The Opera World Weeps for Its Two Lost Stars…

operastarsThe world of opera mourns two rising stars who have lost their life in the Germanwings Flight 9525 crash in the French Alps on Tuesday: Baritone Oleg Bryjak and Contralto Maria Radner. Both internationally renown singers were returning from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, where Radner, who was said to be traveling with her husband and child, resided; Bryjak was a member of the local opera ensemble, Deutsche Oper am Rhein. The singers had performed in Wagner’s Siegfrid. Bryjak, a 54-year-old bass-baritone, played the part of the evil dwarf Alberich. Radner, a 34-year old alto, played the role of the goddess Erda in her debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.
Christoph Meyer, director of Deutsche Oper am Rhein, asserted:”We have lost a great performer and a great person in Oleg Bryjak. We are stunned.”  Norwegian soprano Mari Eriksmoen tweeted:”Devastating. she was a beautiful person and an amazing singer.”
French officials said everyone aboard the Airbus A320 perished in the crash. A prayer for them and their families from all of us at operamylove.
A biography and some images of the two singers follows…


Within a very short time Maria Radner had established herself as one of the most promising contraltos and caught the attention of the international press and the audience after her debut in January 2012 in Götterdämmerung at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and her appearance in Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Teatro alla Scala Milano in March 2012.

In the 2014/15 season she was supposed to make her debut at the Bayreuth Festival under Kirill Petrenko in Rheingold and Götterdämmerung. As Erda she was be heard at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Siegfried.

Last season included Erda in the Ring des Nibelungen at the Grand Opéra de Genève, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with Santa Cecilia in Rome under Tomas Netopil and Anna in a new production of Les Troyens (Antonio Pappano / David McVicar) at Teatro alla Scala Milan. Further previous engagements were Erda in Rheingold and Siegfried at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden conducted by Antonio Pappano. With RSO Berlin she performed under the direction of Marek Janowski in a concert performance of Rheingold also in the part of Erda. In the very same role the Grand Théâtre de Genève has engaged Maria Radner for the new production of The Ring (Ingo Metzmacher/Dieter Dorn). In Florence she sang Schwertleite in Walküre with Zubin Mehta conducting. Concert obligations led her to Lyon with Dvorak’s Requiem under Tomas Netopil and to Frankfurt with Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 under Sebastian Weigle.radner1

In previous seasons she gave a series of top-class opera debuts at Salzburger Festspiele (new production of Elektra under Daniele Gatti and Frau ohne Schatten, conducted by Christian Thielemann), at Salzburger Osterfestspiele (Götterdämmerung conducted by Sir Simon Rattle), at Teatro alla Scala Milano (Faust Scenes under Pinchas Steinberg), Erda in a concert performance of Rheingold and Siegfried under Ulf Schirmer at Leipzig Opera and Ariadne auf Naxos conducted by Bertrand de Billy at Theater an der Wien, at Bavarian State Opera Munich (Zauberflöte) and at Canadian Opera Toronto (Rossignol).

Maria Radner as Erda in Siegfrid

Maria Radner as Erda in Siegfrid

Also in the concert field she established herself mainly with works by Mahler and Beethoven among others. Maria Radner sang Mahler´s Symphony N° 2 and N° 8 at Accademia di Santa Cecilia Roma under Antonio Pappano, Mahler N° 8 at MITO Festival under Gianandrea Noseda, with the Gürzenich Orchester Köln under Markus Stenz and Orquestra Nacional do Porto under Christoph König. With the Philharmoniker Hamburg she sang Mahler´s Symphony N°3 under Markus Lehtinen and at RSB Berlin under Marek Janowski. At the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam she made her debut with Beethoven´s Symphony No.9 and Missa Solemnis and at the Wiener Musikverein she performed in eanne d’Arc au bucher under Bertrand de Billy.

Maria Radner, Karen Cargill and Elisabeth Meister as Norns

Maria Radner, Karen Cargill and Elisabeth Meister as Norns

Before that Maria Radner sang Still a student Maria Radner made her debut under Zubin Mehta at Palau de les Arts Valencia in Martin y Soler’s oratorio Philitaei a Jonatha disperse and a recital, followed by her debut at Bregenz Festival in the title role of Haendel’s Salomo. Furthermore she appeared in a new production of Parsifal under the baton of Lorin Maazel in Valencia, her concert debuts at Teatro Real Madrid (Faust-scenes under Jesus Lopez-Cobos), at Teatro Regio Torino (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 conducted by Gianandrea Noseda) and her debut at Festival d’ Aix en Provence (Götterdämmerung conducted by Sir Simon Rattle).

Maria Radner was born in Düsseldorf, Germany and passed her studies with distinction. She was working with KS Marga Schiml in Karlsruhe and was scholarship holder of the Richard Wagner Association Bayreuth.


