Csilla Boross, soprano

Csilla Boross first graduated as a piano teacher only after she received her Master of Music degree as a soloist singer from the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. From September 2003 onwards she has been a permanent guest artist of the Hungarian State Opera.

For several years, starting in August 2008 she was a member of the Brno Janácek Opera, the Janáčkovo Divadlo, where she sang, among others, Tatiana from Tchaikovsky’s Onegin, Venus from Tannhäuser (the latter in Japan -including Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo – as well), the lead roles of La Traviata, Tosca, Macbeth, Madame Butterfly, Nabucco and Aida.

In 2009 she was the guest artist of the Prague National Theatre performing the roles of Elettra (Idomeneo), Fiordiligi, Donna Anna, Cio-Cio San,Tosca, Aida and Abigaille for the benefit of the music loving audience of Prague.

On March 20, 2010 she was awarded the highest cultural award in the field of opera, the so-called Thalie 2009 Award for her outstanding performance of Madama Butterfly. In the same year she also received the professional award of the Brno Theatre, the Diva 2009 Prize.

Her international career took off in Trieste in 2010 with La Traviata’s Violetta. In the same year she debuted as Abigaille of Nabucco at the Palm Beach Opera House. In 2011 on the 150th anniversary of the birth of Italian national unity she sang the role of Abigaille of Verdi’s Nabucco. The performance was conducted by Riccardo Muti, her partner was Leo Nucci and the event was broadcast live by the Italian Radio and Television and the ARTE TV. In the same year she was hugely successful as Manon in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut on the stage of the Berlioz Opera House in Montpellier; the production was directed by Jean-Paul Scarpitta. She also sang the role of Tosca at the Rome Caracalla with Carlo Guelfi as Scarpia. The latter performance was directed by Arnaud Bernard, the conductor was Ascher Fisch.

In 2012 the audience of the Opera de Lyon could see her as Sister Angelica and Giorgetta in Il Tabarro as part of the Puccini Triptychon performances directed by David Pountney and broadcast live by MEZZO TV as well as shown on ARTE TV at a later date. Her debuts at the Washington National Opera (conductor Philippe Auguine) and at the Philadelphia Opera House as Abigaille of the monumental Nabucco performances of Thaddeus Strassberger were also extremely well-received. In the summer of the very same year she sang Aida at the Savonlinna Opera Festival, her partner was Johan Botha; in Ravenna she was Sancta Susanna in Hindemith’s opera conducted by Riccardo Muti. In October she debuted as Tosca at the Macao International Music Festival, her partner was Roberto Aronica, the performance was conducted by Lü Jia.

2013 brought her four new Verdi lead roles: in Rome, once again conducted by Riccardo Muti and directed by Werner Herzog, she was Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari, then at the Melbourne Opera as Amelia of the Un Ballo in Maschera (conductor: Andrea Molino) directed by La Fura dels Baus – for which she won the prestigious Green Room Award in 2014. In Shanghai she also sang the role of Odabella of Attila (conductor Daniel Oren), and finally she appeared on the stage as Amelia from Simon Boccanegra at the Hungarian State Opera. In the summer she returned to the Savonlinna Opera Festival as Lady Macbeth.

The Palm Beach Opera audience could see her in 2014 as Lady Macbeth; in Geneva she was Abigaille in a production conducted by John Fiore and directed by Roland Aeschlimann and broadcast live by the Swiss Radio. These performances were followed by singing the role of Tosca at the Hungarian State Opera where her partner was José Cura. In June she sang the title role of Norma in Palermo at the Teatro Massimo Opera conducted by Will Humburg. In the summer she saved the first night of Giordano’s opera, Andrea Chénier by learning Maddaléna’s role in a matter of days for the hugely successful performance at the Peralada Opera Festival where the conductor was Marco Armiliato and her partners were Carlos Alvarez and Marcelo Alvarez.

In the second half of the season she was once again triumphant as Lady Macbeth in Henning Brockhaus’s ambitious direction at the Muscat Royal Opera House under the conductor, Donato Renzetti. Returning to her home country, she had a unique achievement singing both female lead roles (Venus and Elisabeth) of Wagner’s Tannhäuser at the Hungarian State Opera. In the second half of the season audiences in Budapest and Rome had the unique experience of seeing her as Aida with Johan Botha and Fabio Sartori as her respective partners.

Her 2015-16 season was launched with Verdi’s Nabucco – as Abigaille she had a roaring success at the first night of Opera Pittsburgh. Returning to Budapest, she had her debut as Elisabetta di Valois in Verdi’s Don Carlos at the Erkel Theatre in November, and in February as Leonora in La Forza del destino in Geneva (broadcast worldwide ). At the end of the season she made her house debut in Opera de Marseille as Lady Macbeth after which she returned for the fifth time to Rome, this time with her beloved Abigaille of Nabucco.

In 2016 November she sang Tosca with Marcello Giordani at the Erkel Theatre in Budapest, where she turned back later as Aida and Suor Angelica. In February 2017 she made her debut as La Gioconda in Brno with outstanding success. In April she made her house debut as Norma in the Teatro Fondazione di Verona. In July she turned back to Rome as her beloved Abigaille in Nabucco. In 2016 she received the prestigious Hungarian Order of Merit Knight’s Cross for her outstanding performances abroad and in Hungary.

In 2017-18 she started with two house debuts in China , Zeffirelli’s Aida with the Teatro alla Scala in Guangzhou under the baton of Maestro Renzetti and Andrea Chenier in Macau with Teatro Regio Torino led by Maestro Guidarini. This season is followed by Tosca in Budapest and her successful debut as Judith in Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle at the Opera Limoges.

The season 2018-19 included Macbeth in Mexico, Nabucco in Plzeň, Tosca in Rome , Il Tabarro and Gioconda in Budapest, Brno and Banska Bystrica and Aida cover at the Metropolitan Opera just to mention a few.

2019-20 started with Madama Butterfly at the Hungarian Opera in Cluj , which was followed by Nabucco in teatro Regio Torino under the baton of Maestro Renzetti.

During the “pandemic summer” of 2020 she performed her iconic role of Abigaille at Brno’s Open Air Opera Festival. She even made a role debut as Senta on Mr Tomasz Konieczný’s side as Holländer in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer in Mikulov.

Sadly the following performances were canceled that season due to the pandemic: In Brno, Aida and Gioconda, at the MET covering Elisabetta in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda and Aida in Verdi’s Aida; Abigaille in Marseille, Lady Macbeth in Plzeň Open Air Opera Festival, Turandot in Szeged. From June she’s been seen as Abigaille in a new production at Janáčkovo Divadlo in Brno.

In the season 2021- 2022 she made two role debuts such as Elisabetta in Maria Stuarda, and Minnie in Puccini’s masterpiece La fanciulla del west. Besides she’s been seen as Aida, Amelia Grimaldi in Simon Boccanegra and her signature role Abigaille in Nabucco. The end of the season was crowned by a jump in as a successful Gioconda at Chorégies d’Orange under the baton of M°Daniele Callegari.

The season 2022-23 started with a very interesting, political Tosca debut in Budapest, which was followed by Abigaille and Tosca in Brno, Cio-Cio-San in Prague, then another Tosca at the Stockholm Royal Operahouse (Kungliga Operan), Abigaille in Marseille, Butterfly in Budapest.

Season 2023-24 starts with Nabucco in Brno, followed by Verdi’s Attila in Marseille, and a role debut as Milada in Smetana’s Dalibor directed by David Pountney in Brno, which will be followed by Mahler’s 8th Symphony at MÜPA under the baton of Riccardo Frizza, and the season ends with a new production of Butterfly in Bratislava and Dalibor at the prestigious Smetanova Festival Litomyšl 19.01.2024 Budapest.

