Olga Makarina

Soprano/Voice Teacher/Founder

Born in Archangel, Russia, soprano Olga Makarina made her first New York appear- ances at the New York City Opera as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. After the success of those performances Ms. Makarina also went on to perform there as Olympia in The Tales of Hoffmann and Gilda in Rigoletto. During the course of her career, Ms. Maka- rina has sung leading operatic roles such as Mimi in La Boheme, Adina in Elixir of Love, Amina in La Sonnambula, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Micaela in Carmen, Desdemona in Otello, Violetta in La Traviata, Elettra in Idomeneo, Lyudmila in Ruslan and Lyudmila, Lucrezia in Lucrezia Borgia and Norma on stages all over the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro Regio in Rome, The Mariinsky Theater, Teatro de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, and the National Theater in Prague. Concert appearances include a Solo Recital at the Weil concert hall in New York City, Soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem, Carmina Burana and Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with maestro Atsushi Yamada and The New York City Opera Orchestra in Frederick P. Rose Hall in Lincoln Center,The role of Marfa in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride with Olga Borodina and the Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall, where she also sang principal roles in Les Huguenots and Robert le Diable. She also performed concerts and solo recitals in Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan, and at the Teatro Liceu in Barcelona. Ms. Makarina performed in highly acclaimed festivals among which are the Spoleto festival and the Cesky Krumlov Festival with the Brno Philhar- monic that was televised in Eurovision.

Ms. Makarina made her stage debut singing Mozart’s C minor mass with Yehudi Menuhin. She has since performed with many top conductors such as James Levine, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, and Bruno Campanella. After making her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in L’enfant et les Sortileges in 2002, Ms. Makarina went on to per- form at the MET for 18 seasons. Her repertoire there has included Gilda in Rigoletto, Elettra in Idomeneo, Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Imogene in Il Pi- rata, Lucia in Lucia di Lamermoor, Maria Stuarda, Anna Bolena, Princess Eudoxie inLa Juive, Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffman, Manon, Violetta in La Traviata, and Ital- ian Singer in Capriccio.

Ms. Makarina has recorded three solo albums with Romeo Records: Italian Opera Arias, Olga Makarina Sings Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and Mozart: Arias; Exsultate, Jubilate.

A graduate of the Mannes School of Music, Ms. Makarina also has her Masters in piano and voice from the St. Petersburg Conservatory. She has won awards such as the Met- ropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Singers Development Foundation and the Liederkranz Competition. Ms. Makarina travels all over the world to give master classes. She has taught in Israel, Russia, New York and Japan, and is a Management Board Member at The Elena Obraztsova International Academy of Music in St. Peters- burg.


Marcos Santos

Tenor, Voice Teacher

Tenor Marcos Santos has an international career in the US, Europe and Asia, where he performed as a soloist in Recitals, Concerts and Operas singing main roles in La Traviata, Rigoletto, L´Elisir, Die Fledermaus, Romeo et Juliette, Manon, Goyescas and Medea by Theodorakis. Performed at the Carnegie Hall and at the Merkin Hall in New York City, at the Gulbenkian Foundation and Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Teatro São João in Portugal, at the El Escorial in Madrid, at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo, at the Conservatoire Superieur in Paris, performance also in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Brazil etc. Mr. Santos worked with the most prestigious maestros such as Lawrence Foster, Marc Soustrot, Donato Renzetti, Joseph Collaneri, Peter Shannon and with world renown orchestras such as the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa, Orquestra Gulbenkian and Orquestra Sinfonica portuguesa. Mr. Santos holds a DMA in vocal interpretation with the theme The performance of the tenor role in Lucia di Lammermoor and L´Elisir d´amore in the time of Donizetti.

Mr. Santos teaches voice at Évora University in Portugal.


Katia Borissova

Vocal Coach

Katia Borissova was born in Bulgaria and studied classical piano at the music academy in Sofia. She launched her international career at the Tyrolean State Theater in Innsbruck in 1991 and has been engaged as an accompanist and vocal coach at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg since 1993. From 2002 until 2006 Katia was heading the Young Vocalist Programme at the Bavaria State Opera in Munich and also served as a solo accompanist. Her professional experience has been further enriched through numerous participations in the yearly Salzburg Festival, as well as others such as the Bregenz Festival, the International Festival of Ushuaia in Argentina and the National Grand Theater in Beijing. In addition, Katia has played at various international competitions (i.e. Belvedere, Rimsky-Korsakow, Elena-Obraszowa) and has accompanied master classes of renowned singers (i.e. Gena Dimitrova, Gabriele Schnaut and Grace Bumbry). Throughout her career Katia has worked with many distinguished singers and conductors and accumulated a large repertoire ranging from Italian all time classics to German and Russian masterpieces.  


