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

Irina Bogacheva (Russia)

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”

Teimuraz Gugushvili (Georgia)

People’s artist of Georgia, principal soloist of the Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet Theatre named after Paliashvili, Laureate of the State Prize of Georgia and Cavalier of the Order of Honor of Georgia, Professor. Teimuraz Gugushvili also was awarded the Paliashvili Prize, the Andzhaparidze Prize, the Arkhipova Found Prize. He is called Golden Tenor of Georgia; he is one of the most famous opera soloists of modernity. An artist and a pedagogue, he belongs to the pleiad of masters that enriched greatly the national vocal school.
Teimuraz Gugshvili graduated from the Tbilisi State Conservatory named after Saradzhishvili and finished the post-graduate studies of academical singing in the Tbilisi Conservatoire by People’s Artist of Georgia N.Andguladze.
From 1968 to 1970 he was a probationer member at the Teatro alla Scala (Milan, Italy).
More than 20 years the artist is engaged in educational work. He is currently Professor of the department of solo singing at his Alma Mater – Tbilisi State Conservatory.
During his work at the theatre Teimuraz Gugushvili played almost all parts for tenor of the classical opera repertory, among which are Nemorino ("The Elixir of Love" by G.Donizetti), Count Almaviva ("The Barber of Seville" by G.Rossini), Duke of Mantua, Radamés, Don Carlos, Cassio ("Rigoletto", "Aida", "Don Carlos", "Otello" by G.Verdi), Cavaradossi, Pinkerton ("Tosca", "Madam Butterfly" by G.Puccini), Turridu ("Rustic Chivalry" by P.Mascagni), Canio ("Pagliacci" by R.Leoncavallo), Lensky, German ("Eugene Onegin", "The Queen of Spades" by P.Tchaikovsky), parts of the operas by national composers Z.Paliashvili, V.Dolidze, O.Taktakishvili and G.Kancheli.
The tour rout of the singer is as wide as his repertoire. Teimuraz Gugushvili has sung in USA, England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Israel and Turkey. He appeared on the opera stages of Moscow (the Bolshoi Theatre), Saint-Petersburg (Mariinsky Theatre), Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Kiev, Baku, Kishinev.

Carmen de Miguel (Spain)

Was born in Spain, where she started her studies becoming а Bachelor in Philology, German Studies at Valladolid Universidad de Filosofia y Letras and Master in Music Studies, specialized in Musicology, Violoncello and Singing at the Conservatorio Professional de Musica. Furthermore she become Bachelor in interpreter, Lexicography and translating as well as French Philology at the Universitat des Saarlandes in Germany, and she complete post-grade Studies at the Music High Schools in Saarbrucken and Luxembourg.
1998 she started her professional career as assistant at the Spanish public relations Department of Daimler Chrysler - Stuttgart. 1999 worked as translator and interpreter at the KBL Bank Luxembourg and one year later continued her long career in the publishing industry, working as editor and translator for Larousse, Collins, Langenscheidt, TNeues and Klett - Pons among others.
At the same time cooperated as language assistance at the Information Multimedia Communication Company Saar. In 2002 she became vocal-diction coach and language teacher for opera singers focusing on German and French repertoire. The same year she started managing activities by the organization of Music events in Spain and later in Latvia with non profit organizations. Furthermore became manager at the DFSO Orchestra taking charge of concert planning in Saarlorlux area and participated in the organization of the Japan tours of the Kammerorchester Saar and Vokalensemble at the Act City Hall Hamamatsu in cooperation with Yamaha company.
2008 founded Cademi Artists Management. Since then works internationally as artists manager as well as artistic consultant for several theaters.

Sergei Leiferkus (Russia)

People’s Artist of Russia, graduate of the Leningrad State Conservatory, a leading singer of the Mariinsky Theatre during many years. He performs regularly 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. Sergei Leiferkus also gives numerous recitals in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, New York, London, Amsterdam, Vienna, Milan and others. He has collaborated with conductors Claudio Abbado, Zubin Metha, Seigi Ozawa, Yuri Temirkanov, Valeri Gergiev, Neeme Jarvi, Mstislav Rostropovich, Curt Masur and many others.
The discography of Sergei 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 Sergei Leiferkus has taken part in the television productions of operas “Carmen” and “Samson and Dalila” at the MET.

