College of the Arts.
In December 2014 Johannes was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music from the University of Queensland.
Johannes and his wife, Australian violinist Susan Collins, have recently moved to Hobart with their three young daughters.
Christian Günther stammt aus Freiburg im Breisgau und schloss sein Dirigierstudium 2000 an der Hochschule für Musik und Theater in München ab. Er besuchte Dirigierkurse bei Neeme Järvi, Jorma Panula und Gianluigi Gelmetti. Anschließend war er als Gastrepetitor und Assistent am Württembergischen Staatstheater in Stuttgart, am Theater am Gärtnerplatz in München und bei der Münchner Biennale engagiert.
Von 1996 bis 2007 war Christian Günther Dirigent des Ensembles für Neue Musik „piano possibile“ München und dirigierte zahlreiche Ur- und Erstaufführungen. Als Stellvertretender Chordirektor und Leiter des Kinderchores am Bremer Theater wirkte er von 2002 bis 2007, ab 2005 auch als 2. Kapellmeister.
Christian Günther leitete das Ensemble „Atelier Neue Musik“ an der Hochschule für Künste Bremen und hat dort seit 2007 einen Lehrauftrag für Dirigieren inne.
Gastengagements umfassen Tätigkeiten beim Bremer Musikfest, beim Festival der Projektgruppe Neue Musik Bremen und beim Oh Ton-Ensemble Oldenburg.
Seit 2008 ist er Assistent des Chordirektors an der Hamburgischen Staatsoper und wirkte unter anderem bei Premieren von „Die lustige Witwe“, „Faust“, „Don Giovanni“, „Fürst Igor“ und „Madama Butterfly“ mit. Außerdem war er unter anderem verantwortlich für die Chorpartien in den Repertoire-Vorstellungen von „Don Carlos“, „Chowanschtschina“, „Tannhäuser“, „La Fille du Régiment“ und „Die Fledermaus“.
John Lundgren is a dramatic baritone and versatile singer. He combines his powerful voice with an exquisite, theatrical understanding of the dramatic, operatic repertoire. Among his signature roles you find some notorious Wagner roles such as “The Flying Dutchman” and Kurwenal and often also the evil characters – the bad guys of the operatic literature – like Scarpia in “Tosca” and Pizarro in “Fidelio”.
John Lundgren is born and raised in Sweden. While still attending The Opera Academy in Copenhagen he quite extraordinarily joined the soloist-ensemble at The Royal Theatre, Copenhagen. His debut here was as Schaunard in “La Bohème”, conducted by Dietfried Bernet.
John has portrayed several of the most important, dramatic baritone characters at his “home stage” in Copenhagen such as Paolo Albioni in “Simon Boccanegra”, Heerrufer in “Lohengrin”, Conte di Luna in “Il Trovatore”, Enrico Ashton in “Lucia di Lammermoor”, Giorgio Germont in “La Traviata”, Posa in “Don Carlo”, and Amonasro singing together with Roberto Alagna at the prestigious opening production of “Aida” at the new opera house in Copenhagen. Moreover, John has made his debut in as diverse roles as Escamillo in “Carmen”, Scarpia in “Tosca”, Berg’s “Wozzeck”, Tarquinius in Britten’s “The Rape of Lucretia” and Kurwenal in “Tristan und Isolde”.
In 2006 John Lundgren sang the title role in “Nabucco” at the big Theater Hedeland outdoor arena. During 2007 he sang Don Pizarro in Beethoven’s “Fidelio” with Jonathan Miller as stage director at The Danish National Opera. He returned to this opera house in 2008 to make his debut in the title role of Wagner’s “Der Fliegende Holländer” with tremendous success. And he was invited to sing this role again at Teatro Pérez Galdós in Las Palmas in 2010. Further-more, John Lundgren made his Tokyo Opera debut as Scarpia in 2009. 2011, he sang Carlo Gérard in Keith Warner’s “Andrea Chenier” production at Bregenzer Festspiele. John sang the part of Jack Rance in Christof Loy’s production at the Royal Opera Stockholm of “La Fanciulla del West” together with Nina Stemme as Minnie. Recently he made successful debuts as Wotan in “Die Walküre” at Bayreuther Festspiele and sang his first complete “Ring-Cycle” as Wotan/Wanderer at the Royal Opera Stockholm with Nina Stemme as Brünhilde.
Contemporary opera is also an important part of John’s repertoire. In 2005 he sang the demanding part of Prospero in “The Tempest” by Thomas Adès conducted by the composer himself. He also appeared at the Drottningholm-production of “Cecilia and the Monkey King”, by Reine Jönsson, where he sang nothing less than four different roles. 2015 he starred as Devlin together with Nina Stemme in “Notorious” at the Gothenborg Opera.
