by OPERA Charm Magazine Team
February 14, 2023

Prokofiev's Classical Symphony and Šostakóvič's The Year 1917 Symphony complete the programme

Saturday, February 11th, 8:30 p.m., Auditorium Manzoni


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The two Russian artists that the public is used to hearing sing together on stage, but in the second appointment of the 2023 Symphonic Season of Teatro Comunale, scheduled for February 11th at 8:30 p.m. in the Auditorium Manzoni, you will have the opportunity to hear them in a different set-up.

They are tenor Dmitry Korchak, presenting himself to the Bolognese public for the first time as conductor, and 28-year-old mezzosoprano Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, making her debut with the Orchestra del Comunale.

Winner in the “Young Singer of the Year” category at the ‘International Opera Awards 2020’, despite her age Berzhanskaya is one of the new stars of bel canto, with a rising career that has already taken her to sing at the Salzburg Festival, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Royal Opera House in London and in Italy at the Rossini Opera Festival and the Rome Opera. In Bologna, she performed Modest Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death, a cycle composed of four pieces – Ninna Nanna, Serenata, Trepak and Il condottiero – created for voice and piano between 1875 and 1877. The orchestral version arranged by Dmítrij Šostakóvič, which can be heard in this concert, was a gift from the composer himself to the conductor Mstislav Rostropovič and his wife, the singer Galina Višnevskaya, who performed it for the first time in 1962 in Gorky.

Already a guest of the Comunale’s opera productions as a tenor, on the podium of the Orchestra of the Bologna theatre Korchak will also perform Šostakóvič’s Symphony No. 12 in D minor op. 112, entitled ‘The Year 1917’ because it was inspired by the historical moment in which the Tsarist regime of Nicholas II collapsed due to the Russian revolutionary wave. In fact, the symphony celebrates the beginning of the political and social journey that led to the founding of the USSR in 1922. Dedicated to the memory of Lenin, it was composed between 1960 and 1961 and performed, after a glorious debut in Leningrad, for the 22nd Communist Party Congress in Moscow.

Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op. 25, known as ‘Classical’ for its references to the 18th century style, completes the programme. In fact, these are the composer’s words on the symphony, which can be read in his autobiography: ‘I spent the summer of 1917 in complete solitude near St. Petersburg […] I had the intention of composing a symphonic work without the help of the piano […] Thus the idea of a symphony in the style of Haydn was born […] I believe that if Haydn had lived until today he would have maintained his writing, enriching it with some new elements. When it began to take concrete form, I christened it the Classical Symphony’.


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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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