The Jury of the Vth International Competition of Opera Singers «SAINT-PETERSBURG»

Irina Bogacheva
People’s Artist of Soviet Union, leading soloist of the Mariinsky theatre,
Professor of Saint-Petersburg Conservatory,
chief of Department of Solo Singing

Irina Bogacheva is a world-famous singer. Has graduated from the Leningrad State Conservatory where studied under prof. A.Levando. Has undergone apprenticeship under professor Barra at La Scala in Milan, Italy during 1968-1970. Having won the Glinka Competition while still a student, she has been invited to work at the Mariinsky Theatre where she has remained a soloist until today. At the Mariinsky she has performed a number of leading roles for mezzo-soprano in the operas of G.Bizet, G.Verdi, M.Mussorgski, N.Rimsky-Korsakov, P.Tchaikovsky, S.Prokofiev and others. Her most outstanding roles are the nametitle in Bizet’s “Carmen”, Amneris in Verdi’s “Aida” and Liubasha in Rimsky-Korsakov’s “The Tsar’s bride”.

A fantastic combination of the most beautiful voice, an impeccable vocal technique and high acting mastery makes all her public appearances unforgettable. Her opera repertory is immense. She has performed all major parts for mezzo-soprano on most important stages of the world, such as the Metropolitan Opera, Opera Bastille, La Scala, Teatro Colon, San-Francisco Opera and many others. The singer tours extensively with solo recitals in Norway, France, China, Spain, Japan, Korea, UK, Germany, Italy etc.

Her remarkable pedagogical output is worth mentioning; she is many years a professor of the Saint-Petersburg State Conservatory. A few talented singers exploring the world’s stages today had studied under her guidance; the now widely recognized Olga Borodina can alone prove of significant contribution of her teacher to the world’s opera culture. Today her former and actual students; Olga Savova, Elena Vitman, Natalia Evstafieva, Yuri Ivshin, Natalia Biriukova, Yulia Simonova, Maria Litke and Olesia Petrova are performing on stages of major opera theatres of Saint-Petersburg – the Mariinsky and the Mussorgsky.

Irina Bogacheva has been granted Government awards, appointed a Honorary Citizen of Saint-Petersburg, granted important insignia “In recognition of merit to Motherland” and “the Vernadsky Star”

Galina Vishnevskaya (Russia)
Galina Vishnevskaya, the great Russian diva, USSR Peoples’ artist was born in Leningrad (now Saint-Petersburg). She made her debut in 1944 as a soloist in the Leningrad Operetta theatre, and in 50s Galina’s big stage career commenced. Galina Vishevskaya created more than thirty unforgettable female characters in the Russian and west-European opera chefs-d’oeuvres during her 22-year-long artistic career at the Bolshoi theatre from 1952 – to 1974.

After a brilliant debut as Tatyana in the “Eugene Onegin” opera, she performed as Aïda and Violetta (“Aïda” and “La Traviata” by Verdi), Cio-Cio-San (“Madama Butterfly” by Puccini), Natasha Rostova (“War and Peace” by Prokofiev), Katarina (“Taming of the Shrew” by Shebalin, she was the first to ever perform it in 1957), Lisa (“Queen of Spades” by Tchaikovsky), Kupava (“Snow Maiden” by Rimsky-Korsakov), Marfa (“Tsar’s Bride”) and many others. Vishnevskaya participated in the first Russian production of “The Gambler” opera by Prokofiev (part of Polina, 1974), “The Human Voice” mono-opera by Poulenc in 1965, starred in the “Katerina Izmailova” opera-film (directed by M. Shapiro in 1966).

Galina Vishnevskaya starred in the greatest opera theatres of the world: Covent Garden, Metropolitan-Opera, Grande Opera, La Scala, and Munich Opera, performing with the most celebrated masters of opera and theatre arts.Galina played the part of Marina in a unique opera record of “Boris Godunov” (directed by Herbert von Karajan, soloists – N. Gyaurov, M. Talvella, L. Spiess, Maslennikov). And in 1989 Galina performed the same role in the film version which was directed by A. Zhulavsky, music conducted by M. Rostropovitch. While the singer was forced to live abroad, she made records of the full version of S. Prokofiev’s “War and Peace” opera, five discs of Russian romantic songs by M. Glinka, A. Dargomyzhsky, M. Mussorgsky, A. Borodin and P. Tchaikovsky.
Galina Vishnevskaya is honorary doctor of arts with numerous universities. For many years she has been working with young people of arts, giving master-classes all over the world and heading greatest international competitions as part of the grand jury. Galina Vishnevskaya is the President of the all-Russia Fair of singers in Yekaterinburg. Since 2002 the Center of opera singing of Galina Vishnevskaya has carried out set of opera statements and tours in Russia and abroad.

