Saioa Hernandez

Opera like a drug and when you don’t have it, you miss it to death.
Ph.: Roberto Ricci


by Bianca L. Nica
November 14, 2021


Saioa Hernandez, our beautiful cover star, talks with Bianca L. Nica about her life during and after the pandemic, how she remained in an extraordinary shape in those hard times and how it was like to sing on stage again. She talks about some of her dearest roles, including Aida and Amelia, about her first steps into the operatic world, her experience as a vocal coach, how she faces the technical difficulties and also how she chooses her repertoire. It is indeed a very interesting and complex conversation and we know that you will love it as much as we do! Happy reading!


Saioa Hernández has distinguished herself as a new opera star since her debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in the opening of the season as Odabella in Giuseppe Verdi’s Attila, the prestigious December 7th, 2018, conducted by M° Riccardo Chailly, directed by Davide Livermore and broadcast internationally, live on TV and cinema with great success. Throughout her career, she has performed roles such as Maddalena di Coigny in Andrea Chenier, La Wally, Suor Angelica, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Giorgetta, Nedda, Aida, Francesca da Rimini, also the great bel canto and Verdian roles such as Norma, Imogene, Zaira, Violetta, Lucia di Lammermoor, Gilda, Leonora from Il Trovatore, Amelia from Un Ballo in Maschera, Luisa Miller, Mathilde from Guillaume Tell. She made her debut at Royal Opera House, conducted by M° Daniel Oren, alongside the tenor Roberto Alagna as Maddalena di Coigny, but also the role of Abigaille (Nabucco) at the Dresden Semperoper. She also made her debut at the Berliner Deutsche Oper as Tosca alongside Ludovic Tezier, where she returned to perform a Verdian gala. She made her debut at the Verona Arena as Tosca and Aida, conducted by M° Daniel Oren, she returned to the Teatro alla Scala as Tosca in the season opening (M° Chailly/Livermore) and, recently, as Aida in the original version, in concert form. She sang together with M° Placido Domingo in numerous concerts and galas. She perfected her vocal skills under the guidance of Santiago Calderón, Vincenzo Scalera, Renata Scotto and Montserrat Caballé, but currently she studies with her husband, the tenor Francesco Pio Galasso.

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Dear Saioa, it’s an honour to have you on the cover of the 7th issue of OPERA Charm Magazine and, of course, it was an enormous pleasure to have the chance to meet you in Milan during the performances of Aida, in October. I am sorry, though, that we have to talk again about cancellations […]

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Natalia Salinas
Having a solid career as a female director is still a big challenge. Even though there are more spaces and opportunities to make ourselves visible, there is also a lot of resistance at the same time.
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Cristina Fieraru
Violeta Urmana
The voice does not forgive wrong choices. With intelligence and intuition, one must preserve one's voice over the years, recognise and anticipate its development, and, if necessary, make repertoire changes at the right time, very carefully.
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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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