Principal Guest Conductor at the Wexford Festival Opera, Francesco Cilluffo was born in Turin, where he graduated in Conducting and Composition from the “G. Verdi” Conservatoire, also graduating in History of Music from the University of Turin (DAMS). He furthered his studies in London, where he was awarded a Master at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and a PhD in composition at King’s College, London. He specialized at the Accademia Chiagiana (Siena), eventually assisting Michael Tilson Thomas, John Eliot Gardiner, Asher Fisch, John Mauceri and Lothar Zagrosek.
Among his most notable engagements: Cilea’s Gloria for the opening of the 2023 season at the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari; Cilea’s L’Arlesiana at the Teatro Pergolesi in Jesi (recorded in CD and DVD for Dynamic); Wolf-Ferrari’s Il Campiello for the opening of the season at the Teatro del Maggio in Florence and at the Teatro Verdi in Trieste; the world premieres of Le Braci (Embers) and Miseria e Nobiltà by Marco Tutino, at the Teatro del Maggio in Florence, at the Festival della Valle d’Itria and at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, where he also conducted Il Barbiere di Siviglia; L’Elisir d’amore at the Teatro Comunale in Modena and at the Teatro Regio in Parma; Rossini’s La Cambiale di matrimonio and a Verdi Gala at the Teatro Regio in Parma; La Traviata at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Liège; Zemlinsky’s Der König Kandaules at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo; Nabucco at the Kiel Opera; Gound’s Roméo et Juliette, Rigoletto, L’Elisir d’amore and Madama Butterfly at the New Israeli Opera, Tel Aviv; Tancredi, Trovatore, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Britten, La voix humaine, Cavalleria rusticana and Aida for OperaLombardia; Tosca at the Tulsa Opera (USA); Mascagni’s Isabeau, Puccini’s Le Villi and Delius’ Margot la Rouge at Opera Holland Park (London); Verdi’s Requiem, Macbeth, Falstaff and Puccini’s Manon Lescaut at the Grange Festival with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Also active in the symphonic field, he has conducted: Verdi’s Requiem with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Mozart’s Requiem (ed. Levin), Duruflé’s Requiem and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14 with the Turin Philharmonic Orchestra ; Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde at the Festival della Valle d’Itria in Martina Franca; Cherubini’s Requiem in c minor with the Accademia Stefano Tempia in Turin; concerts with orchestras such as: Bremer Philharmoniker, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Dublin; Orquesta Filarmónica de Santiago, Chile; Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra; LaToscanini in Parma (with the Italian premiere of Absolute Jest by John Adams), Orchestra of the Arena di Verona, Orchestra of the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari, ORT-Orchestra della Toscana, I Pomeriggi Musicali Orchestra in Milan.
At the Wexford Festival Opera, he conducted: Mascagni’s Guglielmo Ratcliff, Alfano’s Risurrezione, Leoni’s L’Oracolo, Giordano’s Mala vita, Catalani’s Edmea, Halévy’s La Tempesta, as well as several gala concerts.
Future engagements include: Le Nozze di Figaro and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem at the Volksoper in Vienna; La Ciociara (Two Women) by Tutino at the Wexford Festival Opera; Tosca at the Grange Festival with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; symphonic concerts with LaToscanini in Parma.
Russian soprano Vlada Borovko became a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the start of the 2015/16 Season, immediately upon her graduation from the Kazan State Conservatory. Shortly after her joining the program, she made an impressive debut as Violetta Valéry on the main stage of Royal Opera House, when she was called at the last moment to step in for an ailing colleague. The event marked not only her debut in the role but also her stage debut in a leading role.
In her 2016/17 season with the Royal Opera House, Borovko will sing Clotilde Norma, Ermione Oreste, Mlle Jouvenot Adriana Lecouvreur, Giannetta L’elisir d’amore as well as covering Leonora Il Trovatore, Aspasia Mitridate Re di Ponto, and will continue to cover Violetta La Traviata.
Borovko initially went on to study foreign languages at the Linguistics University of Nizhny Novgorod. Upon her graduation she enrolled at the Kazan State Conservatory where she studied under the guidance of Galina Lastovka. While still a student, she was invited to take part in the world premieres of two contemporary works and sang Stephano Roméo et Juliette in Kazan. She made her professional opera debut as
Mércèdes Carmen at Tatar State Opera and Ballet Theatre and sang Annie and Strawberry Woman Porgy and Bess with Marco Boemi at the International Shalyapin Opera Festival.
Last season, alongside her debut as Violetta, other roles with the Royal Opera House included Frasquita Carmen, Xenia in a new production of Boris Godunov which was also presented at the BBC Proms, Anna Nabucco and a venture into another Verdi role, Leonora in Il Trovatore, which she covered over the summer.
Canadian mezzo soprano Lucia Cervoni studied at the Manhattan School of Music‚ where she received numerous awards and scholarships‚ including the Hugh Ross Award and the Anna Case Mackay Grant from Santa Fe Opera . She was a member of Seattle Opera’s Young Artists Programme‚ where she performed roles such as Mrs Grose The Turn of the Screw and Carmen in Peter Brooks’ The Tragedy of Carmen‚ and won the Washington International Singing Competition in 2007.
