Paolo Petrocelli

While we now accept to have a Prime Minister of 30 years old, we still struggle with the idea of having a Superintendent of Intendant of 30 years old


by Bianca L. Nica
May 18, 2023
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OPERA Charm is pleased and honoured to meet Paolo Petrocelli, the newly assigned Superintendent of the Dubai Opera House, in an interview by Bianca L. Nica. The main theme of discussion? How we are going to lead the development of the live performing arts in the future and to align them with all the changes taking place around us today. Can Cultural Management be learnt in school? - an inspiring conversation about his fresh and innovative thoughts about the management of culture and arts in the 21st century. 


Today, Petrocelli’s contributions to culture and business have been officially recognized by the World Economic Forum as he joins the Forum of Young Global Leaders in its Class of 2023, as the only Italian nominee and one of six selected from the arts, culture and sports sectors. For over 50 years, the World Economic Forum has brought together presidents, heads of state, economists, entrepreneurs and academics from all over the world, meeting each year in Davos, with a commitment to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation.  Paolo Petrocelli is honoured to become part of the prestigious community of Young Global Leaders, which has approximately 1400 members and alumni of 120 nationalities, among which there are heads of government such as the French premier Emmanuel Macron the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, personalities such as the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Google Larry Page, the entrepreneur Jack Ma, the jurist Amal Clooney, the artist Petrocelli is the Founder and President of EMMA for Peace (Euro-Mediterranean Music Academy), one of the world’s largest internattinal non-profit organizatons for the promo:on of a culture of peace through music diplomacy and educaton in Europe, Middle East and the Mediterranean region. He is the Founder and Honorary President of the Italian Youth AssociaGon for UNESCO, the largest youth organization in the UNESCO system, and Cultural Diplomacy Officer for the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. His work is driven by the belief that culture, arts and education are a major force for growth, development and change on the global level. As a cultural and performing arts manager, university professor and researcher, Petrocelli has collaborated with some of the most prestigious international organizations, major music institutions and world-renowned artists like United NaGons, European Commission, Rome Opera House, and Coldplay. From 2020 to 2022, Petrocelli served as founding Director General of the Stauffer Center for Strings of Cremona, the first international music center dedicated en:rely to stringed instruments, home to the Accademia Stauffer, one of Italy’s most prestigious higher music education institutions. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Yale University and a Visiting Researcher at MIT Media Lab, the interdisciplinary research laboratory at the MassachuseVs Institute of Technology.
Today he is a Research Affiliate at the metaLAB (at) Harvard. He also lectures at leading universities (including Bocconi University, Yale University, MIT, New York University, Université Paris-Sorbonne) about management and international cultural relations. In February 2023, Petrocelli began a new position as the Head of the Dubai Opera House, entrusted with developing a global stage for culture in one of the most innovative cities in the world. 

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Dear Mr Petrocelli, it is a pleasure to be able to chat with you and I would like to express my sincere congratulations for your entire career, but especially for your most recent achievements. The first thing that came through my mind when I read your biography was: what made you focus on the opera in […]

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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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