Few singers attain the stature of Elīna Garanča, who over the past decade has emerged as one of opera’s brightest stars. The Latvian mezzo-soprano is consistently praised for her iconic portrayals of the leading roles in her repertoire. Forging deep connections with each part she plays, she is a consummate artist whose distinctively dark, sultry voice boasts a power and warmth to which her regal bearing and alluring looks provide the perfect counterpoise. She regularly headlines landmark productions at the world’s leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Bavarian State Opera, and Vienna State Opera, where she recently became the youngest female singer to be honored with a Kammersängerin Award. Since becoming an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist in 2005, she has amassed an extensive discography, highlighted by six solo albums – three of them ECHO Klassik Award-winners – and DVDs that capture her most definitive live performances.
Hailed as one of today’s most exciting young conductors, Karel Mark Chichon was described by the New York Times as “A conductor of genius” and continues to thrill international audiences with his temperament, passion and musicianship. In recognition to his services to music, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England made Chichon an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in June 2012. In addition to his post as Chief Conductor with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, Chichon regularly conducts in the finest opera houses in the world, such as the Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bayerisches Staatsoper Munich, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro Real Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona and with the world's finest orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Wiener Symphoniker, Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and Russian National Orchestra.
The concert is dedicated to the memory of Anita Garanča (1949-2015). As a vocal teacher to the Latvian National Opera’s soloists, she has trained many truly excellent opera performers by giving them valuable advice to further develop their vocal masteries. Today, Garanča’s students are performing on the most important stages in great cities around the world: New York, Milan, Vienna, Paris and London, among others. Many foreign singers have taken lessons from Garanča, as have Latvian soloists Maija Kovaļevska, Evija Martinsone, Inga Šļubovska, Kristīne Gailīte, Ilona Bagele, Viesturs Jansons, Krišjānis Norvelis, Baiba Berķe, Ieva Parša, Irma Pavāre, many well known singers in Latvia, actors and, of course, Garanča’s own daughter – world-famous mezzosoprano Elīna Garanča. Her students say it is through her high level of professionalism and heartfelt nature that Anita Garanča has not only helped them to find their voices, but to help find their personalities.