After having completed his studies in history, German studies, musicology and philosophy, German baritone THOMAS JOHANNES MAYER studied vocal arts at the Cologne music academy with Liselotte Hammes and Kurt Moll. After first engagements in Regensburg, Darmstadt and Karlsruhe he changed to the Hamburgische Staatsoper. His international career began in 2007/2008 as Wozzeck at La Scala in Milan. Since then he has guested at opera houses such as the Hamburgische Staatsoper, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, at the Paris Opera, in Valencia, at the New National Theatre Tokyo, at the Opernhaus Zürich, the Aalto Theater in Essen, in Leipzig, Berlin as well as at the Salzburger Festspiele, in Bregenz and in Bayreuth. Amongst his parts are Wotan/Wanderer (Der Ring des Nibelungen), Posa (Don Carlo), Scarpia (Tosca), leading role in Mathis der Maler, vier Bösewichter (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Mandryka (Arabella), Kaspar (Der Freischütz), Jochanaan (Salome), title role in Rigoletto, Barak (Die Frau ohne Schatten), leading role in Der fliegende Holländer.
René Pape is among the leading bass singers of our time. He studied in his hometown Dresden. Between 1974 and 1981 he was a member of the renowned Dresdener Kreuzchor. Already as a student he made his debut at the Berliner Staatsoper in 1988, where he regularly appears to this day. He was exceptionally successful as Ramfis (Aida), Sarastro, Rocco (Fidelio). Fasolt (Das Rheingold), Hunding, Veit Pogner, König Marke (Tristan und Isolde), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Mephistopheles (Faust), Leporello and in the title role in Don Giovanni, Philipp (Don Carlo), Banquo (Macbeth), Konig Heinrich (Lohengrin). Regular invitations lead him to the Bayreuther Festspiele, to the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Salzburger Festspiele and the Salzburger Osterfestspiele, La Scala, the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Dresdner Semperoper, the ROH Covent Garden, to the Paris Opera, San Francisco, Orange, Glyndebourne, Tokyo, Madrid, Florence, Barcelona, St. Petersburg, Rome, Frankfurt, Tel Aviv. Debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Sprecher in 1991, further performances as Philipp II., Leporello, Don Fernando, Heinrich, Hunding, Sarastro.
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).
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.
CLEMENS UNTERREINER was born in Vienna. In 1998 he began his vocal art studies with Hilde Rössel-Majdan, Gottfried Hornik, Helena Lazarska and Wicus Slabbert. Numerous national and international opera and operetta productions as well as lied evenings, oratories and church concerts. Guest soloist in the Große Saal of the Wiener Musikverein, at the Wiener Konzerthaus, Palau de la Musica and other international concert halls. Member of the ensemble of the Wiener Staatsoper since 2005, where Clemens Unterreiner for example sang Sharpless, Faninal, Donner, Harlekin, Melot, Brétigny, Schtschelkalow, Oberpriester des Apollon(Alceste), Happy (La fanciulla del West), Musiklehrer (Ariadne auf Naxos),Schaunard. Also as guest soloist at the Volksoper Wien he very successfully performed as Papageno or Sharpless. Further engagements led him to the New York Carnegie Hall, the Royal Opera House Copenhagen, to the Strasbourgh Opera, the Salzburger Festspiele, Opera de Nice, Linzer Landestheater, the Oper Chur, the Sommerfestspiele Heidenheim as well as to the Richard Wagner Festival Budapest.
MICHAEL LAURENZ comes from Halle an der Saale in Germany and started his career in music as a trumpeter, playing e.g. with Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and later on as first trumpet with Berliner Symphoniker. In 2006 he turned his focus towards singing. After some time as a member of Opernstudio Zurich, he became an ensemble member in the same city in 2010. The same year, he made his debut at Bregenz Festival, where he returned in 2014. Since 2010 he has been performing regularly at Opéra national de Paris, and in 2012 he debuted at Salzburg Festival. He has also sung at Bayerische Staatsoper, Musikfest Stuttgart, Staatsoper Unter den Linden and Vlaamse Opera. In 2015 he performed in Amsterdam, Milan and at Theater an der Wien, among others. His concert repertoire reaches from Bach all the way to the 20th century. He is scheduled to sing at Brecht festival Augsburg/Kurt Weill-Fest Dessau, in Glyndebourne, Lyon, Zurich, Antwerp and at Teatro alla Scala. He joined the Vienna State Opera ensemble at the beginning of the 2018 season.
ILEANA TONCA was born in Rumania and studied at the Music Academy in Bucharest. She has won several singing competitions and has performed in Bucharest, Brasov and Timisoara as well as on tours in Germany, Austria, Italy and France. She has been a member of the ensemble of the Wiener Staatsoper since 1999, where she debuted as Jemmy (Guillaume Tell). Furthermore, she has for example sung Woglinde (Das Rheingold, Götterdämmerung), Waldvogel (Siegfried), Echo (Ariadne auf Naxos), Lisa (La sonnambula), Xenia (Boris Godunow), Mädchen (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny), Elvira (L’italiana in Algeri), Nannetta (Falstaff), Barbarina (Nozze di Figaro), Oscar, Papagena, Zerlina, Sophie (Rosenkavalier, Werther), Stimme vom Himmel and Tebaldo (Don Carlo), Zdenka (Arabella), Adele (Fledermaus), Servilia, Musetta, Adina, Susanna. Furthermore, she performed in productions of children´s operas (Traumfresserchen, Peter Pan, Bastien und Bastienne, 35. Mai, Pinocchio, Pünktchen und Anton). In 1999/2000 she was awarded an advancement award by the Waechter Medal Foundation. In 2004 she received the Austrian frauen.kunst.preis.
