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Paphos, Cyprus

English/Italian: +357 99 18 73 65 or Russian: +357 96 04 12 65

Faculty
Nicoletta Conti

Nicoletta Conti

Conductor, Collaborative piano, Founder BIOA

Born in Bologna, Nicoletta Conti studied pianoforte, composition and conducting at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan and the Conservatorio di Musica G.B. Martini in Bologna. She also graduated from the University of Bologna in Musical Aesthetics at DAMS (disciplines of art, music and drama), Faculty of Literature and Philosophy at the University of Bologna, Musicology (with the equivalent of a Master’s Degree). She went on to continue her studies in conducting with Franco Ferrara (Siena), Leopold Hager (Salzburg), Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa and Kurt Masur(Tanglewood).

Winner of numerous prizes, including, inter alia, the First Prize Musica da Camera “Città di Stresa”, the Third Prize at Nicolai Malko for Orchestra Conductors (Copenhagen), she began her career as a conductor in Italy and abroad, dedicating herself both to the operatic and symphonic repertoire.

Following the conductor’s course held by Leonard Bernstein at l’Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, she was chosen by Maestro Bernstein to be his assistant conductor and to make her debut with the “ Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia”.

At the Capitol she received the prestigious Minerva Prize for the arts, the first Italian musician to be awarded it. In 2006 she received the honour of “Cavaliere della Repubblica Italiana” by the President of the Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. She has since collaborated with important festivals and theatres, including Covent Garden, Teatro Comunale in Florence, Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Rossini Opera Festival, and the Festival of the Itria Valley. She combines her operatic work with a concert career, and has appeared alongside Luciano Pavarotti, Renato Bruson, Leo Nucci, and Daniela Dessì. Orchestras she has conducted include: Orchestra Arturo Toscanini, Orchestra of the Arena di Verona, the Tanglewood Music Festival Orchestra, Orchestra Regionale Toscana, the Kiushu Symphony Orchestra, the Hungarian Symphonic Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Città di Ferrara, Orchestra da Camera di Bologna, Orchestra “I Filarmonici di Bologna”, Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino, Rishon Le Tzion Orchestra, Orchestra “I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano”, Stuttgarter Filarmoniker. Most recentley she has conducted Don Giovanni by Gazzaniga at the Teatro Regio di Torino, two contemporary operas in their premièeres oerformances at the Festival Mozart di Rovereto and at Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Nabucco and Madama Butterfly in the Beppe De Tomasi production at Teatro di Ascoli Piceno and Teatro di Fano.

In August 2000 she assisted Maestro Antonio Pappano in London for the recording of the CD and film of Tosca with the Orchestra of Covent Garden. Maestro Conti received great acclaim when she conducted Madama Butterfly at the International Festival at Montepulciano. In August 2001 Maestro Conti assisted Maestro Pappano with the London Symphony Orchestra for the recording of Il Trovatore and most recently conducted a concert in Lisbon with Angela Gheorghiu.

Most recently she has conducted the Orchestra of Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, the Israel Symphony Orchestra of Rishon LeZion, the Haydn Orchestra in Bolzano, the Verdi Orchestra in Milan, a production of “La Tragédie de Carmen” with the direction of Franco Ripa di Meana. In 2009 Nicoletta Conti conducted the annual concert for the European Parliament. Nicoletta conducts regularly in Japan. In March 2010 Nicoletta was selected as one of the three candidates for the position of Director of Orchestral activities at Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. This season, she will conduct Lucia di Lammermoor for Opera Sai Company in Tokyo and she will give a talk about Lucia di Lammermoor at the Italian Institute of Culture in Tokyo.

Peter Danailov

Peter Danailov

Baritone

“A typical belcanto singer possessing a deep and unusual baritone timbre, full of nuances, which changes the expressiveness through its vocal interpretation from furious to lyric sounding”. This is how the German critics extol Peter Danailov.

Peter Danailov’s first appearances on the professional stage are related to the Varna Opera Theater. In March 1998, he specialized in the master class of Ghena Dimitrova organized in Sofia. In November, he performed with Ghena Dimitrova at her bestowing and wins the prestigious award “Lira d’argento” from the Opera Union “Amici del belcanto” in Vienna, Austria. He has also been her frequent partner in many performances and concerts through the years. Continuing that year, he performed several opera parts at Sofia National Opera and Ballet such as: Rodrigo in “Don Carlos” by Verdi, De Serie in “Fedora” by Giordano, Figaro in “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini, Valentine in “Faust” by Charles Gounod, Escamillo in “Carmen”, etc. In the summer of 1999 the singer performed the part of Prince IgPeter Danailovor in the homonymous opera by Borodin in the co-production of the Sofia National Opera and Bolshoy Theater – Moscow, within the traditional Opera at the Square show.

Peter Danailov has been a soloist of the Opera Theatre in Bonn, Germany where he was lead baritone and turned into a favorite of the audience. At this stage, he made a debut with a triumphant success in the roles of Macbeth from the opera of the same name by Verdi, Shishkov from “The Deadly Home” by Leos Janacek, Don Carlos di Vargas from “La Forza del Destino” by Verdi and Eugene Onegin from the opera with the same name by Tchaikovsky.

