Beethoven once said to Rossini before advising him not to attempt anything more serious the The Barber of Seville. Nevertheless, Rossini did return to composing opera seria. Ten years after Tancredi, he composed Semiramide. Taking up the legendary figure of the queen of Babylon, the composer weaves a breathtaking, tragic melodrama, which has become an exemplar of the bel canto. Semiramide is often considered a pivotal work in Rossini’s career and, as it was written before his departure for Paris, where he would remain until he died, it is also a kind of farewell to Italy.
First performance at La Fenice in Venice, February 3, 1823
Music Director of the Philadelphia Opera and the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, Corrado Rovaris is also Principal Conductor of the chamber orchestra “I Virtuosi Italiani”. Trained at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan, he made a name for himself in Baroque and Belcanto, before expanding his repertoire to Mozart, Bizet, Verdi and Puccini. Committed to the promotion of new works, he has to his credit the world premieres of Glass Handel (with music by Handel and Philip Glass), Elizabeth Cree by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell, and George Benjamin’s Written on Skin at the Philadelphia Opera. In parallel to an intense activity as a symphonic conductor, he is invited to conduct in the main opera houses and festivals of the world: Teatro alla Scala, Fenice, Teatro Reggio of Turin, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Frankfurt Opera, Lyon Opera… Corrado Rovaris is a knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and received in 2016 the Franco Abbiati award.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Rigoletto (2000), Luisa Miller (2001), La bohème (2003), Il Signor Bruschino and Gianni Schicchi (2004), Otello (2010), La Traviata (2015).
Born in Naples, Maria Grazia Schiavo has performed under the direction of conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Nello Santi, Roberto Abbado, Stefano Ranzani, Bruno Campanella, Jordi Bernacer, and Jader Bignamini. She is regularly invited to sing in the most famous opera houses in Europe where she performs the leading Mozart roles as well as the bel canto and romantic repertoires, including: Violetta in La Traviata; Gilda in Rigoletto; the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor; Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore; the Contessa di Folleville in Il Viaggio a Reims; Olympia in The Tales of Hoffmann; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni; and Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail.
After a flute diploma, Marina Viotti tried her hand at jazz, gospel, heavy metal and, with a diploma of high literary studies (hypokhâgnes) in her pocket, moved to Vienna to begin studying opera singing with Heidi Brunner in 2011. In 2013, she joins Brigitte Balleys’ class at the HEMU, where she obtains a master’s degree as a soloist. She then perfected her skills in belcanto with Raúl Gimenez in Barcelona. Elected in 2019 “Best young singer of the year” at the International Opera Awards, she won numerous prizes in different competitions: finalist of the Operalia competition in 2018, 3rd prize of the Geneva Competition in 2016, 1st prize of the Kattenburg competition in Lausanne in 2017, international belcanto prize at the Rossini Festival in Wildbad in 2015.
Her important operatic roles include: Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia) at the Bolshoi, Mélibéa (Il viaggio a Reims) and Nicklausse/La Muse (Les contes d’Hoffmann) at the Liceu in Barcelona; Arsace (Aureliano in Palmira) and Isabella (L’Italiana in Algeri) at the Rossini Festival in Wildbad and then at the Lucerne Theatre, where she also sang the Grand Duchess of Gerolstein and Elisabetta (Marie Stuart); Stéphano (Romeo and Juliet) at La Scala, Rosina and Olga (Eugene Onegin) at the Rhine Opera; Maddalena (Rigoletto) at the Opernhaus in Zurich and at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. She was also a member of the Young Soloists of the Grand Théâtre de Genève for two years. Eager to explore other avenues and to bring genres and people together, Marina Viotti creates projects that call upon the lyrical repertoire as well as cabaret, jazz and song.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Die Zauberflöte (2015), Amahl et les visiteurs du soir (2017), “Music has no borders” (2020 – concert).
