Francesca Benitez


by Viviana Nebuloni
February 6, 2021



Born in Chiavari, she began her singing studies privately with Cira di Gennaro at the age of 14; she graduated with top marks at the Conservatorio Paganini di Genoa, at the age of just 21, under the guidance of Maria Trabucco; she is currently perfecting her vocal technique and repertoire with the sopranos Desirée Rancatore and Maria Argento. She is the winner of the 69th As.Li.Co. Competition for Young Singers for the role of the Countess of Folleville in Il Viaggio a Reims. Winner of numerous international opera competitions including: Ottavio Ziino Competition, Alfredo Giacomotti Competition, Marco Koliqi of MilanCompetition, Città di Iseo Franco Ghitti Competition, Premio Spiros Argiris, Bellano Paese degli Artisti Competition, Valsesia Musica Competition, Salvatore Licitra Competition. She is the winner of the International Award “Opera-Città of Mondovì” in its XXVII edition. Francesca began her career at Teatro San Carlo in Naples performing as the Köning der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte. She has starred in various roles at Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, including Musetta in La Bohème, Nella in Gianni Schicchi directed by Roberto Panerai and Yvette in La Rondine of Giacomo Puccini. She performed in the opera L’Elisir d’Amore at Macerata Opera Festival directed by Damiano Michieletto (production broadcast on Rai5) and in the same theater she was Frasquita in 2019. Francesca performed as Contessa di Folleville in Il Viaggio a Reims at Teatro Sociale in Como, at Teatro Fraschini in Pavia, at Teatro Sociale in Bergamo and at Teatro Ponchielli in Cremona. She was Despina in Così fan tutte directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi and she performed the role of Rosita in Un Mari à la Porte of Offenbach at Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. She performed in the new production of Lakmé directed by Davide Livermore at the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman. She performed an intense concert activity at Teatro Massimo in Palermo, at Teatro Bibiena in Mantova, at the Opera Gala Fuoco di Gioia at Teatro Regio in Parma during the Festival Verdi and at Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa.

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First, I would like to introduce you to our readers: at 14 you discover your connection with singing, studying privately. How did this encounter with the work come about?  The encounter with opera was actually born much earlier, my aunt is a pianist and since childhood she made me listen to classical music, although I […]

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Anton Beliaev
As singers, we are required not only to show our voice at the audition, but also to experience the emotions and feelings of those whom we sing and convince the listeners of this.
August 2023
Alice Lechner
Jochen Schönleber
It is not enough to be a good singer; you must make almost daily reminders about yourself and your qualities.
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Alex Suciu

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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