Handel’s Alcina in Copenhagen

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Performance period: 21. Feb. – 14. Mar. 2015 at then Royal Danish Theatre of Copenhagen

Dwelling on a desert island, the sorceress Alcina is so alluringly beautiful that all men must fall in love with her – and suffer the consequences that follow. For when Alcina tires of her lovers, she transforms them into rocks, bushes, trees or animals. But one day an unknown man arrives on Alcina’s island, and the ravishing sorceress soon learns the bittersweet taste of love.

Alcina_Foto_Joerg_Wiesner_001When Alcina tires of her lovers, she transforms them into rocks, bushes, trees or animals. But the day arrives when an unknown man arrives on the shores and the ravishing sorceress gets a taste of her own bittersweet medicine.Alcina_Foto_Joerg_Wiesner_002

The opera is a dramatic tale of a strong and powerful woman who lets evil rule her heart until love makes her vulnerable. In a series of powerful arias, Alcina struggles to regain control of her tempestuous emotions until she finally realizes that she, too, is nothing more than a passenger on a storm-tossed ship heading for the abyss. Handel’s Alcina premiered in 1735.Alcina_Foto_Joerg_Wiesner_003

With Alcina we once again present one of Handel’s many operas at the Old Stage, this time directed by the award winning, world-famous director Francisco Negrin, who also staged the Royal Danish Theatre’s Partenope (2008) and the Reumert-winning Giulio Cesare (2002). His most recent production at the Royal Danish Theatre was Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen in 2012.Alcina_Foto_Joerg_Wiesner_004

Alcina is performed in Italian with Danish supertitles.

Conductor: Lars Ulrik Mortensen | Director: Francisco Negrin | Set and costume design: Louis Desiré | Lighting design and video: Mikki Kunttu | Movement- and areal director: Ran Arthur Braun

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Cast and conductor dates

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Alcina:
Inger Dam-Jensen
2/21, 2/23, 2/28, 3/4, 3/6, 3/8, 3/10, 3/14

Morgana:
Anke Briegel
2/21, 2/23, 2/28, 3/4, 3/6, 3/8, 3/10, 3/14

Oberto:
Hyon Lee
2/21, 2/23, 2/28, 3/4, 3/6, 3/8, 3/10, 3/14

Ruggiero:
Tuva Semmingsen
2/21, 2/23, 3/6, 3/8, 3/10, 3/14

Itziar Lesaka
2/28, 3/4

Bradamante:
Ruxandra Donose
2/21, 2/23, 2/28, 3/4, 3/6, 3/8, 3/10, 3/14

Oronte:
Marius Roth Christensen
2/21, 2/23, 2/28, 3/4, 3/6, 3/8, 3/10, 3/14

Melisso:
Wojtek Gierlach
2/21, 2/23, 2/28, 3/4, 3/6, 3/8, 3/10, 3/14

Astolfo:
Jakob Zethner
2/21, 2/23, 2/28, 3/4, 3/6, 3/8, 3/10, 3/14

Conductor:
Lars Ulrik Mortensen
2/21, 2/23, 2/28, 3/4, 3/6, 3/8, 3/10, 3/14

CAST

Inger_Dam_Jensen_cvsInger Dam-Jensen as Alcina

Soprano

Debut
1993 at the Royal Danish Opera.

At The Royal Danish Theatre
Roles include Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, Zdenka in Arabella, Fiordiligi in Cosí fan tutte, Ophelia in Hamlet, Norina in Don Pasquale, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Musetta in La bohème, Gilda in Rigoletto, Violetta in La traviata, Blondchen in Entführung aus dem Serail, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Liu in Turandot, Rosina in Barbiere di Siviglia, Ofelia in Hamlet, Michaëla in Carmen and Julie in Roméo et Juliette.

Releases
Her discography includes Peer Gynt for Teldec; Solomon under Paul McCreesh for Deutsche Grammophon, Ein deutsches Requiem for Chandos, and a selection of Carl Neilsen’s songs for Dacapo.

Prizes and scholarships
Winner of the coveted Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 1993.

 

Anke-Briegel_cvsAnke Briegel as Morgana

Soprano

German soprano Anke Briegel has studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover and at the Conservatorio Statale di Musica Luigi Cherubini in Florence, where she graduated in 2010. Her education was concluded with several master classes, amongst others with Aribert Reimann, Ileana Cotrubas and Barbara Bonney.

In 2004 she reached the final in the National Song Contest in Berlin and she was awarded the Music Prize of Ulm. In 2005 Anke Briegel had her debut as Warwara Dobrosjolowa in Arme Leute. Furthermore she performed at the Theater Bielefeld in the roles as Amor in Glucks Orfeo ed Euridice and Babarina in Le nozze de Figaro. In Hannover she has joined the cast of Hansel und Gretel and Il viaggo a Reims.

