ARTICLES

Sir Colin Davis
Colin Rex Davis was born on September 25th, 1927, in Weybridge, Surrey, England, and was known for his exceptional interpretations of a wide range of classical and contemporary repertoire. His early exposure to music was through the clarinet, which he started playing at a young age. His interest in conducting developed during his time at Christ’s Hospital School in Sussex, where he had the opportunity to conduct the school orchestra. Davis’s musical education continued at the Royal College of Music in London, where he studied clarinet, but he also showed a keen interest in conducting. His talent as a conductor became evident, and he won the conducting prize at the Royal College of Music. His early career included positions such as assistant conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and associate conductor of the BBC Scottish Orchestra. Sir Colin Davis and Convent Garden In 1970, Sir David Webster, who ran
November 2023
Alice Lechner
Teatro Massimo
We continue our Theaters around the World column, and in this issue, we arrive in Sicily, more precisely in Palermo. It is known that Teatro Massimo di Palermo was, for a long time, the third largest opera house in Europe, after Palais Garnier and Wiener Staatsoper. The construction of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Sicily, Italy, began in 1875 and was a significant architectural project that spanned several years.  An international competition for the creation of the opera house was announced by the Palermo Council in 1864 at the persistence of Mayor Antonio Starrabba di Rudinì. For a long time, there had been talk of building a big new theatre in Palermo, worthy of the second biggest city in southern Italy after Naples. In the second half of the nineteenth century, Palermo was engaged in getting itself a new identity in the light of the new national unity.Cultural life was
November 2023
Alice Lechner
Copenhagen Opera House
In this issue, Theatre around the world rubric arrives in Denmark, to be precise in Copenhagen. Copenhagen Opera House (Operaen in Danish) is among some of the most modern Opera Houses in the world. The whole project was a donation by the A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation to the Danish state.  The idea for a new opera House in Copenhagen was first proposed in the 1990s. In 2000, the Danish government announced an international architectural competition to design the new opera house. The winning design for the Copenhagen Opera House was submitted by the renowned Danish architect Henning Larsen. His design was chosen for its innovative and striking contemporary architecture. Construction on the opera house began in 2001 on the island of Holmen in Copenhagen’s harbor. The construction process was complex, as the building had to be constructed partially in the water, and it involved a combination of
October 2023
Alice Lechner
Stephen Grady Gould
As a prolific heldentenor, Stephen Gould was a frequent artist on the Bayreuth Festival stage, appearing in almost 100 performances over a period of 18 years. Stephen Grady Gould was born on January 24th, 1962 in Roanoke, Virginia. He is the son of Loren and Annie Gould. He studied at the New England Conservatory of Music where he studied with John Moriarty and graduated from Olivet Nazarene University in 1984, trained as a baritone. I’d always loved classical music and jazz but never considered singing as a career and I was already in university before I switched but I did a lot of musical theatre just to make ends meet. Because of the nature of my voice, I tried to be a dramatic Rossini tenor and that worked for – I don’t know – about 14 months (laughs), and then the voice started having a lot of problems because it
October 2023
Alice Lechner
Rossini in Wildbad
In the middle of the Black Forest in Germany there is a beautiful, historical village known for its thermal-water wellness resorts. Besides being visited for its relaxation and medical purposes, people come here every summer for the Rossini in Wildbad, Belcanto Opera Festival. It spans a history of 34 years, and although it is a small festival compared to others, it has established itself as one of the classical music jewels in the world of opera. Why Rossini? The story tells that in 1856, the composer Gioachino Rossini spent, together with friends, several weeks in this idyllic place, a journey that rekindled his compositional interest. This year’s Rossini in Wildbad festival was, as always, a spectacular blend of successful well-known operas paired with delightful discoveries. Over the course of 10 days, there were no less than 15 representations of different operatic and non-operatic pieces. They included Il Barbiere di Siviglia,
August 2023
Alex Suciu
La Monnaie
The La Monnaie opera house, also known as the Royal Theatre of La Monnaie is a renowned opera house in Brussels, Belgium. The National Opera of Belgium, a federal institution, takes the name of this theatre in which it is housed—La Monnaie in French or De Munt in Dutch—referring both to the building as well as the opera company. Early History. Gio Paolo Bombarda, the owner of the theatre at the Hooikaai, banker and financial counselor to Maximilian II Emmanuel of Bavaria, and governor of the Spanish Netherlands decided to build a public theatre for opera, theatre, and ballet performances. The first permanent public theatre for opera performances of the court and the City of Brussels was built between 1695 and 1700 by the Venetian architects Paolo and Pietro Bezzi. It was considered one of the most beautiful theatres outside Italy. The date of the first performance in 1700 remains unknown, but the first showing mentioned in the local newspapers