Constanze Könemann (Germany)

is the Opera Director and Representative of the General Director of the Hamburg State Opera. Her area of competence primarily covers all casting issues as well as the development of the ensemble and the management of the International Opera Studio.
Born into a musical family, with her father being General Manager of several leading opera houses in Germany, she started her musical studies already during her last years in high school.
At the age of only 19 she was hired as an assistant stage director, at the theatre in Gelsenkirchen, before joining the opera house in Krefeld, Germany, where she also began working as a stage director in her own right. Following her engagement in Krefeld she was engaged at the Frankfurt Opera, where the care for the repertoire of this big opera house was her main responsibility. During this period she also worked as a stage director for the Karlsruhe State Opera and the Opéra du Rhin, Strasbourg, staging "Fidelio", "Tristan and Isolde" a.m. In 1991 Constanze Könemann entered a new field in theatrical work when she was appointed Artistic Administrator of the Dortmund Theater.
At the same time she continued to work as a stage director, returning to the Frankfurt Opera as a guest and making her debut in the United States with her production of “Il barbiere di Siviglia” for the Indiana University at the Musical Arts Center in Bloomington.
In the 1994/95 season Constanze Könemann became Director of Artistic Production at the Leipzig Opera, working closely with the composer and general manager Udo Zimmermann, and, in 1999, she moved to the opera house in Bonn, where she held the position of Artistic Director for nearly ten years. Prior to her work at the Hamburg State Opera, which she started in 2015, she was co-owner and director of the London based artists agency Haydn Rawstron Ltd.

Lyudmila Talikova (Russia)

Born in Uralsk (Kazakhstan). In 1996 she graduated from the Music College (choral conducting class) and in 2001 — from the Astrakhan Conservatoire. At the same time as studying, she conducted the children’s choir at one of Astrakhan cathedrals. In 2007 she enrolled at the Sorbonne’s faculty of music studies. In 2012 she graduated from the Versailles State Institute majoring in Management in Culture and the Arts. During her studies she took part in the organization of a conference on the theme New Media, the Arts and Society (Palais de la Decouverte, Paris). She coordinated a contemporary art project set up under the influence of the work of John Cage. In 2012 she underwent practical training as a producer at the following international festivals: The Festival of Baroque Opera in Beaune (Burgundy) and The Chopin in Paris Festival. In the 2012/13 season she did an internship at the producers’ department and at the program management department of the Opéra National de Paris (Opéra Garnier and Opéra Bastille). In December/January 2014 she took part in the organization of the Paris Opera Competition. She has worked as promoter with young French theatre companies. Since 2008 she has been a member of the International Dmitri Shostakovich Association in Paris. Bolshoi Theatre Opera Manager with the 2014 season.

Ariane Hollaender-Calix (Austria)

Born in Hochstadt, Germany, Ariane Hollaender-Calix passed her childhood in Rome, went to school there and attended afterwards the acting schools in Nuremberg and Frankfurt. For many years she was also active as a renowned theatrical actress and as a professor at the Vienna University for Music and Performing Arts. Parallely to this, Ariane Hollaender-Calix directs the International Artists Agency HOLLAENDER-CALIX (website: since its founding in 1992, which is located in Vienna and specialized on the field of opera.
In the frame of her activity as an international opera agent and artists’ representative, she has collaborated with the leading opera houses and major artists of the worldwide classical scene. She has often been invited as a jury member in renowned vocal competitions like „Competizione dell’Opera“ at Dresden Semperoper in Germany and „Palm Beach Opera International Vocal Competition Anton Guadagno“ in Florida, USA. Every year she is a regular jury member of the competition „Competizione dell’Opera“, which took place 2016 in Moscow (Russia). This year she will be in this competition as a member of the jury in “The Brucknerhaus Linz” (Austria).
In the last years she was also repeatedly in the “Young Opera Singers” in the jury of this competition from Larisa Gergieva.
In March 2009 she was awarded by the Austrian government the Golden Token of Honor for Merits of the Republic of Austria.