Born in Kronach (Upper Frankonia), AXEL KOBER completed his conducting studies at the University of Music in Würzburg. First steps of his career were for example the Oper Leipzig (MD between 2007 and 2009 and assistant GMD) and the Nationaltheater Mannheim (principal Kapellmeister since 2003, since 2005/2006 temporary GMD). In Leipzig he also regularly conducted symphony concerts of the Gewandhaus orchestra. Guest performances during this time for example led him to the Staatstheater Nürnberg, the Wiener Volksoper, the Royal Opera Copenhagen, the Philharmonische Orchester Halle as well as to the NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg. Since 2009 he has been principal conductor and GMD of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. With Tannhäuser, he guested at the Bayreuther Festspiele for the first time in 2013. In 2014 he was invited once again for Tannhäuser as well as for the Fliegende Holländer (as of 2015). Further guest conductings led him to the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Parsifal, Tannhäuser), the Hamburgische Staatsoper (La traviata, Ariadne auf Naxos, Carmen), the Theater Basel (Parsifal, Lohengrin). In 2014/2015, Axel Kober made his debut at the Opéra National du Rhin (Tristan und Isolde), in 2015/2016 he debuted at the Semperoper Dresden (Elektra) and at the Opernhaus Zürich (Fliegender Holländer).
SORIN COLIBAN was born in Bucharest and studied there at the Academy of Music. He sang at the ROH Covent Garden, the Paris Opera, in Athens, San Francisco, Santiago de Chile, Tel Aviv, at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, the Bayerische Staatsoper, at the Vienna Festival, the Bregenz Festival and the Wiener Volksoper, to only name a few. His repertoire includes parts such as Philipp II. (Don Carlo), Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra), Procida (Vêpres siciliennes), Ramfis (Aida), Ferrando (Il trovatore), Banquo (Macbeth), Don Giovanni, Leporello and Il Commendatore (Don Giovanni), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Lord Sidney (Il viaggio a Reims), Holländer (Der fliegende Holländer). He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2004 as Monterone (Rigoletto) and also sang the Grand Inquisiteur (Don Carlos), Landgraf (Tannhäuser), Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Capulet (Romeo et Juliette), Fra Melitone (La forza del destino), Fasolt (Das Rheingold), Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro), Colline (La Bohème).
Stephen Gould was born in Virginia and studied at the New England Conservatory of Music. In recent years he has sung in the new productions of Der fliegende Holländer in Madrid, Munich, Vienna and New York, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung in Bayreuth, Tannhäuser in Tokyo, Paris and Geneva, Peter Grimes in Dresden and Geneva, Otello and Die Liebe der Danae in Dresden, Lohengrin in Trieste and Hamburg, Die tote Stadt in Berlin and London, Fidelio in Rome und Tokyo, Les Troyens, Fidelio and Otello in Florence as well as in many further productions and concerts in Dresden, Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Hamburg, Mannheim and Barcelona. In 2012/2011 he sang Gurre-Lieder in Montreux and Luzern, Tristan und Isolde in Tokyo and Dresden, Tannhäuser in Dresden, then Die Frau ohne Schatten in Salzburg, Götterdämmerung in Berlin, and in 2012 Tristan und Isolde in Berlin, Fidelio in Dallas, Götterdämmerung in Munich and Tannhäuse in Turin, to only name a few.
In 2004 he made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Paul (Die tote Stadt) and has since then also sung Erik, Parsifal, Siegfried (Siegfried, Götterdämmerung), Tannhäuser and Bacchus here.
IRÉNE THEORIN is a regular guest at the world´s most significant opera houses. After her debut as Brünnhilde in Copenhagen, she for example guested in London, Beijing, Budapest, Berlin and Dresden and made her US debut with this role in 2009 at the New York Met as well as in Washington. In 2010, Tokyo followed. In the season 2012/2013 she was Brünnhilde in the Barenboim-Ring at the Staatsoper Berlin and La Scala, at the Wagner Festival in Budapest and in Barcelona. In 2005 she made her debut as Turandot in Copenhagen. Appearances as Brünnhilde followed in Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Guanzghou, Dresden and at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, at the Met and the Bayerische Staatsoper. In 2006 she sang Isolde for the first time in Brussels, after that in Rotterdam, Washington, Copenhagen, Tokyo and Berlin. Between 2008 and 2012 she sang Isolde at the Bayreuther Festspiele. In 2007 and 2008 she performed Elisabetta (Don Carlo), Tosca and Elisabeth (Tannhäuser) in Copenhagen. Her debut as Santuzza followed in 2012. In 2010 she debuted as Elektra at the Salzburger Festspiele, a role she also interpreted at the Paris Opera. She presented herself to the Viennese public at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2011 as Venus.
