Superstar Angela Gheorghiu, the most glamorous and gifted opera singer of our time, was born in Romania. Ms. Gheorghiu’s magnificent voice and dazzling stage presence have established her as a unique international opera superstar. Angela Gheorghiu made her international debut in 1992 at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with La Bohème. In the same year she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera New York and at the Vienna State Opera. It was in the Royal Opera House Covent Garden that she first sang her much acclaimed La Traviata in 1994, when the BBC cleared out its schedules to broadcast the opera. Since then Ms Gheorghiu has been in constant demand in opera houses and concert halls around the world. Her first exclusive recording contract was signed in 1995 with Decca. In 1998 an exclusive contract with the company EMI Classics followed and the singer recorded a number of albums for them – in 2011 a DVD with Puccini’s opera La Rondine (live from the Metropolitan Opera, 2009) and Gounod’s Faust (Covent Garden, 2004) and in 2012 a DVD with her star role, Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur (Covent Garden, 2010) were released. In March 2014 Warner released the anniversary box “Angela Gheorghiu- the Autograph Collection” containing 8 CDs and 1 DVD. All her CDs have received widespread critical acclaim and have been awarded many prizes such as Gramophone Awards, Diapason d’Or Awards, Choc du Monde de la Musique in France, the Echo Award, the USA Critics’ Award etc. She sang at the historic performance Prom at the Palace in 2002 which marked the Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. In December 2000 Ms Gheorghiu performed the title role in Tosca, the movie directed by Benoit Jacquot. The film was released in theatres around the world and received popular and critical acclaim. Among major appearances in the last fifteen years were the much acclaimed performances of La Rondine and Pagliacci at the Royal Opera House, Romeo et Juliette at the Choregies d’Orange and Salzburg Festival, Faust at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and Royal Opera House. There were also recitals in Salzburg (Salzburg Festival) and in Vienna (Musikverein). She also had some much-acclaimed concerts in Paris (Salle Pleyel and Palais Garnier) and in Los Angeles. When Ms. Gheorghiu sang La Boheme at the Metropolitan in New York, the performance was transmitted in theatres to an audience of over one million and five hundred thousand people. In 2010 she made her much-acclaimed debut in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, a new production of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. All performances and recitals have confirmed Ms. Gheorghiu’s status as one of the most beloved stars of opera. Ms. Gheorghiu was appointed an “Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres” and “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres” by the French Ministry of Culture and by her native country Romania. In December 2010 she was awarded the “Star of Romania”, the highest decoration given by the by the President of Romania. In October 2012 she was conferred the “Nihil Sine Deo” royal decoration from His Majesty King Michael I for promoting Romanian cultural values abroad.
Ramón Vargas is one of the leading tenors of our time, and one of the most sought after worldwide. He was born in Mexico City and studied at the Cardenal Miranda Institute of Music and Arts. Upon winning the Enrico Caruso tenors’ competition in Milan, Italy in 1986, he moved to Austria where he completed his vocal studies at the Opera Studio at the Vienna State Opera. In 1992, Ramón Vargas debuted at the Vienna State Opera (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. (Lucia di Lammermoor) This was soon followed by his debut at La Scala in Milan (Falstaff) in 1993, Buenos Aires Teatro Colon (La Favorita), London Royal Opera House (La traviata, Rigoletto, Un ballo in maschera), Milan La Scala (Lucia, Rigoletto, La traviata, Don Carlo), New York Metropolitan Opera (Lucia, Faust, La bohème, Onegin, etc), Madrid Teatro Real (Werther), Barcelona Teatro Liceo (La bohème, Simon Boccanegra), Arena di Verona (Rigoletto, La traviata), and many others. Last year, Ramón Vargas sang Manon, Un ballo in maschera, and Simon Boccanegra at the Vienna State Opera. Most recently, he sang Les Contes de Hoffmann at the Paris Opera and Don Carlo at the Zurich Opera House. This year, Ramón Vargas sang Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Adorno in Simon Boccanegra in Montecarlo and the Theater of Champs Elysées in Paris, as well as the Czar in Rimsky Korsakov’s Snegurotchka at the Bastille Opera, and Don Carlo in Vienna.
Leoš Svárovský studied the flute at the Prague Conservatory and conducting at the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague under Prof. Václav Neuman. He started his career in the Prague National Theatre as an assistant to Zdeněk Košler. In 1991, he was invited by the Herbert von Karajan’s Foundation to cooperate with Georg Solti, Claudio Abbado, and by the Vienna Philharmonic to the Sommerspiele Salzburg Festival. Since the beginning of his career, he has been the chief conductor of excellent Czech and Slovak orchestras, he went on a tour in the USA in 1997 with the Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina and he received honorary citizenship in San Bernardino, California, for his great performance. He has also acted as the chief conductor of the ballet of the Prague National Theatre and the artistic director and chief conductor of the Prague State Opera. He also works with the Slovak Philharmonic as a permanent guest conductor, cooperates with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno. He is regularly invited to the stages of many renowned music festivals in the Czech Republic and abroad, has cooperated with many leading soloists and top foreign orchestras, for example, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Pays de la Lorraine Metz, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, Bach Collegium Munich, RTL Symphony Orchestra Luxembourg and many more. Most of Leoš Svárovský’s recordings were made by Supraphon Records but he has also cooperated with other leading recording companies including Newport Classic, New Millenium Records BBC, and ULTRAPHON Arco Diva. He has been teaching at the department of conducting of the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague since 2000 and he has been the chief conductor of the Aichi Symphony Orchestra in Nagoya in Japan since 2014.
The PKF – Prague Philharmonia was founded in 1994 at the initiative of world-famous conductor Jiří Bělohlávek. Soon after its founding, the PKF – Prague Philharmonia joined the ranks of the most respected Czech orchestras and established great renown in Europe and elsewhere in the world. The PKF – Prague Philharmonia is beloved for its characteristic sound shaped by its founding conductor and created in large part by the key focus of its repertoire: Viennese Classicism. The repertoire, however, extends to the Baroque as well as contemporary music. The ensemble’s founder, globally celebrated Czech conductor Jiří Bělohlávek, was at its helm until 2005, when he was named the orchestra’s Conductor Laureáte. Since the beginning of the 2015/16 season, the post of Music Director and Chief Conductor is held by distinguished French conductor Emmanuel Villaume. The PKF – Prague Philharmonia is a regular guest at international music festivals (Tokyo, Paris, Munich, Muscat, Verona), frequently performs at prestigious world concert halls and is a regular partner of world-famous conductors and soloists including Vladimír Ashkenazy, Jefim Bronfman, Shlomo Mintz, Sarah Chang, Mischa Maisky, Magdalena Kožená, Anna Netrebko, Natalie Dessay, Rolando Villazón, Plácido Domingo, Elina Garanča, Juan Diego Flórez, Radek Baborák, Thomas Hampson and many others. To date the orchestra has recorded more than 60 CDs for prominent Czech and foreign labels and has received such prestigious accolades as the RAC Canada Gold Disc in 2000 or the Diapason ďOr in September 2007. Guest artists featured on the PKF – Prague Philharmonia recordings include Anna Netrebko, Magdalena Kožená, Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Iva Bittova, Bryan Hymel and many others.