During season 10/11 Anke Briegel was a part of the Dortmund Theater ensemble. Her roles here included the title role of Hansel und Gretel, Musetta in La Boheme, Susanna in Le nozze de Figaro, and Adina in L’elisir d’amore. In 2012 she sung the part of Lucia in Schweitzers Rosamunde at the Schewtzingen Festival.
In 14/15 Anke Briegel can be heard here at the Royal Danish Opera in the roles of Pamina and Sophia in Der Rosenkavalier.
Lee-Hyon_cvsHyon Lee as Oberto

Hyon Lee makes her debut at the Royal Danish Opera as Oberto in Alcina.

itziar-lesaka_cvsItziar Lesaka as Ruggiero

During the 2014-2015 season Itziar Lesaka will make her house debut at the Royal Danish Opera in the role of Ruggiero (Alcina). She will also sing Carmen (in a chamber version), Jezibaba (Rusalka) and Baba the Turk (Rake’s Progress) at the Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin (Germany) where she has been a soloist since 2010. Important role debuts in the last seasons in Schwerin have included: Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Mrs. De Rocher (Dead Man Walking), Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Ruggiero ( Alcina), Cornelia (Giulio Cesare) and Suzuki (Madama Butterfly).
From 2001 through 2009, Itziar Lesaka was a regular guest at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf. Her interpretation of Melanto in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria under the stage direction of Christof Loy was very acclaimed by the german press. She was nominated for the best young singer by the “Opernwelt-Jahrbuch 2003”.
From 2004 to 2008, she was a member of the ensemble of the Staatstheater Kassel, where she sang parts such as Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel), Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Muse/Niklaus (Les Contes d‘Hoffmann).
She was also invited at the Oper Leipzig (Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro), at the Staatstheater Hannover (Der Trommler in Kaiser von Atlantis) and at the festival Wiener Festwochen in Vienna with the production Mozart in Paris of Christof Loy.
Itziar Lesaka was born in San Sebastian (Basque Country, Spain). She studied singing, Lied and contemporany vocal music at the music university “Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst” in Stuttgart (Germany).
Itziar Lesaka worked also with stage Directors like Christof Loy, Ursel Herrmann, David Freeman, Jérôme Savary, Gabriele Rech, Arila Siegert and Benno Besson and with music Directors like Baldo Podic, Hans Wallat, Stéphane Denève, Matthias Foremny and Jonathan Darlington.

Tuva_Semmingsen_cvs

Tuva Semmingsen as Ruggiero

Mezzo soprano.
Debut at the Royal Danish Theatre in 1999 as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro.

At The Royal Danish Theatre
Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Pernille in Nielsen’s Maskarade. Sesto in Handel’s Julius Caesar. Titte Mortensen in Fuzzy’s children’s opera Sorceress Mortensen and the Fat Turkey. Rosina in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. The title role in Rossini’s La cenerentola. Minerva and Melanto in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. Lola in Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana.

Other engagements
Performed Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at Teatro La Fenice in Venice in 2000. Performed at Wigmore Hall with the King’s Consort in 2002. Has performed with the Oslo Philharmonic, the Norwegian Opera Orchestra, the King’s Consort, Concerto Copenhagen, Neues Bachisches Collegium, Leipzig, and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Rosina in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia in Nancy, France, May 2005.

Releases
Among her recordings are three Vivaldi CDs with the King’s Consort on the Hyperion label.

Prizes and scholarships
Recipient of the 2001 Norwegian Naxos Award. Recipient of the 2004 Aalborg Opera Prize and Elisabeth Dons Mindelegat 2004.

 

Ruxandra-Donose_cvsRuxandra Donose as Bradamante

What distinguishes Ruxandra Donose
among the most renowned mezzo-sopranos of the younger generation is the complexity of her artistic personality. The tone of her voice is at the same time particular, dark, warm, sensuous and noble and her vocal range is large and flawless as concerns the homogeneity of her registers.

Her excellent singing technique ensures her easiness and accuracy in virtuousity scores, but also the ample phrasing, finely nuanced in an impeccable legato, in „line scores“.
Ruxandra Donose is both an attractive presence on the stage and a very gifted actress, convincing in the most diverse feminine roles and also in male roles (in disguise). Her sharp intelligence, her thorough musical and general knowledge, an altogether remarkable feeling for the style, allow Ruxandra Donose to tackle at the highest artistic level not only an extremely diverse opera repertoire, but also the lied and the vocal-symphonic ones.
These are the premises of a solid career, in full swing, built step by step from the very beginning.