Recent and future engagements include Octavian Der Rosenkavalier (Welsh National Opera)‚ Suzuki Madama Butterfly (Den Jyske Opera)‚ title role in Philippe Boesmans’ Julie (Canadian Stage‚ Toronto) and Dorabella Cosi fan tutte‚ Siebel Faust‚ 3rd Lady Die Zauberflöte‚ Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro‚ Ulrica Un Ballo in Maschera‚ Frau Reich (Meg Page) Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor‚ Suzuki Madama Butterfly and Donna Isabella Die Braut von Messina (Theater Magdeburg).
As a Fest Artist in Magdeburg she has also sung the roles of Octavian Der Rosenkavalier‚ Charlotte Werther‚ Carmen‚ Hansel Hansel und Gretel‚ Eboli Don Carlos‚ Suzuki‚ Hermia A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Niklaus / Muse The Tales of Hoffmann‚ Zita Gianni Schicchi‚ Maddalena Rigoletto‚ Diana Orpheus in the Underworld‚ Tisbe La Cenerentola and Henze’s El Rey de Harlem. Further engagements in Europe include Charlotte (Theater Freiburg) and Suzuki (Staatstheater Schwerin).
Engagements in the USA include Third Lady Die Zauberflöte and Tessa in John Kennedy’s The Trinity (Santa Fe Opera)‚ Cornelia Giulio Cesare (Glimmerglass Opera) and Suky Tawdry The Beggar’s Opera (Castleton Festival‚ under Lorin Maazel).
Notable concert appearances include Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Missa Solemnis (Santa Fe Symphony)‚ St John Passion (Singapore Symphony)‚ Mahler’s Die Rückert Lieder Verdi’s Requiem and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Magdeburg) and Messiah (South Carolina Philharmonic).
Recordings include Donna Isabella Die Braut von Messina (released May 2016).
Italian-American tenor Leonardo Capalbo has garnered international acclaim for his performances throughout the United States and Europe. Lauded for his rich, lyric voice and dramatic intensity, Capalbo has received acclaim at houses such as Berliner Staatsoper, Teatro Real Madrid, Glyndebourne Festival, L’Opéra de Lyon, Teatro Regio di Torino, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Semperoper Dresden, Grand Théâtre de Genève, New York City Opera and Welsh National Opera amongst others.
In 16/17 Capalbo will return the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden to perform the title role in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffman. Other engagements include Don José Carmen in Sevilla, Duca Rigoletto (Wichita Opera) and Alfredo La Traviata (Teatr Wielki – Opera Narodowa) in Warsaw.
A trainee of the Juilliard School of Music, The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and L’Académie Musicale de Villecroze, Capalbo worked under the guidance of the legendary Marilyn Horne. He made his operatic debut in 2004 as Paco in de Falla’s La Vida Breve for Opera North. Further engagements with the company included Ismaele Nabucco, later released on Chandos; Romeo Romeo et Juliette; Narraboth Salome; and Juan in Weill’s Der Kuhhandel.
Last season Capalbo made two important house debuts: La Monnaie, with Mariusz Trelinski’s Powder Her Face and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden with Ismaele Nabucco. Other important debuts included his first Cavaradossi at Minnesota Opera, Don Jose Carmen at Palm Beach Opera, which he reprised at the Greek National Opera, and Arturo in La Straniera at the Concertgebouw, part of the prestigious Saturday Matinée Series.
Jongmin Park was the Song Prize winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2015, and is currently a member of the ensemble at Wiener Staatsoper, where in the 2016-17 season he stars in operas such as La bohème, Macbeth, Il Trovatore, Don Giovanni, Lady Macbeth of Mtensk, Das Rheingold, Die Walkure and Don Carlo.
In the 2016/17 season, in addition to his operatic engagements in Vienna, he will make his Wigmore Hall recital debut; in concert he performs Verdi’s Messa da Requiem at the Wiener Konzerthaus and also at the Royal Festival Hall with The Philharmonia & Edward Gardner and he will perform in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the NHK Orchestra in Japan, under Herbert Blomstedt.
Looking ahead, Jongmin will make his Scandinavian opera debut at Bergen Nasjonale Opera singing Otello (Lodovico).
Recent highlights include his debut at the ROH Covent Garden as Colline in La bohème, appearances at the BBC Proms in London and at the City of London Festival 2014. In addition to the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2015, other prizes and competitions he has won include the International Tchaikovsky Competition, and the Birgit Nilsson Wagner-Award at the Operalia.
His concert engagements have included Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the London Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de Confessore at Teatro alla Scala’s annual Christmas concert, Mozart’s Requiem at the Lech Classic Festival, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the KBS Symphony in Seoul, and Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the NHK Symphony in Tokyo. He has performed solo recitals in Munich and Frankfurt, as well as the Musikverein in Vienna.
Jongmin studied singing at the Korea National University of Arts. As a member of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala, he was guided by Mirella Freni, Luciana Serra, Luigi Alva, and Renato Bruson and during the 2010-2013 seasons, he was a member of the ensemble at the Hamburgische Staatsoper where he sang leading roles such as Sarastro, Colline, Sparafucile. In 2013, he was invited to join the ensemble at the Wiener Staatsoper where he has performed the roles of Sir Giorgio (I Puritani), Gremin (Eugene Onegin), Vodník (Rusalka), Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Truffaldino (Ariadne auf Naxos).