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Tue. April 26, 2016, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. Vienna

Giuseppe Verdi

Un ballo in maschera

Conductor: Jesús López-Cobos | Director: Gianfranco de Bosio | With: Piotr Beczala, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Krassimira Stoyanova, Nadia Krasteva

 
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Thomas Ebenstein | ein Diener

THOMAS EBENSTEIN was born in 1979 in Carinthia, and studied vocal arts at the Vienna University of Music under Helena Lazarska. From 2003 to 2012 the tenor was an ensemble member at the Komische Oper Berlin, and since the 2012/2013 season, he has been an ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper. Guest appearences have led him among others, to the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, the Semperoper Dresden, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Grand Théatre de Genève, the Theater an der Wien, the Volksoper in Vienna, the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Philarmonie in Berlin, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Vienna Musikverein, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Ruhrtriennale Bochum, the Wiener Festwochen, the Easter Festival in Salzburg, the Salzburg Festival, the Bergen International Festival, and to the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

His repertoire includes such roles as Pedrillo (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Truffaldino (Die Liebe zu den drei Orangen), David (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Narraboth (Salome) and Alfred (Die Fledermaus). He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2012 and sang, among others, Tanzmeister, Andres, Incroyable, Andrès/Cochenille/Frantz/Pitichinaccio, Guillot de Morfontaine, Valzacchi and Monostatos.

 

Thomas Ebenstein | ein Richter

THOMAS EBENSTEIN was born in 1979 in Carinthia, and studied vocal arts at the Vienna University of Music under Helena Lazarska. From 2003 to 2012 the tenor was an ensemble member at the Komische Oper Berlin, and since the 2012/2013 season, he has been an ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper. Guest appearences have led him among others, to the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, the Semperoper Dresden, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Grand Théatre de Genève, the Theater an der Wien, the Volksoper in Vienna, the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Philarmonie in Berlin, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Vienna Musikverein, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Ruhrtriennale Bochum, the Wiener Festwochen, the Easter Festival in Salzburg, the Salzburg Festival, the Bergen International Festival, and to the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

His repertoire includes such roles as Pedrillo (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Truffaldino (Die Liebe zu den drei Orangen), David (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Narraboth (Salome) and Alfred (Die Fledermaus). He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2012 and sang, among others, Tanzmeister, Andres, Incroyable, Andrès/Cochenille/Frantz/Pitichinaccio, Guillot de Morfontaine, Valzacchi and Monostatos.

 

Jesús López Cobos | Conductor

The Spanish conductor Jesus Lopez-Cobos studied philosophy in Madrid and conducting with Franco Ferrara and Hans Swarowsky. He has conducted at festivals in Edinburgh, Salzburg, Berlin, Prague, Lucerrne, Montreux, Tanglewood, Ravinia as well as at the world´s most renowned opera stages like La Scala, the ROH Covent Garden, in Paris, at the Met or in Japan. 

From 1981 to 1990 he was GMD of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, 1984 to 1988 MD of the Spanish National Orchestra, 1981 to 1986 Permanent Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, 1986 until 2001 chief conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, 1990 to 2000 chief conductor of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, 2003 to 2010 Music Director of the Teatro Real, since 2011 he has been Permanent Guest Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia.

He has collaborated with the world´s most renowned orchestras, among them the Berliner and Wiener Philharmoniker, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Münchner Philharmoniker, the Cleveland Orchestra. He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in1980 with L’elisir d’amore and has since then also conducted La Bohème, Tosca, Nabucco, Manon, La forza del destino here.

Piotr Beczala | Gustaf III., König von Schweden

PIOTR BECZALA is one of the main representatives of Lyrical Tenors; he has celebrated success at the New York Met, in Chicago and San Francisco, at the Munich Staatsoper, ROH Covent Garden, the Paris Opéra National, the Milan Scala, the Berlin Staatsoper as well as the Festivals in Salzburg, Baden-Baden and Montpellier. Born and studied in south Poland, he was then made an ensemble member at the Landestheater Linz and then at the Opera in Zurich. He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 1996 with Anton Bruckner’s Te Deum and also as Tamino, Belmonte, Alfredo, Faust, Rodolfo, Roméo and Edgardo. His current and central repertoire also include Verdi’s Duca and Riccardo, Massenets Werther, Gounod’s Roméo, Tschaikowskijs Lenski and Vaudémont, Smetanas Jenik as well since recently Massenets Des Grieux. Recent engagements include, among others, in Munich, the Met, the Scala, in Salzburg and in Baden-Baden. He is also a highly demanded concert singer and works regularly with leading conductors. 
 

