by Opera Charm Team
March 7, 2024

Chosen from 130 candidates from 14 different countries, the singers began on Tuesday 5 March 2024 their training course at the Teatro Regio in Parma, under the guidance of the educational director Francesco Izzo, of Silvia Dalla Benetta, from this year teacher of vocal technique, and of some of the most prestigious and acclaimed Verdi performers.


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Last Tuesday 5 March saw the start of the 7th edition of the Advanced Course in Verdi’s repertoire of the Accademia Verdiana, co-financed by the European Social Fund Plus and the Emilia-Romagna Region (Operation Ref. PA 2023-20162/RER approved by DGR no. 2096/2023 of 04/12/2023), which this year sees the participation of 14 students selected from 130 candidates: sopranos Zhadyra Abdullayeva, Giulia Costantini, Melissa D’Ottavi, Maria Kosovitsa, Elzbieta Maria Warcaba, Yijia Zhong; mezzo-sopranos Arlene Miatto Albeldas, Qian Hui Sun; tenors Francesco Congiu, Seungho Lee; baritones Aibek Khairulla, Shi Yan; basses Agostino Subacchi, Yiduo Zhang.

The singers were selected during the three days of auditions at the Teatro Regio di Parma by a jury chaired by Education Director Francesco Izzo and composed of Alessio Vlad, Artistic Director of the Teatro Regio di Parma, Giannina Seccia, Education Manager of the Teatro Regio di Parma and the maestros Silvia Dalla Benetta, who this year will guide the students throughout their journey as vocal technique teacher, Vincenzo De Vivo (Artistic Director Accademia di Osimo, partner of Accademia Verdiana), Damiana Pinti (teacher Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, partner of Accademia Verdiana), Annalisa Stroppa.

The students, this year 14 due to the presence of two tied scores, are between 25 and 33 years old and come from Italy, China, South Korea, Greece, Kazakhstan and Poland. They will attend the Course free of charge and benefit from a 1000 Euro scholarship. The training course, which will continue until 30 November 2024, will be marked by lessons, masterclasses, seminars and in-depth meetings for a total duration of 1000 hours, under the guidance of some of the best Verdi interpreters.

“Among this year’s novelties,” explains the Director of Education Francesco Izzo, “I would like to point out that we will give great importance to the students’ well-being, with regular yoga lessons aimed at improving posture, breathing and concentration. On the music preparation front, then, we have for the first time established a collaboration with a vocal technique teacher who will follow the students on a regular basis until the end of the training course in November. For this role, we are pleased and grateful to be able to count on the artistic and pedagogical experience of Silvia Dalla Benetta, a high-calibre artist with a profound awareness of the students’ technical needs and extraordinary communication and human qualities’.


Promoted by the Teatro Regio di Parma and co-financed by the European Social Fund Plus and the Emilia-Romagna Region (Operation Ref. PA 2023-20162/RER approved by DGR no. 2096/2023 of 04/12/2023), the Accademia Verdiana offers each year the opportunity for 12 singers to achieve vocal and theatrical excellence under the guidance of some of the best Verdi interpreters, free of charge and benefiting from a 1,000-euro scholarship. The study and interpretation of Verdi’s repertoire and the strengthening of vocal technique will be the focus of the course, which will also concentrate on the study of scenic and choreographic movements, acting techniques and in-depth historiographical studies. Modules dedicated to contractual and managerial subjects, indispensable for the professional profile of an artist working in the complex world of show business, complete the training offer.
The Accademia Verdiana will also be able to offer students artistic collaborations within the programming of the opera season of the Teatro Regio di Parma, the Festival Verdi and Verdi Off.

This year’s edition set a record in the number of applications received, almost twice as many as last year: “a figure – reports Francesco Izzo – that reflects the growth of this project according to rigorous training criteria, assisted by teachers of the highest stature, as is also confirmed by the fact that there are already many students who have had the opportunity to perform, not only during the Verdi Festival and at the Teatro Regio in Parma, but also on prestigious stages such as La Scala, the Bilbao Opera, the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Teatro Verdi in Trieste, the Opera Lombardia circuit, and Cambridge University: an important confirmation of the fact that the Accademia Verdiana contributes to preparing professional and informed artists’.

The Advanced Course in Verdi’s repertoire is realised in collaboration with Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, Accademia d’arte lirica di Osimo, Comune di Parma, Assessorato alla cultura, Istituto Nazionale di Studi Verdiani, Fondazione Arturo Toscanini, Fondazione Teatro Due di Parma, Fondazione I teatri di 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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