The conductor, pianist, composer and author Frédéric Chaslin was born in Paris and received his training at the conservatoire of his hometown as well as the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 1989 he began his career as the assistant of Daniel Barenboim in Paris and at the Bayreuther Festspielen. In 1991, he became the assistant to Pierre Boulez with the Ensemble Intercontemporain. Frédéric Chaslin gave his international debut as a conductor in 1993 at the Bregenz Festival. He was then the musical director at the Opera in Rouen. From 1999 to 2002, he was the chief conductor of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. In 2002 he gave his debut at the New York Metropolitan Opera. His performances have led him, among others to Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, Paris, London, Los Angeles and Tokyo. He gave his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 1997 and directed a large number of performances, like Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Bohème, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, L’elisir d’amore, Guillaume Tell, Lucia di Lammermoor, Macbeth, Tosca, La traviata, I puritani, Roberto Devereux, Stiffelio, Mefistofele, Werther and La Juive.
The soprano Lise Lindstrom was born in California. She studied first with her mother, a singer, and later at the San Francisco State University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The most important opera houses in which she has performed include among others, the New York Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the San Diego Opera and the Arena di Verona. Furthermore, Lise Lindstrom can be heard at the Milan Scala, the Teatro Massimo in Palermo and the Hamburgischen Staatsoper. Among the preferred roles of the singer include among others, the title roles in Puccini's Turandot and in Strauss‘ Salome, the title roles in Puccinis Tosca, Elisabeth und Venus in Wagners Tannhäuser, Senta in Wagners Der fliegende Holländer, Brünnhilde in Wagners Walküre as well as the leading roles in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. The soprano is also successful as a lied and concert singer. she gave her debut at the Wiener Staatsoper on the 11th May 2012 as Salome.
At the age of 24, ROBERTO ALAGNA won the Pavarotti International Voice Competition in 1988 in Philadelphia. Within a very short time span, he was engaged in Glyndebourne, Monte Carlo and La Scala in Milan. There – under the direction of Riccardo Muti – the tenor impressed the audience first as Alfredo in Verdi´s La traviata and later also as duke in Rigoletto as well as as Rodolfo in Puccini´s La Bohème. Since then, Roberto Alagna is a regular guest in the world´s most significant opera houses, for example in New York, Paris, London and Vienna. Furthermore, he performed very successfully as Roméo in Gounod´s Roméo et Juliette, as Don Carlos in the French version of Verdi´s Don Carlos, as Des Grieux (Manon), Faust, Don José or as Edgar in the French setting of Donizetti´s Lucia di Lammermoor, as Manrico (Il trovatore), Canio (Pagliacci), Radames (Aida), Cavaradossi (Tosca) and Werther. Roberto Alagna made his debut at the Vienna State Opera in 1992 as Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore). Since then, he has sung Rodolfo, Des Grieux, duke, Alfredo and the leading role in Charles Gounod´s Faust in the opera house on the ring.
Already at the age of seven, ALEKSANDRA KURSAK began her musical studies with violin and piano lessons. She completed her studies in singing at the Conservatoire in Breslau, and later at the Conservatoire in Hamburg. At the age of 21, the multi prize-winner gave her debut as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro at the Staatsoper Breslau. From 2001 to 2007, she was an ensemble member of the Staatsoper Hamburg. In 2004, she gave her debut at the New York Met as Olympia and at the ROH Covent Garden in London as Aspasia in Mitridate. In 2010 she gave her debut in the Scala as Gilda. Performances have led her among others to Berlin, Chicago, Salzburg, Valencia, Venice, Madrid and Los Angeles.
Her repertoire includes roles like the Queen of the Night, Blondchen, Susanna, Elvira (Puritani), Juliette, Nannetta, Maria Stuarda, Gilda, Adele, Gretel, Musetta, Marie (La Fille du régiment), Norina, Adina, Violetta, Rosina, Lucia di Lammermoor. In the recent seasons, she successfully debuted the roles of Maria Stuarda at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Rachel in La Juive at the Bavarian State Opera, and Nedda in Zurich.
Upcoming engagements include Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) in Zurich, Micaëla (Carmen) at the Opéra Bastille Paris, Adina and Mimì in Berlin, Adina and Liù at the Royal Opera House London.
At the Wiener Staatsoper, she gave her debut in 2008 as Rosina and also sang Adina, Susanna, Marie, Violetta and Gilda. Aleksandra Kurzak has an exclusive recording contract with DECCA.
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”...