Hila Fahima | Oscar

HILA FAHIMA graduated from the Jerusalem Rubin Academy for Music, where she learned under Agnes Massini. During her studies, she appeared in several productions, among them as Adele in der Fledermaus, als Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, als Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro und als Frasquita in Carmen. In 2010, she gave her debut at the New Israeli Opera in the leading role of the opera Alice in Wonderland by David Sebba. In 2010, she won the first prize in the European singing competition, Debut and in 2013 the first prize in the Stella-Maris competition. In 2010, she joined the ensemble of the Deutschen Oper Berlin, where she sang among others Kö­nigin der Nacht in der Zauberflöte, Nannetta in Falstaff, Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos, Ninetta in Die Liebe zu den drei Orangen, Demele inDie Liebe der Danae and Ruggiero in Tancredi. Since the 2013/2014 season, she is an ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper, where she made her debut as Frasquita and also sang among others Papagena and Oscar. Finally, she sang Amore in Orfeo et Euridice as well as Oscar in Un ballo in maschera at the New Israeli Opera as well as the Queen of the Night at the Oper Graz. She is also successful as a concert singer.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky | Graf René Ankarström

Dmitri Hvorostovsky was born in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. In 1989, he won the prestigious Cardiff Singer of the World competition. Since his acclaimed debut as Jeletzki at the Opera in Nice, has carrer has led and continues to lead him to the most important international stages in the world, like for example the New York Met, ROH Covent Garden, the Bay­erische Staatsoper, the Paris Opera, the Scala, Moskow, the Chicago Lyric Opera, the Liceu in Barcelona, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Salzburger Festspielen, Australia as well as South America. Numerous contemporary composers write works for Dmitri Hvorostovsky. His most important roles include among others Graf Luna (Il trovatore), Posa (Don Carlo), the leading role in Rigoletto, Renato (Un ballo in maschera), the leading role in Simon Boccanegra, Jeletzki and the leading role in Eugen Onegin. He gave his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 1994 as Sir Ricardo (I Puritani) and has since also sung  Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Posa, Rigoletto, Jeletzki, Jago, Giorgio Germont (La traviata) as well as the leading roles in Eugen Onegin und Simon Boccanegra. 

Krassimira Stoyanova | Amelia, seine Gattin

KS Krassimira Stoyanova was born in Bulgaria and studied vocal arts and violin at the University of Music in Plowdiw and violin at the Conservatory in Russe. In 1995 she made her debut at the Opera National de Sofiya. Soon the soprano appeared as a guest at the world´s most renowned opera houses and concert halls: At the New Yorker Met, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Hamburgische Staatsoper, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Nationaloper Helsinki, the New Israeli Opera, the Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, Carnegie Hall, at the Ravenna Festival, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Washington Opera, at the Opernhaus Zurich, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona, the Musikverein Wien and the Salzburger Festspiele. Since 1998 Krassimira Stoyanova is closely linked to the Wiener Staatsoper – here, she has for example sung Alice Ford, Mimì, Antonia, Liù, Rachel, Contessa d’Almaviva, Nedda, Violetta, Amelia, Desdemona, Anna (Le villi) Elisabetta (Don Carlo ital.), Ariadne.

 

Nadia Krasteva | Ulrica, Arvedson, Wahrsagerin

Nadia Krasteva was born in Sofia. She received her singing training at the Music Academy in Sofia and in Rome at the Academy Boris Christoff. In the 2001/2002 season, she sang at the opera houses in Sofia, Plovdiv, Carna, Burgas and Stara Zagora and is an ensemble member of the Vienna State Opera since 2002 where she made her debut as Fenea in Nabucco. Since then, she has performed more than 30 works, like for example Carmen, Adalgisa (Norma), Maria Gesualdo, Lé­onor (La Favorite), Olga, Giulietta (Contes d’Hoffmann), Ma­rina Mnischek (Boris Godunow), Meg Page (Falstaff), Ulrica (Ballo in maschera), Eboli (Don Carlos), Flosshilde (Rheingold, Götterdämmerung), Erste Norn (Götterdämmerung), Polina und Daphnis (Pique Dame), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Sonjetka (Lady Macbeth von Mzensk), Preziosilla. Furthermore, she performs and has performed among others at the Deutschen Oper Berlin, the Scala, the Bayerischen Staatsoper, in Hamburg, Sofia, Bratislava, Savonlinna, Riga as well as in Parma, the Lyric Opera Chicago, in Valencia, the De Nederlandse Opera and the Bolschoi Theater in Moscow. Future performances are among others, leading her to the Met and Munich.

