Felix Grünschloß
Felix Grünschloß


OLENA LESER as Gismonda and Carmen in Karlsruhe

This year, Lena Belkina - now known as Olena Leser - returns to the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe for the revival of Handel's Ottone as part of the 46th International Handel Festival, where she will once again ignite a colouratura firework display in a class of its own as the scheming royal widow Gismonda.

The world premiere of Ottone, Re di Germania in London in 1723 is considered groundbreaking for Handel's operatic oeuvre in many respects. With the castrato Senesino and the soprano Francesca Cuzzoni, he employed two artistic personalities for the first time, with whom he was to experience the greatest successes of his artistic career in a reciprocal relationship. Ottone was a resounding success in London and remains a jewel in the composer's early oeuvre to this day.

At relatively short notice, Olena Leser has also agreed to take on a performance of Bizet's Carmen in the run-up to the revival on 8 February, a role in which she has already enjoyed success at the Bregenz Festival, among others.


Yuriy Mynenko, Ottone
Lucía Martín-Cartón, Teofane
Nathanaël Tavernier, Emireno
Olena Leser, Gismonda
Raffaele Pe, Adelberto
Sonia Prina, Matilda

Carlo Ipata, musical direction
Carlos Wagner, stage direction
Christophe Ouvrard, stage & costumes
Christoph Häcker, lighting
Dr Matthias Heilmann, dramaturgy


22 | 25 | 28 Februar 2024
Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe
G. F. Händel: Ottone, Re di Germania