Anastasia Silanteva was born on 30 December 1994 in Armyansk. From 2006 to 2012, she studied at the Lysenko specialized music school in Kiev. During her studies, she attended the CEI Youth Orchestra Summer concert tour in July-August 2010, which included intensive rehearsals in Assisi and concert performances in Assisi, Gubbio, Caorso and Busseto. From 2012 to 2014, she studied at the piano department of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Kiev. Since 2014, she has been studying at the Gnessin Academy of Music at the piano department in Moscow. In 2015, she worked at the Institute of Theater Arts as an accompanist.
Anastasia was awarded first prize at the International Forum of Classical Music (as accompanist, Moscow, 2015), the International Forum Musical Performance and Pedagogy (Art of accompaniment, Lonigo, Italy, 2016). She obtained second prizes at the International Forum of Classical Music (Moscow, 2015) and the IX International competition of performers and composers ‘Romanticism: Its origins and beyond’ (Moscow, 2017). Further, she was given third prize at the IV International competition of academic and pop singing named after M.I. Landa (as accompanist, Moscow), and participated in the final of the First International Competition of lieder singing named after Nina Dorliac (as accompanist, Moscow, 2017).
José Alberto Sancho
José Alberto Sancho
José Alberto Sancho graduated at the Conservatory of music “Bonifacio Gil” in Badajoz under the guidance of Ángel Sanzo with the highest grades and honors (“Premio extraordinario fin de carrera”). There, he also received chamber music lessons with Alexander Kandelaki. Further, he attended piano courses with lots of different pianists and teachers such as Colom, Garcia-Barredo, Kereselidze, Gulyàs, Chiantore. He also received advice from masters such as Kuyken, Dalberto, Rogé…
He has performed in different concert halls: Salón Noble de la diputación de Badajoz, Biblioteca de la alcazaba in Badajoz, Audiorio casa de las artes in Cádiz, Centro cultural Sa Nostra in Mallorca, Teatro Joaquín Turina in Seville, Grand Salle of Royal Conservatory of Brussels, etc.
He has obtained different prizes in different competitions, such as the Santa Cecilia Odero chamber music competition in Cadiz (first prize), Julio García Casas competition in Seville (second prize) or music interpretation competition in Cadiz (playing Mozart, concerto 23).
In 2019, he finished his master degree under the guidance of pianist Madžar at the Royal Flemish conservatoire in Brussels with the mention of ‘cum laude’. Later on, he obtained the diploma of didactic master (AESS) at the French conservatory of Brussels.
Furthermore, he has had the chance to get some experience as accompanist. He took lied lessons with teacher Spinnette and instrumental accompaniment with Op de Beck. He was also accompanist during FEBAC summer classes in Cádiz (Spain) and he played as accompanist in Daniel Gauthier’s saxophone masterclasses in Brussels in 2018.
From now on, he is part of the International Opera Academy in Ghent.
Versatile Estonian mezzo-soprano Kadi Jürgens is laureate of the PLMF Music Trust award by Marje and Kuldar Sink “Young Singer 2018”.
Her music studies started at Tallinn Music High School with violin and flute. Since 2014 she has continued with classical singing at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (EAMT, Prof. Kurem) and followed in addition contemporary improvisation (Prof. Poll).
Kadi spent the academic year 2018/19 as an exchange student in Belgium at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp (RCA, Prof. Jankowski, Van Deyck).
Kadi has taken part in several masterclasses held by renowned opera singers and coaches from Estonia, Italy, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, USA, Israel, Russia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland, Sweden, Norway (Pille Lill, Wilma Vernocchi, Margareta Haverinen Brandt, Charlotte Margiono, Dietrich Henschel, Maciej Pikulski, Kristian Attila etc). She was given scholarships from Italy and Estonia to participate in Wilma Vernocchi’s masterclasses in Italy.
During her studies at the EAMT Kadi has sang opera roles such as La Maestra Delle Novizie – G. Puccini Suor Angelica (2016), Mrs Grose – B. Britten The Turn of the Screw (2016), Dido – H. Purcell Dido and Aeneas (2016) and Orlando – G. F. Händel Orlando (2018). In 2017 she made her debut at the Theatre Vanemuine in Estonia as Andromache in Märt-Matis Lill Into the Fire and in 2019 at the RCA as Nancy in B. Britten Albert Herring.
