Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Introducing Florian Spiess in Almira's return to Hamburg

Florian Spiess
Almira was George Frideric Handel's first opera, composed when he was just 19 years old. The opera was first performed in Hamburg in January 1705 where is returns to the Staatsoper on October 21st. Handel arrived in Hamburg in the summer of 1703 and played as a violinist in the theatre at the Gänsemarkt, as well as playing the harpsichord with the orchestra. Much of the music is in the French orchestral style with a mix of Italian and German style arias. The story deals with the universal operatic themes of love, power and jealousy.

Singing the role of Raymondo, King of Mauretania, is the imposing Austrian bass Florian Spiess, who is new to this site.  He began singing as a member of the Wiltener Sängerknaben (Wilten Boys' Chorus), before becoming the boy soprano soloist with the Vienna Boys' Choir from 1990-1994.

Florian Spiess
His formal vocal training began at the Tyrolean Conservatory where he performed in Guys and Dolls, Into the Woods and as Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni. He continued his studies at the Vienna Music University including one year on a German-Austrian Richard Wagner Foundation scholarship.

In 2009, he became a  member of the Landestheater Linz where he sang Silvano in Cavallis La Calisto, Figaro in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, three roles in Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann and Jupiter in Rameau's Platée.  From 2010-2013, he was a member of the Volksoper Wien where he sang in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Puccini's Tosca and Turandot, and Verdi's Rigoletto.

After a season on the roster of the opera at the Volkstheater Rostock, he joined the ensemble of  the Hamburg State Opera. His roles have included Zuniga in Bizet's Carmen, the Priest/Badger in Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen and the Speaker of the Temple/Second Armoured Man inMozart's Die Zauberflöte.

Future performances include Biterolf in Wagner's Tannhäuser and Colline in Puccini's La Bohème.
Tickets and additional cast information for Almira is available online.

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