Roles at the Wiener Staatsoper 2014/2015: Venus, Isolde.
Tomasz Konieczy was born in 1972 in Lodz/Poland. At the Film Academy there, he studied acting as well as singing in Warsaw and Dresden. In 1997, he gave his debut in Poznan as Figaro (Nozze di Figaro), two years later in Leipzig, and in 2000/2001 he changed to the Lubecker Theatre. During this time he was committed to St. Gallen, Halle, Chemnitz and Mannheim. From 2002/2003, he became an ensemble member in Mannheim. In 2005, he gave his debut at the Deutschen Oper in Rhein. Further engagements include performances in the Scala, at the Paris Opera, the Semperoper, the Teatro Real, Warsaw, the Bayerischen Staatsoper, Tokyo, Berlin and the Salzburger Festspiele. His roles include among others: Kezal, Orest, Procida, Ramfis, Wotan Wanderer, Pizarro, Großinquisitor, Jochanaan, Osmin, Golaud, Sarastro, Mandryka, Amfortas, Alberich, Pimen, Marke, Colline, Melitone and Wozzeck. In 2008, he gave his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Alberich and also sang here since then Fra Melitone, Alberich (kompletter Ring), Amfortas, Goldhändler, Jochanaan, Wotan, Wanderer, Mandryka, Jack Rance, Don Pizarro and Dreieinigkeitsmoses.
In 2011/2012 the German baritone made his successful role debuts as Kurwenal (Tristan und Isolde) at the Opera de Lyon, as Dr. Kolenaty (Sache Makropulos) at the Salzburger Festspiele and as Alberich (Siegfried und Gotterdämmerung) at the Oper Frankfurt, where he had already sung Amfortas (Parsifal) and Alberich (Das Rheingold) in 2010. Future plans include the debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Alberich in the Ring des Nibelungen in Frankfurt and with the RSB Berlin as well as projects at the Bastille in Paris, at the Liceu in Barcelona and the Gulbenkian in Lisbon, where he recently sang Orest (Elektra) and Creon (Medee). He regularly guests at international opera and concert stages, e.g. at the Staatsoper Berlin, the Semperoper Dresden, La Scala in Milan, the Teatro Regio Turin, the Wiener Volksoper, the Aalto Theater Essen as well as at the Ruhrtriennale. Also he sang in Dallas, Philadelphia and at the San Francisco Opera (Faninal in Rosenkavalier). As Wozzeck he for example guested at the Gran Teatro del Liceu Barcelona, at the Teatro Real in Madrid and at the Staatsoper Hamburg. As Musiklehrer (Ariadne auf Naxos) he made his debut at the Met in 2010 as well as at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2011.
Coloratura soprano MARIA NAZAROVA was born in the Ukraine. She received her vocal arts and acting training at the Russian Academy for theatre arts in Moscow. Parallel to her education at the Academy, she was an actor at the Polish Theatre in Moscow and performed on several stages in Moscow. After obtaining her diploma studies with distinction, she completed her master studies with special focus on baroque music as well as lied and oratorio at the Mozarteum Salzburg in 2011. Maria Nazarova has performed as soloist in Europe, Russia, Great Britain and is multiple awardee of different international competitions. She performed in the ensemble of the Young Singers Project at the Salzburger Festspiele. She sang Taumännchen at the Wiener Volksoper, Lisa (La sonnambula) at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich und Despina at the Bolschoi in Moscow. Since 2015 Maria Nazarova is ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper as well as NOVOMATIC scholar and has for example sung Despina, Clorinda, Oscar and Barbarina here.
The mezzo-soprano Monika Bohinec studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. As a student, she was a finalist and award winner of different competitions and a scholarship holder of the Richard Wagner Foundation and the Hilde Zadek Foundation.
In 2006, she made her debut as Clarissa in Die Liebe zu den drei Orangen at the Slovenian State Opera, where she appeared as Jezibaba in Rusalka, Konchakowna (Fürst Igor), Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and in the title role of Carmen.