Galina Vishnevskaya is awarded with most prestigious prizes for her priceless contribution to the world music art, prizes from governments of different countries: Medal for the Defense of Leningrad (1943), Order of Lenin (1971), Diamond Medal of Paris, Order for Services to Motherland of third degree (1996), Order for Services to Motherland of second degree (2006). Galina Vishnevskaya is also Grand Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters (France 1982), Chevalier of Legion of Honour (France 1983), Honorary Citizen of Kronshtadt (1996). In 2004 Galina Vishnevskaya was awarded with Saint Princess Olga Order of the Russian Orthodox Church and Peter the Great Order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for her enormous contribution to the Russian culture.

Tito Capobianco (Argentina)

Tito Capobianco, Stage Director, is acclaimed for his ingenious and versatile treatment of repertory classics, from Baroque to Romantic, verismo, contemporary and his innovative updated settings of the operas starting in 1957 with a modernistic version of Puccini’s Tosca.

In addition to his unparalleled and distinctive success with his 24 opera productions at the Lincoln Center in New York City, Capobianco has staged over 250 productions in Europe, Australia, and the American continent for major opera houses, such as Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Barcelona, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Sidney, Spoleto and the Las Palmas Festival, Spain.

Capobianco’s staging of American and world premieres such as Ginastera’s Don Rodrigo and Bomarzo, Menotti’s La Loca, Giannini’s Servant of two Masters, Dvorak’s Rusalka and Chabrier’s Gwendoline, plus numerous new productions, have been hailed as landmarks in opera history. These premieres have had a strong influence in the development of opera in the United States, beginning with the inauguration of the Lincoln and Kennedy Centers.
His productions of Boito’s Mephistopheles, Massanet’s Manon, Handel’s Julius Caesar and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor continue to form part of the repertoire of these centers after more than 20 years.

Much of Capobianco’s success as director is due to his first-hand experience with every phase of theatrical art; he has directed productions of opera, theater, ballet and television, and was a stage and film actor in Argentina.
In 1961, after a trail of brilliant accomplishments, that include the South American Premiers of Stravinsky’s The Rake Progress, Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges, Menotti’s The Saint of Bleecker Street, Puccini’s Modern Tosca and a new production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola, he left his position as Director-Designer-Technical Director of the famous Teatro Colon of Buenos Aires, to come to the United States.
During the 1960’s, his collaboration with the soprano Beverly Sills became legendary. This led to the first televised opera production from the Lincoln Center in New York City with the production of R. Korsakov’s Le Coq D’Or as well as the west coast production of Frantz Lehar’s The Merry Widow in San Diego in 1977.

Some of the world’s most talented artists have participated in his productions, names including Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Loren Maazel, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Richard Tucker, Nicolai Gedda, Birgit Nilsson, Joan Sutherland, Beverly Sills, Monserrat Caballe, Sherrill Milnes, Tito Gobbi, Cornel McNeil, Shirley Verret, Marilyn Horne, Regina Resnik, Norman Treigle, Justino Diaz, and Jose Van Dam, to mention just a few.

Throughout his career, Capobianco has demonstrated his commitment to the educational needs of young artists. In 1968 he founded and became General Director of the Opera Center at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. He created the Opera Department at the College of Performing Arts in Philadelphia in 1972, the San Diego Opera Center in 1977, and the Pittsburgh Opera Center in 1986.

In the late 1970s, he established the world’s first Verdi Festival in San Diego, California.
In recognition of his creative work in Italian and French opera and culture, Capobianco has been awarded by the Italian government, Cavaliere della Repubblica and Officer dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the government of France.

He has also been distinguished with numerous honorary degrees for his extensive community involvement.
Today, Capobianco concentrates exclusively on teaching young artists in the United States and Europe.

