Myung-Whun Chung began his musical career as a pianist. In 1979, after completing his conducting studies in New York, he became assistant of Carlo Maria Giulini. Between 1984 and 1990 he was Music Director of the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Saarbrücken, 1987 to 1992 he became First Guest Conductor at the Teatro Comunale in Florence, between 1989 and 1994 he was MD of the Opera Bastille. In 2000 he returned to Paris as MD of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Between 1997 and 2005 he was First Guest Conductor of the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia in Rome. 2012/2013 he was First Guest Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden. Outside of Europe he was, for example, Music Advisor of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and has been Music Director of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra since 2006. Myung-Shun Chung has conducted the world´s most significant orchestras (among them the Wiener and Berliner Philharmoniker, Concertgebouworkest, New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestra). He is Commandeur dans l‘ordre des Arts et des Lettres, in 2008 he became UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2011 with Simon Boccanegra.
KS Ferruccio Furlanetto comes from near Treviso, studied agriculture and decided at the age of 22 to take up vocal training. In 1974 he gave his debut in Triest as COlline (La Bohème), in 1979 at the Scala in Macbeth, and a year later as the Großinquisitor (Don Carlo) at the Met. Since then, he has worked together with the most important conductors. Performances have led him to all the important stages, like the Scala, the ROH Covent Garden, the Met, in Rome, Paris, San Diego, Florence, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, St. Petersburg, Moskow, and to the Salzburger Festspielen. In 1985 he gave his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) and has since also sung among others Basilio (Barbiere di Siviglia), Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Giovanni, Sidney (Il viaggio a Reims), Padre Guardiano (Forza del destino), Phanuel (Hérodiade), Mustafà (L’italiana in Algeri), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Philipp II., Boris Godunow, Colline, Procida (Vespri siciliani), Silva (Ernani), Zaccaria and Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra). In 2001, he became an Austrian chamber singer.. in 2007, he was made an honorary ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper. In 2005, he took part in the celebration concert of the 50 years since the re-opening of the Wiener Staatsoper.
KS Ramon Vargas was born in Mexico. He has won numerous competitions and made his debut in his home town as Fenton (Falstaff), but also sang Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore) and Conte d’Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia) there. In 1986 Ramon Vargas won the Enrico Caruso competition in Milan and became a member of the opera studio of the Wiener Staatsoper.
Successful performances followed at opera houses in Zurich, Rome, Naples, Catania, at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, at the Arena di Verona, in Milan, Paris, Munich, Hamburg, New York, Chicago and San Francisco. He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 1988 as Gelsomino (Il viaggio a Reims). Soon roles like Italienischer Tenor (Capriccio), Conte d’Almaviva, Fenton, Rodolfo (La Bohème), Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Nemorino, Roberto Devereux, Lenski (Eugen Onegin), Fernand (La Favorite), Chevalier Des Grieux (in Jules Massenet´s Manon), Werther, Gustaf III. (Un ballo in maschera), Romeo (Romeo et Juliette), Don Carlos (French), Gabriele Adorno (Simon Boccanegra) followed. In 2008 Ramon Vargas became Österreichischer Kammersänger.
KS PLÁCIDO DOMINGO is one of the most significant artists of the 20th century and has been the international benchmark of interpreting for decades. His vocal repertoire, which he extended to works such as Simon Boccanegra and Rigoletto, includes 134 different roles – a number which has not been reached by any other tenor so far. As a conductor, Plácido Domingo has directed over 450 operas and concert performances. Also as an Opera Director (Los Angeles Opera and Washington National Opera, he has made a name for himself. At the Wiener Staatsoper, where he is an honorary member, he gave his debut in 1967 (Don Carlo) on more than 220 evenings (34 times as the conductor). He has sang here among others Radames, Don José, Don Carlo, Gustaf III., Stiffelio, Otello, Canio,Rigoletto-Herzog, Cavaradossi, Manrico, Siegmund, Idomeneo, Lohengrin, Rodolfo, Dick Johnson, Hoffmann, Turiddu, Faust, Loris, Samson, Enzo Grimaldo, Parsifal, Hermann, and Simon Boccanegra. Aside from this, up until now Plácido Domingo has conducted performances from Aida, Carmen, Die Fledermaus, Macbeth, I puritani, Tosca, La traviata, Il trovatore, Nabucco, to Madama Butterfly in the House on the Ring.
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.
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.
The Russian mezzo-soprano ELENA ZHIDKOVA was engaged at the Deutsche Oper Berlin by Götz Friedrich. There, she has sung (excerpt) Olga (Eugen Onegin), Cherubino (Nozze di Figaro) and Dorabella (Così fan tutte).She has guested as Flosshilde and Schwertleite at the Bayreuther Festspiele. Claudio Abbado invited her for the concertante performance of Parsifal, for Schumann´s Faust scenes as well as for his farewell concert at the Berliner Philharmonie. With Nikolaus Harnoncourt she performed there again in Händel´s Jephta. She sang Agnese in Beatrice di Tenda with the orchestra of the Bayerische Rundfunk. She made her debut at the Teatro Real Madrid as Waltraute (Götterdämmerung) and as Brangäne in Tristan and Isolde. As a sought-after guest she for example sang Octavian (Rosenkavalier), Fricka (Ring des Nibelungen) and Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde) at the New National Theatre Tokyo. In the Leipzig new production of Rienzi she sang Adriano. She enjoyed great success as Judith (Herzog Blaubarts Burg) at the premiere at La Scala, and with the same part she guested at the Barbican Hall London with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Valéry Gergiev – a live CD was published. Future projects are for example Waltraute (Götterdämmerung) in Sevilla, Marie (Wozzeck) in Tokyo, Charlotte (Werther) in Bilbao as well as Kundry (Parsifal) in Oslo.
In the monastery of San Yuste, Emperor Charles V, the most powerful monarch in the world, lays down the insignia of his power. Here, away from the world, he intends to spend the rest of his life in solitude and spiritual meditation. Act 1 At the tomb of his ancestors, Don Carlo reflects on the happy hours spent at Fontainebleau with his bride Elisabeth, who is now the wife of his father, his stepmother and queen. The Marquis of Posa has just returned from the Flemish provinces to find his childhood friend in deep despair. He convinces him that it is his duty to travel to Flanders to save the imperilled people there. Philip and Elisabeth enter the monastery to pray at the tomb of the emperor whom they suppose to be dead. In a garden not far from the monastery Princess Eboli is entertaining the entourage of ladies-in-waiting with a Moorish song. As the queen appears, the Marquis of Posa is announced to her. In the course of their conversation Posa manages to secretly pass the queen a message from Carlo and to ask for an audience for him. Princess Eboli hopes to be able to win the Infante’s love. Alone with the queen, Carlo is no longer able to conceal his passionate emotion. Elisabeth still loves the prince, but is aware of her duty as queen. She entreats the dejected man not to hope for the fulfillment of his love. When the king enters unexpectedly and finds his wife alone and unattended, he banishes the Countess of Aremberg from court for leaving the queen unaccompanied. Fraught with emotion, Elisabeth bids her dismissed attendant farewell, sending her on her way with greetings for the homeland she has been obliged to forsake. Filled with shame, the king remains behind. Posa takes advantage of this opportunity to tell the king about the misery of the people of Flanders. Philip, pleased by the Knight Hospitaller’s courageous words, resolves to keep him as a personal advisor, but warns him of the power of the Inquisition. Act 2 In the royal park in Madrid Don Carlo awaits the arrival of the writer of a letter whom he supposes to be the queen. As the veiled woman approaches, he showers her with declarations of love, realising too late that he has revealed his secret to Princess Eboli. Posa appears on the scene and is bent on silencing the dangerous party to Don Carlo’s secret. However, Carlo restrains him. Her pride wounded, the princess swears revenge. The marquis persuades his friend to hand over him all his compromising correspondence. A large crowd of people has gathered outside the cathedral in Madrid to witness the execution of the heretics condemned by the Inquisition. At the head of the Flemish delegation, Don Carlo confronts the king and asks to be appointed regent of the vanquished provinces. When the king rejects this request with scornful words, the prince is overcome with rage and draws his dagger. When none of the great statesmen of the kingdom comes to the aid of their threatened sovereign, Posa disarms his friend, a service for which Philip makes him a duke. The auto-da-fé continues. As the flames leap up the pyre, a consoling voice from Heaven promises the unhappy victims eternal peace. Act 3 Alone in his study at night, the ageing, unloved king deplores the loneliness and burden of his office. Torn by his conscience, he seeks the advice of the blind Grand Inquisitor. The latter endorses his intention of punishing the Infante’s rebelliousness with the utmost severity. However, he in his turn demands the life of the Marquis of Posa, whom he suspects of free thought. Philip resists in vain, and is forced to submit to the power of the Curch. The queen complains vociferously to her husband about the disappearance of her jewel casket, and finds it on the king’s desk. When Philip opens the casket and finds a portrait of the Infante in it, he accuses the queen of adultery. Princess Eboli and the Marquis of Posa hurry in to assist the queen, who has collapsed in a faint. Left alone with the queen, the princess confesses her betrayal of Carlo and her secret liaison with the king. Deeply offended, Elisabeth banishes her to a convent. Posa visits the Infante, who has been thrown into a dungeon, in order to explain his actions to him and bid him farewell. Using the letters entrusted to him, he has managed to shift the suspicion of conspiring with Flanders from Carlo to himself in the hope that this may enable his friend to become king, so that one day the oppressed peoples may be given their fundamental rights. A shot from the darkness hits the marquis in the back. With his dying breath he tells his friend to visit the queen, who has expressed the wish to see Carlo for the last time. The king enters the dungeon to give his son his dagger back. Supposing him to be the murderer of his friend, Carlo disowns him. The enraged crowd clamours for the release of the Infante. When the crowd threatens to turn against the king, the aged Grand Inquisitor intervenes. The crowd relents in the face of his threats. Act 4 The queen is waiting for the Infante at the monastery of San Yuste in order to bid him farewell for the last time before his imminent departure for Flanders. With aching hearts, the couple realise that they will have to renounce their earthly happiness. The king and the Grand Inquisitor enter. As the executioners of the Inquisition are about to lay hands on the prince, he is saved by a mysterious monk whose voice is similar to that of the deceased emperor. He places Don Carlo beyond the reach of earthly powers.