Entertainment

A big THANK YOU to our international opera stars René Pape, Angela Meade, Ildar Abdrazakov, George Gagnidze, Luca Pisaroni and conductor Marco Armiliato, as well as the ballet dancers Hannah Kickert and Christopher Thompson who performed at the 63rd Viennese Opera Ball !

Hannah Kickert, Christopher Thompson

René Pape, Angela Meade

Ildar Abdrazakov, George Gagnidze

Luca Pisaroni, Marco Armiliato

About the stars:

René Pape

Known as opera’s “Black Diamond Bass,” René Pape’s robust career and unforgettable voice and dramatic presence have established him as one of the most recognized artists on the classical stage. Mr. Pape’s 2017/2018 season highlights include his signature role of Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte at The Metropolitan Opera and the Wiener Staatsoper; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Staatsoper Berlin; Gurnemanz in Parsisfal at The Metropolitan Opera and the Staatsoper Berlin; and Rocco in Fidelio at Semperoper Dresden. In concert, he sings with the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra in Seoul, Korea and will perform Schubert’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust at Staatsoper Berlin with Daniel Baremboim conducting.

His many career highlights include König Marke in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at The Metropolitan Opera; Philipp II in Don Carlo at the Opernhaus Zürich and San Francisco Opera; and König Heinrich der Vogler in a new production of Lohengrin at Opéra national de Paris. He has presented recitals on the world’s most acclaimed stages, including Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Opera, and London’s Wigmore Hall.

Pape has also released critically acclaimed solo albums on the Deutsche Grammophon label including “Wagner,” a collection of favorite arias featuring the Staatskapelle Berlin conducted by Daniel Barenboim, and “Gods, Kings & Demons” with his hometown orchestra the Staatskapelle Dresden, led by Sebastian Weigle. That disc won a coveted ECHO Klassik award, the German equivalent of a GRAMMY.

Angela Meade

Hailed as “the most talked about soprano of her generation” (Opera News), American soprano Angela Meade is the winner of both the Metropolitan Opera’s 2012 Beverly Sills Artist Award and the 2011 Richard Tucker Award. In 2008 she joined an elite group of history’s singers when, as Elvira in Verdi’s Ernani, she made her professional operatic debut on the Met stage. Since then she has fast become recognized as one of today’s outstanding vocalists, excelling in the most demanding heroines of the 19th-century bel canto repertoire as well as in the operas of Verdi and Mozart.

In the 2017-18 season, Angela Meade will sing the title roles in Rossini’s Semiramide conducted by Maurizio Benini and Bellini’s Norma under the leadership of Carlo Rizzi at the Metropolitan Opera, Handel’s Alcina with Washington National Opera, and Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur with Oper Frankfurt. In addition, she will sing the role of Giselda in Verdi’s I Lombardi at Teatro Regio di Torino. Concert performances will include Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézét-Séguin and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Seattle Symphony. She will give recitals in Philadelphia, Santa Fe, and Waterford (VA).

George Gagnidze

“The Georgian baritone George Gagnidze was an exceptionally menacing Scarpia, singing with robust, earthy power and seductive lyricism when the villain turns on the charm”. With these words the New York Times hailed George Gagnidze in a 2008 performance of Tosca at Avery Fisher Hall at the New York Lincoln Center. One year later he made his sensational debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Rigoletto, and has since then ranked among the leading singers of his genre.

Born in Tbilisi and trained at the State Conservatory of his home town, George Gagnidze debuted as Renato in Un ballo in maschera in 1996 at the Paliashvili State Opera. He entered the “Concorso Voci Verdiane” in 2005 as an award-winner of the “Leyla Gencer Voice Competition” and the “Elena Obraztsova Competition”.

Regularly invited by the most prestigious international opera companies, performances of the 2017/18 season include Tonio in Pagliacci at the Metropolitan Opera, Alfio in Cavalleria rusticana and Tonio in Pagliacci at the Hamburg State Opera, Amonasro in Aida at the Teatro Real Madrid and at the Teatro alla Scala, his role debut as Barnaba in La Gioconda at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Ildar Abdrazakov

Ildar Abdrazakov has established himself as one of opera’s most sought-after basses. Since making his La Scala debut in 2001 at 25, the Russian native has become a mainstay at leading houses worldwide, including New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna State Opera and Munich’s Bavarian State Opera. His powerful yet refined voice coupled with his compelling stage presence have prompted critics to hail him as a “sensational bass … who has just about everything – imposing sound, beautiful legato, oodles of finesse” (The Independent). Also an active concert artist, he has performed at London’s BBC Proms and at New York’s Carnegie Hall, as well as with leading international orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic.

Ildar Abdrazakov kicks off the 17-18 season as Philippe II in the French version of Verdi’s Don Carlos at the Opéra National de Paris, followed by performances in the title role of Le Nozze di Figaro and as Assur in Rossini’s Semiramide at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. Likewise in Paris, he will give his highly anticipated debut in the title role of Mussorksky’s Boris Godunov. Further, he will be starring as Attila in the concert performances of Verdi’s opera at the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona in the spring of 2018.

Luca Pisaroni

Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni has established himself as one of the most charismatic and versatile singers performing today. Since his debut at age 26 with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival, led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Pisaroni has continued to bring his compelling artistry to the world’s leading opera houses, concert halls, and festivals.

Pisaroni begins the 2017/18 season as Mahomet II in Rossini’s Le Siège de Corinthe in his first performances at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, followed by role debuts as Golaud in Debussy’s Pelleas et Melisande at Opera de Paris and Mustafà in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeriat the Wiener Staatsoper. Mr. Pisaroni returns to the Metropolitan Opera stage as Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and he sings Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow.  He will perform the roles of Alidoro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Leporello in Don Giovanni at the Wiener Staatsoper, and he then debuts in the role of Don Pizarro in Beethoven’s Fidelio at Teatro alla Scala, under the baton of Myung-Whun Chung.