José Fernández García

Born in Madrid in 1952 began his musical studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Madrid, Harmony, Piano, Conducting and Pedagogy.
Throughout his career he combines teaching with teaching creation in the publishing and management.
Has been awarded the 1992 National Award for Educational Building of the Ministry of Education.
He was coordinator of the Public Schools and the Community Conservatory of Madrid and director of the Conservatory of the Community of Madrid. He is currently director of the Conservatory of Music "Montserrat Caballe (Madrid).
He was a member of the International Jury awards Reina Sofía year ended 92/95, with Enrique García Asensio, Antón García Abril, Tomas Marco, Jesus Villarrojo.
Appointed by the Mayor of Madrid and President of the Community "Cultural Advisory Madrid 92."
In the field of art direction has been director of the Lyric Symphony Orchestra of Madrid, of the Young Musicians Orchestra of Madrid City Council and the Youth Orchestra of the Community of Madrid.
Guest conductor in various orchestras of national and European institutions, as well as founding director of the orchestra "Artemus Cultural Foundation" (teachers of the RTVE Orchestra and the Orchestre de la Zarzuela of Madrid).
Director specializing in music for the stage, he addressed the most important programs of Zarzuela and Opera. Among his most recent actions include the musical director of La Traviata at the Opera Theater of Constanta and Bucharest in Romania, concerts held at the Auditorio Nacional, and programs devoted to Mozart symphony concerts in the national network of theaters with the orchestras of different communities regions of Spain. Opening Basilica RTVE Orchestra in Madrid with the program's Coronation Mass (Mozart) and Creation (Haydn).
Artistic director and jury for the international singing competition in the Communities of Madrid and Cantabria and Cultural Foundation Chairman Artemus.

Sergey Leiferkus

Sergey Leiferkus is an outstanding singer who had triumphed on all opera stages of the world. He graduated from the Leningrad State Conservatory and subsequently worked for a long period in the city’s opera theatres. The world-wide fame came in the beginning of 1980s, when he started performing at the world’s leading opera houses such as Covent Garden in London, the Viennese Staatsoper, Opera de Bastille, La Scala, the MET and Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. Sergey Leiferkus became a permanent and warmly-welcomed guest at the major opera festivals in Edinburgh, Bregenz, Glyndebourne, Tangle wood, Ravine and Salzburg. Nowadays he focuses not only on stage productions, but also gives numerous recitals in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, New York, London, Amsterdam, Vienna, Milan and others. He has collaborated with Boston, New York, Montreal, Berlin and London symphony orchestras and conductors Claudio Abbado, Zubin Metha, Seigi Ozawa, Yuri Temirkanov, Valeri Gergiev, Neeme Jarvi, Mstislav Rostropovich, Curt Masur and many others.
The richness of vocal timbre and an outstanding acting talent of Sergey Leiferkus have enabled him to perform in most diverse opera stagings and to build unforgettable roles. His repertory includes over 40 roles, including the name titles of Evgeny Onegin and Mazeppa by P.Tchaikovsky, Prince Igor by A.Borodin, Nabucco, Macbeth and Simon Boccanegra by G.Verdi and Don Giovanni by W.A.Mozart , Telramund ( “Lohengrin” ) and Clingsor (“Parcifal” by R.Wagner) , Amonasro (“Aida” by G.Verdi”), Don Carlos (“La forza del destino” by G.Verdi), Yago (“Othello” by G.Verdi), Rupert (“The fiery angel” by S.Prokofiev), Prince Andei (“War and peace” by S.Prokofiev) and many others. Sergey Leiferkus pays great respect to stylistic and linguistic nuances of works being performed and whereas is able to embody on stage such diverse characters as Scarpia (“Tosca” by G.Puccini), Gerard (“Andre Chenie” by U.Giordano), Escamilio (“Carmen” by G.Bizet), Zurga (“Les chercheurs des perles” by G.Bizet). The discography of Sergey Leiferkus includes well over 40 CDs and DVDs. His recordings of Russian music have attained many international prizes; some albums have been nominated to Grammy awards. In his catalogue of video recordings one can find operas staged at the Mariinsky theatre (“Evgeni Onegin” and “The fiery angel”) and at the Covent Garden (“Prince Igor” and “Othello”), three versions of “The Pique Dame” (Mariinsky theatre, Staatsoper Wien, Glyndebourne festival) and “Nabucco” (Bregenz festival). Recently Sergey Leiferkus has taken part in the television productions of operas “Carmen” and “Samson and Dalila” at the MET.
Besides such busy performing schedule Sergey Leiferkus gives master classes and teaches in Berlin, Toronto, Moscow, Boston and Oldborough.

Roberto MAURO (Canada)

L’Opéra de Montréal Senior Director of Artistic Operations, Roberto Mauro directs the planning, budgeting, and execution of main stage, Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio training productions, and the educational school tours and programs, as well as concerts and other special performances. He administers all musical components and principal artists, stage directors, conductors, orchestra, chorus, dancers, and supernumeraries.