August 2023
Alice Lechner
Karl Böhm
Karl Böhm was born on August 28th, 1894, in Graz, Austria. He displayed a strong interest in music from a young age and began his musical education with piano lessons. He also studied violin, which gave him a solid foundation in instrumental technique. Böhm’s formal education in music continued when he enrolled at the Vienna Academy of Music and Performing Arts. He studied there from 1913 to 1917. This period of his education exposed him to a rigorous curriculum, including in-depth studies of music theory, history, and composition. While at the academy, Böhm focused on conducting under the guidance of Franz Schalk, a prominent Austrian conductor. Schalk’s tutelage contributed significantly to shaping Böhm’s conducting style and approach. His career began to take shape during and after his time at the Vienna Academy. He worked as a répétiteur and conductor at various opera houses and theaters, which provided him with practical
August 2023
Alice Lechner
Tito Gobbi
Tito Gobbi was born on October 24th, 1913, in Bassano del Grappa, a town in the Veneto region of Italy. He grew up in a musically-inclined family, and his parents recognized his early talents and interest in singing. As a child, he received encouragement and support from his family to pursue his passion for music. At the age of 16, he enrolled at the Arrigo Boito Conservatory in Parma, where he studied singing under the guidance of M° Emilio Ghirardini. During his time at the conservatory, he refined his vocal technique and developed the skills that would later make him one of the most prominent baritones in the opera world. Gobbi’s early education and training laid a solid foundation for his future career. He gained valuable experience performing in small regional theaters before making his debut in 1935 as Count Rodolfo in Bellini’s La Sonnambula at the Teatro Maruccelli in
July 2023
Alice Lechner
Teatr Wielki Opera Narodowa
In this issue, the Theatre Around the World rubric takes us to Poland’s capital, Warsaw. The history of Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is a fascinating journey that spans over a thousand years. Warsaw’s beginnings can be traced back to the 9th or 10th century when a fishing village was established on present-day Warsaw.  The origins of the National Opera can be traced back to 1778 when King Stanisław August Poniatowski founded the Warsaw Opera House. The first performances took place in the Ostrogski Palace. The theater initially hosted Italian opera productions and ballets, becoming an essential part of Warsaw’s cultural scene. The original opera house was destroyed by fire in 1830 during the November Uprising. However, it was rebuilt and reopened in 1833. For over 170 years the Teatr Wielki has been Poland’s grandest opera and ballet theatre. It was built in 1825–1833 to a design by the Italian architect Antonio Corazzi of Livorno.
July 2023
Alice Lechner
Herbert von Karajan
Herbert von Karajan, whose birth name was Heribert Ritter von Karajan, was born on April 5th, 1908, in Salzburg, Austria. As a child, Karajan showed exceptional musical talent and began piano lessons at the age of four. He demonstrated remarkable progress, and by the age of six, he was already performing in public concerts. His talent and passion for music were evident, and his parents nurtured his musical development by providing him with the necessary resources and support. At the age of eight, Karajan enrolled at the Mozarteum Conservatory in Salzburg, where he studied piano, composition, and conducting. He studied under several notable teachers, including Bernhard Paumgartner, who recognized his exceptional talent and encouraged him to pursue a career as a conductor. He was encouraged to concentrate on conducting by Paumgartner, who detected his exceptional promise in that regard. In 1926 Karajan graduated from the conservatory and continued his studies
June 2023
Alice Lechner
Royal Swedish Opera
Known also as Kungliga Operan, the Royal Swedish Opera is Sweden’s national opera company. It is located in Stockholm and has a long and prestigious history dating back to its founding in 1773.  The Opera Company was founded with the Royal Swedish Academy of Music by King Gustav III and its first performance, Thetis and Phelée with Carl Stenborg and Elisabeth Olin, was given on January 18th, 1773. This was the first native-speaking opera performed in Sweden. Although, the first opera house was not opened until 1782 and served for a century before being replaced at the end of 19th century. The history of the Sweden Opera can be divided into two main periods: The Gustavian Opera and The Oscarian Opera. The Gustavian Era From the late 18th century to the early 19th century, the opera house experienced a period of innovation and artistic development. King Gustav III was an
June 2023
Alice Lechner