Vlad Iftinca

Vocal Coach, Conductor

Vlad Iftinca is currently part of the 2017-2018 Metropolitan Opera music staff roster in New York City. Between 2007-2014, he held the position of staff coach in the Lindemann Young Artists Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera. Born in Romania, he received his education at the Reina Sofia School of Music in Madrid and the The Juilliard School. At the Metropolitan Opera, in the last twelve years, he has worked as pianist under conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Gianandrea Noseda, Marco Armiliato, Sir Andrew Davis, James Levine and Maurizio Benini. Mr. Iftinca has collaborated in recital with distinguished artists such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Deborah Voigt, Thomas Hampson, Luca Pisaroni, Joan Rodgers, Isabel Leonard, Erin Morley, Matthew Rose and Elza van der Heever. Concert venues include Frankfurt Oper, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Max Joseph Saal in Munich, Palau des Arts in Valencia, Soirées Musicales d’Arles in France, Beijing Music Festival, Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Carnegie Hall “Great Singers” Recital Series, the Seoul Performing Arts Center, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the “Virtuoso Series” in Salt Lake City, and the Ravinia Festival’s recital series. He has also worked at Spoleto Festival USA, Aspen Music Festival and Savannah Voice Festival. In 2017, Vlad Iftinca has been featured on a new live recording in recital with soprano Lisette Oropesa. Their concert, Within/Without has been released to critical acclaim. As a conductor, he has led performances at Oper Frankfurt, Oper Stuttgart, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, TriCities Opera, San Antonio Opera and Opera on the Avalon Festival. Future engagements include recitals with Thomas Hampson and Luca Pisaroni in the United States and coaching residencies in Romania and Mexico City. 


Ugo Mahieux

Vocal Coach

Ugo Mahieux was born into an Italian/French family of artists in Napoli.
Mr. Mahieux has studied piano at Napoli’s ‘San Pietro a Majella Music Conservatory’ and art history at the ‘Federico II Universi- ty’. He has studied harpsichord and baroque music at the ‘Centro di Musica Antica la Pietà dei Turchini’ in Italy with Antonio Flo- rio. As an accompanist he has perfected his knowledge under the guidance of Irene Kudela, Margaret Singer, Robert Kettelson and Enza Ferrari. In 2008 he has entered the ‘Atelier Lyrique’ of the Paris National Opera as a young artist, where he started his ca- reer as music staff for main stage productions at the Palais Gar- nier and Opéra Bastille and also as a recital partner in concert venues as Auditorium du Louvre and Palais de l’Elysée, French Cul- tural institute in London and Villa Medici in Rome, Hospices de Beaune among others.

Mr. Mahieux has been engaged as music staff at many other compa- nies and festivals in Europe as Opéra de Paris, Riga National Ope- ra, Opéra de Marseille, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Opéra de Lil- le, Théâtre du Châtelet, Opéra de Bordeaux, Spoleto Festival, Wildbad Rossini Festival and Teatro Valli in Reggio Emilia. During these engagements, Mr. Mahieux has worked with and coached cele- brated artists, among others, Cecilia Bartoli, Natalie Dessay, Olga Borodina, Stéphanie D'Oustrac, Isabel Leonard, Patrizia Cio- fi, Sandrine Piau, Ludovic Tezier, Lawrence Zazzo, Michael Spyres.As a pianist and harpsichordist, he has worked and performed under

distinguished conductors such as Emmanuel Villaume, Bertrand De Billy, Emmanuelle Haïm, Daniel Oren, Jean-Christophe Spinosi and Thomas Hengelbrock. Ugo Mahieux has accompanied master classes of famous singers such as Raina Kabaivanska, Renato Bruson, Ann Murray and Luciana Serra. Mr Mahieux's playing has been featured on commercial recordings as Rossini's La Gazzetta (Naxos Label). As a language coach, he has prepared mezzo-soprano Karine Deshayes for her recent "Rossini" commercial recording (CIC Label) and tenor Topi Lehtipu for "Vivaldi, Arie per tenore"(Naïve Label).

Recently he has prepared Le Nozze di Figaro and Carmen at Williamsburg Opera, Un ballo in Maschera at Paris Opera, Samson et Dalila and Carmen at Dallas Opera.

Future engagements include, among others, La Bohème and Falstaff at Dallas Opera, La Cenerentola at Staatsoper Stuttgart, La Vestale at Theater an der Wien, and La Favorite at Houston Grand Opera.


Sergei Leiferkus

Baritone, Artistic Advisor

Sergei Leiferkus is an outstanding baritone who has sung in many of the world’s leading opera houses. After graduating from the Leningrad Conservatoire he spent many years working in theatres in the city, including the Musical Comedy Theatre, the Maly Opera (now Mikhailovsky) Theatre, and the Kirov (now Mariinsky) Theatre. His international career began in the early 1980s when he made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Kurt Masur, and quickly became world renowned. .

This was followed by engagements with leading opera houses such as the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, over ten productions at the Metropolitan Opera house in New York, the Vienna State Opera, and the Opéra Bastille. Leiferkus has performed on numerous occasions at opera festivals in Edinburgh, Bregenz, Glyndebourne and Salzburg.

