Magdalena Kožená, Erin Morley, Anna Bonitatibus, Elizabeth Deshong, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Marc Minkowski

Biography Magdalena Kožená, Erin Morley, Anna Bonitatibus, Elizabeth Deshong, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Marc Minkowski

Magdalena Kožená, Erin Morley, Anna Bonitatibus, Elizabeth Deshong, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Marc MinkowskiMagdalena Kožená, Erin Morley, Anna Bonitatibus, Elizabeth Deshong, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Marc Minkowski

Magdalena Kožená
Born in the Czech city of Brno, Magdalena Kožená studied voice and piano at the Brno Conservatory and with Eva Blahová at Bratislava’s Academy of Performing Arts. The recipient of several major prizes in the Czech Republic and around the world, Magdalena came to prominence at the Sixth International Mozart Competition in Salzburg which she won in 1995. Magdalena was signed as an exclusive artist by Deutsche Grammophon in 1999 and immediately released her first album of Bach arias on its Archiv label. Her recital debut recording followed,which was an album of songs by Dvořák, Janáček and Martinů, which appeared on Deutsche Grammophon’s yellow label in 2001 – the same year she was honoured with Gramophone’s Solo Vocal Award. She was named Artist of the Year by Gramophone in 2004 and has since received numerous other prestigious awards, including the Echo Klassik, Record Academy Prize Tokyo, and Diapason d’or. In 2017, Magdalena forged a long-term relationship with Dutch classical music label Pentatone and in May 2019 released her debut album for the label; Il Giardino dei sospiri, which features a collection of scenes from secular cantatas on tragic love by Handel, Leo and Marcello, accompanied by harpsichordist Václav Luks and the Czech baroque orchestra Collegium 1704. Her second album Soirée is an intimate chamber music recording, encapsulating the essence of informal, domestic music making and her most recent recording Nostalgia in collaboration with Yefim Bronfman is released in just in these days.

Magdalena has worked with the world’s leading conductors during her illustrious career, including Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Bernard Haitink Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Mariss Jansons, Sir Charles Mackerras and Sir Roger Norrington.

Her list of distinguished recital partners includes the pianists Daniel Barenboim, Yefim Bronfman, Malcolm Martineau, András Schiff and Mitsuko Uchida, with whom she has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, and at the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh and Salzburg festivals. Magdalena’s understanding of historical performance practices has been cultivated in collaboration with outstanding period instrument ensembles, including the Venice Baroque Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Il Giardino Armonico, Les Musiciens du Louvre, La Cetra Barockorchester Basel, and Le Concert d’Astrée. She is also in demand as soloist with the Berlin, Vienna and Czech Philharmonics and the Cleveland, Philadelphia and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras.

On the opera stage, Magdalena made her Salzburg Festival debut as Zerlina in Don Giovanni in 2002 and returned as Idamante in 2013 - a role she has also sung at Glyndebourne Festival and in Berlin and Lucerne. Her first appearance at New York’s Metropolitan Opera took place in 2003 as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and she has since been a regular guest, including amongst others as title-role in Jonathan Miller’s production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande in 2010/11 and most recently Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier in the 2019/20 season. The role of Octavian has also taken Magdalena to the Staatsoper Berlin 2009 and Osterfestspiele Baden Baden 2015 whilst other operatic highlights include the title role in Bizet’s Carmen (Osterfestspiele and Sommerfestspiele Salzburg 2012), Charpentier’s Médée (Theater Basel 2015), Martinů’s Juliette (Staatsoper Berlin 2016) and the Waitress in Kaija Saariaho’s new opera Innocence at the Festival d’Aix en Provence (2021).

In recent seasons, Magdalena has developed a series of projects which have toured widely in Europe and Asia, highlighting her artistry and diversity. An eclectic mix of soundworlds and influences, Magdalena’s projects include concerts with Czech swing ensemble The Melody Makers in performances of Cole Porter and other authentic swing and big band numbers from the 1930s and ’40s; semi-staged performances of the music of Claudio Monteverdi and Luciano Berio, set on stage by Ondřej Havelka; and performances with Spanish Baroque ensemble Private Musicke, and flamenco expert Antonio El Pipa with his Compañía de Flamenco. On tour, they entwine the roots of raw flamenco with the music of the Spanish Baroque era and have appeared in venues such as the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and the home of flamenco: Madrid and Barcelona.

In the 2021/22 season, Magdalena revives her Cole Porter project with performances in Bratislava, Košice, Plzeň, Prague and Ostrava. Other engagements in the coming season include concerts of Ondřej Adámek’s song cycle Where are you?, with the London Symphony Orchestra, touring to Bucharest Festival, Barbican Centre London, KKL Lucerne, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Konzerthaus Dortmund and the Koningin Elisabethzaal Antwerp. She joins the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in concerts of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, re-joins her friends from La Cetra Barockorchester Basel in concerts of Caldara’s La concordia de 'pianeti in Vienna and Bucharest, and of Giacomelli’s La Merope in Basel and Amsterdam, and returns to the London Symphony Orchestra in performances of Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins. Renowned for her interpretation of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Magdalena revisits the work with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and on tour with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées.

In recital, Magdalena partners with Ohad Ben-Ari in performances in Europe including at the Wigmore Hall, La Monnaie Brussels, Musikverein Vienna and L'Auditorium de Bordeaux. The pair subsequently go on tour later in the season to Asia for concerts in Taiwan and Korea. On the opera stage, Magdalena will revive the role of Phèdre in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie at the Staatsoper Berlin under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle.

