Myung-Whun Chung began his musical career as a pianist. In 1979, after completing his conducting studies in New York, he became assistant of Carlo Maria Giulini. Between 1984 and 1990 he was Music Director of the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Saarbrücken, 1987 to 1992 he became First Guest Conductor at the Teatro Comunale in Florence, between 1989 and 1994 he was MD of the Opera Bastille. In 2000 he returned to Paris as MD of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Between 1997 and 2005 he was First Guest Conductor of the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia in Rome. 2012/2013 he was First Guest Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden. Outside of Europe he was, for example, Music Advisor of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and has been Music Director of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra since 2006. Myung-Shun Chung has conducted the world´s most significant orchestras (among them the Wiener and Berliner Philharmoniker, Concertgebouworkest, New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestra). He is Commandeur dans l‘ordre des Arts et des Lettres, in 2008 he became UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2011 with Simon Boccanegra.
ALEKSANDRS ANTONENKO has developed a huge international career as an emerging Spinto Tenor of the younger generation. Performaces are soon bringing him to the Dresdner Semperoper, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Monte Carlo, Stockholm and Baden-Baden. In the 2007/2008 season, he sang amoung others in Frankfurt and at the Bayerische Staatsoper, and in 2008 he made his debut as Otello at the Salzburger Festspielen. In 2009 he made his debut at the New York Met as the Prince in Ruskala. Since then, he practically sings on all the important stages – in 2012 as Cavaradossi at the Milan Scala or as Otello at the ROH Covent Garden. Most recent engagements include Radames (Aida) at the Zurich Opera House, Manrico at the Berliner Staatsoper, a premiere of Aida in Rome as well as a new production of Turandot (Kalaf) at the Milan Scala. Further planned performances include a new production of Othello at the New York Met and a new production of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci at the TOH Covent Garden, where he will also perform Turiddu as well as Canio. At the Wiener Staatsoper he has already sang Des Grieux (Manon Lescaut), Hermann (Pique Dame), Otello and Cavaradossi.
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.
Margarita Gritskova was born in 1987 in St. Petersburg. Aside from singing, she also learned piano in her homwtown, and later studied in the St. Petersburg Conservatoire. She is a prizewinner of numerous competitions, among others the Luciano Pavarotti-Competiton in Modena and the Concurso Internacional de Canto Villa de Colmenar in Spain. In 2010, she was a finalist at the Operalia Competition. Margarita Gritskova washeard among others singing under the direction of Mariss Janson in St. Petersburg; as well as at the Festival de Ópera de Tenerife in Salome and Cherubino at the Sommerfestival in St. Moritz, as well as Rosina at the Hungarian Staatsoper and Olga at the Opera de Quebec. In 2009/2010, Margarita Gritskova was a member of the ensemble of the National Theatre Weimar, where she sang parts like Cherubino, Flora, Maddalena, Ottone, Bradamante, Marthe, Carmen and Olga. At the Wiener Staatsoper, where she is an ensemblemember, she made her debut in 2012 as Tebaldo (Don Carlo) and has also sung among others Fjodor, Cherubino (Japan-Guest performance of the Wiener Staatsoper), Dryade, Tisbe, Bersi, Rosina, Dorabella and Angelina.
JINXU XIAHOU was born in Zibo in the Eastern Chinese province Shandong in December 1990. He began studying with Prof. Wang Xianlin in 2008 at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing (China) and completed his studies as bachelor. He made his Europe debut in 2010, when he sang at the annual Classic Night in Zurich. In the year 2011 he was finalist of the renowned international singing competition Neue Stimmen of the Bertelsmann Foundation in Gütersloh and won the third prize. He appeared as Ferrando in a concert performance of Cosí fan tutte with Macao Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2017 he gave his recital debut at the Wiener Musikverein. In 2012 he debuted at the Wiener Staatsoper where he has sung among others Nemorino, Don Ramiro, Ernesto (Don Pasquale), Gaston (La traviata), Sänger (Der Rosenkavalier), Stimme des Seemanns (Tristan und Isolde), Cassio (Otello), Abdallo (Nabucco), Fetodik (Drei Schwestern), Macduff (Macbeth). He is a member of the ensemble of the Wiener Staatsoper.
The bass, Jongmin Park, studied singing in his hometown of Seoul and was a member of the Milan Accademia Teatro alla Scala, where he studied with Mirella Freni, Luigi Alva and Renato Bruson. from 2010 until 2013, he was in the ensemble of the Hamburg State Opera. Here, he took over the roles, among others, of Colline, Sparafucile and Sarastro. In summer 2014, he gave his debut at the ROH Covent Garden, at the BBC Proms in London and in the City of London Festival 2014. He won the International Tschaikowski competition and received the Wagner-Prize at the Plácido Domingo Operalia competition. In 2010, he gave his first Lieder evening in Munich, and in spring 2015, he completed his first recital in the Vienna Musikverein. He is also successful as a concert singer, and has sung Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra, in Vesperae solennes de
Confessore at the Christmas concert in the Scala and in Verdi's Requiem in Seoul. At the Wiener Staatsoper, he gave his debut in 2011 as Colline and has continued to sing, among others, Zuniga, Mönch (Don Carlo) Basilio, Billy Jackrabbit, Quinault, Gremin and Sir Giorgio.
Verdi remained silent for a good 15 years, and – with the exception of revisions to his older operas – did not publish a single work of musical theatre. But then, in 1887, after an extended period of work, he presented his Otello. Based on Shakespeare’s menacing drama, he created not only one of the most exciting works of opera, but also a profoundly modern one. One that masterfully plays with the emotional states of innocence and love, jealousy, envy and anger. In contrast to other popular Verdi operas, Otello was incorporated into the repertoire of the Vienna Opera almost immediately after its world première in 1888. The Wiener Staatsoper has since put on nearly 500 performances of Verdi’s last opera in seven different productions. This sombre drama has now been given yet another interpretation, this time by stage director Adrian Noble – who has also directed Hansel and Gretel and Alcina at the opera house on the Ring.