Schubert: Winterreise

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Benjamin Bruns ist zu einem veritablen Heldentenor gereift, ohne seine Flexibilität verloren zu haben (…)

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Benjamin Bruns

© Sara Schöngen

Benjamin Bruns´ professional journey took him via the Dresden State Opera to the Vienna State Opera, where he remained a member of the ensemble until July 2020. His musical roster contains Mozart roles such as Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) and Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) but also other important repertoire like Fenton (Falstaff), Camille de Rosillon (The merry Widow), Lysander (Britten: A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Don Ramiro (La Cenerentola), or the Italian Tenor in the Strauss operas Capriccio and Der Rosenkavalier. With Wagner roles like Lohengrin, Loge (The Rhinegold) and Erik (The flying Dutchman) or Matteo in Strauss’ Arabella he made his first steps into the light dramatic repertoire. In spring 2020 he had his debut as Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio (1804) at the Vienna State Opera. Oratorio and lieder form an important counterweight to Benjamin Bruns’s stage work. At the heart of his extensive concert repertoire are the great sacred works by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Mendelssohn. He has sung with such renowned ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonics, the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonics, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Bach Collegium Japan, the WDR Symphony Orchestra as well as Choir and Orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome or the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. This most recent release is a recording of Schubert’s Winterreise.

Karola Theill

© Karola Theill

As one of the few female pianists specializing in song interpretation, Karola Theill has made her name as a performer, teacher and university lecturer. She appears in concert throughout Germany and abroad (f.e. Musikverein Wien, Opéra de Bastille, Paris) as well as in Israel, the USA and China. She has been the collaborate partner of singers including Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Benjamin Bruns, Okka von der Damerau, Angela Denoke, Matthias Goerne, Klaus Häger, Christine Lichtenberg, Fionnuala McCarthy, Thomas Mohr, Martina Rüping, Simon Wallfisch, Nadine Weissmann and others. Born in Cologne, Karola Theill was trained as a pianist at the music academies of Hamburg and Berlin. She attended song courses given by Aribert Reimann, and for several years was the accompanist for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s song-interpretation classes. She was awarded a fellowship to study at the Indiana University, School of Music in Bloomington. Another important artistic influence has been her close collaboration with the pianist Shoshana Cohen in Jerusalem. Karola Theill teaches at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin, where she is an honorary professor, and conducts a song-interpretation class at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock. In addition she gives regular masterclasses in song interpretation in Berlin, at the Sankt Goar International Music Festival and Academy (Germany), at the Music Academies in Poznan and Warsaw (Poland), Riga (Latvia), Castelfranco and Alessandria (Italy), Jerusalem (Israel), Los Angeles (USA) and Hang Zhou (China). Her activities are documented in radio recordings and on numerous CDs.