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OPERA CHARM

MAGAZINE

Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner comes from a music-loving family. Her first encounter with the opera universe was at the tender age of six. The grandeur of the stage productions and costumes, the backstage chatter, and last, but definitely not least, the music left her in awe, beginning with Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The overall feeling that opera awakens in anyone who gets a glimpse into this part of artistic eternity, that each and every day passes the test of time, was what drew her to stay and be a part of this world. The Opera House of Brașov became her second home, and the people who worked there were her second family.

Since then, Alice has devoted her spare time to maximising her musical knowledge through instrumental studies, studying both piano and violin for a short time. In the following years, her number one passion stepped out of the limelight and graciously gave way to Law Studies.
Since 2018 she has been studying Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Her passion for opera, even if it is no longer her top professional priority in terms of career, it has most definitely become her priority during her free time. Wanting to experience the best of both worlds and extend her musical horizons, she regularly attends opera performances throughout Romania and abroad.
With OPERA Charm Magazine, Alice aims to nurture her creative side to help it flourish and bloom and to discover, alongside the magazine’s readers, the fascinatingly complex world of opera.

Currently, she is an LL.M. in Business Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Oana Zamfir

Oana Zamfir is a second year MA student at the “George Enescu” National University of Arts, at the Department of Musicology.

She studied violin for 12 years at the “Stefan Luchian” High School of Art in Botosani, later focusing on the theoretical aspects of music. In 2019 she completed her bachelor studies in Musicology as a student of the National Academy of Music “Gheorghe Dima” in Cluj-Napoca. Her research during 2018-2019 brought to the forefront elements of the archaic ritual within works of composers who activated during the communist period, giving her the opportunity to start a research internship at the “Carl von Ossietzky” University in Germany. In this context, she recorded conversations with members of the Sophie Drinker Institute in Bremen, and had access to documents directly from the Myriam Marbé archive.

Since 2019 she has been a teacher of Music Education and Theoretical Music Studies, making full use of interactive methods in the musical training of students and working, at the same time, with the children’s choir founded in the first year of her activity.

Her interests include pursuing a degree in interior design in 2020.

Alexandru Suciu

Alexandru Suciu inherited his passion for art growing up in a family of several generations of musicians. He began his musical studies at the “Augustin Bena” School of Music in Cluj, where he studied piano and guitar. Even though his main study direction was philological, his passion for music prevailed. He began his academical journey at the Faculty of Letters of the “Babeș-Bolyai” University, studying Comparative literature and English. He continued by studying Opera Singing at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy. He also graduated the Musical Education section, followed by Artistic Directing at the Musical Performing Arts department.

His multidisciplinary education opened the doors towards research, which is seen both through his participation in national and international conferences and symposia, such as the Salzburg Easter School PhD-forum, organized by the Salzburg Universität or the Silesian Meeting of Young Scholars, organized by the Institute of English at the University of Silesia, as well as the collaboration with Opera Charm Magazine.

During his student years, he won several prizes, including the Grand Prize at the “Paul Constantinescu” National Musical Interpretation Competition, the Romanian Composers and Musicologists’ Union Prize at the same competition, the First Prize and the Schubert Prize at the “Ada Ulubeanu” Competition.

He further developed his artistic skills by specializing in courses and masterclasses held by personalities such as Vittorio Terranova, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Marian Pop, Ines Salazar, Riccardo Zanellato, Paolo Bosisio, Valentina Farcaș and Manuel Lange in contexts such as the Internationale Sommerakademie für Operngesang Deutschlandsberg, Corso Internazionale di Canto Lirico I.M.C. Licata or the Europäische Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst Montepulciano. Besides his activity on-stage, he currently teaches Opera Singing Didactics, and Pedagogical Practice within the Department for Teacher Education and Training at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy.

Cristina Fieraru

Cristina is a 24 year-old Romanian soprano & a student at the National University of Music Bucharest, where she pursues the MA program in Vocal Performance.

She made her debut in Pamina from “Die Zauberflöte” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at only 19 years old at the Bucharest National Opera House, as a member of the Ludovic Spiess Experimental Opera Studio. Over the years she made her debut in roles such as Contessa d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Mimì & Musetta (La Bohème), Alice Ford (Falstaff), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte) in her university’s opera productions.
Her passion and experience extends in the field of choral music, too.

She has been part of our dream team since the fall of 2021. For a good period of time she took care of OPERA Charm’s social media and took you on the monthly journey through the history of opera through our Legends rubric – and a few times through the Theaters around the World rubric.

Her little soul rubric – from 2021 to present – is definitely the Conductors of the Future, where, every month, she gives you the chance to meet a young star of the world of conducting and, of course, to find out what’s the most charming feature of opera in these artists’ views.

BIANCA L. NICA

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