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The international career of Anja Harteros began in 1999 with her win of the Cardiff Singer of the World competition, which brought the singer in no time at all to all the most important stages in the world: the Metropolitan Opera, the Milan Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Staatsopern in Munich, Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg and Dresden, the Opera Houses in Florence, Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva, Tokyo as well as the Salzburger Festivals. Her versatile repertoire includes such parts like Mimì (La Bohème), Elisabetta (Don Carlos), Desdemona (Otello), Violetta (La traviata), Amelia (Simon Boccanegra), Alice (Falstaff), Micaëla (Carmen), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Contessa d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Elettra (Idomeneo), Agathe (Der Freischütz), Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Elisabeth (Tannhäuser), Elsa (Lohengrin) as well as the leading roles in Alcina, Arabella and Traviata. In recognition of her artistic achievements, in July 2007 she was awarded the title of Bavarian Chamber Singer. She made her debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 1999 as Mimì and also sang among others Micaëla, Donna Anna, Contessa d’Almaviva, Eva, Feldmarschallin, Desdemona and Alcina.
BENJAMIN BRUNS started his vocal career as an Alto soloist in the boys’ choir of his hometown, Hannover. While still studying at the Musikhochschule in Hamburg, he was offered his first engagement by the Bremer Theater. This was followed by ensemble contracts at the Opera in Cologne and the Dresden State Opera. Guest performances have led him, among others to the Staatstheater in Nürnberg, the Staatsoper unter den Linden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Teatro Colón and the Bayreuther Festpielen. Also as an Oratorio and Song singer, Benjamin Bruns enjoys an excellent reputation and is therefore just as much at home in concert halls as he is on the operatic stage. Since the start of the 2010/2011 season, Bruns has been a member of the Wiener Staatsoper ensemble, and has since sung works such as Conte d’Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Oronte (Premiere-Alcina), Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Don Basilio (Premiere-Le nozze di Figaro), Brighella (Ariadne auf Naxos), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Jaquino (Fidelio), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) and Évandre (Premiere-Alceste).
Bass baritone Adam Plachetka was born in 1985 and completed his studies at the Conservatory of his hometown Prague. Apart from a number of national competitions, he won the International Antonin Dvorak singing competition. In 2005 he made his debut at the Prague National Theatre, where he for example performed as Don Giovanni, Publio (La clemenza di Tito), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Nardo (La finta giardiniera), Argante (Rinaldo) and Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte). He performed Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) at the Prague State Opera as well as Don Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia).
Engagements led Adam Plachetka to the Salzburg Festival, to the Bayerische Staatsoper, to Glyndebourne, to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London, to La Scala Milan and to the Berlin Staatsoper.
Since 2010/2011 he is member of ensemble of the Wiener Staatsoper and has for example sung Schaunard, Basilio, Melisso (Alcina), Masetto and Don Giovanni, Haly (L’italiana in Algeri), Graf Dominik, Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Gugliemo, Publio, Dulcamara, Hercule (Alceste), Alidoro here.
Bradamante is searching for Ruggiero, to whom she is betrothed. She has disguised herself as a soldier and is travelling under the name of her brother, Ricciardo. She is accompanied by her tutor Melisso, who is also disguised as a soldier. On the island ruled by the sorceress Alcina, the two meet Alcina’s sister Morgana, who falls in love at first sight with the supposed Ricciardo. To complicate the situation, Alcina enters – with Ruggiero, who has fallen head over heels in love with Alcina and is loved by her in return. The young Oberto, who was taken in by Alcina after he and his father Astolfo were shipwrecked, asks the newcomers if they have any news of his father, who one day disappeared without trace. Oberto is scarcely out of sight when Bradamante (Ricciardo) and Melisso confront Ruggiero; however, he scoffs at both Melisso and Bradamante, whom he takes for Ricciardo. The appearance of Oronte, Alcina’s general, makes the situation all the more difficult for the two disguised as soldiers. Oronte is in love with Morgana and regards the supposed Ricciardo as his rival; he accordingly challenges Bradamante to a duel. Morgana renounces their relationship, in response to which Oronte devises an intrigue: he tells Ruggiero that Alcina changes all her former lovers into rocks, streams and beasts, and that Ruggiero too will soon share this fate, since Alcina has fallen in love with the recently arrived Ricciardo. Beside himself with jealousy, Ruggiero accuses Alcina of being unfaithful and demands that she turn Ricciardo into a wild beast to prove her devotion. Morgana hastens to warn Bradamante, whom she supposes to be Ricciardo; Bradamante pretends to be in love with Morgana to prove that she is not interested in Alcina.
While searching for Alcina, Ruggiero comes upon Melisso. He has disguised himself as Atlante, Ruggiero’s former tutor, and gives Ruggiero a magic ring. The ring makes Ruggiero come to his senses again; he remembers his love for Bradamante and no longer has any feelings for Alcina. Morgana manages to persuade Alcina not to change Ricciardo into a wild beast, and Ruggiero too, who feigns love for Alcina, declares that her intention to transform Ricciardo has laid his jealousy to rest. Without delay, Ruggiero then asks Alcina’s permission to go hunting alone. Alcina gives her permission, little knowing that Ruggiero plans to go hunting with the sole intention of fleeing Alcina’s kingdom. Oronte finally informs Alcina of Ruggiero’s plan, whereupon Alcina calls upon demons to help her win back Ruggiero’s love. In deep despair, she realizes that her magic power is no longer effective. Morgana too realizes that she has fallen in love with a woman disguised as a man.
Morgana now returns to her former lover, Oronte. For her part, Alcina is still unable to rekindle Ruggiero’s love for her; on the contrary, he is even willing to fight for his freedom. Finally, Ruggiero and his allies overcome Alcina’s forces and destroy the urn that once secured her magic powers. Alcina’s kingdom and the bewitched creatures are immediately restored to their original form – including Oberto’s father, who had been transformed into a lion. All praise the victorious power of true love.