Kuanus City, Lithuania
World-Renowned Grammy nominated Maestro, Constantine Orbelian, hailed by Opera News as “the singer’s dream collaborator,” is currently the General and Artistic Director of the National Opera and Ballet Theater of Armenia, Music Director of the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra of Lithuania, as well as founder and Music Director of the Palaces of St. Petersburg International Music Festival.
For the past 20 years, the brilliant American pianist and conductor has been a central figure in Russia’s musical life. Orbelian’s appointment in 1991 as Music Director of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra was a breakthrough event: he is the first American ever to become music director of an ensemble in Russia, while also music director of the Philharmonia of Russia, as well as a frequent guest conductor with other illustrious Russian orchestras, conducting hundreds of performances. Maestro Orbelian also has an immense discography with over 30 recordings on Delos, with some of today’s greatest operatic stars, Renée Fleming, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Sondra Radvanovsky, Lawrence Brownlee and many others, resulting in three seperate Grammy Award nominations. The maestro also has been the music director and conductor in major televised events including, ‘A Musical Odyssey from St. Petersburg’ with Renée Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, which was broadcast around the world and on the PBS Great Performances Series, as well as with Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Anna Netrebko for historic live telecasts from Moscow’s Red Square.
Orbelian continues to use his artistic eminence in the cause of international goodwill and ambassadorship. He is a tireless champion of Russian-American cultural exchange and enrichment programs, from his performances at the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the United Nations in San Francisco, to his performance at the U.S. State Department commemorating 70 years of diplomatic relations between Washington and Moscow. Orbelian also led the opening Ceremonial Concert for the Cultural Olympics in Sochi, Russia — the first event setting the stage for Russia’s hosting of the Olympic Games in 2014.
Born in San Francisco to Russian and Armenian emigré parents, Constantine Orbelian made his debut as a piano prodigy with the San Francisco Symphony at the age of 11. After graduating from Juilliard in New York, he embarked on a career as a piano virtuoso that included appearances with major symphony orchestras throughout the U.S., U.K., Europe, and Russia and his recording of the Khachaturian piano concerto with conductor Neeme Järvi won “Best Concerto Recording of the Year” award in the United Kingdom. Orbelian has also been awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an award given to immigrants, or children of immigrants, who have made outstanding contributions to the United States, the Order of Friendship Award by the Republic of Armenia, and was awarded, by President Putin, the coveted, “Honored Artist of Russia,” a title never before bestowed on a non-Russian citizen.
Internationally-acclaimed Romanian Soprano, Valentina Farcas has worked with some of the foremost conductors and directors of our time including Maestros Riccardo Muti, Riccardo Chailly, Kirill Petrenko, Jaap van Zweeden, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Kurt Masur, Fabio Luisi, Rene Jacobs, Fabio Biondi, Ivor Bolton, Jeffrey Tate, Bruno Bartoletti, Bertrand de Billy, Thomas Hengelbrock, Alessandro de Marchi, Riccardo Frizza, Christopher Hogwood, and directors Stefan Heerheim, Damiano Michieletto, Barrie Kosky, Laurent Pelly, Daniele Abbado, Cristina Muti, Guy Joosten and others. She has performed at the Theater an der Wien, Salzburg Festival, Teatro Regio Torino, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Komische Oper Berlin, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Dallas Opera, Teatro San Carlo Napoli, Teatro Regio di Parma, Tokyo Symphony, Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam, Opera National de Lyon, Semperoper Dresden, Ravenna Festival, Savonlinna Festival, Spoleto Festival, Opera de Lausanne, Theatre de Champs-Elysees, Theâtre Capitole du Toulouse, Teatro Municipal Santiago Chile, and the Wiener Musikverein.
Recent appearances include Nanetta in Falstaff with the Teatro Regio di Torino directed by Daniele Abbado where critics wrote “Lunare Valentina Farcas nelle vesti di Nanetta. La voce cristallina corre perfettamente nella sala del Regio di Torino, permettendo al pubblico in sala di apprezzare tutte le sfumature della parte. Celestiale nella difficile aria finale, il soprano esalta con filature e smorzature la liricità della fanciulla innamorata. L’uso corretto della respirazione e del legato le hanno consentito di delineare una figura evanescente e onirica”, Bach St. Matthew Passion with Maestro Jaap van Zweeden and the Dallas Symphony, her Japanese debut with Despina in Cosi fan tutte with Maestro Jonathan Nott (opposite Sir Thomas Allen) and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, a return to Hong Kong for the Waldvogel in Siegfried with Maestro Jaap van Zweden and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (as part of a new complete Ring Cycle recording), a concert of Handel arias with NDR Radiophilharmonie and Maestro Paul Goodwin, and Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi with Maestro Fabio Biondi at the Festival Reate di Rieti, produced on CD by Glossa Musica.
Upcoming concert/operatic engagements include a return to Maggio Musicale Fiorentino for Mendelssohn Paulus with Maestro Fabio Luisi, a concert and CD release of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with Maestro Paavo Järvi, and baritone Mattias Goerne, and her role-debut of Amenaide in Rossini’s Tancredi, among others.
WA WA HAO
World-class Chinese Tenor, Wa Wa Hao, excels at the most demanding Spinto and Verismo Tenor repertoire in the canon. Upcoming, he will be singing Canio with Opera Hong Kong as well as National Concert Tours in Asia of opera arias and Neapolitan songs. Recognized for his "thrilling high notes," the voice possess the "brilliant squillo," size, stamina, and color for the core heroic tenor roles of Radames, Manrico, Canio, Calaf, Manon Lescaut, Pinkerton, Turridu, Cavaradossi, Andrea Chenier, Don Carlo, Don Jose, and Verdi's Requiem, as well as others.
Wa Wa has sung at all the major theaters in China as well as on the Central Television of China, and has worked with inimitable maestros such as Placido Domingo and Seiji Ozawa. Wa Wa has also won first prize in the Madama Butterfly International singing competition, in Nagasaki, Japan, and was recognized by the Premiere Opera Foundation International Vocal Competition in New York.
Mr. Hao received early training from his father, Hao Jun, a great Chinese tenor and prominent voice teacher, as well as his formal training at San Francisco Opera's Merola Program, the Royal Academy of Music in London, UK, the George Solti Bel Canto Academia, and at the Central Conservatory of Music of China. A student of the Golden Age, Wa Wa Hao's Italianate slancio and phrasing, is a central proponent of his singing and teaching.