"A rousing afternoon of music and dance."
– Washington Post
Salute to Vienna Cast
Strauss Symphony of Canada
Budapest Dance Ensemble and International Champion Ballroom Dancers
Imre Kollár (Budapest)
Imre Kollár received his diploma from the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. After serving as assistant conductor of the Hungarian State Opera, he assumed the role of principal conductor of the Dohnányi Symphony Youth Orchestra, concurrently assisting Maestro Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi at the Hungarian State Symphony. Since 1994, he has directed the Debrecen Philharmonic Orchestra, and now also conducts the MÁV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest. He is an esteemed interpreter of Mozart, Bartók, and Kodály, and has recorded works including Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4. Maestro Kollár’s engagements have taken him to Asia, Australia, and the USA.
Katharina Ruckgaber (Vienna)
Katharina Ruckgaber was an ensemble member at Theater Freiburg from 2017 to 2023. Last season, she appeared onstage as Ännchen in Weber's Der Freischütz under René Jacobs during his tour of Germany with the Freiburger Barockorchester. She has made guest appearances at the Opernhaus Zürich, the Theater an der Wien, the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, the Staatstheater Darmstadt, and the Gärtnerplatztheater in Munich. Her operatic repertoire includes roles such as Pamina, Susanna, Zerlina, Anne Truelove, Adele, Musetta, Frasquita, Mélisande, and Füchslein Schlaukopf. Ms. Ruckgaber studied at the Academy of Music and Theater in Munich. She is a scholarship holder of the German Stage Association, the Jütting Foundation Stendal, the Richard Wagner Association, and was the 2017 winner of the Anneliese Rothenberger Competition.
Thomas Weinhappel (Vienna)
Thomas Weinhappel began his musical career as a member of the famous Vienna Boys Choir before graduating from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Debuting as a lyric baritone, Mr. Weinhappel has since performed roles including Hamlet, Escamillo, Count Almaviva and Tarquinius. He is the first Austrian opera singer to receive the two most prestigious performing arts awards in the Czech Republic: the Thalia and the Libuska. He has recently appeared in dramatic baritone roles as Wolfram, Telramund, Flying Dutchman, and Posa. In Autumn 2023, he sang Count Danilo at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts.