Anna El-Khashem

What makes art so interesting and keeps it alive through the years is not only a perfect execution but also the little imperfections!


by Bianca L. Nica
June 27, 2023
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Meet the young soprano Anna El-Khashem, one of the rising stars of the opera world! Anna shared with us, in an interview with Bianca L. Nica, her experience as a very young but promising opera singer, building a strong base career that brings her lots of joy despite the challenging nature of this field. Find out more about what it was like for Anna to be the winner of the renowned Neue Stimmen Singing Competition in 2019, about her experience in the Opernstudio of the Bayerische Staatsoper, repertoire choices and the Mozartian styles that she proved to master, but also about the difficulties and disappointments that the velvety theatre curtain usually hides from the audience.


Named “Emerging Opera Singer of the Year” by “Opernwelt” magazine and first-prize winner at the renowned Neue Stimmen Competition in 2019, Anna El-Khashem was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and completed her musical studies at the State Conservatory in her native city. She made her international debut at the Bregenz Festival in 2016 as Bastienne in Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne and Soprano Solo in Carl Maria von Weber´s Jubelmesse. El-Khashem was subsequently invited to join the Opera Studio of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. She appeared in many new productions in Munich, singing, among other roles, Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, the Mermaid in Oberon, Esmeralda in Die Verkaufte Braut, Inès in La Favorite, Ksenia in Boris Godunov, Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica and Coryphée in Alceste. She sang under the baton of many of today’s leading conductors, including Kirill Petrenko, Gustavo Dudamel, Constantinos Carydis, Ivor Bolton, Giacomo Sagripanti, Bertrand de Billy, Simone Young, Antonello Manacorda, Philippe Jordan and Riccardo Minasi. In August 2019, Anna El-Khashem sang her first Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at the New Generation Festival in Florence. She then joined the ensemble of the State Theater in Wiesbaden, where her roles included Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, 1st niece in Peter Grimes, the soprano in a staged version of St. Matthew Passion, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Woglinde in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung. In the season 2021/2022 she sang, among other roles, Sophie in a new production of Massenet’s Werther. Anna El-Khashem made her house and role debut at Opéra de Paris (Opéra Garnier) in June 2021 as Servilia in Mozart‘s opera La Clemenza di Tito, returning to Paris as Susanna in a new production of Le Nozze di Figaro in January 2022 and made her role debut as Zerlina in Don Giovanni on stage of Opéra Bastille in February 2022. In July 2022 she performed for the first time at the Verbier Festival singing Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and presenting a solo recital alongside Semion Skigin (piano). Anna successfully debuted at the Zurich Opera House in a concert under the baton of Maestro Riccardo Minasi in April 2022. In the following season 2022/23 she returned to Zurich and made her role debut as Flavia Gemmira in a new production of Cavalli’s Eliogabalo directed by Calixto Bieito. In March 2023 she gave her debut with the Vienna State Opera during their guest performance at Opéra de Monte-Carlo singing Susanna in Mozart‘s Le Nozze di Figaro under the baton of Maestro Philippe Jordan. She also performed for the first time at the Tonhalle Zürich with Händel‘s oratorio Alexander‘s Feast (conductor: Riccardo Minasi) and sang at Philharmonie de Paris and Festival de Pâques d‘Aix-en-Provence performing Bach‘s Matthäus-Passion together with Les Talens Lyriques under the baton of Maestro Christophe Rousset. In the upcoming season 2023/24, among other projects, the soprano is set to return to the Zurich Opera House making her role debut as Clarine/Thalie in a new production of Rameau‘s Platée and to perform for the first time at the Dutch National Opera as Marzelline in Beethoven‘s Fidelio.

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Dear Anna, having you interviewed for OPERA Charm Magazine is a real pleasure! Where do my questions find you? How did you start this summer, and what are your plans for the rest of it? I have just returned home from a wonderful week at Schloss Elmau, singing two recitals accompanied by Boris Giltburg and Lukas […]

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Alice Lechner

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.


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