There has been a lot of mystery around who will partner Nelly in the upcoming production of La Traviata with Chelsea Opera Group on Sunday, 21 February, but once the cast was announced everyone knew it was worth the wait. So joining Nelly are:
Alfredo Germont -Cosmin Ifrim
Giorgio Germont - Alan Opie
Baritone Alan Opie is a regular guest at the Metropolitan Opera New York, La Scala, Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Santa Fe Festival, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, English National Opera and Royal Opera House Covent Garden. At ENO he was nominated for the ‘Outstanding Achievement in Opera’ Olivier Award for his performance of Falstaff.
His most recent performances include Madama Butterfly with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Candide with Teatro San Carlo in Naples; Falstaff with l’Opéra du Rhin and at the Washington National Opera; Rigoletto with Opera North and Opera Company of Philadelphia; and Tosca with Canadian Opera Company in Toronto.
His extensive concert work has included performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah in San Francisco and Dallas; Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast in Dallas and Carnegie Hall; Britten’s War Requiem in Washington, Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony in Los Angeles, Elgar’s The Kingdom with the Halle Orchestra in honor of the 150th anniversary of Elgar’s birth and Apostles as part of the BBC Proms 2007 season.Alan Opie has recorded for CBS, EMI, Hyperion, Chandos, and Decca. Releases include ‘Alan Opie Sings Bel Canto Arias,’ Britten’s Gloriana, Albert Herring, Peter Grimes for which he received a Grammy Award, Death in Venice and The Rape of Lucretia; the title role in Dallapiccola’s Ulisse; Tonio in I Pagliacci; Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor; the role of Smirnov in Walton’s The Bear, Ernani, Il Trovatore, the title role in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Beckmesser in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under Sir Georg Solti for which he received his second Grammy Award.
Recent appearances have included the leading role in the world premiere of Michael Berkeley’s opera For You at the Linbury Theatre, Covent Garden and on tour in the U.K., and his return to La Scala as Kolenaty in The Makropoulos Case.
After having been a member of the Vienna State Opera for 8 years, Cosmin Ifrim has started his career as a freelance artist during the 2008/2009 season. In November 2008 he sang Alfredo in La Traviata for a new production by Hugo de Ana in Maribor and in May 2009 he sang for the first time Tonio in La Fille du régiment in Bilbao.During Summer 2009 he sang again La Fille du régiment for the Klosterneuburg Festival and for the first time Duca in Rigoletto for the St Margarethen Festival.
Engagements in 2009/2010 include Billy Bud in Bilbao, Gualtiero in Bellini's Il Pirata for the National Opera in Athens and a new production of Die Entfürung aus dem Serail at the Volksoper in June 2010 and again Il Pirata in Basel.
During fall 2010 he will be returning to Bilbao as Little Bat for the new production of Floyd's Susannah and to Vienna for Die Entfürung aus dem Serail. His debut at the Liceu in Barcelona is planned for spring 2012 in the title role of Zemlinksy's Der Zwerg.
Born in Ineu/Arad he studied at the Music academy in Cluj-Napoca singing and conducting. After winning many important competitions he was engaged to the Vienna State Opera in 2000 where he first sang Lord Cecil within a new production of Donizetti's Roberto Devereux with Edita Gruberova. He quickly advanced to important and demanding roles like Rinuccio in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, the Italian Tenor in Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, the fisher in Rossini's Guillaume Tell or Beppe in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. For his portrayal of Squeak in Britten's Billy Budd he was awarded with the Eberhard Wächter medal. His major breakthrough at the Vienna State Opera was the premiere of Giuseppe Verdi's Faslstaff in 2003 in which he sang the role of Fenton. The same part he already interpreted within a touring production in all the major cities of Netherlands. During the first years of his career he also appeared at the Italian Tenor at the State Opera Berlin, as Alfredo in Verdi's La Traviata in Mostar as well in Strauss' Salome and as Rosillion in Lehár's The Merry Widow in Tel Aviv.
His concert repertoire includes Orff's Carmina Burana, Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle and Stabat Mater and Mendelsohn's Lauda Sion.
Among the important conductors he has worked with so far are Richard Hickox, Zubin Mehta, Fabio Luisi, Riccardo Mutti, Seiji Ozawa, Donald Runnicles, Ulf Schirmer,Vjekoslav Sutej, Christian Thielemann, Franz Welser-Möst and Marcello Viotti.