Most recently Mauro was the Assistant Artistic Director of Michigan Opera Theatre (MOT), where he worked since 1999. He assisted acclaimed impresario David DiChiera in the selection of season repertoire and principal artists.

Highlights include:

* Presenting Werther with world-famous Andrea Bocelli in his only staged opera performance;
* Premiering Margaret Garner, a new opera written by Richard Danielpour and Pulitzer-Prize winning Toni Morrison; and continues
* Consulting in preparation for the world premiere of Cyrano by David DiChiera and Bernard Uzan, scheduled for performances next month.

His responsibilities included handling all contract negotiations for principal artists, conductors, stage directors, and choreographers; writing and producing season preview CDs, and authoring articles for MOT’s collateral materials, including program books. Mauro, a well-respected speaker, developed a Verdi lecture series, and frequently gives presentations on composers, repertoire, and singers.

Mauro brings a commitment to multiculturalism in the arts to Arizona Opera, as MOT is well-respected for its programming which serves the diverse Detroit community. During his tenure he led MOT as the host company of OPERA America’s national opera conference Diverse Voices, which received an award from the National MultiCultural Institute.

Prior to his time with MOT, Mauro managed Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artist Studio and worked at L’Opéra de Montréal as Production and Administrative Assistant. Mauro has also written supertitle translations for approximately 40 operas that have been seen on the stages Michigan Opera Theatre, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Florida Grand Opera, Florentine Opera, Opera Omaha, and Opera Ontario. He graduated from University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science. Mauro, born in the United Kingdom, is a Canadian citizen, and the son of acclaimed tenor Ermanno Mauro. He resides in Chandler, Arizona.

Alexandrina Mitlcheva (Bulgaria)

Alexandrina Mitlcheva made her debut as Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte at the Varna State Opera. After having won the First Grand Prix at the Toulouse International Singing Competition in 1966 her career transcded onto the international plane. She has been a member of the National Opera in Sofia, Bulgaria since 1968. In 1976 she was invited by former director Prof. Egon Seefehlner to join the ensemble of the Wiener Staatsoper, where she has been one of the leading mezzo-sopranos for a period of more than fifteen years. She has performed all of the major roles of the repertoire at such opera houses as La Scala,Milan, the Paris Opera, Covent Garden of London, the Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Hamburg Opera, the Arena di Verona, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the Liceo in Barcelona, the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, the MET, as well as in Salzburg, Edinburgh, Moscow, and San Francisco . Her concert repertoire includes works by Verdi, Mozart, Pergolesi, Rossini, Haendel, Bach, Mahler, and Franck, and as a recitalist she has explored the music of the great lieder composers and also the Russian songs of Moussorgski, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovski. Alexandrina Mitlcheva has performed under all major conductors, such as Karajan, Metha, Maazel, Ormandy, De Fabbritis, and especially Muti. She is one of the singers with the richest discography, including operas, recitals, oratorios, lieder and symphonic works.
Parallel to her career as a performing singer, Alexandrina Mitlcheva has been working as a pedagogue for over fifteen years, and in 1994 she created her own music school- The International Opera Academy Sacra. The academy is situated in Sofia, Bulgaria. Some of the students, which have participated in courses of singing and interpretation, are successful performers, making international career. She has carried out master classes at the International Bach Academy, the Paris Opera House, the Paris Conservatory, and others.
Alexandrina Mitlcheva belongs to the generation of opera singers, such as Freni, Pavarotti, Domingo, Dimitrova, Kabaivanska, Ghiaurov, which have made opera an exquisite art.

Dennis O'NEILL (Great Britain)

Born in Wales of Irish and Welsh parents, Dennis O’Neill is one of the world’s leading tenors, appearing frequently at Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera New York, the State Operas of Vienna, Munich, Berlin, and Hamburg, and other international opera houses throughout Europe and North America. His long association with the Royal Opera House has included a huge repertoire centred on all the great Verdi tenor roles. He has appeared regularly on TV in his own BBC series and has recorded extensively. His film credits include a television film on the life of Caruso. Recent recordings include Aida, Il Trovatore, La boheme, Turandot, Tosca, and Cav & Pag (all on Chandos). He has appeared in concert and recital throughout Europe, North America and Australia with most of the world’s celebrated conductors.

