Sarah Johannsen and Wolfgang Michel formed the Duo Aljana several years ago. Their special interest was to create concert programs that were oriented around a specific theme. They have used this successfully in orchestra concerts as well as in song recital evenings with various instruments. They have performed together all over Europe.


SARAH
JOHANNSEN

soprano, was born in Minnesota, USA, and lives now in Germany. She has performed over 30 roles, for example Tosca, Turandot and Desdemona. In the last few years, she has specialized on German repertoire. She has sung - with roles including Isolde, Elektra, all the Brünnhildes, Senta, Ariadne and Turandot - in Teatro Filarmonico Verona, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Opera Bastille/Paris, Malaga, as well as many theaters in the US and Germany. Sarah Johannsen is also an accomplished concert singer. With the Oratorio Society in Carnegie Hall in New York, she has sung the Wagner Wesendonck Lieder with Orchester and in a seperate appearance the Verdi Requiem, and she has also performed with many other orchestras in Europe and the US. Sarah Johannsen was a First Prize Winner of the Opera Index Competition in New York and also winner of the important George London Award.

WOLFGANG
MICHEL

Dirigent/Pianist/Gitarrist - is considered an "insider's tip" among the conductors of his generation.

On the basis of winning several orchestra competitions, Mr. Michel was able to gather experience in the great symphonic repertoire with orchestras in Poland, Czech, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Romania.

Among the high points of this experience would have to be named Bruckner's 7th Symphony in Walbrzych and Lublin/Poland and Bruckner's 3rd, 4th and 6th Symphonies in Czech and Romania, various Wagner programs in Poland, the opening of the 200th Season for the State Opera in Odessa with Rigoletto and the Verdi Requiem im Konzerthaus Berlin.

The musicians as well as the managements of the various orchestras, with which Mr. Michel has worked, have praised his clear, open and passionate way of working and his ability to achieve unimaginable results with each respective group.

Wolfgang Michel began his musical training with violin lessons with his mother, and then changed to classical guitar. He studied guitar in Basel with Konrad Ragossnig, in Hartford/USA with Oscar Ghiglia and participated in Master classes in Geneva with Andrés Segovia, from whom he also received private lessons in Frankfurt.

His passion for conducting began to develop in the USA. He studied with Vytautas Marijosius and Kurt Klippstatter, continuing his studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg with Günther Wich and with Michael Gielen at the "Mozarteum" in Salzburg.

In the future, it will also be fascinating to see how this promising musician will conquer the concert halls and hearts of the listening public.