In 2009 Monika Bohinec became ensemble member of the Mannheim National Theatre, where she sang Carmen, Sara di Nottingham (Roberto Devereux), Laura and Cieca (La Gioconda), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Giulietta (Les Contes d’Hoffmann) and Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera).
In the season 2011/2012 Monika Bohinec became ensemble member of the Vienna State Opera where she sang e.g. Larina, Grimgerde, Marthe, Farzana, Schenkenwirtin, Lola, Mary, Marcellina, Fenena, Ulrica, Suzuki, Margret, Madelon and Erste Norn.
KS Herwig Pecoraro was born in Bludenz and studied in Feldkirch, Mantua and Modena and took part in master classes with KS Schwarzkopf. Guest appearances have led him to the Bregenzer and Salzburger Festspiele, the opera houses in Bern, St. Gallen, Hamburg, Munich, Paris, Nice, Toulouse, Milan, New York and San Francisco. He was engaged at the Opernhaus Graz and at the Volksoper Wien, since 1991 he is member of the ensemble of the Wiener Staatsoper, where he made his debut as Steuermann (Der fliegende Holländer) and has since then sung (selection) Jaquino (Fidelio), Monostatos and 1. Geharnischter (Die Zauberflöte), Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Pedrillo (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Mime (Das Rheingold, Siegfried), Hirt (Tristan und Isolde), Beppe (Pagliacci), Andres/Cochenille/Frantz/Pitichinaccio (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Bob Boles (Peter Grimes), David (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Incroyable (Andrea Chenier), Bardolfo (Falstaff), Goro (Madama Butterfly), Guillot (Manon) as well as Klammerschneider (Riese vom Steinfeld) and Fatty here.
Roles at the Wiener Staatsoper 2013/2014: e.g. Bob Boles (Peter Grimes), Herodes (Salome), Hauptmann (Wozzeck), Mime (Das Rheingold).
Act 1 Siegfried was brought up by Mime, the blacksmith, in the forest. Mime forges a sword for the unruly boy, but cannot please him – the boy shatters the sword. Mime’s world is altogether too restrictive for him. He asks about his parents, and Mime finally tells him about his mother, who died while giving birth to Siegfried, and shows him the broken sword that his father carried to his last battle. Sigfried demands that Mime weld the pieces into a better weapon and runs back into the forest. Wotan appears on the scene, dishuised as a wanderer. He plays a guessing-game with Mime, but Mime loses the wager – and his head, to the man who knows no fear. The stranger goes on to reveal that one man alone can weld the fragments of the sword: That man is Siegfried. However, Mime tries to persuade Siegfried that he is missing something by knowing know fear – Siegfried is evidently confusing it with love, of which he has a vague presentiment. Mime promises that Siegfried will learn fear in battle with the dragon Fafner, the former giant. The dragon guards the treasure of the Nibelungs that Mime plans to secure for himself through Siegfried. Siegfried, who has no respect for craftsmanship, forges the sword at his first attempt. Meanwhile Mime brews a potion with which he plans to kill Siegfried, once the latter has slain the dragon. Act 2 Mime’s brother Alberich is guarding the entrance to the dragon’s cave when he comes across the wanderer. He recognizes him and senses danger. However, Wotan calms him: he does not want the treasure and ring himself, but Mime will try to seize it with the help of a young hero. Wotan and Alberich leave the scene. In the grey morning light, Mime leads Siegfried to the cave and leaves him there. A woodland bird catches Siegfried’s attention. He answers the bird first on a flure he carved himself and then on his horn, at the sound of which the dragon emerges from its cave. After a brief fight, Siegfried plunges the sword into its heart, and the dying Fafner warns him anout the ring. As soon as the dragon’s blood touches his lips, Siegfreid starts to understand the bird’s song. He learns of the ring, the treasure and the helmet, and he sees through Mime’s fawning: when Mime offers him the poisoned potion, he slays him. He then follows the woodland bird, who tells him of the rock of the Valkyries. Act 3 The wanderer wakens Erda: he wants to relinquish his might to the young Siegfried, whose innocence is weakening Alberich’s curse. Siegfried enters and treats the old man no kindlier than Mime. He strikes the spear that once shattered his father’s sword out of the wanderer’s hand and clears his way to the rock. There he finds the sleeping Brünnhilde. The couple awake to their love for each other.