Dennis O’Neill is the founder and Director of the Cardiff International Academy of Voice based in the University of Cardiff. In September 2011, he will become Director of the new Wales International Academy of Voice at the University of Wales.

He was awarded the CBE in the 2000 New Year’s Honours list.

Galina Pisarenko
People’s Artist of Russia

Galina Pisarenko is an opera and lied- singer, People’s Artist of Russia, professor of Moscow State Conservatory named after Tchaikovsky, laureate of international competitions, president of Mozart musical heritage lovers’ society. After graduating from Moscow State Conservatory in 1961 Galina Pisarenko has been accepted into the troupe of Moscow Musical Academic theatre named after Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko, where she has worked from 1961 to 1990. During these years she has performed over 30 opera parts by Russian and Western composers: Tatiana and Iolanta in Tchaikovsky’s “Evgeni Onegin” and “Iolanta”, Adina in Donizetti’s “L’elisir d’amore”, Fiordiliggi in Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte”, Mimi and Musette in Puccini’s “La Boheme”, the name title in Massnet’s “Manon”, Micaela in Bizet’s “Carmen” staged by Walter Felsenshtein and others. During 1990- 1996 Galina Pisarenko worked in “Novaya Opera” theatre, where she performed the role of the name title in Prokofiev’s “Maddalena “ and in a play named “Rossini”. The years 1980-1993 have been of close and fruitful collaboration with great Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter. Under his guidance Galina Pisarenko has compiled a number of recitals (Grieg, Schimanowsky, Medtner, Britten). For the Schimanowsky recital she has been granted a Polish prize “Orpheus” and a government award “in honor of an outstanding contribution to development of Polish Culture”. In 1985 Sviatoslav Richter had staged a Russian premiere of Britten’s “The turn of the screw”, where Galina Pisarenko performed the main role of the Governess.
Since 1975 Galina Pisarenko has been teaching at Moscow State Conservatory. Many of her former students have won prizes at the national and international singing competitions and are now performing at the world’s best stages. Galina Pisarenko gives master classes in singing in Poland, Greece, Ecuador, USA, Portugal, Austria, South Korea and Japan. She has over 30 recordings on LP and CD. The recording of Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater” has been awarded “Grand-prix” in Paris. Galina Pisarenko’s career has been a theme subject of a number of television films.


Lenore Rosenberg is the Associate Artistic Administrator of the Metropolitan Opera, and the former Director of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. She joined the Met's artistic staff in 1985, with a background in both the performance and production aspects of opera. She has degrees in voice from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Ms. Rosenberg, who is responsible for the casting of secondary roles and covers for the Met season, is also a member of the in-House Auditions Screening Committee, as well as the Stage Audition Panel and is a member of the National Council Finals Jury. Among the international juries on which she has served are the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, the Belvedere Competition in Vienna, the Francisco Viñas Competition in Barcelona, the Montserrat Caballe Competition in Andorra, the Renata Tebaldi Competition in San Marino, the Ottavio Ziino Competition in Rome, the Luciano Pavarotti Competition in Modena, Italy, and both the Rimsky-Korsakov and Elena Obraztsova Competitions, in St. Petersburg, Russia. In addition, since 2001 she has been the Music Administrator of the Spoleto Festival USA, in Charleston, South Carolina.

Director of Artistic Operations Washington National Opera
Christina Scheppelmann has nearly two decades of experience as an arts administrator and executive in opera. Since 2002, Christina has served in her current position as Director of Artistic Operations for Washington National Opera. In this role, she is responsible for the guidance and actualization of all aspects of WNO’s artistic mission. Under the leadership of General Director Plácido Domingo, she has advanced WNO’s reputation as a world-class opera company by presenting the best international talents to enthusiastic audiences, always promoting excellent financial oversight while never compromising an outstanding artistic vision.

A native of Hamburg, Germany, Christina has worked at prestigious opera companies in Europe and the United States. After earning her post-graduate degree in banking and economics in Germany, she began her career in opera administration while working as an artist manager for singers, directors, and designers with Walter Beloch Artist Management in Milan, Italy. After her direct experience managing artists, she took administrative positions as the Assistant to the Artistic Director at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Spain and then at the Gran Teatro la Fenice in Venice, Italy. After her professional experiences in Europe, Christina was appointed as Artistic Administrator at the San Francisco Opera.

Christina is a regular jury member at national and international vocal competitions. She is frequently interviewed for arts broadcasts and publications, and is also often a speaker and presenter at master classes and panel discussions in the opera community worldwide.