MICHAEL BODER was the General Music Director at the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona from 2008 to 2012. Since September 2012, he is the chief conductor and Artistic Consultant at the Royal Danish Theatre and the Royal Danish Orchestra. After his education at the Music Academy in Hamburg and in Florence, he took over the musical directorship as Chief Conductor of the Opera in Basel. Already at that time, he was a guest conductor in Hamburg, Munich, Berlin and at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. He is now a regular guest at the State Opera in Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg and Vienna; moreover he conducted, among others, at the Opera House in Frankfurt, San Francisco, at the Bavarian State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, the New National Theatre in Tokyo and Zurich Opera. A series of successful premieres demonstrate his commitment to contemporary music, among others Cerhas Der Riese vom Steinfeld, Pendereckis Ubu Rex Trojahns Was Ihr wollt, Aribert Reimanns Das Schloss and Medea as well as Henzes Phädra. At the Wiener Staatsoper, he gave his debut in 1995 with Wozzeck and continued to conduct Ariadne auf Naxos, Elektra, Frau ohne Schatten, Gianni Schicchi, Jakobsleiter, Lulu, Meistersinger, Oedipe, Der Riese vom Steinfeld and Medea.
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.
BENJAMIN BRUNS started his vocal career as an Alto soloist in the boys’ choir of his hometown, Hannover. While still studying at the Musikhochschule in Hamburg, he was offered his first engagement by the Bremer Theater. This was followed by ensemble contracts at the Opera in Cologne and the Dresden State Opera. Guest performances have led him, among others to the Staatstheater in Nürnberg, the Staatsoper unter den Linden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Teatro Colón and the Bayreuther Festpielen. Also as an Oratorio and Song singer, Benjamin Bruns enjoys an excellent reputation and is therefore just as much at home in concert halls as he is on the operatic stage. Since the start of the 2010/2011 season, Bruns has been a member of the Wiener Staatsoper ensemble, and has since sung works such as Conte d’Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Oronte (Premiere-Alcina), Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Don Basilio (Premiere-Le nozze di Figaro), Brighella (Ariadne auf Naxos), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Jaquino (Fidelio), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) and Évandre (Premiere-Alceste).
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.
THOMAS EBENSTEIN was born in 1979 in Carinthia, and studied vocal arts at the Vienna University of Music under Helena Lazarska. From 2003 to 2012 the tenor was an ensemble member at the Komische Oper Berlin, and since the 2012/2013 season, he has been an ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper. Guest appearences have led him among others, to the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, the Semperoper Dresden, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Grand Théatre de Genève, the Theater an der Wien, the Volksoper in Vienna, the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Philarmonie in Berlin, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Vienna Musikverein, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Ruhrtriennale Bochum, the Wiener Festwochen, the Easter Festival in Salzburg, the Salzburg Festival, the Bergen International Festival, and to the Hong Kong Arts Festival.
His repertoire includes such roles as Pedrillo (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Truffaldino (Die Liebe zu den drei Orangen), David (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Narraboth (Salome) and Alfred (Die Fledermaus). He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2012 and sang, among others, Tanzmeister, Andres, Incroyable, Andrès/Cochenille/Frantz/Pitichinaccio, Guillot de Morfontaine, Valzacchi and Monostatos.
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.
Part 1 Robespierre has seized power and is having his opponents executed at every turn. An opponent who is his equal is Danton – he could therefore only proceed against the tyrannical extremist in the Convention. However, Danton does not believe the time for that has arrived yet. Nevertheless, Danton ridicules Robespierre to his face for his affected virtuousness. This makes Robespierre all the more inclined to follow the advice of the young fanatic Saint-Just to arrest Danton and his closest allies, Hérault de Séchelles and Camille Desmoulins. Although Danton learns in advance of the impending arrest, he refuses to flee and so delivers himself up indirectly to Robespierre. Part 2 Danton and his friends are in prison. He can no longer really rely on help from the masses, who were initially solidly behind Danton; official opinion is already starting to turn against him, at least in some factions. Before the revolutionary tribunal, the feared rhetorician Danton is able to defend himself skilfully against his opponents, thereby temporarily winning the upper hand again. But Saint-Just presents falsified incriminating evidence against the accused. Danton then accuses Robespierre, Saint-Just and the “ravens of the Committee of Public Safety” in general of high treason. Those present are divided, and the prisoners are forcibly hustled out. Before the assembled people, Danton and his friends are guillotined. The masses cheer at the execution and respond with shouts of “Hail”. Desmoulins’ wife Lucile, who has lost her senses, seals her own fate by calling out “Long live the king” at the end of her song about the reaper Death.