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Born in the Czech Republic and described
by Gramophone as 'on the verge of greatness',
Jakub Hrůša is Chief Conductor Designate of the Bamberg Symphony,
Permanent Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, Principal
Guest Conductor of Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (TMSO),
and served as Music Director and Chief Conductor of PKF-Prague
Philharmonia from 2009 to 2015.
He is a regular guest with many of the world's greatest
orchestras, including the Philharmonia Orchestra, Czech
Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, The Cleveland
Orchestra, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
Recent highlights have included Bohemian
Legends and The Mighty Five - two
major series specially devised for the Philharmonia Orchestra - and
débuts with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic,
Vienna Symphony, DSO Berlin, and Russian National Orchestra.
2015/16 will see him make eagerly-awaited debuts with the Royal
Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, and at
the Vienna State Opera (a new production of The Makropulos
Case directed by Peter Stein) and Frankfurt Opera (Il
trittico). He also returns to Glyndebourne Festival in
2016 to lead The Cunning Little
As a conductor of opera, he has been a regular guest with the
Glyndebourne Festival since his début in 2008,
conducting Carmen, The Turn of the
Screw, Don Giovanni and La
bohème,and serving as Music Director of Glyndebourne On Tour
from 2010 to 2012. Elsewhere he has led productions for Opéra
National de Paris (Rusalka), Finnish National Opera
(Jenůfa), Royal Danish Theatre (Boris Godunov),
and Prague National Theatre (The Cunning Little
Vixen and Rusalka).
As a recording artist, he has released six discs for Supraphon
including a live recording of Smetana's Má
vlast from the Prague Spring Festival. Other recordings
include the Tchaikovsky and Bruch violin concertos with Nicola
Benedetti and the Czech Philharmonic (Universal); live recordings
of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique,
Strauss's Eine Alpensinfonie and
Suk's Asrael Symphony with TMSO for Octavia
Records; and, as the first in a three-disc series for Pentatone
with PKF-Prague Philharmonia, Dvořák and Lalo cello concertos with
Johannes Moser. He will also embark on a new partnership in
the coming seasons with Tudor and Bamberg Symphony.
Originally from Brno, Jakub Hrůša studied conducting at the
Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he now lives with his
wife and daughter. He is currently President of the International
Jakub Hrůša, conductor
Kateřina Kněžíková, soprano
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Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called a
"luminous standout" (New York Times) and "equal parts poise,
radiance and elegant directness" (Opera News). Ms. Cooke
appears frequently this season singing Mahler, whose works she has
sung to great acclaim on four different continents. Sought after by
the world's leading orchestras, opera companies, and chamber music
ensembles for her versatile repertoire and commitment to new music,
Ms. Cooke's season continues to bring world premiere performances
and unique artistic collaborations.
Ms. Cooke bookends her 2016-17 season with opera performances of
Hänsel und Gretel at the Seattle Opera and a world-premiere by
composer Mason Bates and librettist Mark Campbell titled The
(R)evolution of Steve Jobs at The Santa Fe Opera. Throughout the
season her orchestral engagements include the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra with Riccardo Muti leading Prokofiev's Ivan the Terrible,
Bernstein's Symphony No. 1 "Jeremiah" with Royal Concertgebouw
Orchestra as well as Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick
Nézet-Séguin at Carnegie Hall, and a staged version of Verdi's
Requiem with Houston Grand Opera under Patrick Summers. Her season
also features performances with Atlanta Symphony for Christopher
Theofanidis' Creation/Creator conducted by Robert Spano, Milwaukee
Symphony for Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Edo de Waart, Duruflé's
Requiem with Cleveland Orchestra conducted Matthew Halls and also
with National Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles, Minnesota
Orchestra to sing and record Mahler's Symphony No. 2 conducted by
Osmo Vänskä, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra singing a concert of
Handel, Mahler, and Mozart, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with
Krzysztof Urbański and the Indianapolis Symphony, Oregon Symphony
for Mozart's Requiem under Jean-Marie Zeitouni, and Nashville
Symphony for Harbison's Requiem that will also be recorded.
