Maria Kataeva

It has always been important for me to find my own style and individuality, not only in art, but also in my appearance.


by Bianca L. Nica
August 20, 2023
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Praised for her warm timbre and seamless technique, Maria Kataeva was a prize winner at Operalia Competiton in 2019 and numerous other competitions and is an ensemble member at Deutsche Oper am Rhein. The Russian mezzo-soprano talks to Bianca L. Nica about her upcoming recital at the Rossini Opera Festival on August 20th, her ideal repertoire to sing, and her passions beyond music. 


A rising star of her generation, the Russian mezzo-soprano Maria Kataeva’s repertoire ranges from Baroque to Contemporary music. Maria started her career during her studies at the St. Petersburg Conservatory when she became a member of the opera studio at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, and 2 years later, she became a permanent member of the ensemble and leading soloist. Guest performances have taken Maria Kataeva to such opera theatres as the Bolshoi Theater Moscow, the Dresden Semperoper, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Opéra Bastille Paris, the Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, the Opera Vlaanderen Antwerpen/Gent and the Edmonton Opera Canada, having legendary stage partners such as Placido Domingo in various occasions, such as the “Placido Domingo & Friends” Gala at the beginning of the 2020/2021 season, at the Bolshoi Theater, and the “Stars of the White Nights” Gala in June 2021 at the Mariinsky Theater. Winner of many awards in numerous voice competitions, won in 2014 the 3rd prize in the Paris Opera Competition, the 1st prize in the general category and 3rd prize in the German category of the voice competition “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” (Nuremberg, 2016); in 2019 she was awarded the 2nd Prize and the Audience Prize of Placido Domingo’s Operalia, in Prague. Her most recent engagements include Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito as Sesto and Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, her house debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper in the title role of Rossini’s Cenerentola, her debut at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro (Italy), where she performed Isolier in Le Comte Ory. At the same time, the 2022/23 season started for Kataeva with a new production of Bizet’s Carmen at the Hamburg State Opera, Tchaikovsky’s The Maid of Orleans at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein and the Abschlusskonzert Mozartwoche 2023 in Salzburg on February 5th. Maria Kataeva will be reunited on stage with Placido Domingo in a concert entitles “Noche Zarzuela” at the Salle Gaveau in Paris on March 9th. Future engagements include Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman and at Teatro Regio di Parma, La Clemenza di Tito at the Grand Theatre de Geneve, and a solo recital with orchestra at the 2023 edition of Rossini Opera Festival.

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Dear Maria, thank you for having accepted our invitation! It is a pleasure to talk to you a few days before your return to the Rossini Opera Festival with a solo recital with orchestra. What will be the highlights of this recital, and what is your relationship with the Rossinian repertoire? This concert contains arias of […]

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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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