KSCH Otto Schenk was born in Vienna in 1930 and experienced a childhood strongly influenced by the horrors of the Nazi regime.
After his education at the Max Reinhardt Seminar, he made his acting debut in Vienna. The first places of appearance in his career were the Theater an der Josefstadt and the Wiener Volkstheater. As of 1953 he also worked as theatre director and as of 1957, as opera director. Very soon his career led him to the world´s most important stages, for example the Wiener Burgtheater, the Münchner Kammerspiele, the New York Met, La Scala in Milan, the ROH Covent Garden, the Bayerische and Hamburgische Staatsoper or the Deutsche Oper Berlin. From 1965 to 1990 he was leading stage director at the Wiener Staatsoper, between 1986 and 1988 he was member of the Board of the Salzburger Festspiele, between 1988 and 1997 director of the Theater in der Josefstadt. Furthermore, he appeared in numerous television plays. He has staged about 30 different operas at the Wiener Staatsoper and furthermore performed as Frosch here.
Soprano AIDA GARIFULLINA was born in Russia. She studied vocal arts, for example at the Music University in Vienna and made her debut at a studio production as Despina in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart´s Così fan tutte. In 2012 Aida Garifullina made her debut at the Arena di Verona in Italy. That same year she won Plácido Domingo´s renowned Operalia competition. This first prize initiated the singer´s great career. Aida Garifullina received her first invitations to Beijing and to the Moscow Bolschoi Theatre. She performed as Susanna in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart´s Le nozze di Figaro, a role she also sang at the St. Petersburg Mariinski Theatre. There she also sang Adina in Gaetano Donizetti´s L´esilir d´amore. In July 2013 Aida Garifullina appeared at a gala in Kazan with the orchestra of the Mariinski Theatre under the direction of Valery Gergiev. Despite her young age, she was already awarded the title Honoured Artist of The Republic of Tatarstan. Recently she performed Nannetta in Giuseppe Verdi´s Falstaff – a role which she also interpreted in Buenos Aires. As of the season 2014/2015 she is member of the ensemble at the Wiener Staatsoper.
ORDAN YILDIZ was born in Turkey. He studied at the Mersin Conservatory, where he graduated in 2002. As of 2000 he sang at the Staatsoper Mersin. He was finalist and winner of several competitions, among them the Siemens Voice Competition in Istanbul and the Belvedere competition, the Leyla Gencer competition, the Francisco Vinas or the Operalia competition. As of 2010 he sang at the Theater Braunschweig as ensemble member and performed essential parts, for example as Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Conte d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), in the title role of Don Giovanni, Ping (Turandot), Belcore (L’elisir d’amore), Klingsor (Parsifal), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Enrico in Donizetti´s Lucia di Lammermoor, Giorgio Germont in La traviata, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, Jeletski in Pique Dame, Ford (Falstaff). He guested at the Hamburgische Staatsoper, at the opera in Bremen, at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Chile, at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse and at the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam. As of the season 2016/2017, he will be ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper.
Paolo Rumetz began studying vocal arts in his hometown Trieste and perfected his skills in Munich with Josef Metternich and in Rome with Renato Guelfi. Paolo Rumetz made his debut in Cimarosa´s Il Maestro di Cappella in Spoleto. In 1988 his first appearance at the Teatro Verdi in Trieste in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos followed. Since then, Paolo Rumetz has regularly been engaged in London, Pisa, Lucca, Prague, Macerata, Venice, Ravenna, Verona, Turin, Tokyo, at La Scala in Milan, in Barcelona, Zurich, Leipzig, Florence. Paolo Rumetz’s repertoire includes roles such as Enrico in Donizetti´s Lucia di Lammermoor, Sharpless in Puccini´s Madama Butterfly, Alberich in Wagner´s Das Rheingold, Doktor Dulcamara in Donizetti´s L’elisir d’amore, Sulpice in Donizetti´s La Fille du regiment, David in Mascagni´s L’amico Fritz, Don Geronio in Rossini´s Il turco in Italia, the title role in Verdi´s Falstaff, Don Bartolo in Rossini´s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Jago in Verdi´s Otello, Graf Gil in Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari´s Il segreto di Susanna, Fra Melitone in Verdi´s La forza del destino, Taddeo in Rossini´s L’italiana in Algeri.
