by Opera Charm Team
February 19, 2024

The jury presided over by Elena Barbalich and composed of Barbara Minghetti, Alessio Vlad, Paolo Cantù, Francesco Nardelli, Roberto Catalano, Margherita Palli, and Franca Squarciapino selected the four finalist teams, respectively of directors Michele Soldo, Hannah Louise Calascione, Emanuela Bafunno, and Stefano Ferrara, from among the 58 participants in the project selection for the 2024-25 Season.

Final and announcement of the winner at the Teatro Sociale in Como on 4 March.


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The selection of the four finalists of the call for entries for the selection of a directing project for Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème for the 2024-2025 season, on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the composer from Lucca, was held at the Teatro Regio in Parma. The aim is to promote the professionalism and creativity of young artists and to stimulate a project approach that enhances the issues of accessibility and sustainability. The call is promoted by the Circuito di Opera Lombardia in co-production with Fondazione Teatro Regio di Parma and Fondazione I Teatri di Reggio Emilia, in collaboration with Opera Europa, and with the support of the Ministry of Culture, Regione Lombardia, and Fondazione Cariplo. As many as 58 projects proposed by creative teams under 35 (with the youngest candidate artist being only 20 years old), from Italy, Poland, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria, Malta, Romania and Ireland, took part in the selection, submitting a report on the stage direction and set design, sketches of the sets and costume designs, according to the indications and parameters indicated in the call for entries.

The jury, welcomed by the Superintendent of the Teatro Regio Luciano Messi, chaired by director Elena Barbalich and composed of Barbara Minghetti (Teatro Sociale of Como), Alessio Vlad (Teatro Regio of Parma), Paolo Cantù (iTeatri of Reggio Emilia), Andrea Cigni (Teatro Ponchielli of Cremona), Francesco Nardelli (Teatro Fraschini of Pavia), the young and successful director Roberto Catalano the multi-awarded set designer Margherita Palli and the Oscar-winning costume designer Franca Squarciapino and has chosen four finalists who will have to illustrate the project in person and in greater depth on 4 March at the Teatro Sociale in Como, presenting also other materials not requested in the application form (e.g. a model) and undergoing a practical rehearsal with the cast, which for the theatres of the Opera Lombardia Circuit will include the participation of the young winning singers of the AsLiCo 2024 International Competition for Opera Singers.

The finalists are: the director Michele Soldo with the Team “Grazie le faremo sapere”, composed of Anna Benvenuti, Marianna Moreira, Silvia Vacca; the director Hannah Louise Calascione and the Team “Katie, Rusalka, Anastasia & Lennox”, with Ioana-Andreea Curelea, Caterina Danzico, David Doyle; director Emanuela Bafunno and the ‘La scatola dei ricordi’ Team, with Eleonora Peronetti, Emanuele Rosa, Gianni Bertoli; director Stefano Ferrara and the ‘La soffitta’ Team, with Giulia Bazzu, Laura Maggioni, Oscar Frosio.

The winning creative project will make its debut on 26 September 2024 at the Teatro Sociale in Como; it will be followed by a tour in the 2024/2025 season in the other Opera Lombardia theatres (Teatro Grande in Brescia, Teatro Sociale in Como, Teatro Ponchielli in Cremona, Teatro Fraschini in Pavia) and in the co-producing theatres (Teatro Regio in Parma, I Teatri in Reggio Emilia).


The Opera Season of Teatro Municipale Piacenza continues with Turandot by Giacomo Puccini
March 2024
Opera Charm Team
March 2024
Opera Charm Team

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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