He has been invited for two consecutive seasons (2005-2006, 2006-2007) at the Staatsoper Hamburg, Germany for the roles of Giorgio Germont in “La Traviata” by Verdi and Sharpless in “Madame Butterfly” by Puccini. During the season 2006-2007 he also performed Nabucco in the opera with the same name by Verdi on SAP Arena – Mannheim, as well as Rigoletto in Braunschweig, Germany. It is for seven consecutive seasons that the Bulgarian baritone has been a guest soloist of the Opera Theatre in Klagenfurt, Austria for the performances of Don Carlos (Rodrigo), La Boheme (Marcello), L’italiana in Algeri (Taddeo), Lucia di Lammermour (Lord Ashton), La Traviata (Giorgio Germont).

His performances had a big success at the Toscana Opera Festival in Italy, where during the years he participated in “La traviata” /2001/, “Pagliacci”/2006/, “Cavalleria rusticana”/2006/, “Il barbiere di Siviglia”/2008/ and “Carmen” /2008/. Peter Danailov is a frequent guest of the “Auditorium” in Palma de Mallorca where in 2002 he sang “La traviata”, in 2007 – “Carmen”, “Il barbiere di Siviglia”, in 2008 – “Carmen”, “La traviata” and “Tosca”.

Except his regular monthly performances as a soloist at the Sofia National Opera House, some of his most important performances are: two concerts at SAP Arena Mannheim, Germany, a performance as baron Scarpia in “Tosca” by Puccini as well as two concerts at the National Opera House Kishinev – Moldova in September 2009 and in “Rigoletto” at the Astra Opera Theater in Malta in October the same year. Peter Danailov has been a guest performer many times in England, Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy, Holland, Switzerland and Greece. From his cantata-oratorio works, his repertoire features the baritone parts from “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff, “Deutsche Requiem” by Brahms and “Matheus Passion” by Bach. He is the winner of the First Prize, Gold Medal and the Award of the Audience at the International Competition for Young Opera Singers “Boris Christov” in Sofia, in 2000. He has recorded for the Bulgarian National Radio and the National Television.

Mr. Danailov has been a judge of numerous international vocal competitions such as “Neue Stimmen” and “Romansiada”. Currently he is the vocal pedagogue of the State Opera – Plovdiv.

Guenko Guechev

Guenko Guechev

Bass-Baritone, Founder BIOA

Guenko Guechev is an internationally renowned Bass-Baritone. He has taken his natural aptitude for music and his gift of language-fluency and applied them with fervor to the specialty of 19th and early 20th century operatic interpretive vocal styles. He has appeared internationally in more than 1000 opera performances.

Professor Guechev was born in Bulgaria. He received his bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Performance from the Sofia State Conservatory of Music. After graduation, he continued his vocal study at the “Tchaikovsky Conservatory” in Moscow, Russia.  He was chosen from hundreds of young singers to study with the legendary operatic bass Boris Christoff in Rome, Italy.

Professor Guechev instantaneously became known and sought after. He performed leading roles in productions of Carmen, Nabucco, Boris Godunov, Don Giovanni, Barbiere di Seviglia, Aleko, Macbeth, and I Puritani with every major Bulgarian opera company. Since then Mr. Guechev’s career has grown internationally. He has sung leading bass roles in productions of Il Trovatore, La Boheme, Tosca, La Traviata, and Un Ballo in Maschera, Macbeth, Boris Godunov in the countries of Austria (at the Salzburg Festspielhaus), Germany (Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin), Switzerland, Greece, Belgium & the Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, France, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland.

In 1999 Guenko Guechev’s made his US opera debut in Verdi’s Rigoletto with the Pittsburgh Opera. He has also appeared in Lortzing’s Tzar und Zimmerman, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and Britten’s Albert Herring with Opera Delaware, Opera Syracuse and Natchez Opera Festival.

Recently Mr. Guechev has performed solo recital in memory of the great basso Boris Christoff in Washington DC and the role of Rabbi Azriel in the multi-media opera Dybbuk by the Israeli-American composer Ofer Ben-Amots at the Pittsburgh Jewish Festival. He has released on CD with the Gega New Classical label the “Songs and Dances of Death” by Mousorgsky and “Michelangelo Suite op. 145” by Schostakovich and the CD “Nostalgia” with songs by Peter Tschaikovsky and Gorgiy Sviridov. He was featured on the CD “Russian Jewish Classic” with songs by the composer Leo Zeitlin, released by Toccata Classics label in 2015.

Professor Guechev is a tenured associate professor of voice and former chair of voice and director of opera at the Mary Pappert School of Music in Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In his voice studio professor Guechev works with the students on fundamental vocal technique and wide area of vocal and operatic repertoire. His true passion and expertise is in developing and guidance of substantial operatic voices capable of singing Verdi, Puccini and Wagner.