Sorin Coliban | Graf Warting

Sorin Coliban was born in Bucharest and studied there at the Academy of Music. He sang at the ROH Covent Garden, the Paris Opera, in Athens, San Francisco, Santiago de Chile, Tel Aviv, at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, the Bayerische Staatsoper, at the Vienna Festival, the Bregenz Festival and the Wiener Volksoper, to only name a few.

His repertoire includes parts such as Philipp II. (Don Carlo), Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra), Procida (Vêpres siciliennes), Ramfis (Aida), Ferrando (Il trovatore), Banquo (Macbeth), Don Giovanni, Leporello and Il Commendatore (Don Giovanni), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Lord Sidney (Il viaggio a Reims), Holländer (Der fliegende Holländer). He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2004 as Monterone (Rigoletto) and also sang the Grand Inquisiteur (Don Carlos), Landgraf (Tannhäuser), Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Capulet (Romeo et Juliette), Fra Melitone (La forza del destino), Fasolt (Das Rheingold), Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro), Colline (La Bohème). 

Roles for the Wiener Staatsoper 2014/2015: Basilio, Ramfis, Biterolf, Police Chief (Lady Macbeth von Mzensk).

Alexandru Moisiuc | Graf Horn

Alexandru Moisiuc was born in Bucharest and completed his violin studies at the Enescu University of Music. In 1980 he began his opera singing studies at the Porumbescu Music Academy. In 1984 he made his debut at the Bucharest National Opera in Werther, where he was engaged as soloist. In 1991 he was engaged at the Wiener Kammeroper as Don Giovanni, and went on a tour to Japan and South Korea with the Kammeroper. In 1992 he became 1st soloist at the National Opera in Temesvar, two years later his collaboration with the Wiener Staatsoper began, where he has been a soloist ever since. In 1990 he started working as singing teacher at the Bucharest Music Academy. Performances have led the artist to La Scala in Milan, the Semperoper, the Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Palais des Beaux-Artes in Brussels, the Herodes Atticus in Athens. His repertoire includes more than 50 of the most important roles of his fach, spanning four centuries and ranging from Monteverdi to Schönberg. 

 

ACT 1, Scene 1
Courtiers, delegates, officers and citizens are waiting for an audience to begin at the king´s palace in Stockholm. Most of them are favourably disposed towards the king, only Count de Horn and Count Warting and their supporters are eager to take his life. Gustavus III enters and accepts the petitions of his subjects. Oscar the page gives him a list of the guests invited to a masked ball. To his delight, the king fins that the list includes the name of Amelia, with whom he is secretely in love. Amelia, however, is the wife of his secretary and most faithful friend Count René Ankarström. After the gathering has dispersed at a sign from the king, Count Akarström enters. He finds the king in a pensive and gloomy mood, but attributes this to worry about the conspiracy engineered by Horn and Warting. However, the king does not wish to hear any more about it, although Ankarström persistently warns him of the impending dangers. Oscars enters with the supreme judge, who asks the king to sign a sentence of banishment against the soothsayer Ulrica Arvedson. When asked his opinion by the king, Oscar defends the soothsayer in an ironic ballad, thus awakening the king´s curiosity. Following a sudden impulse, he invites those waiting in the antechamber to visit the soothsayer three hours after sunset. Disguised as a fisherman, he himself intends to have his future told. The courtiers look forward to some fun, while Ankarström again warns the king against the ploters, who hope to have an opportunity to make an attempt on the king´s life.
ACT1, Scene 2
The common people have gathered together at the soothsayer´s abode.  Fascinated, they watch while Madame Arvedson, as if in a trance, conjures up the “King of the Abyss”. The king enters, but is pushed back by the crowd. Ulrica is now ready to make her prophecies, whereupon the sailer Christian steps forward, wanting to know whether and when he will be rewarded for fifteen years faithful service to the king. Ulrica promises him promotion and financial reward. The king immediately makes this come true: unnoticed, he slips the sailor an officer´s commission and a roll of money. The sailor soon discovers these, to the great pleasure of the crowd. One of Amelia´s servants asks to be admitted and begs the soothsayer for a private audition for his lady. The king hides as the people are sent out. He thus discovers that although Amelia secretly loves him, she wants Ulrica to give her a remedy for this love. Ulrica gives her advice: Amelia must herself look for a certain herb at midnight at the place of execution beneath the gallows. She intends to go to this terrible place the same night, and the king resolves to follow her there. A crowd of curious onlookers, including members of the court and the plotters in disguise, force their way in. Amelia retires. In a cheerful canzonet, the king describes the dangers of life as a fisherman, and is the first to have his palm read. After some initial hesitation, Ulrica predicts his imminent death at the hands of a friend. Everybody is appalled, including the plotters, and only the king himself laughs at the gullibility of his court. At his insistence the soothsayer also names the murderer: it will be the person who first gives him his hand. Nobody dares to refute the prophecy when Ankarström appears. Unsuspectingly, and to the general relief of the onlookers, he shakes the king´s hand in welcome. Ulrica recognizes the king, who has decided against her banishment and makes her gift. Word has spread that the king is present, and an enthusiastic crowd of people forces its ways in and pays homage to the monarch.