During the 2015-16 season, Ms. Cooke sang performances of
Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with the San Francisco Symphony and
New World Symphony, both under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas,
and with the Tucson Symphony, Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the
Louisiana Philharmonic, Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with the Singapore
Symphony Orchestra, Handel's Messiah with Trevor Pinnock and the
National Arts Centre Orchestra, as well as with the Mormon
Tabernacle Choir, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Nashville
and Seattle Symphonies. A frequent performer of contemporary works,
Ms. Cooke's season featured the world premiere of Marc Neikrug's
Canta-Concerto with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan
Her operatic engagements during the 2015-16 season included her
role debut as Magdalena in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
with San Francisco Opera under the baton of Sir Mark Elder. Ms.
Cooke also joined Harry Bicket and The English Concert in her role
debut as Medoro in Handel's Orlando on tour to Vienna's Theater an
der Wien, Birmingham's Town Hall, Valencia's Palau de la Música,
Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw, London's Barbican Centre, and New
York's Carnegie Hall.
Ms. Cooke's past seasons have included performances with such
wide-ranging conductors as Sir Andrew Davis, Pinchas Zukerman,
Leonard Slatkin, Gerard Schwarz, Riccardo Frizza, Jeffrey Kahane,
Jaap van Zweden, Robert Spano, Tugan Sokhiev, Andrés
Orozco-Estrada, Tugan Sokhiev, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Matthew Halls,
and Ludovic Morlot. Previous orchestral engagements have brought
her to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Seattle
Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester
Berlin, Hong Kong Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Houston
Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, MDR Orchestra,
I Musici de Montreal, Colorado Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, Orchestre
National de Lyon, Berkeley Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony,
Indianapolis Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, and Columbus
Symphony. Ms. Cooke has performed with opera companies around the
world in the past including Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand
Opera, English National Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Dallas
Opera, The Israeli Opera and Chicago Opera Theater. Previous
festival appearances have included Spoleto Festival USA, Caramoor
International Music Festival, Lucerne Festival, Mostly Mozart
Festival, New York Festival of Song, Chamber Music Society of
Lincoln Center, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music
Northwest, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Ms. Cooke has
performed at such prestigious venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Kennedy
Center in Washington, D.C., Carnegie's Zankel Hall and Weill
Recital Hall, Wigmore Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Brooklyn Academy
of Music. On DVD, Ms. Cooke can be seen in a new production of
Hansel and Gretel at the Metropolitan Opera and the Grammy
Award-winning production of Doctor Atomic under conductor Alan
Gilbert. Ms. Cooke's recordings can be found on the Hyperion,
Naxos, Bridge Records, Yarlung, GPR Records, and Sono Luminus
A graduate of Rice University and The Juilliard School, Sasha
Cooke also attended the Music Academy of the West, the Aspen Music
Festival, the Ravinia Festival's Steans Music Institute, the Wolf
Trap Foundation, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Metropolitan
Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, and Seattle
Opera and Central City Opera's Young Artist Training Programs.
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
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Praised by The Wall Street Journal for his “ardent, heroic tenor and strong acting,” Brandon Jovanovich is sought after by the world’s finest opera companies for his passionate stage portrayals of leading roles in French, Italian, German, and Slavic opera.
In the 2018/19 season, Brandon Jovanovich sings the roles of Enée in Sir David McVicar’s new production of Les Troyens, Florestan in Fidelio, and the Prince in Rusalka at the Wiener Staatsoper. He will also sing Dick Johnson in Andreas Dresen’s new production of La Fanciulla del West at the Bayerische Staatsoper, and will make his role debut in the title role of Parsifal at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. He concludes the season as the Prince in Rusalka at San Francisco Opera.
In this current season, Brandon Jovanovich sang the title role of Lohengrin at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Siegmund in David Pountney’s new production of Die Walküre at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Don José in Carmen at Los Angeles Opera. He made his role debut as Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West at the Opernhaus Zürich, Sergei in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk in his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden debut, and both Froh and Siegmund in The Ring Cycle with San Francisco Opera. Closing out the 2017/18 season Jovanovich will sing Hermann in Pique Dame at the Salzburger Festspiele under the baton of Mariss Jansons.