Current and future engagements include a.o. his debut as Simone in “Eine Florentinische Tragödie” in Amsterdam, Alberich in the “Ring-Cycle” in Munich, “Tosca” in Stockholm as well as Wotan/Wanderer in the “Ring-Cycle” at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
In 2006 John Lundgren received the prestigious Birgit Nilsson Prize for being one of the few Scandinavian-born dramatic baritones of his generation. In 2010, he was honoured “Ridder af Dannebrogordenen” (Knight of Dannebrog) by HM The Queen of Denmark.
photo: Moklos Szabo
The Swedish soprano Ingela Brimberg has this season appeared as Elettra in “Idomeneo” at the Göteborg Opera and as Senta in “Der fliegende Holländer” both at Teatro Real Madrid and at Deutsche Oper in Berlin. Ingela has this spring also sung the title role of Strauss’ “Elektra” at Staatstheater Kassel.
The previous season Ingela appeared in the title role of “Tosca” at Oper Köln, as Senta at Theater an der Wien with Maestro Marc Minkowski, as well as in concert at Oper Köln.
Ingela Brimberg has previously performed the title role of “Elektra” in a spectacular production signed La Fura dels Baus in Umeå (European Capital of Culture). She also sung Leonore in “Fidelio” in concert at the Verbier Festival (Minkowski) and has appeared as Female Chorus in “The Rape of Lucretia” at Deutsche Oper, Elettra in “Idomeneo” at Opéra de Lyon and Senta in Caen and Luxembourg.
Ingela Brimberg made her Royal Swedish Opera debut in spring 2013 as Ellen Orford in “Peter Grimes” and sang a sensational first Senta under the baton of Minkowski in concert with performances in France, Austria and Spain (released on CD by Naïve). She has appeared as Tosca with the Danish National Opera and at the Wagner Geneva Festival where she made a great success as Senta, followed by the role of Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s “Macbeth” at the Toulon Opera. In concert she has sung Sieglinde in the third act of “Die Walküre” with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding.
The last seasons have also included the role of Manon Lescaut (Manon) with the Danish National Opera, Salome at Teatro Verdi in Trieste and Valentine in “Les Huguenots” at her La Monnaie debut in Brussels (conducted by Minkowski and named the best production of year 2011 in Opernwelt). She has appeared in the role of Tosca in Göteborg and at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki.
After having sung mezzo roles like Rosina in “Il barbiere di Siviglia” and Cherubino in “Le nozze di Figaro”, Ingela Brimberg made her soprano debut singing Konstanze in “Die Entführung aus dem Serail” with Folkoperan, Stockholm in 2003. Since then she has performed roles like Amelia in “Un ballo in Maschera” and the title role of “Aida” at the Malmö Opera, Donna Anna in “Don Giovanni” at Folkoperan and the title roles of “Jenufa” at NorrlandsOperan and “Katja Kabanova” at the Göteborg Opera. Ingela Brimberg studied at the Academy of Music and Drama at the University of Göteborg.
Daniel Behle is one of the most versatile German tenors and is equally successful in the concert, lied and opera genres. His extensive repertoire ranges from Baroque masterpieces to Classical and Romantic works to compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries.
The highlights of Mr. Behle’s season 2017/18 are his debut at the Bayreuth Festival as David in “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” under the baton of Philippe Jordan and the direction of Barrie Kosky as well as, in December 2017, his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Christian Thielemann with Beethoven’s “Missa solemnis”.
Further opera engagements take him to the Hamburgische Staatsoper as Erik in “Der fliegende Holländer” and to the Opéra de Lausanne as Giacomo in Rossini’s “La donna del lago”.
Daniel Behle appears in concert with renowned orchestras, including the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Radio Sinfonieorchester Berlin (RSB), DSO Berlin, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, SWR Radio Orchestra or the Bach Academy Stuttgart, working with such conductors as Stefan Asbury, Bertrand de Billy, Christoph Eschenbach, James Gaffigan, Marek Janowski, Ingo Metzmacher, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, George Petrou, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Jérémie Rhorer, Andreas Spering, and Christian Thielemann.
Daniel Behle fascinates his audiences as a lieder singer at the Schwetzingen Festival, the Schubertiade, the Prinzregententheater Munich, the Cologne Philharmonie, Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle, the Beethoven House Bonn, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, at the Niedersächsische Musiktage and the Alte Oper Frankfurt.
The artist has also made a name for himself as a composer. He premiered his Ringelnatz cycle at the Beethoven House Bonn in 2013. A milestone in his composing career is his arrangement of Schubert’s “Winterreise” for tenor and piano trio (Sony Classical). With his most recent recital CD “Mein Hamburg” (arrangements and new compositions for tenor and piano trio) Daniel Behle pays musical tribute to his native city.
Daniel Behle was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2014 in the recording of Leonardo Vinci’s “Artaserse”. His lieder recordings and solo CDs, including “Die schöne Müllerin”, “Dichterliebe”, Strauss songs and Bach arias, have received great critical acclaim as well as his most recent recording of unknown Schubert Arias together with L’Orfeo Barockorchester.
photo: Marco Borggreve
Der österreichische Bass Günther Groissböck erhielt seine Gesangsausbildung an der Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Wien bei Robert Holl sowie später bei José van Dam.
