12 December 2016
Ceremonial concert on the occasion of the SK PRES: Edita Gruberová (soprano), Zuzana Šveda (mezzo-soprano), Pavol Bršlík (tenor), Richard Šveda (baritone), Peter Valentovič (piano) / Berlin
The programme features the works of Alexander Moyzes, Mikuláš Schneider-Trnavský, Antonín Dvořák, Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner, Sergej Rachmaninov and others.
The Slovak soprano Edita Gruberová is critically acclaimed as "prima donna assoluta, coloratura-phenomenon, Queen of the Belcanto". Enthusiastic ovations after each of her appearances confirm this assessment. Edita Gruberová studied at the conservatory in Bratislava under the supervision of Prof. Mária Medvecká and with Ruthilde Boesch in Vienna. Her international career began at the Vienna State Opera as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos with Karl Böhm conducting. Mrs. Gruberová has been enthusiastically applauded all over the world for her interpretations of the roles of Zerbinetta, Konstanze, Donna Anna, Rosina, Gilda, Violetta and Lucia at the leading opera houses such as Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera New York, the Opera Houses of Munich, Vienna, Hamburg, Geneva, Zurich, Florence, Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Barcelona since then. Many of these opera companies have produced rare operas, especially for Mrs Gruberová – for example Maria Stuarda, I Puritani, Linda di Chamounix and Roberto Devereux. In 2003 she had a tremendous success with her debut of Norma in Tokyo and in 2004 as Elisabetta in a new production of Roberto Devereux at the Munich State Opera and as Norma in Baden-Baden as well. Edita Gruberová is a regular guest at the Opera Festivals of Munich and Salzburg. She has participated in several important opera film adaptations: Hänsel und Gretel, Rigoletto, Arabella, Così fan tutte and Ariadne auf Naxos. Edita Gruberová is highly acclaimed as a concert singer. Since the beginning of her career she has particularly cultivated the art of the Lied and has given recitals all over the world. She has the title of Austrian and Bavarian Kammersängerin, is an honorary member of the Vienna State Opera and has been awarded many distinctions including the Sir Lawrence Olivier Award, the distinguished Italian Franco Abbiati Prize for the best interpretation of an Italian opera role (Lucia), Bellini d’oro, order of merit of the Austrian Republic and Order of the White Double Cross awarded by the President of the Slovak Republic. In addition, she has been awarded the Herbert von Karajan Prize as an outstanding artist.
The mezzo-soprano Zuzana Šveda studied singing at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. Her singing art developed further when she enrolled for the Socrates project at the Landestheater Detmold in Germany and international singing courses given by Peter Dvorský, Zlatica Livorová and Boris Statsenko. Of the various international singing competitions in which has she participated very successfully, the most interesting is the acquisition of the role of Vita at the Opera Competition and Festival in collaboration with Mezzo Television in Szeged. She also won a nomination for the Czech Thalia Award for her interpretation of that role. Her repertoire includes many title roles, such as Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Rossini's Isabella from the opera The Italian in Algiers, Bizet's Carmen, Charlotte (Massenet: Werther) and Giordano's Fedora from the eponymous opera. She performed in Ostrava, Bratislava, Kosice, Klagenfurt, Regensburg, Düsseldorf and many other cities. In the next season, she will portray Adalgata in Donizetti's opera Norma alongside the world famous Edita Gruberová on a tour in Japan including Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.
Pavol Bršlík (FOTO: Neda Navaee)
The tenor Paul Bršlík (known abroad as Pavol Breslik) studied at the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica under the supervision of Prof. Vlasta Hudecová. In 2000 he won the Antonín Dvořák Singing Competition in the Czech Republic. He attended master classes given by Yvonne Minton, Mady Mesplé, Mirella Freni and William Matteuzzi. From 2003 to 2006 he was a member of the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden. He has been a freelance performer since 2006; he has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and other major opera houses and festivals. He sang Lensky, Nemorino and Alfred at the Vienna State Opera, and made his debut at the Bavarian State Opera with two major roles: Gennaro (Lucrezia Borgia) alongside Edita Gruberová and Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor) with Diana Demrau. At Covent Garden, the audience enjoyed his portrayal of Lensky in a new production of Eugene Onegin, as well as his interpretations of Ferrando and Tamino. He will return there as Don Ottavio. He has sung at the Paris Opera, the Opera House in Barcelona, the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Berlin State Opera, the Salzburg Festival and the Geneva Grand Theatre. He is a member of the Zurich Opera House in Switzerland and recently debuted in Australia as Nadir at the Sydney Opera House. Slovak opera fans can admire Mr. Bršlík in the Slovak National Theatre portraying the roles of Tamino, Nemorino or Don Ottavio.
The baritone Richard Šveda studied opera singing at the State Conservatory in Bratislava. He continued his studies at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria, and improved his singing art by enrolling in the international singing courses of Peter Dvorský, Deborah Polaski, Franz Grundheber, Boris Statsenko, David Syrus, Zlatica and Dagmar Livorová. He has succeeded in many competitions at home and abroad - for example the Antonín Dvořák International Singing Competition at Karlovy Vary, the International Vocal Competition of Mikuláš Schneider-Trnavský, Francisco Viñas in Barcelona, Hans Gabor Belvedere in Vienna and Emmerich Smola Förderpreis in the German town of Baden Baden. The core of his repertoire consists mainly of characters from Mozart's operas: Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni), Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte). Mr Šveda has performed with great success for example on the following stages: Chinese Grand Theatre in Shanghai, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Deutsche Oper Dortmund, Essen, Dresden Semperoper, Prinzregententheater in Munich, Klagenfurt Opera, Prague National Theatre and Musikvereinsaal and Volksoper in Vienna. Since the 2010/2011 season Richard Šveda has been a soloist of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf. His upcoming performances include for example appearances in the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, where he will portray Papageno in a production of The Magic Flute.
Before the Slovak conductor Peter Valentovič began his conducting studies at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna and at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse in Paris, he had been highly acclaimed as a concert pianist. He worked as an accompanist at the Opéra Bastille and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, and subsequently at the Vienna State Opera. He received the Viktor Bunzl Scholarship for extraordinary artistic talents during his studies in Vienna. He was also head of the opera stage production at the Tyrolean Festival in Erl, in Bolzano's City Theatre, conductor and choirmaster at the Cape Town Opera in South Africa and the first bandmaster at the Istanbul State Opera. Mr. Valentovič has worked with famous conductors including, among others, Sir John Elliot Gardiner, Franz Welser-Möst and Friedrich Haider. He is currently one of the most in-demand conductors in Slovakia and regularly conducts in opera houses and philharmonics in Bratislava and Košice. He has also worked with the ORF-Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Wiener Kammerorchester, Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Zürcher Kammerorchester, Münchner Symphoniker, Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Malmö Opera Orchestra and Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. His upcoming performances include an appearance at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, La Scala in Milan and a tour in Japan.