Michael Chioldi, baritone

Michael Chioldi, acclaimed for his powerful baritone voice and magnetic stage presence, has carved an illustrious path, enchanting audiences worldwide with his rich timbre and emotive performances. Born with a natural affinity for music, Chioldi’s journey from humble beginnings to operatic stardom is a testament to his unwavering dedication and innate talent.

In January 2022, Chioldi made a triumphant major role debut with the Metropolitan Opera, portraying the title role of Rigoletto in a new production. Critics lauded his performance as nothing short of a triumph, with Robert Levine of Bachtrack proclaiming it as “a true Verdian voice that displays booming power, tender softness, and ravaging tragic colors.” This debut solidified Chioldi’s status as one of the preeminent interpreters of Verdi’s iconic roles.

In the 2023-24 season Chioldi returned to the MET to reprise his role as Rigoletto and debuted the role of Don Alvaro in Daniel Catan’s Florencia en Los Amazonas, a production seen across the world as part of the MET’s Live in HD Performances and PBS’s Great Performances schedule. He sang the titular character in Verdi’s Falstaff at Palm Beach Opera, where critics lauded “a bravura performance” and returned to Utah Opera for the title character of Wagner’s Flying Dutchman. He sang one of his signature roles (over 100 performances) of Papa Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata with the Pittsburgh Opera, where critic George P Parous of Onstage Performances hailed: “The most astonishing singing of the evening came from baritone Michael Chioldi.”

Chioldi’s ascent to prominence was marked by an array of notable performances in such places as São Paulo Brazil, Barcelona Spain, Macao, Tsingtao, Hong Kong and Shenzhen China, San Francisco Opera, over 250 performances with the New York City Opera (including Sharpless in Madama Butterfly which garnered an Emmy Award in 2008) and several performances across Japan with the late grate Maestro Seiji Osawa. With a repertoire spanning from Verdi, Puccini, to Strauss he effortlessly traversed the operatic landscape, infusing each role with a depth of emotion and artistry that resonated with audiences on a profound level.

As one review from The New York Times noted, “Chioldi’s performance was nothing short of revelatory, his voice imbued with a rare combination of power and vulnerability that left the audience breathless.” This sentiment encapsulates the essence of Chioldi’s artistry. His collaborations with esteemed conductors and directors have garnered widespread acclaim, earning him a reputation as one of the foremost interpreters of his generation.

Upcoming performances in 2024-25 will take Michael to Seattle Opera for Tonio in Pagliacci, Irish National Opera and the MET again for the title role in Rigoletto, the MET for Amonasro in a new production of Verdi’s Aida, Bryant Park w NYCO Summer Concerts as Scarpia in Tosca, and Michonnet in Adriana Lecouvreur with Pittsburgh Festival Opera.

Chioldi’s most recent recording can be found on classical-music.com. A live performance recording of Henry VIII by Saint-Saens, conducted by Maestro Gil Rose of Odyssey Opera. Chioldi’s performance of the infamous Henry VIII was marked by the Boston Classical Review saying, “the audience was treated to some true, world class baritone singing.”

Marianne Cornetti, mezzo-soprano

Marianne Cornetti is an internationally renowned Verdi mezzo-soprano who has appeared as Amneris in Aida, Azucena in Il Trovatore, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, and Princess Eboli in Don Carlos at prestigious opera houses across the world, garnering rave reviews and winning the hearts of audiences globally. Opera magazine claims, “If her timbre did not sear itself into the memory, her vocal command of this redoubtable role was complete” and Seen and Heard International raves, “[Her] voice is a miracle of power and flexibility from top to bottom. It is the emotion which she imparts into her singing, however, that makes her Azucena so memorable…Cornetti imbues each [role] with an emotional force all its own… The cheers and applause that rained down upon her at the end were well deserved.”