Als einer der international gefragtesten Sänger seines Fachs, ist er regelmäßiger Gast an den bedeutendsten Opernhäuser der Welt, wie der Metropolitan Opera New York, der Mailänder Scala, der Opéra National de Paris, der Bayerische Staatsoper München, der Wiener Staatsoper sowie der Staatsoper Unter den Linden und der Deutschen Oper Berlin sowie bei den Salzburger und Bayreuther Festspielen – in Rollen wie Boris Godunow, Sarastro, Fasolt, Hunding, Landgraf Hermann, Veit Pogner, König Marke, Gurnemanz, König Heinrich, Wassermann, Gremin, Orest, Banco, Zaccaria und Rocco. Mit der Partie des Ochs auf Lerchenau war Günther Groissböck bei den Salzburger Festspielen und im vergangenen Frühjahr an der Metropolitan Opera New York zu Gast.
Auch im Konzertbereich ist er international tätig und tritt, unter anderem, bei der Accademia Nazionale Santa Cecilia, im Concertgebow Amsterdam, im Gewandhaus Leipzig, in der Philharmonie Berlin und München, im Musikverein und Konzerthaus Wien, in der Carnegie Hall und der Boston Symphony Hall auf.
Günther Groissböck ist seit 2016 Exklusivkünstler bei Universal. 2017 ist seine mit Gerold Huber eingespielte Schubert-CD mit „Winterreise“ und „Schwanengesang“ bei DECCA erschienen.
Zu den wichtigsten kommenden Engagements zählen unter anderem Einladungen an die New Yorker Metropolitan Opera als Fasolt, Hunding, König Marke und Filippo II, an das Royal Opera House Covent Garden als Fasolt, die Bayerische Staatsoper als Kezal, die Nationale Opera Amsterdam als König Marke, die Deutsche Oper Berlin als Landgraf Hermann und an die Opera National de Paris sowie zu den Bayreuther Festspielen 2018 als Gurnemanz. In 2020 wird er in Bayreuth in der neuen Produktion des „Ring des Nibelungen“ erstmals den Wotan verkörpern.
photo: Gerhard Ringhofer
Sergei Ababkin was born in 1991 in Parabel, Russian Federation. In 2008 he entered the vocal faculty of Krasnoyarsk College of Arts by Ivanov-Radkevich (teacher V. M. Gavrichkov). 2011 he won the first prize of the International Competition "Romansiada" in Moscow. A year later Sergei Ababkin entered the vocal faculty of the St. Petersburg State Conservatory by Rimsky-Korsakov (teacher n. a. of Russia, Y. M. Marusin) and is currently in his fourth year.
His repertoire includes Lykov in Rimsky-Korsakov´s "The Tsar's Bride", Lensky in Tchaikovsky´s "Eugene Onegin" and young Romani in Rachmaninoff´s "Aleko".
Since 2016/17 Sergei Ababkin is part of the International Opera Studio at the Hamburg State Opera.
photo: Kartal Karagedik
Renate Spingler began her musical studies at the State Conservatory for Music in Munich. She finished her vocal training under the guidance of world acclaimed soprano Professor Reri Grist. Immediately after her studies, she received an engagement as soloist at the Hamburg State Opera, to whose venerable ensemble she still belongs. In the scope of her duties at this opera house, she works with many internationally renowned conductors and directors.
Renate Spingler guests regularly at many European opera houses such as Frankfurt, Dresden, Bonn, Leipzig, Bremen, Brussels, Cologne and Copenhagen. There she creates roles such as Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Jenny (Mahagonny), Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) and the Composer (Ariadne auf Naxos).
The recordings of this mezzo soprano include the soundtrack of “The Magic of Venus“, starring Glenn Close, in which she sang the role of the Shepherd (Tannhäuser), and another “Tannhäuser“ production with the Hamburg State Opera produced and aired by a Japanese television company.
As an active performer of contemporary music, Renate Spingler also participated in recording productions led by Gerd Albrecht with the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, which have included ”Hagadah“ by Paul Dessau and the world premiere of „Freispruch für Medea“ by Rolf Liebermann. Under the direction of Ingo Metzmacher and the Hamburg State Opera, she sang the role of Margret in a live EMI recording of Berg’s “Wozzeck“. Recently, two further recordings with the Philharmoniker Hamburg led by Simone Young have been released by Oehms Classics: In the “Walküre“ by Richard Wagner, Renate Spingler sang the role of Rossweiße; in the live recording of the highly acclaimed premiere of Hindemith’s “Mathis der Maler“, she sang the role of Gräfin Helfenstein / Üppigkeit.
Other solo performances include concerts and recitals throughout Europe and North America in cities such as Munich, Hamburg, Bratislava, Monte Carlo, Luxembourg, Prague and New York. Furthermore, Renate Spingler worked as a Guest Professor for Singing at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock from March 2005 to March 2006. In June 2008, she sang the role of Sigrune in two concert performances of the opera Walküre at the Gran Teatre del Liceu together with Placido Domingo and Waltraud Meier under the direction of Sebastian Weigle.
On December 9, 2017, the Hamburg Senate honored Renate Spingler with the title of “Kammersängerin” for her special merits in the field of music.
photo: Jörn Kipping
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
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.