Kadi has also performed as a soloist with Oulu Symphony Orchestra (2018) and worked with many eminent conductors and directors such as Neeme Järvi, Giorgio Proietti, Michiel Delanghe, Markus Lehtinen, Paul Mägi, Taavi Kull, Ingrid Roose, Stephan Jöris, Hermann Keckeis, Benoît De Leersnyder, Stefaan Degand, Laura Kalle, Taago Tubin.
Praised by Opera magazine as “…an extremely resonant countertenor…”, Keith Pun is one of the most active countertenors of his generation. He performed the role Chai Ping in The Original Chinese Conjuror by Raymond Yiu for Leeds Opera Festival in 2018. He also performed as a soloist for the Pulitzer prize-winning opera Angel’s Bone by Duyun in Hong Kong New Vision Arts Festival 2018 and Beijing Music Festival 2019. In 2019, he participated in the world premiere production of Beauty and Sadness by Elena Langer conducted by Gergely Madaras. He sang the roles of Fish/King in the one-man chamber opera Untold: Yexian Story by Alex Ho which won the George Butterworth Prize.
His other operatic appearances include Fairy in A Fairy Queen with the London Early Opera Company, Liù in Reimagined Turandot at Grimborn Festival, Spirit in Dido and Aeneas with Die Konzertisten and Pastore in Tosca.
Frequently in demand on the recital and concert platforms, Keith Pun has appeared at the National Gallery and St John Smith Square in the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Hong Kong and Japan. His oratorio repertoire includes J S Bach’s St John Passion, St Mark Passion and cantatas, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Jephtha, Messiah, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Zelenka’s Litaniae de Venerabili Sacramento. He has performed as a soloist under the baton of John Butt, Jonathan Cohen and Matthew Halls.
In 2022 Keith Pun will perform Eurindo in The Strength of Paternal Love by Stradella with Barber Opera in Birmingham.
Keith Pun was a runner-up in David Clover Festival Singing Competition 2018 (recital class). He has worked in masterclasses with Gemma Bertagnolli, Michael Chance, Charlotte Margiono and Deborah York. He was a Nieuwe Stemmen Artist at Operadagen Rotterdam and New Generation Artist at Iford Arts Festival. Born in Hong Kong, he studied singing at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and at the Royal College of Music. Subsequently he joined Opera Works at the English National Opera. Currently he is one of the fourteen selected training vocalists of International Opera Academy Ghent.
Born in Madrid in 1993, Laura started learning the violin at the age of 3 and at the age of 8 she continued her musical studies playing viola at the Centro Integrado de Música “Padre Antonio Soler” in San Lorenzo del Escorial, Madrid. She has also a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She studied for a bachelor’s degree in singing at the Escuela Superior de Canto de Madrid and received lessons from Ana Maria Sánchez, Stephanie D’oustrac, Santiago Calderón, Pilar Pérez-Iñigo, Teresa Manzano and Federico Gallar. In 2018, she studied with an Erasmus scholarship at Ghent Conservatorium with Christianne Stotijn and Gétacine Pegorim as main teachers.
As a soloist, she has performed sacred repertoire such as Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans and Gloria, Faure’s Requiem, Pergolesi´s Stabat Mater and Mozart´s Requiem. Her operatic roles include Ernesto in Hadyn´s Il mondo della luna, First Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Ramiro in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera and Nicklausse from Offenbach’s The tales of Hoffmann.
Laura has a choir education and is a former member of Spanish vocal groups specializing in early music such as Egeria, Zenobia Scholars and Ars Combinatoria and also of the most renowned youth choirs of Madrid such as JORCAM, ORCAM, Coro de Jóvenes de Madrid, as well as WYC (World Youth Choir). Laura worked with renowed Spanish choirs such as Teatro Real, Orfeón Donostiarra and companies such as Fura dels Baus.
She has been awarded in 2018 and 2019 with a scholarship from Juventudes Musicales de Madrid and in 2019 participates in the “Sacred music festival during Holy Week” of the Madrid townhall and performs in the “Program for young interpreters” of Amigos de la ópera.
Mikhail Silantev was born on 15 January 1993 in Kurgan, where he studied at Gymnasium № 27 from 1999 till 2010. From 2010 till 2014, he studied at the vocal department of Kurgan State Music University. He then continued his studies at the vocal department of Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory until 2019.