Cornetti made her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut in the fall of 2023 in the role of Burya in Janacek’s opera Jenůfa. In 2024, she plays the role of Cieca in La Gioconda at The Deutsche Oper in Berlin and the role of Madame Croissy in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites with Amigos Canarios de la Opera in the Gran Canary Islands. In the summer, Cornetti sings the role of Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro at The Hudson Valley Voice Festival. She will make her Calgary Opera debut with Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi singing the role of Zita in the 2024- 25 season.

Cornetti opened her 2022-23 season with performances as Ježibaba in Rusalka with Pittsburgh Opera, where she was last seen as The Witch in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Later in the season, she joined the company in her signature role of Azucena in Il Trovatore, which she also reprised with Opera Hong Kong in the spring. Finally, Cornetti joined the Metropolitan Opera to cover the role of Madame de Croissy in Dialogues des Carmélites.

Her previous season began with a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Orchestra Miami. In early spring, she was seen in the role of Leokadja Begbick in Kurt Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Teatro Regio Parma Italy and subsequently at the Teatro Emilia-Romagna. She closed the season in Orange, France, singing the role of La Cieca in Ponchielli’s Gioconda with the Choregies d’Orange, where she delivered “an impeccable ‘Voce di donna o d’angelo’” and her performance was deemed “a total success” (Premiere Loge).

Cornetti has performed to great acclaim the iconic leading Verdi roles of Azucena in Il Trovatore at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Metropolitan Opera, Arena di Verona, Bregenz Festival, Teatro Comunale in Florence, National Theatre of China in Beijing, Teatro Municipal in Sao Paulo, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Bavarian State Opera in Munich, La Coruña in Spain, Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, Teatro Regio in Parma, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and in the Teatro Comunale di Bologna’s tour in Japan; and Amneris in Aida at the Teatro alla Scala, Hamburg State Opera, Vienna State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, New National Theatre Foundation in Tokyo, Theatre Royale de La Monnaie in Brussels, Israeli Opera at Masada, Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Auditorio de Tenerife, Opera Naples, the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Belgium and Choregies D’Orange. Cornetti’s appearance as Amneris for Pittsburgh Opera in 2020 was rescheduled for their 2023 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlights of Cornetti’s recent engagements include her debut as Princess Eboli in Verdi’s Don Carlos in Tokyo as well as performances in Parma, Bilbao, Rome, Vienna, and London; Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and at the Bolshoi Theatre; performances of Gianni Schicchi and L’enfant e les Sortiléges with the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Opera Project in Kyoto, Tokyo, and Nagoya, Japan; her debut as Dame Quickly in Falstaff at the Palacio de la Ópera in La Coruña, Spain, followed by a reprisal of the role at the San Diego Opera; Fidès in Le prophete at the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen; Ježibaba in Rusalka and The Witch in Hansel and Gretel at the Minnesota Opera; Lady Macbeth in Macbeth and Laura in La Gioconda with the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Preziosilla in La Forza del Destino at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, La Monnaie in Brussels, and at Carnegie Hall in New York City; as the title role in La Gioconda at the Rome Opera and Romanian National Opera; and Abigaille in Nabucco at the New National Theatre Foundation in Tokyo, La Monnaie in Brussels, and at the Metropolitan Opera.

In 2005, Cornetti sang her first Wagnerian role, appearing as Ortrud in Lohengrin at the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste. She continued her excursion into this repertoire with her debut as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and has since sung the role of Ortrud in Amsterdam, Paris, Sao Paolo, and Palermo, and has appeared as Brangäne in Genoa. Cornetti’s verismo repertoire includes Santuzza in Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, which she performed at Teatro alla Scala; Princess de Bouillon in Adriana Lecouvreur at the Teatro Massimo of Palermo, Teatro di San Carlo, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Regio in Turin, Opera di Firenze, and Dutch National Opera; and Rosa in Cilea’s L’Arlesiana, which she sang to great acclaim at the L’Opera de Montpellier and at Carnegie Hall with the Opera Orchestra of New York.

