Maestro Gianni Bergamo
Gianni Bergamo was born in Milan, Italy in 1941, attended primary school in Italy and Liceo in Switzerland. After a degree in Economy (1964) at the Catholic University of Milan, he dedicated himself to the study of music with Tissoni (harmony and composition), D. Maffeis (organ) and N. Sanzogno (orchestra conducting) at the Conservatory of Bergamo, Italy.
From 1964 to 1994 has been a businessman with his own import-export, real estate and finance companies, though at the same time he has remained close to music and to its world.
In 1990 he created the Cultural Association “Gli Amici Cantori”, first as a chorus alone, then later accompanied by an orchestra. He has given many concerts in Italy with them, preferring the symphonic-sacred repertoire (masses, oratories, passions, etc.).
At present, he lives in Santiago del Chile.
Fabio Bonizzoni, one of the leading Italian harpsichordists and organists of his generation, graduated in organ, organ composition and harpsichord at the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague in Ton Koopman’s class.
After having played for several years with some of the most important orchestras specializing in early music (Amsterdam Baroque, Le Concert des Nations, Europa Galante), from 2004 he exclusively devotes himself to his activities as soloist and director, in particular of his own orchestra La Risonanza.
Furthermore, he is harpsichord professor at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague (Holland) and in Italy at the Conservatory of Novara; he is founder and president of the Associazione Hendel, a society devoted to the studies of Handel’s music in Italy.
As a soloist he has been recording for many years for the Spanish label Glossa. His discography includes works by Claudio Merulo, Giovanni Salvatore, Giovanni Picchi, Francesco Geminiani, Bernardo Storace, Domenico Scarlatti and Johann Sebastian Bach (Goldberg Variations and the Art of Fugue). His latest release is devoted to the two books of toccatas of Girolamo Frescobaldi.
In 2010 he has completed with La Risonanza the project of recording the complete Italian Cantatas with instruments by G.F. Handel: this project has been defined by Gramophone magazine as the most important of the decade, and 3 of the 7 CDs have been awarded the prestigious Handel Stanley Sadie Prize. The last disc of this series, Apollo e Dafne , won a Gramophone Award in 2011.
His activity is also enriched by commitments as guest conductor: in recent times he has been invited by Capella Cracoviensis and Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra in Poland, by the Holland Bach Society in The Netherlands and by the Orchestra Barroca de Sevilla. Furthermore, he has conducted the orchestra of Teatro alla Scala in Milan in a new ballet called L’altro Casanova.
Since 2014 he is artistic director of Note Etiche, a festival focusing on links between music, ethics and finance, and, from 2016 he and his orchestra enjoy an artistic residence at Palazzina Liberty in their hometown Milan.
Born in Milan, he graduated in organ, composition and conducting from the Conservatory of his city and then specialized in early music at the Scuola Civica. He performed as a soloist and conductor throughout Europe, the United States, Russia and Japan, collaborating with artists such as Cecilia Bartoli, Max Emanuel Cencic, Philippe Jaroussky. In 2006 he founded the period instrument and vocal ensemble Il canto di Orfeo. Particularly appreciated in the baroque and classical repertoire, he has recently conducted a staged production of Bellini’s Norma with Cecilia Bartoli in the title role for the opening night of the Edinburgh Festival.
Born in Moscow in 1978, Michael Fichtenholz studied the violin as well as music history. He graduated in 2002 from the Russian Academy of Music with a research dedicated to the magical operas of Handel. Active as a music critic in his final student years, he later joined Valery Gergiev’s Moscow Easter Festival as programme director and the Moscow State Philharmonic Society, where from 2006 he presented his own concert series with operatic masterpieces starring some of the most renowned singers and conductors, including first-ever performances in Russia of Handel’s Orlando, Ariodante, Hercules and Teseo. He also served as head of artists and repertoire at the Russian National Orchestra (2007 – 2014) as well as head of long-term planning at the Bolshoi Theatre (2009 – 2013) before moving to Germany where he joined the Baden State Theatre in Karlsruhe as Director of Opera and Artistic Director of the Karlsruhe International Handel Festival, the latest editions of which featured some of the most prominent artists of the international baroque scene including Max Emanuel Cencic, Franco Fagioli, Ann Hallenberg, Sandrine Piau, Anna Bonitatibus, Vivica Genaux and Karina Gauvin.
In the season 2018/19 he will become opera director of the Opera Zurich
Very much on demand around the world, Sonia Prina is one of the leading contralto of her generation. She studied at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan where she graduated in trumpet and voice. In 1996 she was offered a place at the Teatro alla Scala’s vocal Academy for young singers. At only 23 years old, Miss Prina made her debuts as Rosina Barbiere di Siviglia at Teatro alla Scala under the baton of R.Chailly, featuring a young Juan Diego Florez as Almaviva.