Specializing in belcanto and Mozart repertoire, Mirco Palazzi made his debut with the Wexford Festival Opera. Since then, he has performed on the world’s greatest stages – Teatro alla Scala, Teatro Reggio in Turin, Covent Garden, Liceu in Barcelona, Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Dallas and Washington Operas, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow… – under the baton of conductors such as Rinaldo Alessandrini, Riccardo Chailly, Myung-Whun Chung, Diego Fasolis, Valery Gergiev, Christopher Hogwood and Antonio Pappano. Besides Figaro and Leporello, he is in great demand as a Rossinian tenor. He camped Assur de Semiramide not only in many opera houses (Royal Opera House, Marseille, Amsterdam, Bordeaux), but also under the microphones of the Opera Rara label in 2019, recording that won the International Opera Award.
An Argentinian tenor, Francisco Brito made his debut in Pesaro under the baton of Alberto Zedda, and established himself above all as a Rossinian singer. He sang L’italiana in Algeri in Piacenza, Modena, Trieste, Venice, Verona and Madrid, ll viaggio a Reims in Zurich, Muscat and Pesaro, Zelmira, Il signor Bruschino and La donna del lago in Pesaro and Venice, Il barbiere di Siviglia in Wiesbaden, Erl, Venice, Palma de Mallorca and Verona, La scala di seta in Mannheim and Venice, La gazza ladra in Frankfurt and Bari, La Cenerentola in Dresden, Palermo, Bonn and Frankfurt, Otello in Naples, Matilde di Shabran at the Rossini Festival in Wildbad, Le Comte Ory in Toulon, Il turco in Italia at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. He completes his repertoire with Don Pasquale in Darmstadt, Frankfurt and Moscow, Falstaff in Frankfurt, Ariodante in Dublin, I puritani in Stuttgart, Così fan tutte in Dubai, Carmina Burana in Bari, La Juive in Constance, Il castello di Kenilworth, Pietro il Grande at the Bergamo Donizetti Festival and Anna Bolena at the Manaus Festival.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Semiramide (2022).
French-Italian mezzo-soprano Ornella Corvi entered the Academy of Monaco at a very young age, where she studied piano, double bass and opera singing. She continued her training in Fiesole and Florence, before entering the Haute École de Musique de Genève, where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree. She made her solo debut in 2016 at the Cité du Cinéma in Paris, under the baton of Nicola Piovani, performing the great classics of Italian cinema. In 2018, she is La Zelatrice in Suor Angelica at the Auditorium Rainier III alongside the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra. She is regularly invited by the Erasmus Orchestra to perform excerpts from the title role of Carmen in Strasbourg, Florence and at the ancient theater of Agrigento in Sicily. The composer Dušan Bogdanovi’c entrusted her with the interpretation of Crow in Geneva and Aachen. In November 2021, she interprets the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at the Opera of Saint-Etienne under the direction of Giuseppe Grazioli.
Born in Lausanne, Raphaël Hardmeyer began his musical career with the violin, then the viola. After obtaining a master’s degree in law, he began to study singing at the Lausanne Conservatory. Three years later, he joined Gilles Cachemaille’s class at the Haute école de musique de Genève. During the 2019/20 season, he can be seen in Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach at the Grand Théâtre de Genève and Die Walkyrie (in concert version) in Evian. In 2020, he benefits from the OperaLab.ch program set up by the Grand Théâtre de Genève and the Hautes Écoles de Genève. This season, he performs in a staged version of Messiah at the Théâtre du Jorat and in Die Zauberflöte at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival, under the direction of Christophe Rousset.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Ariadne auf Naxos (2019), Semiramide (2022), L’elisir d’amore (2022), Candide (2022).
