Featured Artists in 'Sophie's Choice' Angelika Kirchschlager and Rod Gilfry star as Sophie and Nathan, in Nicholas Maw's opera, Sophie's Choice.
NPR logo Featured Artists in 'Sophie's Choice'

Featured Artists in 'Sophie's Choice'

Angelika Kirchschlager also starred as Sophie in the 2002 world premiere of Sophie's Choice at London's Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Lukas Beck hide caption

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Lukas Beck

Rod Gilfry has performed as a master of ceremonies, a cabaret singer and a voice-over artist, as well as in the world's opera houses. Christian Steiner hide caption

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Christian Steiner

Along with Stingo in Sophie's Choice, Gordon Gietz also created the role of Camille Raquin in Tobias Picker's opera Thérèse Raquin. Peter Hurley hide caption

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Peter Hurley


Angelika Kirchschlager (Sophie Zawistowska); Rod Gilfry (Nathan Landau); Gordon Gietz (Stingo); Corey Evan Rotz (Rudoph Höss); Clayton Brainerd (Zbigniew Bieganski); Erin Elizabeth Smith (Wanda); Philip Horst (Doctor); Trevor Scheunemann (Larry Landau); James Shaffran (Librarian); Michael Nansel (Bartender)

Angelika Kirchschlager

Mezzo-Soprano (Sophie Zawistowska)

Angelika Kirchschlager is recognized as a leading interpreter of the operas of Mozart and Richard Strauss. Her Mozart roles include Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito and Idamante in Idomeneo.

Other key roles in her repertory include Octavian in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, Nicklausse in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann, Valencienne in Lehar's The Merry Widow, and Sesto in Handel's Julius Caesar. In 2002, she created the role of Sophie in the world premiere production of Nicholas Maw's Sophie's Choice. She also sang that role in Vienna, as well as in the opera's American premiere at the Washington National Opera.

On DVD Kirchschlager can be seen as Sesto in the acclaimed Glyndebourne production of Julius Caesar, with conductor William Christie; as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, with conductor René Jacobs; and as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier from the Salzburg Festival.

Kirchschlager lives in Vienna, and teaches at Salzburg's Mozarteum.

Rod Gilfry

Baritone (Nathan Landau)

Along with his operatic career, Rod Gilfry also has extensive experience as a master of ceremonies, a cabaret artist and a voice-over artist.

Gilfry gained widespread attention when he created the role of Stanley Kowalski in the 1998 world premiere of André Previn's opera A Streetcar Named Desire, with the San Francisco Opera. More recently, he created his fifth world premiere role as Jack London in the new Libby Larsen opera Every Man Jack. He also appeared as Prospero in the American premiere of Thomas Ades' The Tempest at the Santa Fe Opera, along with his performance as Nathan in the American premiere of Nicholas Maw's Sophie's Choice, a role he created in London in 2002.

Gilfry has made 23 audio and video recordings, including DVD and CD releases of his one-man show, My Heart is So Full of You.

Gordon Gietz

Tenor (Stingo)

Gordon Gietz created the role of Stingo in Sophie's Choice in the opera's 2002 world premiere, at London's Royal Opera. He also appeared at the Royal Opera during the 2005-06 season, in performances of Sir Michael Tippett's The Midsummer Marriage, as part of the centenary celebration of the composer's birth.

Also during the 2005-06 season, Gietz performed as Don José in Bizet's Carmen, in concert with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Baltimore Symphony and Edward Gardner; in Handel's Messiah with the Saint Louis Symphony and conductor David Robertson; and in the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho's Adriana Mater, directed by Peter Sellars and conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, at the National Opera in Paris.

Gietz has appeared at Milan's La Scala as the Chevalier in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites, at the Houston Grand Opera as Kudrjas in Janacek's Katya Kabanova and at Glyndebourne Festival as Lysander in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. He created the role of Camille Raquin in Tobias Picker's Thérèse Raquin, and also sang that role at the Dallas Opera, l'Opéra de Montréal and the San Diego Opera.

Gietz's concert career has included concert appearances with the New York Philharmonic and conductor Kurt Masur, the Cleveland Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin, the Montreal Symphony led by Charles Dutoit, and the Philadelphia Orchestra with conductors Simon Rattle and Wolfgang Sawallisch.