Erin Morley
is one of today’s most sought-after coloratura sopranos. She has stepped into the international spotlight in recent years with a string of critically acclaimed appearances in the great opera houses of the world. Erin Morley has been praised for the ‘silken clarity of her voice and the needlepoint precision of her coloratura’ (New York Times). A recipient of the Beverly Sills Award and a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program her performances have garnered huge critical acclaim worldwide and she regularly appears on the greatest opera stages such as Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Opera and of course, Metropolitan Opera where she has now sung more than 100 performances and has been featured in seven “Live in HD” broadcasts.

In the 2023-24 season, Morley makes her highly anticipated debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as Gilda in Rigoletto and returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper as Chief of Police and Venus in Krzysztof Warlikowski’s new production of Le Grand Macabre. On the concert platform, Morley performs Morgana in Handel’s Alcina with Les Musiciens du Louvre under the baton of Marc Minkowski at Teatro alla Scala, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Orchestre de Paris under the baton of Andrés Orozco-Estrada, a gala concert with Washington Concert Opera, Poulenc’s Gloria with Houston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Juraj Valčuha, Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem with the Orchestra of St Luke’s at Carnegie Hall conducted by Bernard Labadie, and solo recitals at Cal Performances in Berkeley and at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC.

Highlights of recent seasons include a double appearance at the Metropolitan Opera as Sophie in Robert Carson’s production of Der Rosenkavalier and Pamina in a new production of Die Zauberflöte conducted by Nathalie Stutzmann; at Wiener Staatsoper as Gilda in Rigoletto; Morgana in a tour of Alcina with Les Musiciens du Louvre conducted by Marc Minkowski; Poulenc Gloria in Amsterdam and Vienna with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Lorenzo Viotti; Beethoven Missa Solemnis with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Riccardo Muti; Carmina Burana with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood Festival conducted by Andris Nelsons; and Mozart Mass in C Minor for the Mostly Mozart Festival at the Lincoln Center, conducted by Louis Langrée.

Further recent appearances include the title role in Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice which was a Metropolitan Opera premiere; her Teatro alla Scala debut with one of her signature roles, Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos); a role and company debut as Isabelle (Robert le Diable) under the baton of Marc Minkowski at the Opéra National de Bordeaux; her debut at the Staatsoper Berlin as Gilda (Rigoletto), a role she also performed at the Metropolitan Opera; a highly anticipated debut in one of the most iconic coloratura roles, Lakmé, with Washington Concert Opera; and a return to Glyndebourne Festival for her role debut as Norina (Don Pasquale).

Highlights from past seasons include Tytania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) in Santa Fe; a show-stopping appearance during the Met Stars at Home Gala where she delighted the audiences by accompanying herself at the piano and singing an extraordinary rendition of “Chacun Le Sait” from La Fille du Régiment, Gilda in Rigoletto at Bayerische Staatsoper; Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier at Opera de Paris; Gilda in Rigoletto, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and Sophie at Wiener Staatsoper; Fiakermilli in Arabella and Gilda at Bayerische Staatsoper; Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor in Nancy; Queen of the Night in Magic Flute, Roxana in Krol Roger, Mme Silberklang in Der Schauspieldirektor and the title role of Stravinsky’s The Nightingale all at Santa Fe Opera; Zerbinetta at Glyndebourne; and Sandrina in La Finta Giardiniera in Lille and Dijon with Emmanuelle Haïm.

Morley has also performed the role of Cunegonde (Candide) in stellar company at LA Opera with James Conlon and actors Kelsey Grammer and Christine Ebersole; with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra with Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan; and at the Carnegie Hall Centenary with John Lithgow. Morley also appeared in the famous televised New Year’s Eve concerts with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann, performing Princess Mi in Léhar’s Das Land des Lächelns. On the concert platform, Morley joined Christian Thielemann and Staatskapelle Dresden on tour with a programme of Strauss’s Brentano Lieder and the world premiere of a newly discovered orchestral song by Richard Strauss, “Nacht,” completed by composer Thomas Hennig.

Morley’s many recordings include Eurydice in the Met’s GRAMMY-nominated recording of Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice, Princesse Isabelle in Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable with Opéra National de Bordeaux for the Palazzetto Bru Zane label, Sister Constance in the Met’s GRAMMY-nominated Les Dialogues des Carmélites, as well as Sophie in the Met’s GRAMMY-nominated Der Rosenkavalier on DVD/Blu-Ray for the Decca label; Mater Gloriosa in the LA Phil’s GRAMMY-winning Mahler Symphony No. 8 with Gustavo Dudamel for Deutsche Grammophon; Princess Mi in the Staatskapelle Dresden’s Das Land des Lächelns with Christian Thielemann for Unitel; Sandrina La Finta Giardiniera with Emmanuelle Haïm in Opéra de Lille’s production for the Erato label; Woglinde Götterdämmerung in the Metropolitan Opera’s GRAMMY-winning Lepage Ring Cycle for Deutsche Grammophon; Marguerite de Valois in Les Huguenots, live from Bard SummerScape for the American Symphony Orchestra; Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3 “Espansiva” with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic for Da Capo Records; and Sylvie in Gounod’s opéra-comique La Colombe with Sir Mark Elder and The Hallé Orchestra for the Opera Rara label.

Morley spent her early years studying violin and piano, and frequently collaborated with her violinist mother. An undergraduate of the Eastman School of Music, she went on to earn her Master of Music voice degree from The Juilliard School and her Artist Diploma from the Juilliard Opera Center in 2007, where she received the Florence & Paul DeRosa Prize. Morley also trained at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis as a Gerdine Young Artist, the Ravinia Festival Steans Institute, and the Wolf Trap Opera Company as a Filene Young Artist. She won 1st Prize in the Jessie Kneisel Lieder Competition in 2002, and 1st Place in the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation Competition in 2006. She also received the Richard Tucker Career Grant in 2013, the Beverly Sills Award in 2021, and the Opera News Award in 2023.

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