The 2016/17 performance season saw Brandon make his house debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Don Jose in Carmen, and return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago (Les troyens and Carmen) and The Metropolitan Opera (Rusalka). On the concert platform Mr. Jovanovich made his debut with the Hallé Orchestra, singing Schoenberg's Gurre-lieder under the baton of Sir Mark Elder. In July 2017 Brandon returned to Opernhaus Zürich in the title role of Wagner's Lohengrin. In August 2017 Brandon closed the 2016/17 season with an exciting house debut with The Salzburg Festival as Sergei in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.
Schedule highlights in Brandon Jovanovich's 2015/16 season included two roles debuts -- Tambourmajor in Wozzeck at Opernhaus Zürich and Walther in Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg at San Francisco Opera under the baton of Sir Mark Elder, plus a much-anticipated house debut with L'Opéra National de Paris in the same role under the baton of Philippe Jordan. The singer also returned to the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich as the Chevalier des Grieux in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut conducted by Asher Fisch, and as Don José in Bizet’s Carmen under the baton of Dan Ettinger. Mr. Jovanovich concluded the season with his house debut at Opera Australia as Don José in a new production of Carmen.
Mr. Jovanovich opened the 2014/15 season at San Francisco Opera as Sam in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah in a new production by Michael Cavanagh, followed by his return to the Metropolitan Opera as Sergei in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk under the baton of James Conlon. Other operatic highlights of Mr. Jovanovich’s season included Walter in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s highly-anticipated production of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger and a reprise of his acclaimed Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio at Opernhaus Zürich under the baton of Fabio Luisi. Orchestral engagements included Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony, both under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, and in his Vienna debut performing Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass with the Czech Philarmonic Orchestra. Additionally he appear in concert performances of Fidelio with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony and made his New York Philharmonic debut in Verdi’s Requiem under the baton of Alan Gilbert.
Additional highlights of Mr. Jovanovich’s other recent seasons include the Prince in Sir David McVicar’s new production of Rusalka at Lyric Opera of Chicago; Don José in Carmen at LA Opera conducted by Plácido Domingo, The Dallas Opera conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, Opernhaus Zürich conducted by Vasily Petrenko, and in a new production at Houston Grand Opera; the title role of Lohengrin at San Francisco Opera conducted by Nicola Luisotti; Florestan in a new production of Fidelio by Andreas Homoki at Opernhaus Zürich, conducted by Fabio Luisi, and at the Verbier Festival under the baton of Marc Minkowski; Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at LA Opera; the Chevalier des Grieux in Manon Lescaut at La Monnaie in Brussels; and Sergei in a new production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with Opernhaus Zürich.
Recent concert work includes appearances with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln under the baton of Markus Stenz, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Millennium Park series, and the title role in a concert production of Lohengrin at Festival International de Lanaudière conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Mr. Jovanovich made role debuts in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen as Froh (Rheingold) and Siegmund (Die Walküre) with the San Francisco Opera in 2011 in the highly acclaimed production by Francesca Zambello, under the baton of Donald Runnicles, and his U.K. debut at the Glyndebourne Festival as Don José in David McVicar’s production of Carmen, conducted by Stéphane Denève. He later returned to Glyndebourne to sing the Prince in Dvořák’s Rusalka which was released as a live recording on Glyndebourne’s independent label.
Other career highlights include Les Contes d’Hoffmann at Teatro alla Scala; Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Boston Lyric Opera; Don José in Carmen with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bayerische Staatsoper, and the Metropolitan Opera; the title role in Don Carlos with Houston Grand Opera; the title role in Peter Grimes at Teatro di San Carlo in Naples; and Cavaradossi in Tosca with the Canadian Opera Company, Oper Köln, Seattle Opera, l’Opéra National de Bordeaux, de Vlaamse Opera, and the Bregenz Festival, which was featured in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. Mr. Jovanovich’s Pinkerton has been seen at Santa Fe Opera, The Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, LA Opera, and San Francisco Opera, where it was broadcast in high-definition in movie theatres across the United States.
A native of Billings, MT, Brandon Jovanovich received his training at Northern Arizona University and Manhattan School of Music. He was the recipient of the 2007 Richard Tucker Award and was twice a New York City district winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He was a founding member of the Seattle Young Artists program and was a member of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice program, where he was given the Anna Case Mackay award Award. He won the Crawley Award from the Young Patronesses of the Opera/Florida Grand Opera Voice Competition and in 2004 he was given the prestigious ARIA Award.
Brandon Jovanovich, tenor