ACT3
At midnight Amelia arrives at the place of execution to pick the herb oh which Ulrica has told her. The king, having secretly followed her, steps forwards and confesses his love for her. At this insistence, Amelia is moved to make a confession of love, but legs him not to forget that she is the wife of a loyal friend. Suddenly Count Ankarström approaches to warn the king that the plotters have followed him. Amelia has time to hide her face behind a veil. The king changes cloaks with Ankarström and hurries away after his friend has promised him to escort the veiled stranger back to the town, and to leave her at the gates of the town without speaking to her or looking at her. Just as Amelia and Ankarström are about to leave, the conspirators arrive and find not the king, but only the latter´s secretary. Disappointed at the failure of their murderous plans, they at least want to see who the veiled lady is. Ankarström tries to prevent them, but when the men draw their weapons Amelia draws back her veil to reveal her face. The conspirators deride Ankarström for walking with his own wife by night at the place of execution. Ankarström is shattered, feeling that he has been deceived by both wife and friend. He invites Horn and Warting to visit him next day and escorts his depondent wife home to the scornful laughter of the conspirators.
ACT3 Scene 1
Ankarström threatens to kill Amelia, and is not even prepared to listen her protestations of innocence. She begs him to allow her to embrace her son just one last time. Ankarström grants her request, and then decides to kill the king in her place. Filled with bitterness, he reflects on his former love for Amelia, the king´s apparent breach of faith, and the hatred into which the old friendship has been transformed. When the conspirators appear, he tells them that he knows about their assassination plans, and that from now on they can consider him their man. In order to prove his credibility, he offers them this only son as a pledge, and the new alliance is sealed with an oath. Ankarström wishes to reserve for himself the privilege of killing the king, but his request is refused: this will be decided by drawing lots. The unsuspecting Amelia, who wishes to announce Oscar the page, has to draw the lot: it falls to Ankarström. Oscar is admitted, bearing an invitation to the masked ball which Amelia must also attend. Amelia suspects what her husband and the conspirators have in mind, and desperately tries to think of a way out. Ankarström, Horn and Warting agree on a sign of recognition: a blue costume with a blood-red sash – and the password “Morte”.

Act3 Scene2
In his study the king resolves to give up Amelia, and to send her and Ankarström back to the latter´s home town; he even signs a decree to this effect. Oscar brings the king an anonymous letter from an unknown lady warning him about an attack on his life. However, Gustavus does not want to appear timid, and decides to go to the ball to see Amelia once again.
Act3 Scene 3
The guests have gathered in the ballroom, among them the masked conspirators. Ankarström tries to find out from Oscar which costume and mask the king is wearing, but is initially given an evasive answer. However, Oscar then gives him the answer he requires. Amelia and the king meet among the hustle and bustle of the ball. Ankarström, who has been watching the couple, throws himself at the king and fatally wounds him with his dagger. The guards and the angry throng seize the assassin, whom the dying king forgives. He protests that Amelia´s honour is untarnished, gives the shaken Ankarström the transfer decree and dies.