ELENA PANKRATOVA was born in Yekaterinburg and received her musical training in her hometown – initially as pianist and choral conductor. She obtained her opera and concert singer´s diploma with distinction at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. From 1996 to 2000, Elena Pankratova was ensemble member of the Staatstheater Nuremberg. Performances for example lead her to the Oper Frankfurt, the Berliner Staatsoper, to the Savonlinna-Festival, to the Semperoper, La Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, the Teatro Real Madrid or the Liceu Barcelona. Current and future engagements are for example Färberin (London, Munich, Copenhagen), Sieglinde (Mariinskij-Theater St. Petersburg), Turandot (Puccini Festival Torre del Lago, Naples, Munich, St. Petersburg), Elektra (Dresden, Lyon), Leonore (Geneva), Tosca (Savonlinna), Kundry (Bayreuth), Ortrud (Berlin), Venus (Munich), Norma (St. Petersburg).
KS Heinz Zednik was born in Vienna, studied at the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien and was engaged at the Grazer Oper in 1964. At the Bayreuther Festspielen he sang Steuermann (Der fliegende Holländer), David (Meistersinger von Nürnberg) as well as Loge and Mime (Ring des Nibelungen). At the Salzburg Festival he performed as Valzacchi (Rosenkavalier), Pedrillo (Entführung aus dem Serail), Monsieur Taupe (Capriccio), Bardolfo (Falstaff), Monostatos (Zauberflöte) as well as in Un re in ascoltoand Die Schwarze Maske. Guest appearances have led him to the world´s most renowned stages, for example the Met and La Scala. He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 1964 as Augustin Moser (Meistersinger von Nürnberg) and has since then sung roles such as Incroyable (Andrea Chenier), Schuiski and Gottesnarr (Boris Godunow), Andres/Cochenille/Pitichinaccio/Frantz (Contes d’Hoffmann), Jaquino (Fidelio), Herodes (Salome), Wenzel (Verkaufte Braut), Hauptmann (Wozzeck), Rabbi/Wilhelm II. (Riese vom Steinfeld), Boles (Peter Grimes), Loge, Mime, Traumfresserchen, Regisseur der Bühne (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny). He is Österreichischer Kammersanger as well as honorary member of the Wiener Staatsoper.
Ryan Speedo Green comes from Suffolk (Virginia) in the USA, and studied at the Florida State University and the Hartt School of Music. He has won several prizes from singing competitions and recently completed the coveted Lindemann Young Artists Development Program of the New York Metropolitan Opera. In the 2013/2014 season, he sang the roles of Onkel Bonzo in Madama Butterfly and the Schließer in Tosca at the New York Met. In the years leading to that in the Met, he also sang in Mandarin in Turandot as well as in Parsifal. Further works in his repertoire include Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Don Profondo (Il viaggio a Reims), Commendatore (Don Giovanni), Colline (La Bohème), and Don Magnifico (La cenerentola). On the concert stage, Ryan Speedo Green has sung in Händels Messias, in Mozarts Requiem, in Beethovens 9. Symphonie, in Verdis Requiem, and in Mozarts Coronationmass. In the 2014/2015 season, he will be Rambo in Death of Klinghoffer in the New York Met. From September 2014, he will be an ensemblemember of the Wiener Staatsoper and sang here, among others, Fouquier Tinville (Andrea Chénier), Mönch (Don Carlo), Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Pope (Lady Macbeth von Mzensk), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Titurel, Angelotti (Tosca), König (Aida).
English biography coming soon.
The soprano Anita Hartig was born in Romania. After completing the Music School, the young singer completed her vocal studies at the Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca. Anita Hartig is a prize winner of several international competitions. In 2006, she gave her stage debut as Mimì in La Bohème at the Opera in Cluj. At the Wiener Staatsoper, where she is an ensemble member, Anita Hartig gave her debut in October 2009 as Musetta (La Bohème) and has also sung roles among others, like Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Despina (Così fan tutte), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Echo (Ariadne auf Naxos), Frasquita (Carmen), Mimì (La Bohème), Marzelline (Fidelio), Micaëla (Carmen) and Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro). Performances have led the soprano to important international music theatres, e.g. at the Hamburg Staatsoper, Tokyo and Athens, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, the Théâtre de la Monnaie and the Cardiff National Opera, Berlin, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, the Milan Scala as well as the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
The mandarin proclaims the law: Turandot will only marry the man who can solve three riddles that she poses. But whoever fails must die – a fate that has befallen many, most recently a Persian prince. The “unknown” Prince Calaf, who has seen the beautiful but cruel Princess Turandot, is spellbound by her – and determines to take the risk. Before he can do so, he encounters his father, the banished Tartar King Timur, who is accompanied by Liù, a slave.
She in turn is in love with Calaf…
Ping, Pang and Pong report on life in China and complain: since Turandot has been posing her riddles, their tranquil life has ended and they have been reduced to “ministers of the executioner”. Despite all advice to the contrary, Calaf accepts the challenge of answering Turandot’s questions. And he learns the reason for her inhumanity: once, in the dim and distant past, her ancestor Lou-Ling was robbed and raped – and these deeds must now be avenged and expiated. Calaf is able to solve the riddles; against her will, Turandot must now become his wife. But Calaf wishes win her affections, and so places himself at her mercy. So he now puts a riddle to her; if she can solve it, it will mean his death (and her freedom): What is his name?
In spite of all their efforts, no one can find out the name of the prince. Then Liù and Timur, who were seen talking to Calaf, are brought in. In order to protect Timur and out of love for Calaf, pretending to be the only person who knows the prince’s name, Liù kills herself. Love finally wins the day. Although Calaf has revealed his true name to her and placed his fate in her hands, Turandot declares that the name of the unknown prince is “Love”...