OLGA BEZSMERTNA completed her studies at the Kiev Academy of Music in Ukraine in 2010. She was among the finalists of the Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna in 2010 and 2011. During her debut singing competition in Germany in 2008, she was awarded the first prize as well as the Public prize and the Puccini Prize. In 2007 she had an engagement at the Oper Oder-Spree Festival. In 2006, she received an award at the International Rimsky-Korsakow Singing Competition in St. Petersburg. Furthermore, the soprano received the first prize at the international singing competition of the Bertelsmann Trust. In 2011, she took part in the Young Singers Projects at the Salzburger Festspiele. Her repertoire includes, among others, Contessa d’Almaviva, Pamina, Donna Elvira, Fiordiligi, Micaëla, Marguerite, Nedda, Marfa (Die Zarenbraut) and Tatjana. She is an emsemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper, where she gave her debut in 2012 and sang among others: Dame (Cardillac), Pamina, 3. Norn, Contessa d’Almaviva and Rosalinde. Current performances include her debut at the Deutschen Oper Berlin and at the Salzburger Festpiele.
The Australian Mezzosoprano MARGARET PLUMMER completed her singing studies at the Sydney Conservatoire of Music. Furthermore, she is trained as a Jazz singer. She is a multiple prize-winner at opera competitions and visited the School of Music and Theater in Hannover in 2005. For a while, she was a member of the choir of the Opera Australia, before wtarting her career as a soloist. In this way, performances followed among others, at the Opera Australia and the Pinchgut Opera. In the 2015/2016 season, she will be the youngest scholar of the Opera Foundation Australia. Margaret Plummer has sang among others, Dorabella in Così fan tutte at the Pacific Opera and Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel at the Ozopera School‘s Company. At the Opera Australia, Margaret Plummer sang in Dido und Aeneas, in the Rosenkavalier and in Le Nozze di Figaro. She sang Knusperhexe in Hänsel und Gretel with the Sydney Symphony, Charlotte in Werther at the Lyric Opera of Melbourne, Phoebe in Rameaus Castor and Pollux at the Pinchgut Opera. At the Wiener Staatsoper she gave her debut as Tebaldo in Don Carlo.
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.
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.
DANIEL BOAZ was born in Tel Aviv, studied in the University there, and then continued his vocal studies from 1996 to 1999 in the Conservatoire of Vienna. In 1999, he received the promotional prize in the Eberhard Waechter-Medaille in Vienna. In 1998, he became an ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper, where his repertoire includes, among others, works ranging from Conte d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Belcore (L’elisir d’amore), Paolo (Simon Boccanegra), Marcello (La Bohème), Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor), Kurwenal (Tristan und Isolde), Lescaut (Manon Lescaut), Ford (Falstaff), Klingsor (Parsifal), Rangoni (Boris Godunow), Valentin (Faust), Rodrigo (Don Carlo), Jeletzki (Pique Dame), Sonora (La fanciulla del West), Heerrufer (Lohengrin) to Gunther (Götterdämmerung). He received repeated invitations to the ROH Covent Garden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the New Israeli Opera, the Dresdner Semperoper, to Chicago, Turin, Salzburg, San Francisco, Frankfurt and Barcelona. Recently, he has celebrated success in the Lyric Opera of Chicago in Ernani, as well as in Don Giovanni in Graz, in Tel Aviv in Un ballo in maschera, and in Tristan und Isolde in Hamburg, Berlin and London.
Amfortas, King of the Grail, went to fight Klingsor, who had applied to join the Order of the Grail and and even castrated himself in order to comply with their rigorous code of chastity. However the knights of the Grail rejected him, and he is now bent on destroying them. Kundry, who once laughed at Jesus on the cross and has since wandered restlessly from age to age, seduced the approaching Amfortas at Klingsor´s behest. Klingsor then seized the holy spear that pierced Jesus on the cross, the two relics of the Holy Grail are this spear and the cup from which Jesus drank at the last supper. With the spear, Klingsor´s inflicted a painful wound on Amfortas that can only be healed by the spear. However, the knights of the Grail must win back the spear before this can come to pass. Only a pure fool “made wise through pity” can accomplish this. Parsifal appears in the Grail´s domain, where only those called to serve the Grail are allowed. Gurnemanz, a comrade in arms of Titurel, the first King of the Grail, therefore takes the young man who has run away from his mother to Amfortas´castle. He believes he may have found the “pure fool” in him. Parsifal watches as the suffering Amfortas begs to be relieved of the duty of uncovering the Grail, which will give new life not only to the knights of the Grail, but also to Amfortas himself. Amfortas wants only to die. However, he is obliged to submit and uncover the Grail. Parsifal remains silent, thus exasperating Gurnemanz, who sends him away. Parsifal comes to Klingsor’s realm, where he withstands the seductive charms of the flower girls. Only Kundry, forced to act by Klingsor, is able to hold him. However, when she kisses him, he suddenly understands what happened to Amfortas and pushes her away: he has become wise through pity. When Klingsor hurls the holy spear at him, he seizes it, causing Klingsor’s realm to collapse. He promises Kundry salvation. After arduous years of wandering, on Good Friday Parsifal again finds the Grail’s domain, where he meets Gurnemanz. Kundry is also present and is baptized by Parsifal. In the temple of the Grail, Parsifal heals Amfortas’ wound and becomes the new King of the Grail.