The French tenor Jean Miannay studied singing in Lausanne with Brigitte Balleys and in Berlin in the class of Scot Weir. He distinguished himself in 2018 at the 4th Raymond Duffaut Competition, where he won the grand prize. Following this, he won various awards at the Clermont-Ferrand Competition, the Kattenburg Competition, as well as the 2nd Vienna International Music Competition. His young lyric voice leads him to interpret roles such as Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Beppe (Pagliacci), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), Alfredo (La traviata), Vincent (Mireille), or Des Grieux (Manon). In 2018, he made his first steps at the Lausanne Opera, where he performs regularly thereafter. He sings in France at the operas of Massy, Avignon and Clermont-Ferrand, as well as at the Chorégies d’Orange for the fourth consecutive year. In 2022, he made his German debut at the Theater Magdeburg in a production of Orpheus in der Unterwelt. Curious by nature, he also flourishes in contemporary creation as well as in chamber music. He has performed Benjamin Britten’s Illuminations and Serenade for horn and tenor, Janáček’s Diary of the Missing and Schumann’s Dichterliebe. He is expected this summer as Remendado (Carmen) at the Chorégies d’Orange and joins the Opéra Studio du Rhin for the 2023/24 season.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon (2018), Les Contes d’Hoffmann (2019), Rinaldo (2020), L’Auberge du Cheval-Blanc (2021), Semiramide, Eugene Onegin and L’elisir d’amore (2022).
Born in Geneva, Joshua Morris received his Bachelor’s degree from the Haute école de musique de Genève in 2016, followed by his Master’s degree from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig in 2018. Since then, he has performed in Switzerland and Germany in many different roles: Il Commendatore and Masetto (Don Giovanni), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Colas (Bastien and Bastienne), Seneca (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Herr Peachum (Die Dreigroschenoper), Zuniga (Carmen), Fasolt (Das Rheingold), Alfred P. Doolittle (My fair Lady), Colline (La bohème), Brundibar, Don Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia)… He also performs in concert in a lighter repertoire (lied, song, melody), as well as in oratorio. In 2022, he will perform Brahms’ Requiem in Geneva and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Leipzig.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Doña Francisquita (2020).
The Opéra de Lausanne Choir is young, made up of students of singing from Lausanne’s University of Music and the Geneva HEM, and professional singers. Its members are selected by audition and periodically reheard. For each opera, they are distributed depending on their voice and/or aptitudes. Thanks mainly to their talent on stage, supported by an infectious enthusiasm, they are highly appreciated by all the theatre directors invited. For a few years the choir has benefitted from preparation by several experienced choir masters from different backgrounds, chosen depending on the works being sung and their specific interest.
Antonio Greco holds a diploma in piano, choral music and choral conducting, as well as a diploma in Renaissance polyphony, and teaches choral practice at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Ravenna. In 1993, he founded the Coro Costanzo Porta and, in 2004, the Orchestra Cremona Antiqua, an ensemble playing on original instruments. He has been assistant conductor to Sir John Eliot Gardiner and harpsichordist with the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists on numerous world tours. Since 2018, he has collaborated as choral conductor with Riccardo Muti, with whom he has performed Macbeth, Nabucco, Stabat Mater, Te Deum and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, as well as Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. In the same year, he was appointed Music Director of the Monteverdi Festival in Cremona, of which his two ensembles became the resident groups. This has led him to conduct, year after year, the great masterpieces of the Mantuan composer. This year, he will conduct L’incoronazione di Poppea, directed by Pierluigi Pizzi, which will be performed in theaters in Cremona, Como, Pavia, Pisa and Ravenna.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Tancredi (2015), L’Orfeo (2016) and La sonnambula (2018).
Gianfranco Bianchi is a multidisciplinary visual artist. Having started in Miami creating virtual environments for architects and illustrator, he began to experiment with others means to tell stories. He collaborated with various artist through the David Lynch Foundation and began work on an animated graphic novel that made the film festivals rounds, illustrated a published companion comic book, as well as open the doors to bigger projects. After dabbling in fashion photography between Miami, NYC and Tokyo he began to merge the digital world with the practical world he was currently working in. In doing so he worked through projection mapping in live event and made a hybrid cinemagraph short that brought him to the Visual effects field.
Combining the skills he acquired through the past years he was able to work on a few award winning animated films, as head illustrator, animator and creative director for various project with Kijik Multimedia. His next goal was within the interactive medium and by combining everything he has learned, he now as been able to create interactive experiences based around Augmented reality and real time animation projects.
He now works with the Opera de Lausanne to create animations, visual effects, and interactive experiences through the Opera’s own mobile application.