Soprano MARIAM BATTISTELLI was born in Ethiopia and studied at Campiani Conservatoire in Mantua. In 2010, she acted opposite Plácido Domingo and Ruggero Raimondi in the opera film Rigoletto in Mantua, conducted by Zubin Mehta. In 2014, she came third in Verona International Competition Maria Callas, and the following year she won a prize in the Franca Mattiucci International Vocal Competition. In Rome, she won the first prize in the International Opera Competition Ottavio Ziino. From 2013-2016, Mariam Battistelli studied at Centre de Perfeccionament Plácido Domingo at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia, where she sang in productions such as Manon Lescaut, L’incoronazione di Dario (Antonio Vivaldi) and Juditha triumphans (Antonio Vivaldi). Apart from this, the soprano performed at the world premiere of The Opera! in Muscat. Her work is not restricted to operas, but includes concerts, too. At Vienna State Opera, where Mariam Battistelli has been a member of the ensemble since the beginning of 2018, she made her debut as Pamina in The Magic Flute for Kids, and she has also sung Cinderella and the Flower Maiden.
Act 1 Adina, a tenant farmer in a rather remote village, is young, rich – and well-read. She is greatly admired by Nemorino, a penniless worker. Adina reads the country folk a moving version of the story of Tristan and Isolde, which she, however, finds rather amusing: Tristan, whom Isolde does not love, obtains a love potion from a miracle-monger. The magic potion enables him to win Isolde’s heart. Adina is glad that such potions no longer exist. Nemorino – who deeply loves her, although she does not accept him – listens attentively to the story. Sergeant Belcore and his soldiers march into the village and take up quarters there. Belcore behaves chivalrously towards Adina, but at the same time asks for her love. However, the capricious Adina is not to be so easily won. Nemorino finds an opportunity to reaffirm how dearly he loves Adina. She, however, rebuffs him, saying that she wishes to remain free and untied. The arrival of Dulcamara causes considerable excitement. He announces that he is a wonder doctor of great repute who has a remedy for every conceivable ailment. The country folk are taken in by his glib patter. Finally, Nemorino asks the charlatan whether he also has a love potion. Dulcamara immediately takes advantage of the situation and sells the grateful Nemorino the coveted potion for all the money he has. Dulcamara takes the precaution of saying that the potion will only take effect after 24 hours; what he has sold the unsuspecting Nemorino is in fact nothing more than a bottle of Bordeaux wine. Nemorino immediately drinks some of it, and notices a remarkable improvement in his mood. He pretends to be impartial to Adina: let her now court him! Adina is not happy with this sudden change of heart either. She wants to find out whether Nemorino’s feeling for her have actually grown cold, and at once declares her intention of marrying Belcore, and of doing so that very day, as the sergeant will have to move on next morning. Nemorino, at first confident of success thanks to his magic potion, is now completely flabbergasted. This was not the effect he had expected from the love potion. If only he can win just one more day ... Act 2 In the meantime, preparations for the wedding are in full swing. Dulcamara plays an improvised Venetian love scene with Adina. The notary appears with the marriage contract, but Adina says she will sign it later. Nemorino asks Dulcamara for a second bottle of the magic elixir. This can naturally be arranged – if Nemorino can pay for it. The latter, however, does not have a single penny left to his name. In his despair he lets Belcore enlist him as a soldier, and immediately buys the second bottle with the bounty which he receives.The supposed love potion takes effect unexpectedly rapidly: Nemorino is at once surrounded by a crowd of girls. He is not particularly surprised at this, as he has already done full justice to his elixir. However, he is completely unaware of the real reason for this sudden display of affection. Giannetta has divulged some news that until now has been a closely kept secret: Nemorino’s wealthy uncle has died, leaving Nemorino his sole heir. Nemorino takes great delight in the company of the girls. He ignores Adina completely, which arouses her jealousy. From Dulcamara she learns why Nemorino has signed up. The charlatan now offers her the love potion. However, she refuses it, as she knows a better means of winning Nemorino, of whom she is very fond after all: her own eyes. Nemorino believes he has seen a secret tear in Adina’s eyes. Does she love him after all? After his beautiful romance, his suspicions are confirmed by Adina herself: she confesses her love for him, and gives him back his enlistment papers. She has paid the bounty back to Belcore and bought Nemorino free. Belcore finds his bride in the arms of another man. Although he is disappointed, he accepts the situation with good humour; after all, there will always be plenty of girls for a soldier like him! Dulcamara takes advantage of the situation. He boasts that it is thanks to his magic potion that Nemorino has not only found love, but also inherited a fortune.