Born in Bucharest, in a family of musicians, Ruxandra Donose appeared on the concert stage as early as her childhood, as a pianist. A graduate of the Music University of Bucharest (the class of Georgeta Stoleriu), she also attended summer courses for lied – oratorio in Weimar with Lore Fischer. Since 1992 she studies in Vienna with Carol Blaickner-Mayo and Carol Byers. She has been awarded a great number of national and international prizes being among others, laureate of the International Competition of Munich (1990) and of Washington (1991).
Soloist of the Opera Houses of Constanta – Romania (1989-1991), Basel – Switzerland (1991-1992) and Vienna – Austria (1992-1998) Ruxandra Donose has carried on at the same time a very rich stage and concert activity in a great many other musical centres of the world, acquiring in 10 years of career an impressive artistic record.

Roth-Christensen_cvsMarius Roth Christensen as  Oronte

 

 

 

 

 
Wojtek_Gierlach_cvsWojtek Gierlach as Melisso

Bass
Wojtek Gierlach graduated at the Warsaw Chopin Music Academy with Professor Kazimierz Pustelak, receiving the Magna cum Laude Distinction. He has since been awarded many prizes at international vocal competitions including the Ada Sari (1999 – 1st place); Bilbao (2000 – 2nd place), the main award in the Premio Caruso (Milan 2001); and the Francesco Viñas in Barcelona (2004 – 3rd place).

Wojtek Gierlach made his professional debut in 1999 with the Warsaw Chamber Opera in the title role of Handel’s Imeneo. With this company he also toured Holland, Japan and France as Don Giovanniin Mozart’s masterpiece.
He has also sung Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Mustafa in L’Italiana in Algeri with Teatro National Sao Carlos Lisbon, at the Teatro Alighieri di Ravenna and at Minnesota Opera, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Teatr Wielki Warsaw and at the Teatro Petruzzelli Bari,Alidoro in La Cenerentola with , Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and at the Stadttheater Klagenfurt, Argenio in Imeneo for Opera Ireland Dublin,Melisso in Alcina with Opera Nacional de Bordeaux,Orbazzano in Tancredi with Teatro Maestranza in Seville,Leporello withNico Opera Cape Town and sang Assur in Semiramide at the Teatro Verdi di Pisa.

Some of his other critically acclaimed performances include Colline in La Bohème, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Duce Alfonso in Lucerezia Borgia and Escamillo in Carmen at Warsaw Teatr Wielki, Conte Rodolfo in Sonnambula for the Theater St Gallen, Salieri in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri at the Teatro Filarmónica Oviedo, Timur in Turandot at the Auditorio de Tenerife, Commendatore in Ramón Carnicer’s Il Dissoluto Punito at La Coruña Mozart Festival, Gouverneur in Le Comte Ory at Wildbad Belcanto Opera Festival; Lord Sidney and Don Profondo in Il Viaggio a Reims at Rossini Opera Festival Pesaro, Orfeo at Slovenske Narodne Divadlo Bratislava, Domoslav in Berggeist by Spohr during the 13th LvB Easter Festival and Mephisto in Le Damantion de Faust with Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra.

Wojtek Gierlach has collaborated with many orchestras, taking part in concerts both in his home country and across Europe. His appearances have included Bach’s Mass in B minor, conducted by Helmuth Rilling at the Warsaw Philharmonic, Bach’s Magnificat with National Orchestra of Spain under Mireia Barera, Mozart’s Reqiuem with Sinfonietta Cracovia conducted by Marc Minkowski, Verdi’s Requiem, conducted by Kai Baumann at the Polish Baltic Philharmonic, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Orquesta de Navarra under Antoni Wit, Penderecki’s Seven Gates of Jerusalem with National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice under the composer’s baton.

Salieri’s The Passion of Jesus Christ, which he performed with I Solisti Veneti, conducted by Claudio Scimone (the concert was broadcast by RAI – Italian Television), Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Orquesta del Principado de Asturias with Alberto Zedda as conductor, Penderecki’s Dies Irae with Simon Bolivar Orchestra and Arvo Pärt’s Passion in Prague’s Spring Festival are a part of his oratorio repertoire.

Wojtek Gierlach recorded Mose in Egitto and La Donna del Lago by Rossini and Meyerbeer’s Semiramide under Richard Bonynge for NAXOS. For the IBERATOUR he has recorded Il dissoluto punito by Ramón Carnicer, conducted by Alberto Zedda. His other recordings include G.S.Mayr’s Medea in Corinto (Oehms) Luigi Mosca’s L’Italiana in Algieri (Bongiovanni), Lodoïska by Cherubini and Euryanthe by Weber conducted by Łukasz Borowicz for LvB and POLSKIE RADIO label.

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Photo credit Joerg Wiesner

 

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