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Soprano Anja Harteros, who was born in Bergneustadt in North Rhine-Westphalia to a Greek father and a German mother, studied at the Cologne University of Music. Her first permanent position was with the ensemble at Bonn Opera, starting in 1996, and her international career was launched in 1999 when she won the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Soon thereafter she was invited to sing at such major venues as the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Vienna, Berlin, Munich, and Dresden Staatsoper companies, as well as in Amsterdam and Paris and at the Salzburg Festival. Her repertoire encompasses youthful-dramatic roles as well as Italian and German operas, from Verdi’s Violetta Valéry, Elisabetta, Desdemona, and Alice Ford to Puccini’s Mimì and from Wagner’s Eva, Elsa, and Elisabeth to such Strauss heroines as Arabella and the Marschallin, which she first performed in 2011 at the Bavarian Staatsoper. Harteros is additionally known for her performances of Baroque works, such as the title role in Handel’s Alcina, and also as a Mozart soprano who has sung Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, and Elettra in Idomeneo. She has worked with numerous renowned conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, John Eliot Gardiner, Bernard Haitink, Daniel Harding, Mariss Jansons, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Antonio Pappano, and Christian Thielemann. Her discography includes the Four Last Songs of Strauss, the Verdi Requiem, and the lieder recital Von ewiger Liebe (“Of Everlasting Love”), which won the Orphée d’Or, the French Arts Critics’ Award. Anja Harteros was named a Kammersängerin of the Bavarian Staatsoper in 2007, in 2009 she was chosen as Singer of the Year by critics of the magazine Opernwelt, and in 2010 she won the Cologne Opera Award.