Mikhail obtained first prizes at the International Competition of Russian Romance “White Acacia” (Yoshkar-Ola, 2009), the Regional Open Vocal Competition “Solo” (Tyumen, 2010), the Regional contest of young vocalists (Kurgan, 2012), the third International Vocal Competition. B.T. Shtokolova (St. Petersburg, 2012), the International Forum of Classical Music (Moscow, 2015), the International Forum Musical Performance and Pedagogy (Lonigo, 2016). He won the 47th All-Russian Competition of Vocalists Graduates of Musical High Schools (St. Petersburg 2019).
Further, Mikhail was awarded second prizes at the 10th International vocal competition of academic genre (Yekaterinburg, 2011) and the XIX International Competition of Vocalists ‘Bella Voce’ (Moscow, 2013). He obtained diplomas at the II Open Interregional Vocal Competition named after L.V. Myasnikova (Novosibirsk, 2011) and the V International Music Competition. S.V. Rachmaninov (St. Petersburg, 2012).
Sandrine discovered classical singing at the age of 9, when she entered the children’s choir of La Monnaie. There, she learned to work under the direction of internationally renowned conductors (Pappano, Haenchen…) and stage directors (Loy, McVicar, Joosten…) and took part in several international tours with the choir.
She studied singing technique with Eunice Arias and obtained her qualification diploma in piano with Monique Dekeyser. She later went to study solo singing at the Conservatorium of Maastricht, in the class of Frans Kokkelmans, where she graduated with a Master degree in Voice and Opera in 2016. During her studies, she sung in different opera productions, as L’Enfant in L’Enfant et les Sortileges, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Mistery in The Fairy Queen, and Arminda in La Finta Giardiniera. She later studied at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, Serbia, to continue her training in the operatic repertoire, under the tuition of Katarina Jovanović. She has, since then, had the opportunity to take part in masterclasses by o.a. Nelly Miricioiu, Claron McFadden, Peter Sellars, Marie-Paule Hallard, Janice Dixon and Vladimir Redkin.
Sandrine made her professional debut in 2018 as Amahl, in Menotti’s Amahl and the night Visitors. The same year, she also sung the roles of Poppea from Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea in Thessaloniki and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, a production by the opera group The Fat Lady.
Next to her operatic career, she has regularly been giving concerts with the foundation Muziek Jong voor Oud, both as a singer and a pianist and has participated in the creation of two contemporary art songs during the festival Stemmig Maastricht.
She recently distinguished herself by winning the First Prize at the “Nouveaux Talents de l’Art Lyrique” competition (2018) and the Second Prize at the 1st BOT Operette competition (2019). She regularly appears as soloist in sacred repertoire too: Haydn – Die Schopfung, Orff – Carmina Burana, Brahms – Ein Deutsches Requiem, Vivaldi – Magnificat, Pergolesi – Stabat Mater… She is, since 2019, a member of the International Opera Academy in Ghent, where she follows a post-graduate programme, together with other talented young singers and pianists.
Japanese soprano Sawako Kayaki was born in 1999. She began playing the violin at the age of 3, and started singing at 16 years old. As her early singing experience, she sang Ein deutsches Requiem (Brahms), Fidelio (Beethoven), Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven), Magnificat (Rutter) etc. in Kyoto Symphony Chorus. She studied at Tokyo University of the Arts in Japan.
Her operatic repertoire includes Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (Mozart), Alcina in Alcina (Händel), Morgana in Alcina (Händel), Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart), Ännchen in Der Freischütz (Weber) etc. In addition, she proactively interprets German songs (Lieder).
In 2017 she took part in a masterclass of International Lied-class in Germany and she sang in a salon concert and a concert for the completion of the masterclass. So far she studied under Yoshinari Tanaka and Emiko Suga and at this moment she is studying with Dietrich Henschel.
She is enrolled at the International Opera Academy and starts the second year of 2019-2021 cycle in October 2020.
Sofia Marafona is a Portuguese soprano who recently graduated with distinction from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. She was generously supported by the Marianne Falk Award and was awarded with a Concert Recital Diploma for a high distinction in her Final Recital. Throughout her master’s, Sofia studied with Susan Waters and had a chance to work with prestigious singers and professors as Edith Wiens, Ian Burnside and Graham Johnson.
Before going to London, Sofia was a member of the Porto Conservatoire’s Opera Studio and had a chance to perform Dido from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and the title role in Handel’s opera Alcina. In London, Sofia interpreted various characters at the Guildhall School’s Opera scenes and was also a Golden Tressed maiden in the world premiere of The Hogboon, the last opera from Sir Maxwell Davies in the Barbican Center under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle. Only this year, Sofia played Soeur Anne de la Croix in Poulenc’s opera Dialogue des Carmélites in an Opera Course production at the Guildhall School.
