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.
Michele Pertusi is a sought-after bass singer on the world´s leading opera and concert stages. He is a regular guest at the Opera National de Paris, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, La Scala, the New York Metropolitan Opera, at the Rossini-Festival in Pesaro, in Rome, Munich, Berlin, Zurich, Madrid, Brussels, Madrid, Florence, Bologna, Parma, Venice. Michele Pertusi´s repertoire includes the most important title roles of his fach, for example in Mozart´s Le nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan tutte, Don Giovanni, Rossini´s La cenerentola, Semiramide, Il turco in Italia, L’italiana in Algeri, Le siege de Corinthe, Guillaume Tell, Bellini´s La sonnambula, Donizetti´s Anna Bolena, Lucrezia Borgia, Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Pasquale, Verdi´s Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio, Attila, I Lombardi alla prima crociata, Falstaff. He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in March 1999 as Sir Giorgio in I puritani and has since then also sung Guillaume Tell, Mustafa (L’italiana in Algeri), Conte d’Almaviva (Nozze di Figaro), Rodolfo (La sonnambula), Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Don Alfonso (Lucrezia Borgia) here.
Juan Diego Flórez was born in Lima (Peru) and studied in his hometown as well as at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. In 1996, he gave his opera debut in Matilde di Shabran at the Rossini-Festival in Pesaro. Since then, the tenor is one of the most sought after singers of his style. He has celebrated triumphs in recent years among others at the Milan Scala, the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, as well as in music centres like Paris, Florence, Bologna, Genua, Turin, Rome, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Munich, Barcelona, Madrid and the Salzburger Festspielen. Since 2001, Juan Diego Flórez has an exclusive contract with DECCA. Several of his recordings have one many prizes, and in addition, he has won numerous official rewards. Juan Diego Flórez gave his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 1999 as Conte d’Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and has since also sung Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), Lindoro (L’italiana in Algeri), Arturo (I puritani), Elvino (La sonnambula), Tonio (La Fille du régiment) and Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore). He is an Austrian Chamber singer.
ALESSIO ARDUINI was born in Desenzano del Garda in Italy. At the age of fifteen, he discovered his passion for singing and studied with Vincenzo Rose for several years. In 2010 he received a grant from the Lina Aimaro Bertasi Foundation and made his debut in the leading role of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart´s Don Giovanni in a production of the Como Teatro Sociale. In a further production of this institution he performed as Conte d’Almaviva in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart´s Le nozze di Figaro. Alessio Arduini appeared as Don Giovanni at the Teatro Communale in Bologna; at the Teatro Ponchielli in Cremona, he sang Riccardo in Vincenzo Bellini´s I puritani. Current and future engagements include the role of Guglielmo in Mozart´s Cosi fan tutte (Teatro Regio in Turin and Teatro La Fenice in Venice),Don Giovanni at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari and Schaunard in Giacomo Puccini´s La Bohème at the Salzburg Festival and at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London. He is a company member of the Vienna State Opera.
Valentina Naforniţă was born in Glodeni (Moldova) and studied at the Stefan Neaga Music College in Chisinau and at the University of Music in Bucharest. As a member of the opera studio of this institution she for example performed as Norina in Gaetano Donizetti´s Don Pasquale and as Adina in Donizetti´s L’elisir d’amore, furthermore as Lauretta in Giacomo Puccini´s Gianni Schicchi. She has won several international competitions, among them the Young Opera Singers of Europe competition, the Rumanian Orange Prize for Young Musicians and the Hariclea Darclee competition. In 2011 the young singer won the renowned BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition – she not only won first prize, but also the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Award and was a finalist for the lied prize. Since 2011 she is member of the ensemble of the Wiener Staatsoper and performed for example as Lisa (La sonnambula), Papagena, Ein junger Hirt (Tannhäuser), Clorinda (La cenerentola), Najade (Ariadne auf Naxos), Marzelline (Fidelio), Stimme vom Himmel (Don Carlo), Musetta (La Bohème) here.
Wolfram Igor Derntl was born in Mauthausen. He completed his vocal studies at the Goetheanistisches Konservatorium with honours. In 2004 he was engaged at the Wiener Staatsoper and has since then also been member of the Wiener Hofmusikkapelle. Before his fixed engagement at the Wiener Staatsoper, he was for example engaged at the Wiener Volksoper, the Wiener Kammeroper, the Stadttheater St. Pölten, in Klosterneuburg, Schwetzingen or at the Wiener Burgtheater. He was successful as Tamino (Zauberflöte), Basilio and Don Curzio (Figaro), Pedrillo (Entführung aus dem Serail), Barinkay (Zigeunerbaron), Symon (Bettelstudent), Adam (Vogelhändler) and Alfred (Fledermaus). Since his engagement at the Wiener Staatsoper he has performed numerous roles, apart from his administrative activities for the choir. In 2009/2010 he was engaged as a soloist at the Wiener Staatsoper.
The old, wealthy, but miserly bachelor Don Pasquale wants to marry off his nephew Ernesto: to a wealthy woman. Ernesto however prefers the young, destitute widow Norina, who loves him. Although Don Pasquale has never seen Norina, he rejects the marriage – and throws Ernesto unceremoniously out of his house. Despondent, Ernesto writes a farewell letter to his beloved Norina. But Norina will not give Ernesto up...
Don Pasquale's new plan is now get married himself – and his friend Dr. Malatesta is to help him in this endeavour. Malatesta however sticks by Ernesto and contrives a complex plot in which Norina and Ernesto have a part to play: Norina is to be presented to the bachelor as Malatesta's well brought up sister Sofronia, who grew up in a convent. Don Pasquale is enchanted by this silent, virtuous creature – and enters into sham marriage arranged by Malatesta (but which Don Pasquale believes to be real). Immediately after the wedding, Sofronia (= Norina) changes her behaviour. She turns into a lavish, loveless, snappish shrew who terrorizes Pasquale and is – obviously – deceiving him. To get her out of the house again, Don Pasquale wants to give his nephew Ernesto not only a rich dowry, but also a home again, along with Norina (whose real identity is still unknown to him). Sofronia's true identity is then revealed. He has to learn his lesson: a man of the older generation should not try to court a younger woman...