Maria Barakova

Coming to the theatre, the viewer should be filled with something, be inspired and leave the theatre with soil for reflection, with a sense of satisfaction with his spiritual needs.


by Alice Lechner
August 24, 2021


Our 5rd Charming beginnings protagonist is the young Russian mezzo-soprano, Maria Barakova. In a conversation with Alice Lechner, recently graduated the YAP of Bolshoi Theatre, Maria talks about her first encounter with opera, about her experience at Bolshoi Young Artist Program, about the importance of vocal competition to a young singer, about her repertoire and the process of learning a new role, about her agent & her future appointments and last but not least about her passions.


Maria was born in 1998 in Kemerovo (Russia). In 2017 she completed her studies at the Novosibirsk Musical College, where she got a professional diploma in vocal performance. Currently, Maria continues her vocal education at the Gnessin Academy of Music.
In September 2017, she joined the Young Artist Program of the Bolshoi Theatre. She started working with the Head of the Program, Prof. Dmitry Vdovin and other prominent coaches such as John Fisher, Alessandro Amoretti, Ewamaria Wieser, Ernesto Palacio, Diane Zola, Makvala Kasrashvili, Michelle Wegwart, Lubov Orfenova, Irina Bogacheva. She has participated in numerous chamber concerts at the Bolshoi Theatre’s Beethoven Hall, performing Russian, Italian and German art songs. Maria debuted on the Historical Stage of the Bolshoi Theatre in the supporting part of Petrovna in The Tsar’s Bride by Rimsky-Korsakov. In the Summer of 2018, she participated in the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, where she sang Melibea in Teatro Rossini. In November 2018, she returned to Pesaro to perform the mezzo-soprano part in Stabat Mater by Rossini.
Maria is the 1st Prize winner of the International Vocal Competitions Christmas Assembly in 2015 in Saint Petersburg, the Natalia Spiller International Vocal Competition in Moscow in 2018 and the XXVI Glinka International Vocal Competition in Kazan in 2019. The highlight of her 2019-2020 season was her stunning performance at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition in St Petersburg, where she was awarded 1st Prize. Maria participated in a winners’ concert in Vladivostok, Saint Petersburg and Moscow with Maestro Valery Gergiev.
Her repertoire includes Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, Melibea in Il Viaggio a Reims by Rossini, and Lel’ in The Snow Maiden and Lubava in Sadko by Rimsky-Korsakov, Olga in Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky, and Bradamante in Alcina by Handel.
In 2020, she debuted in the Bolshoi theatre as Lubava in Sadko by Rimsky-Korsakov and as the Spring in The Snow Maiden by Rimsky-Korsakov in Novosibirsk Opera Theatre.
In July 2021, she will participate in Bregenz Opera Festival, where she will sing the title mezzo-soprano role, Isabella, in the opera L’Italiana in Algeri.

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Hello, Maria! It’s always a pleasure to chat with the promising stars of the opera world! Thank you for accepting our invitation. Let’s start from the beginning. How old were you when you discovered that opera was your path? Was it love at first sight? Hello! I was delighted to accept this interview invitation. Thank […]

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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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