As a recitalist, Sofia always enjoys exploring unusual or unknown repertoire, combining in thematic recitals often associated with visual arts. Barber’s Hermit Songs, Menotti’s Canti della Lontananza or Debussy Baudelaire Songs are just a few of the cycles that Sofia performed last year in Lisbon and in London. Her last project involved a collaboration with the Portuguese National Museum of Music in Lisbon, exploring French repertoire dedicated to the Portuguese composer Ruy Coelho.
Since started studying singing, Sofia won several prizes and competitions, the most recent ones being 3rd prize at the Rotary Club Singing competition and 2nd prize at the Young Musician’s Prize, two of Portugal’s most prestigious competitions.
The young Korean baritone Sunghwan graduated from Kyunghee University after completing a Master’s degree in Performance in Advanced Performance under Hyung Kyu Kang. He gained his Bachelor’s at the same university, and was awarded 1st Class honours.
He attracted attention by winning many competitions and awards include Grand Award in Daegu Singing Competition, 2nd Prize in KCSA International Competition, Bronze Medal in Korean National Opera Competition etc. Recently, he was one of the semi-finalists in the 8th Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition in 2019.
These achievements led him to various concerts, operas and recitals including a Gala Concert with Gyeonggi Philharmonic and Marcello in Puccini’s La Bohème. Sunghwan performed with numerous National Symphony Orchestras, and had a solo recital at Kukje Art Hall.
Last year, Sunghwan was a Young Artist at the Georg Solti Academia, and in great demand. Sunghwan has worked and collaborated with many artists, such as Sir Richard Bonygne, Barbara Frittoli, Roberto Frontali, Jonathan Papp, Anthony Legge and Rodrigo de Vera.
Next year, he will be making a debut as Figaro in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Swiss Ticino Music Festival and Schaunard in Puccini’s La Bohème at the Korea National Opera.
Welsh tenor William completed his masters degree with distinction from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London where he studied with Atkinson and Tilbrook.
Recent performances include Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (Gounod) with Arcadian Opera, 1st Priest & Armed Man in The Magic Flute (Mozart) with Waterperry Opera, Borachio in Much Ado About Nothing (Stanford) with the Northern Opera Group, Rodolfo in La bohème (Puccini) with Paisley Opera, Tebaldo in I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Bellini) with Opera Holloway, Acis in Acis and Galatea (Handel) with Hurn Court Opera, Male Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia (Britten) with Trinity Laban Opera, premiering the role of Gehazi in McNeff’s The Burning Boy with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Lucano/Liberto in L’incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi) with Hampstead Garden Opera.
William’s oratorio performances include Tenor soloist in Puccini’s Messa Di Gloria with Slough Philharmonic, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Britten’s St Nicholas with the Ludlow Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with Chipping Campden Festival Chorus and Handel’s Messiah with The Waynflete Singers at Winchester Cathedral. In 2019 he made his BBC radio 3 debut as a soloist in a lunchtime concert celebrating International Women’s Day.
He is very grateful to have received the Drapers’ De Turckheim Scholarship and to have received support and funding from Help Musicians UK and Opera Prelude.
For the 2020-21 season he is thrilled to be joining the International Opera Academy in Ghent, Belgium.
Chinese baritone Yanqiao Shi began to learn piano when he was five. He began his bachelor studies at the Shenzhen University (China) in 2008. During his bachelor´s degree studies, he appeared with the choir in a few concerts from the Shenzhen Poly Theater, the Shenzhen Concert Hall and the Shenzhen Grand Theatre.
In 2013, he continued to study under the teaching by Aziz Kortel and Berthold Possemeyer in Germany. From 2014 to 2018 he studied master’s degrees in opera and classical music under the teaching by Mathias Behrends, Franco Trinca and Christian Hilz at the Bern University of the Arts. He´s successfully completed them in 2018. During his master´s degree studies, he attended masterclasses with Rudolf Piernay, Felicity Lott, Capucine Chiaudani, Vesselina Kasarova, Francisco Araiza, Claudia Eder, and Martin Bruns.
From 2015 to 2019, he appeared in several opera productions and concerts of the Swiss Opera Studio, the Theater Orchester Biel Solothurn and the Theater Magdeburg in Switzerland and Germany. In April 2018, he interpreted Gustav Mahler’s symphonic orchestral songs Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the HKB Chamber Orchestra. In spring 2019, a studio recording of this collection was released on CD by Claves Records.