She appears frequently in concert in such works as Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Elgar’s Sea Picture and De Falla’s El Amor Brujo. She has recorded Cilea’s L’Arlesiana and Puccini’s Edgar opposite Plácido Domingo and was recently featured on a Teatro Regio di Parma recording of Verdi’s Don Carlo released in 2017 on the Dynamic record label.

Joseph Frank, tenor

Since his 1974 San Francisco Opera debut, tenor Joseph Frank has specialized in the lyric character tenor repertoire. In a career spanning over 50 years, the tenor has garnered acclaim in over 80 roles. He has sung with many of the world’s greatest voices, including Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Jose van Dam, Leontyne Price, Jose Carreras to name a few. He has sung at the most prestigious opera venues including the Metropolitan Opera and the opera companies of Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, Washington, San Diego, London, and Paris.

Engagements include San Francisco Opera as Altoum in Puccini’s Turandot, Salome for the San Diego Opera, and Pong in Turandot for the Austin Lyric Opera, Monsieur Triquet in Eugene Onegin for the Pittsburgh Opera and Horace Adams in the San Diego Opera production of Peter Grimes conducted by Steuart Bedford. Other notable productions included the premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s revised The Grapes of Wrath as Grampa Joad for the Pittsburgh Opera and Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus for Austin Lyric Opera. For San Diego Opera, Frank performed in both Boris Godunov and a new production of Wozzeck by director Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), the Tanzmeister in famed film director William Friedkin’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos and a new production of Tosca with Samuel Ramey and Salvatore Licitra both for the Los Angeles Opera; Turandot at the Hollywood Bowl; Pong in Turandot for Hawaii Opera Theater; Los Angeles Opera’s world premiere of Nicolas and Alexandra and Fanciulla del West both with Placido Domingo.

His DVD discography include Ariadne auf Naxos with Jessye Norman and Katthleen Battle, and Der Rosenkavalier with Dame Kiri TeKanawa and Luciano Pavarotti both for the Metropolitan Opera, Turandot (with Eva Marton) for the San Francisco Opera. Recordings include Boris Godunov, Adriana Lecouvreur, Madama Butterfly, Pagliacci (with Domingo) and Turandot (with Pavarotti).

As a professor of voice, art song and opera, Joseph Frank recently retired from San Jose State University with a tenure of 28 years. In 2018 he inaugurated the Joseph Frank Opera Excellence Endowment which has raised over $140,000.00. Mr. Frank received a Bachelor of Music, Masters of Music and the coveted Performers Certificate from Indiana University and an Opera Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music.

Brian Kontes, bass

Praised by Opera News for his “dark bass and strong dramatic energy,” Brian Kontes began the 2023-2024 season at Pittsburgh Opera, where he sang the role of Don Basilio in their production of Il barbiere di Siviglia. He also returned to The Metropolitan Opera to cover the Bonze in Madame Butterfly for the entire season. Current and upcoming season highlights will include a return to Pittsburgh Opera to sing the Sacristan in their production of Tosca.

During the 2022-2023 season, Mr. Kontes was engaged by The Metropolitan Opera for their productions of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Die Zauberflöte. That season, he was also a featured soloist with the Valdosta Symphony for their performance of Braham’s Requiem and sang the role of The Commendatore in Don Giovanni at Pittsburgh Opera. Another notable season debut was with the Pittsburgh Symphony for their concert of Bruckner’s Te Deum. Mr. Kontes also returned to The Metropolitan Opera for their production of Manon Lescaut.

In recent years, Mr. Kontes has received high praises for his singing and acting by audiences and reviewers alike. Those seasons included his debut at Central City Opera as Lt. Ratcliffe in Billy Budd and The Bonze in Madama Butterfly, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte at Sarasota Opera, The Bonze in Madama Butterfly at Pittsburgh Opera, M. Javilenot in Dialogues des Carmelites at The Metropolitan Opera and Le Spectre in Hamlet for Washington Concert Opera.