Berlioz – Les Troyens – Anna
Teatro Real Madrid
Grand Teatre del Liceu Barcelona
Teatro alla Scala Milano

Giordano – André Chénier – Bersi

Gluck – Orfeo ed Euridice – Orfeo

Gounod – Margarethe – Marthe

Händel – Giulio Cesare – Cornelia
Theater Hagen

Händel – Salomo – Salomo
Bregenzer Festspiele

Händel – Alcina – Bradamante

Händel – Agrippina – Narciso

Haydn – Welt auf dem Mond – Lisetta

Martín y Soler – Philistaei a Jonatha dispersi – Saul
Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia Valencia

Massenet – Werther – Charlotte

Mozart – Zauberflöte – 3. Dame
Bayerische Staatsoper München– Teatro alla Scala Milano

Mozart – Nozze di Figaro – Marcellina

Nicolai – Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor – Frau Reich

Offenbach – Les Contes d’Hoffmann – La Mère
Deutsche Oper am Rhein

Puccini – Gianni Schicchi – Ciesca / Zita

Puccini – Il tabarro – Frugola

Puccini – Suor Angelica – La zia principessa

Rossini – Tancredi – Isaura

Saint-Saens – Samson – Dalila

Strauss – Ariadne auf Naxos – Dryade
Theater an der Wien

Strauss – Daphne –Gaea

Strauss – Elektra – 1. Magd
Salzburger Festspiele(Gatti)

Stravinsky – Rossignol – La Mort
Canadian Opera Company
Salzburger Festspiele

Tschaikovskij – Iolanta – Marta
Salzburger Festspiele

Verdi – Falstaff – Mrs. Quickly

Verdi – Ballo in maschera – Ulrica
Den Norske Opera Oslo

Wagner – Rheingold – Erda
Oper Leipzig – Royal Opera House Covent Garden(Pappano) Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Grand Theatre de Geneve, Palau de les Arts Valencia(Mehta), Enescu Festival Bucarest(Janowski)

Wagner – Siegfried – Erda
Royal Opera House Covent Garden(Pappano), Oper Leipzig
Grand Theatre de Geneve, Palau de les Arts
Valencia (Mehta)

Wagner – Götterdämmerung – 1. Norn
Festival Int. d’Art Lyrique Aix en Provence(Rattle)
Salzburger Osterfestspiele(Rattle) Metropolitan Opera New Yor (Luisi)k, Palau de les Arts Valencia(Mehta)

Wagner – Götterdämmerung – Flosshilde
Festival Int. d’Art Lyrique Aix en Provence(Rattle)
Salzburger Osterfestspiele(Rattle)

Wagner – Götterdämmerung – Waltraute

Wagner – Parsifal – Stimme von oben
Palau de les Arts Valencia(Maazel)

Wagner – Fliegender Holländer – Mary


Oleg Bryjak was born in Kasachstan in the former USSR and has appeared on opera stages all over the world, including Paris, Zurich, London, Los Angeles, Chicago, Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Sao Paolo and Tokyo. His repertoire included more than 30 operas, and he had worked with such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Sir Andrew Davis, James Conlon, Donald Runnicles, John Fiore, and Simon Rattle.

In 1990 he took 2nd Prize in the International Sylvia-Gesty Competition in Stuttgart, Germany. From 1991 to 1996 he was engaged at Karlsruhe Staatsoper, singing such roles as Bartolo (II barbiere di Siviglia), Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore), Fra Melitone (La forza del destino), Kezal (The Bartered Bride), Warlaam (Boris Gudunov), Galitsky and Lord Tgor (Lord Igor), Boris Ismailov (Lady Macbeth from Mtsensk), and Alberich (Ring Cycle), among others.

Oleg Bryjak as Falstaff

Oleg Bryjak as Falstaff

Since 1996, Mr. Bryjak was a member of the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf. There he had sung Leporello (Don Giovanni), Father (Hansel und Gretel), Don Pasquale, Falstaff, Rigoletto, Amonasro (Aida), Klingsor (Parsifal), Alberich (Ring), Telramund (Lohengrin), Jago (Otello), Don Magnifico (Cenerentola), Mustafa (L’italiana in Algeri), Dr. Kolenaty (The Macropolous Case), Pizarro (Fidelio), Hans Sachs (Die Meistersinger), Hollander, Scarpia (Tosca), Alfio and Tonio (Cav/Pag), Gianni Schicchi and Michele (Tabarro).

bryjakSince 1998 he had appeared regularly with the Vienna Staatsoper as Telramung, Amonasro, Alberich and Pizarro. Other highlights of his career included: Chicago Lyric Opera debut as Alberich (Ring Cycle) 2003-2005; Alberich at the Royal Albert Hall in London and in a live TV/Radio Broadcast at the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus 2004; in Amsterdam as Alberich and Klingsor 2005-06; Tokyo debut as Scarpia (Tosca) 2006; Covent Garden debut as Dikoj (Kata Kabanova) 2007; and Los Angeles debut as Kothner in Meistersinger 2007, Alberich at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2008, and Kruschina (The Bartered Bride) at the National Theater of Paris, Dikoj in Madrid and a return to Los Angeles as Alberich in 2009.


Wagner Ring – Alberich
Lohengrin – Telramund
Parsifal – Klingsor
Die Meistersinger – Hans Sachs, Kothner
Verdi Aida – Amonasro
Otello – Jago
La forza del Destiono – Fra Melitone
Beethoven Fidelio – Pizarro
Mozart D. Giovanni – Leporello
Puccini Tosca- Scarpia
Gianni Schicchi
Il Tabarro- Michele
Donizetti Don Pasquale
L`elisir d`amore – Dulcamara
Rossini Barbier – Bartolo
Cenerentola – Don Magnifico
L`Italiana – Mustafa
Turco in Italien – Geronio
Humperdinck Hänsel und Gretel – Vater
Janacek Makropulos – Dr. Kolenaty
Jenufa – Altgesel
K. Kabanova – DikojAus einem Totenhaus – Schischkoff
Leoncavallo Paglacci – Tonio
Mascagni Cavalleria rusticana – Alfio
Schostakowitsch Lady Macbeth from Mzensk – Boris Ismailov
Borodin Fürst Igor – F.Igor, Galizkj
Wunschpartien Barak – Frau ohne Schatten
Jochanaan – Solome
Wotan – Ring
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