Vladimir Chernov, Co-founder
Internationally renowned Russian baritone VLADIMIR CHERNOV, has sung over 40 leading roles and has appeared at nearly every major international theater including the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, La Scala, Teatro Colon, Paris Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and Vienna Staatsoper. He has worked with many of today's great opera conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, and Seiji Ozawa.
His U.S. debut was at Los Angeles Opera in the 1989-90 season as Posa in Verdi's Don Carlo, opposite Plácido Domingo. Mr. Chernov's most requested roles include Germont in La Traviata, Simon Boccanegra, Eugene Onegin, Miller in Luisa Miller, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Prince Yeletsky in The Queen of Spades. Mr. Chernov is now a Professor of vocal studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Olga Toporkova, Co-founder
OLGA TOPORKOVA is a world-class expert on Bel Canto vocal technique. She has devoted her life to studying the mechanism of the human voice. She is a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, where she studied opera performance and dramatic acting. Mrs. Toporkova teaches in Paris, New York, Los Angeles, and Payerbach. Her students have won or have been finalists in major international competitions including Cardiff Singer of the World, Operalia, the Loren L. Zachary Competition, Deborah Voigt Vero Beach International Competition, Giulio Gari Foundation, and many more.
PAOLO BAIOCCO is an architect, set and costume designer, stage director, and writer of more than 30 plays. He studied acting and theatrical production with director and theorist Jerzy Grotowski in Pontedera, and in Denmark at the Odin Teatret under Eugenio Barba. In 1980 he founded his own theater company, producing over 30 classic and contemporary plays. Two of his own works were published in the theatrical magazine, SIPARIO.
He has directed operas internationally in Japan (Tokyo and Osaka), France (Tours and Rouen), Greece (Festival of Tessaloniki), Spain (Barcelona) Hungary (Budapest), Korea (Seoul and Daegu), the Mongolia National Opera, the National Theater of Belgrade and the National Theater of Cyprus. In Italy he directed operas for the Lyric Theater of Spoleto, the Maggio Musicale in Florence, the Theater of Sassari, the Verdi Theater in Messina (Sicily), the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome as well as at festivals in Tolentino and Narnia and for the Brunello Cucinelli Foundation. For La Scala he directed 25 opera-videos about Maria Callas and planned the exhibition marking the 25th anniversary of her death. He also created tributes to Callas for theaters in Genova and Ischia.
ANNE ENGLEBERT, physical therapist by training, specializes in work on movement and dynamic posturology, which harmonize and balance the body. Ms. Englebert has worked for many years, especially with singers and artists, and has created the workshops "The Scales of the Body" and "Gesture and Sound." Through her work, she explores music, dance, and voice in the various courses and techniques of communication. Mrs. Englebert has also worked for eight years as a Stage Director and Screenwriter in Opera Liege (Belgium) and with Liege Philharmonic Orchestras and Monaco. She is involved in contemporary creation (music, visual arts and dance) with the Art Season of "Ars Musica." She holds courses at the Music colleges of Brussels, Liege, Mons, and Wallonia, and holds Workshops for musicians every year at the Music Festival in Fort-Mahon (France) and Dinant (Belgium).
Victoria Choi, Pianist
VICTORIA CHOI is a native of southern California, and is a graduate from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. In Autumn 2016, Victoria moved to Vienna to pursue further studies with Dr. Hague for a Graduate Degree in Piano Accompaniment at the Music and Arts Conservatory of Vienna. In Winter 2017, Victoria joined the Lyric Opera Studio Weimar in Weimar, Germany in their production of G. Rossini's La Cenerentola and had the opportunity to play the cembalo with the Thüringer Symphoniker in the performances.
During Summer 2017, Victoria traveled to Fiera di Primiero, Italy, as a piano répétiteur in conjunction the Music Academy International opera program and accompanied the rehearsals for W.A. Mozart's Don Giovanni with Maestro David J. Jackson and performed Die Zauberflöte with Maestro Neal Goren.
NINA UHARI is a Finnish pianist and vocal coach. She received her Masters of Music at the Sibelius Academy after her professional studies in solo piano and chamber music with Matti Raekallio, Eero Heinonen, Ralf Gothoni, Ilmo Ranta and Gustav Djupsjöbacka. She later continued her studies in Baltimore (USA) with Julian Martin and finished in Paris with Bernard Ringeisse. Ms. Uhari worked as a vocal coach in CNIPAL (Centre National d'Insertion pour des Artistes Lyriques) in Marseille, where she became chief correpetitor in 2008. Ms. Uhari has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist for singers in Finland, France (Midem, Operas of Bordeaux, Marseille, Nancy, Avignon, Toulon, Théâtre du Châtelet, Chorégies d'Orange, Festival de Radio France in Montpellier), Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria, Spain, Colombia, Togo and USA. She has collaborated in many masterclasses with baritone Tom Krause, Yvonne Minton, Mady Mesplé, Regina Werner, Janine Reiss and Felicity Lott. Ms. Uhari has extensive experience working as coach at festivals and houses such as Aix en Provence, Opera Marseille, Avignon, Toulon and Opera Massy. She has received many prizes in international competitions and currently works at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot and the Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève.