Opera for Peace Academy 2024 – PRESS RELEASE

10th April 2024

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Opera for Peace Academy – Rome and Paris (April 15-25, 2024)

Promoting international dialogue and collaboration through Citizen Artistry

Following the success of the first two editions in Rome in 2022 and Paris in 2023, amidst a backdrop of new challenges on the international stage, Opera for Peace Academy aims this year to amplify voices of peace, for the first time in both capitals (Rome from April 15 to 19; Paris from April 21 to 25) with support from the European Investment Bank (EIB), its main sponsor.
For this 2024 edition, 360 applications from 76 countries were received, a record number. The fourteen selected artists, from ages 21 to 37, hail from five continents. Some, like Ukrainian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Chayka-Rubinstein or German soprano of Kosovo origin Johanna Will, are from countries in conflict or experiencing significant international tensions. Others are from territories where opera is less common, such as Livia Louis-Joseph-Dogué, a young French soprano of Martinican origin, or Khayakazi Madlala, a South African soprano. They all share the desire to become ambassadors of their art and for peace, thanks to their talent and drive.
The fourteen emerging artists will come together from April 15-25, 2024, beginning at the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici, then at the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris (CIUP). For eleven days they will attend masterclasses led by some of the greatest names on the international operatic scene: Larry Brownlee, Étienne Dupuis, Thomas Hampson, Brian Jagde, Sumi Jo, Damiano Michieletto, and more, with future broadcasts of select classes available via the support of partners OperaVision and Opera Europa.
An exceptional private concert is also planned with tenor and Opera for Peace Ambassador René Barbera at Villa Medici. Additionally, Clara Ysé is an honorary ambassador of this third edition. The French singer-songwriter, nominated for the Victoires de la Musique, will address the artists in an exclusive meeting in Paris.
In addition to vocal coaching sessions, the participating artists will also benefit from masterclasses to learn about stage movement, the role of an artist in society, and how to manage social networks with the support of the Opera for Peace team including Kamal Khan, Julia Lagahuzère, and Jenna Wolf.
This year the program will also feature two concerts open to the public, the first at the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici on Friday, April 19, and the second at the Italian Cultural Institute in Paris on Monday, April 22, on the occasion of the centenary of Giacomo Puccini’s death.
“The emerging opera professionals participating in Opera for Peace’s Academies come from many different backgrounds, including war-torn countries like Ukraine, Armenia, or Iran. We select them based on their exceptional talent and motivation to build a professional career. We also look at their commitment to supporting emerging artists and their desire to become “citizen artists” and entrepreneurs with societal responsibility. This is our “social pact,” at the very heart of our program. When we look at the work accomplished over the past three years it is clear that we have established a network and a community of unique artists, that inspire future generations of artists by becoming new models for opera on an international level.”
— Julia Lagahuzère, co-founder and General Director of Opera for Peace


Masterclasses and workshops in Rome
Monday, April 15 – Friday, April 19
with Larry Brownlee, Rosetta Cucchi, Brian Jagde, Kamal Khan, and Jenna Wolf French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici
Final Concert in Rome (open to the public via venue ticketing)
Friday, April 19 – 8:00 PM
French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici
Masterclasses and workshops in Paris
Sunday, April 21 – Thursday, April 25
with Étienne Dupuis, Thomas Hampson, Sumi Jo, Damiano Michieletto, Serge Stroobants, Spencer Stuart, Zhenyu Zeng, and the presence of Clara Ysé
Cité internationale universitaire de Paris
Press Café with musical moment (by invitation only)
Monday, April 22 – 11:00 AM
Italian Cultural Institute of Paris 50 Rue de Varenne, 75007
Concert for the centenary of Puccini’s death (open to the public via venue ticketing)
Monday, April 22 – 6:30 PM
Italian Cultural Institute of Paris 50 Rue de Varenne, 75007
Conference “The operatic artist, entrepreneur of their life” (open to the public via venue ticketing)
Tuesday, April 23 – 5:00 PM Sciences Po Paris
Rue Saint-Guillaume, 75007
Closing Concert (by invitation only)
Thursday, April 25, 2023 – 8:00 PM
Musée Guimet
Place d’Iéna
Co-founded in 2019 by Julia Lagahuzère, Opera for Peace General Director and former Deputy Casting Director of Opéra national de Paris, Kamal Khan, OfP co-founder and Artisitc and Musical Director, and Jenna Wolf, OfP co-founder and Artistic and External Relations Consultant, Opera for Peace supports emerging opera talents in their career development with a strong and original mission: to promote international dialogue and social inclusion through opera. Since the beginning of their series of Academies, 60 artists have had the opportunity to participate in the program.
Former Academy artists include Ukrainian bass-baritone Ihor Mostovoi, who joined the Opéra national de Paris Academy after his participation in Opera for Peace Academy 2023, and Axelle Saint-Cirel, French mezzo-soprano of Guadeloupean origin, made her debut as Carmen at the Grand Avignon Opera. Iranian soprano Forooz Razavi was the second soprano in Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with Neeme Järvi and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra in fall 2023.
Opera for Peace also organizes events, workshops, and workshops throughout the year in collaboration with their partners, bringing together hundreds of participants on-site and tens of thousands online.


Jenna Wolf – jwolf@operaforpeace.org


Ekaterina Chayka-Rubinstein, mezzo-soprano (Germany/Ukraine) – Opera Europa Artist
Arturo Espinosa, bass-baritone (Chile)
Naoki Hayashi, pianist (Japan)
Víctor Jiménez Moral, tenor (Spain)
Hannah Jones, mezzo-soprano (United States of America)
Jasurbek Khaydarov, bass-baritone (Uzbekistan)
Maxim Lisiin, baritone (Russia)
Livia Louis-Joseph-Dogué, soprano (Martinique / France)
Khayakazi Madlala, soprano (South Africa)
Xolane Marman, stage director (South Africa)
Celine Mun, soprano (South Korea)
Samuel White, tenor (United States of America)
Johanna Will, soprano (Germany / Kosovo)
Sen Xu, tenor (China)


Florence Boissolle, Francesco Antonio Castaldo, Rosetta Cucchi, Michel El-Ghoul, Kamal Khan, Julia Lagahuzère, Sergio La Stella, Anna Lluna, Lucie Millet, Carmen Santoro, Sabrina Trojse, Madara Vilson, Jenna Wolf


Jean-Philippe Thiellay – President, Trang Fernandez-Leenknecht – Vice-President, Mariano Gilardon – Treasurer, Gary Ashford, Ruxandra Ispas, Julia Lagahuzère


European Investment Bank, BNP Paribas, City of Paris, Ernst & Young, Villa Medici, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, LUISS, AIMART, OperaVision, Opera Europa, Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, Sciences Po, Musée Guimet, Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Parigi, Spencer Stuart, Institute for Economics & Peace, Voix des Outre-Mer, Rudolf Bruci Foundation, Generation Opera, Denyce Graves Foundation, Rossini Opera Festival