His students Ekaterina Shcherbachenko, Andrey Nemzer and Alianna Whiteaker-Chudecke won prices in many prestigious international competitions like Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, Placido Domingo’s Operalia, Gerda Lissner Foundation competition, Cardiff’s singer of the world-international voice competition and the Fiorenza Cossotto International Voice competition.

As the director of the Duquesne University Opera 2003-2017, prof. Guechev produced and directed a wide range of fully staged operas in collaboration with Duquesne University Symphony Orchestra including Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten, The Medium/The Telephone by Giancarlo Menotti, Cavaleria Rusticana and Zanetto by Pietro Mascani, Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, La Finta Giardiniera, The Magic Flute, by W.A. Mozart, Mavra by Stravinsky, The Dialogue of the Carmelites by Francis Poulenc, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini, La Serva Padrona by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Il Matrimonio Segreto by Domenico Cimarosa.

Since 2007 professor Guechev has given numerous masterclasses in China at the Central Conservatory of Music and China Conservatory in Beijing, Xian Conservatory of Music, Minzu University of China, East China Normal University, Jinan University and Qingdao University Conservatory of Music.

Prof. Guechev is the founder and Chairman of the board of the Euro Atlantic Art Foundation, CEO of the Phoenix Art Network ltd. 2014-2019, Director of Education of Inter Atlantic Music Foundation 2002-2013, Founder and faculty of Duquesne Lirica Roma 2009-2015, Puldin Operatic Summer Academy 2002-2004, Founder and Director of Puldin International Opera Competition 2002-2006, Fiorenza Cossotto International Voice Competition 2016/2017, Bologna International Opera Academy for young artists in Bologna, Italy 2016-present.

Xiu-ru Liu

Xiu-ru Liu

Mezzo-soprano

Mezzo-soprano Xiu-ru Liu was born in China. She graduated with distinction from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Beverly Sills called Xiu-ru a “true mezzo” after listening to her sing a solo during a master’s class in China. Ms. Sills urged Xiu-ru to enhance her studies and talents in the United States. Xiu-ru received a full scholarship from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where she successfully earned her Masters degree and Performance Certificate.

“Her magnificent voice, along with her dramatic ability makes her one of the most sought after mezzos”, as quoted by one advocate. Xiu-ru has appeared as Ramiro in La finta Giardiniera, Endimione in La Calisto, Arnata in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Azucena in Il Trovatore, Ulrika in Un Ballo in Maschera, Suzuki in Madame Butterfly, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Erda in Das Rheingold, Philipievna in Eugene Onegin, and Amneris in Aida with European and American opera companies. She has consistently exceeded expectations and astounded audiences in numerous prestigious cities, such as Salzburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, London, Paris, Zurich, Luxemburg, Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai, Chicago, Denver, Boston, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

A devoted soloist accompanied by orchestra and oratorio societies throughout the United States and abroad, Xiu-ru performed the Verdi’s Requiem, Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody, Mozart’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Durufle’s Requiem, and Bach’s B Minor Mass, St. Matthew Passion. Xiu-ru’s sincere sophistication and elegant artistry has tremendously influenced and delighted audiences and music critics alike. “Ms. Liu reveals a world of emotions with just a glance…mesmerizing as Suzuki”, Opera Review, May 2000. “A fiery, vengeful Azucena, a level of vocal color and musical discrimination rarely heard”, Ira Schwarz. “Ms. Liu added a sympathetic presence to Filippyevna’s every appearance” Opera News, Feb 1999. “Magnificent voice…her dramatic ability created a wonderful feeling of pathos”, Otaria, vol II #4.

A devoted soloist accompanied by orchestra and oratorio societies throughout the United States and abroad, Xiu-ru performed the Verdi’s Requiem, Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody, Mozart’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Durufle’s Requiem, and Bach’s B Minor Mass, St. Matthew Passion. Xiu-ru’s sincere sophistication and elegant artistry has tremendously influenced and delighted audiences and music critics alike. “Ms. Liu reveals a world of emotions with just a glance…mesmerizing as Suzuki”, Opera Review, May 2000. “A fiery, vengeful Azucena, a level of vocal color and musical discrimination rarely heard”, Ira Schwarz. “Ms. Liu added a sympathetic presence to Filippyevna’s every appearance” Opera News, Feb 1999. “Magnificent voice…her dramatic ability created a wonderful feeling of pathos”, Otaria, vol II #4.

Mrs. Liu is a devoted educator and internationally renowned voice teacher. She has given master-classes and private voice lessons not only in the United States, but in Europe and Asia as well. Mrs. Liu serves as a judge at the Puldin International Voice Competition held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She also has appeared on National TV’s live broadcast from Crystal Cathedral, Los Angeles singing sacred songs. In 2007 she joined the Duquesne University voice faculty. Many of her students successfully furthered their vocal studies in masters and doctoral programs in prestigious music institution like Manhattan School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, just to name a few.

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