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Branko Robinsak (Tenor)

Born: Maribor, Slovenia

The Slovenian tenor, Branko Robinsak, began his singing career began in his early years in the music school choir, where he also learned to play the piano. After his voice broke and turned to the tenor voice, he sang as a soloist tenor in various choirs. He began to study geodesy at the Ljubljana's Technical College and only later music at the Ljubljana's Music Academy with Professor Eva Nousak-Houska.

Already as a student Branko Robinsak was engaged in the Slovene National Opera House in Ljubljana, where in 1983 he made his operatic debut as Tamino in Mozart's 'Die Zauberflöte'. In the following summer he took part at the 'Mario del Monaco' international singer contest in Italy where he won a prize. After graduation at the Ljubljana Academy, he was perfecting his singing at the Mozarteum in Salzburg with Professor Sena Jurinac.

In 1987, Branko Robinsak signed his first international contract with the Salzburg Landestheater upon the recommendation of the famous Austrian conductor Hans Graf, under whose lead Robinsak made his debut in Mozart's 'Idomeneo' in the Old Opera House of Frankfurt. During the same summer he made his first appearance at Summer Festival in Salzburg in as many as three concert productions. In 1988, he created the role of Ozie in Mozart's early opera Betulia liberata on the occasion of Mozart's Festival Weeks, directed by Ernst Poetgen and conducted by Walter Hagen-Groll; the production was repeated at the Summer Festival. During his performing in Salzburg, the staging of Mozart's Don Giovanni, directed by Joachim Hertz, and some noted appearances conducted by Milan Horvat (Missa Solemnis, Fidelio by L.v. Beethoven, Requiem by Mozart) ought to be mentioned. In the season 1989-1990, he signed a contract with the Opera House Graz, where he performed the part of Idamantes in Mozart's Idomeneo under the artistic lead of maestro Niksa Bareza, Tamino (Zauberflöte), and Benedict (Berlioz’ Beatrice et Benedict) conducted by Jean Perrison. The artistic collaboration with Niksa Bareza continued in various festivals (Dubrovnik, Split), In 1991, he appeared at the Vienna Summer as Don Ottavio, which characterized by critics as a 'discovery'.

During the same summer Branko Robinsak took part in the seminar led by the famous Italian tenor Franco Corelli and his wife Loretta. This represented a turning point in his career-from technical point of view as well as what regards the repertoire selection. After a year of hard studies with the Italian couple, he succeeded in singing a contract for 'more difficult' repertoire in Innsbruck (Alfredo in Traviata, Oedipus Rex by Igor Stravinsky). In January 1992, he sang in Vienna in a concert production of Bellini's opera Beatrice di Tenda conducted by Pinkas Steinberg and with Edita Gruberova in the title role. Swiss gramophone company Nightingale Classics AG made a CD record of the concert. In May 1993, he took debut as Duca di Mantova in Verdi's Rigoletto in Deutsches Theater in Munich, with Franco Bordoni in the title role. In the following years he appeared in this role in various European opera houses. The guest appearance with Swiss 'Theâtre lyrique de Bienne' in the role of Leicester in Donizetti's Maria Stuarda has to mentioned as well.

Besides the current performances of the permanent repertoire, in 1995, the appearances in Spain (San Sebastian, Bilbao, Madrid) with Dvorak's Stabat Mater, the appearance with F. Schmidt's oratorio The Book of Seven Seals, conducted by Theodor Guschlbauer at the Nürnberg Summer Festival and the appearance in Teatro G. Verdi in Triest also with Dvorak's Stabat Mater and conducted by Julian Kovatchev are worth mentioning. In the same year, the Mladinska Knjiga publishing house edited Branko Robinsak's first monographic CD record with famous opera arias, accompanied by the Symphonists of the RTV Slovenia, conducted by Marko Letonja, Marko Munih and Loris Voltolini. He has prepared three opera first performances for the season 1995-1996 (Manrico in Trovatore, Des Grieux in Manon by Massenet, Peter Grimes by Britten) and expects to give some concert in Slovenia and abroad. In the season 1996-1997 of great importance are the Donizetti's Roberto Devereux production with the Ensemble Theâtre of Swiss and the concert production of Bruckner's Te Deum with the Orchestre Philarmonique de Strasbourg under Theodor Guschlbauer.


Source: Operissimo Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2004)

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