Career highlights for Kontes at The Metropolitan Opera have included HD productions of Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg under the baton of Maestro James Levine, Der Rosenkavalier under the baton of Maestro Sebastian Wiegle, and The Nose led by Maestro Valery Gergiev.

Other notable career highlights have included performing the roles of Timur in Turandot at San Diego Opera, Hogboy in Brokeback Mountain at New York City Opera, Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro at Pittsburgh Opera, Leporello in Don Giovanni at Seattle Opera, Banquo in Macbeth at Opera National de Lorraine, Palemon in Thaïs at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Kentucky Opera, The Commendatore in Don Giovanni at New York City Opera, Colline in La bohème with Opera Hong Kong, Happy in La Fanciulla del West at Opera Omaha, Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata at Opera Colorado, Zuniga in Carmen at New Orleans Opera, The Bonze in Madame Butterfly for Nashville Opera and Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte with Ash Lawn Opera. He has also sung many operas in concert with the Opera Orchestra of New York.

Concert highlights for Mr. Kontes include Mozartʼs Requiem, Haydnʼs Paukenmesse, Faureʼs Requiem, Mozartʼs Coronation Mass, Beethovenʼs 9th Symphony, Bachʼs Magnificat and Rossiniʼs Stabat Mater with various orchestras and conductors in Carnegie Hall. He has also been a guest soloist with the Charlotte Symphony on numerous occasions, including Beethovenʼs Mass in C, under the baton of Maestro Cristof Perick. Recently, he has been a soloist with Boston Baroque as Don Fernando in Beethoven’s Fidelio, the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park for their concert of Dvorakʼs Stabat Mater and was also a guest soloist with The New Choral Society of New York for performances of the Verdi Requiem.

Mr. Kontes was a first place winner of the George London Competition and is a graduate of Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, PA.

Victor Starsky, tenor

Upcoming engagements during the 2024/2025 season for Victor Starsky include appearances as Maurizio in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Cavaradossi in Tosca and Tenor Soloist in an all Puccini Concert with New York City Opera as well singing as Tenor soloist in a Verdi Concert and the title role in Verdi’s Stiffelio with Sarasota Opera.

A native of Richmond Hill New York, tenor Victor Starsky is a star on the rise. Of his Don José in Carmen, Opera Today writes “Starsky’s Don José is terrifying and compelling – a voice that performs vocal acrobatics with strength and beauty that remains undiminished through his final line.” Starsky received tremendous acclaim for his debut as Radamés in Verdi’s Aïda at the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater this past summer, where he simultaneously debuted the role of George Gibbs in Rorem’s Our Town. Starsky made his debut as Roméo in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette with New York City Opera in September (2023) and as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème with Wichita Grand Opera in November (2023). Starsky made his Sarasota Opera debut as Don José in Carmen in winter (2024) to rave reviews and will debut the roles of Nemorino in Charlottesville Opera’s 2024 production of Donizetti’s L’elisir D’amore and the role of Casy in Ricky Ian Gorgon’s Carnegie Hall premier of his opera The Grapes of Wrath in April (2024).

Other roles performed include Pinkerton Madama Butterfly Long Island Opera, The Duke Rigoletto (role debut) Modesto Opera, Alfredo La Traviata in Narni, Italy, and Il Postiglione in Fanciulla del West (2017). Starsky’s Carnegie Hall debut was in 2019 as tenor soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and returned to Carnegie Hall in October 2023 as a soloist to sing The Young Gypsy’s Romance from Rachmaninoff’s Aleko. Other highlights include Tony in West Side Story with Opera North, and The Celebrant in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass conducted by Maurice Press at the Colden Auditorium in Queens. A participant in 2019’s Merola Program, he was a 2020 San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow and awarded the Shoshana Foundation’s prestigious Richard F. Gold Career Grant.