Her rare contralto voice is quickly noticed on the international lyric scene. She is the winner of numerous prizes including the prestigious Italian prize of critic “Abbiati” in 2006 and the “Tiberini d’Oro” in 2014 in both cases as best singer of the year.
She is collaborating regularly with conductors such as Rinaldo Alessandrini, Giovanni Antonini, Harry Bicket, Fabio Biondi, Ivor Bolton, Alan Curtis, William Christie, Ottavio Dantone, Diego Fasolis, Christopher Hogwood, René Jacobs, Paul McCreesh, Marc Minkowski, Jean Christophe Spinosì, Patrick Summers, Jordy Savall and appears in productions by Robert Carsen, David McVicar, Pier Luigi Pizzi, John Copley, David Alden.
Highlights include the title role Rinaldo (Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Zurich Opera and Glyndebourne Festival), title role Ascanio in Alba (Salzburg Festival), Clarice La Pietra di Paragone (Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris), , title role in Gluck’s Ezio (Frankfurt Oper), Aci, Galatea e Polifemo with René Jacobs (Brussels), Polinesso Ariodante (Aix en Provence Festival), and La Resurrezione with Emmanuelle Haïm and the Berliner Philarmoniker. More recently she performed Smeton Anna Bolena at Teatro El Liceu (Barcelona) with Editha Gruberova and Elina Garanca, Isabella Italiana in Algeri (Teatro Regio, Torino), and La Maman, La Tasse chinoise, La Libellule L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (Palermo and Naples). With Jordi Savall she performed Vivaldi’s Farnace (Madrid) & Teuzzone (El Liceu, Barcelona).
Alongside the baroque repertoire, Sonia Prina has made her debut in a more romantic repertoire with roles including Quickly Falstaff in Parma and Turin with conductors D. Renzetti and R. Frizza, Federica Luisa Miller and Beethoven 9th symphony at the at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms.
Sonia Prina is particularly fond of Handel and has performed his works wildly including the title roles of: Giulio Cesare (Dresden), Orlando (Sidney, Paris, Dresden), Tamerlano (Munich) Amadigi (Naples), Rinaldo (Zurich, La Scala and Glyndebourne), Silla (Rome). Subsequent handel roles performed are Bradamante Alcina (Paris), Polinesso Ariodante (Barcelona and San Francisco), Bertarido Rodelinda (London and Vienna), Goffredo Rinaldo (Chicago), Amastre Serse (San Francisco and Houston).
Sonia performs the Monteverdi operas Trilogy in which she sings Ottone L’Incoronazione di Poppea with Rinaldo Alessandrini, Penelope Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria with Ottavio Dantone, Messaggera and Speranza Orfeo with William Christie in Madrid Teatro Real.
A fine recitalist, in 2017 she is “artist in residence” at the Wigmore Hall, London, where she regularly gives recital every year since 2012.
She also performs recitals all over Europe, South America and Japan, with orchestras such as the Venice Baroque Orchestra, Il Giardino Armonico, Accademia Bizantina, Le Concert d’Astrée, Europa Galante, Kammerorchester Basel, Ensemble Matheus.
Miss Prina is regularly invited to return at La Scala in Milan, Théâtre des Champs Elysées and Opéra National de Paris, Teatro Real of Madrid and Teatro el Liceu in Barcelona, Sydney Opera, Barbican Centre, London, Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera, Munich Staatsoper, Salzburg Festival, Aix en Provence Festival, Zurich Opera.
Recognised as an Italian artist, Miss Prina was invited to sing Vivaldi’s Magnificat at the Vatican under the baton of Zhang Xian for S.S. Pope Benedict XVI and the Italian president Mr Giorgio Napolitano.
Her vast discography includes Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno and La Resurrezione (Virgin), Vivaldi’s Senna festeggiante and L’Olimpiade (Naïve), title role Ottone in Villa by Vivaldi (Naïve Vivaldi Edition). We also mention a solo album Vivaldi’s Arie Ritrovate (Naïve).Monteverdi’s Orfeo (Erato), Handel’s Lotario (DHM) and Rodelinda (Deutsche Grammophon), the title roles in Gluck’s Ezio and Handel’s Ezio (Erato).
DVDs counts the title role Ascanio in Alba (Deutsche Grammophon), La Pietra di Paragone (Naïve) and title-role Rinaldo (DVD Opus Arte).
Recently released by Glossa label have been three new albums: Handel’s Catone and Handel’s Silla where Miss Prina sings the title roles, and a new solo album with Gluck’s rediscovered arias.