Although he still appears regularly on the operatic stage, he also frequently gives concert performances in Russia and abroad. He has worked with leading symphony orchestras and with many outstanding conductors, including Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Valery Gergiev and Neeme Järvi, Kurt Masur, George Scolti, Claudio Abbado, Neeme Jarvi, and Vladimir Jurowski.

Leiferkus’ repertoire includes over 40 operatic roles. His discography comprises more than 40 CDs and DVDs.

In addition to his busy career as a performer, Sergei Leiferkus also teaches and gives master classes in Berlin, Moscow, and Aldeburgh.


Anatoly Kuznetsov

Vocal Coach, Koncertmeister

(English Bio Coming Soon)

Lauded Accompanist and Vocal Coach having toured and played for Elena Obraztsova, Teresa Berganza, Fedora Barbieri, Galina Vishnevskaya and Renata Scotto. 

Coach and Koncertmeister in Festivals such as Aix En Provence, Luxembourg, as well as the London Symphony Orchestra. 

Accompanist in Concerts for the peoples artist of Russia Elena Obraztsova. 

Заслуженный артист Республики Северная Осетия–Алания 
Дипломант международных конкурсов им. Н. А. Римского-Корсакова, им. П. Лисициана, Елены Образцовой (2003, 2006, 2007), им. С. Монюшко (2007, Варшава)

Родился в Архангельске. Окончил Петрозаводский филиал Ленинградской государственной консерватории. Работал в качестве концертмейстера вокального класса в Петрозаводской консерватории, Петрозаводском государственном музыкальном театре, Камерном музыкальном театре «Санктъ-Петербургъ Опера», Михайловском театре. В настоящее время – концертмейстер Академии молодых певцов Мариинского театра.

Принимал участие в мастер-классах выдающихся оперных певцов, среди которых Владимир Атлантов, Елена Образцова, Федора Барбьери, Тереза Берганса, Рената Скотто, Галина Вишневская, Джоан Сазерленд.

Выступает с вокалистами в концертных залах Санкт-Петербурга, Москвы, других городов России, а также за рубежом – в Польше, США, Великобритании, Франции, Финляндии, Италии, Португалии, Эстонии и др.
Участвовал в качестве концертмейстера-репетитора в постановках фестиваля в Экс-ан-Провансе (Франция), в Люксембурге, театре Шатле (Франция), а также представлениях Лондонского симфонического оркестра.
Выступал в концертах с народной артисткой СССР Еленой Образцовой


Pavel Demidov

Director/Stage Movement

Pavel Demidov was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and graduated from the The N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory.

From the year 2014 - assistant director for full scale productions at the Conservatory theater such as The Tsar’s Bride (Production of the People’s artist of Russia Stanislav Gaudinskov), and Iolanta (Production of the honored artist of Russia Olga Mukhortova).

From the year 2014 Mr. Demidov has been engaged annually as assistant director in the Opera for All! Festival.

From the year 2016 Pavel Demidov was a guest director and artist in the Aleko Theater, where he assists in mounting productions such as The Tale of the Priest and of His Workman Balda and Teremok.

From 2016 to 2018 Mr. Demidov is engaged at the International Elena Obraztsova Music Academy as an acting teacher. 

In 2017, Mr. Demidov served as Director and head of production to two productions within the Elena Arts Festival (Artistic Director - Ildar Obdrazakov), W.A. Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Conductor - F. Mastrangelo) at the Gerbov Hall in the Hermitage and G. Puccini’s La Boheme (Conductor - N. Pascua) at the Music Hall Theater. 

Mr. Demidov produced and directed the premiere of his production of I. Stravinsky’s Mavra in May of 2018 at the Elena Obraztsova Music Academy.

In 2018, Mr. Demidov was engaged by the Mironov Theater as chief of staff and department of directors. 


Karina Pogosbekova

Collaborative Pianist

Karina   Pogosbekova   was   born   in   Moscow . She   graduated   from    the   Moscow   State   Conservatory   and  

postgraduate   trainings   (solo   piano   studio   and   piano   accompaniment   studio).   Currently,  she   is   working   as   a  

vocal   coach   at   the   vocal   department   and   teaching  collaborative piano at   the   piano   accompaniment  

department of the Moscow  State Conservatory .

Ms. Pogosbekova is   a   well -known   specialist   in   chamber   vocal   music of   different   styles.   She   has   extensive  

experience   in   vocal   coaching   and   piano   accompaniment   teaching.  

Ms .   Pogosbekova   won   many   prizes   as   a   solo   pianist   and   as   an   accompanist.  

Ms .   Pogosbekova   is   an   active   performer,   and   has   appeared   on   stage   with   distinguished   operatic   singers   such  

as   Elena   Obraztsova,   Makvala   Kasrashvili, Hibla   Gerzmava,   Virgilijus   Noreika ,   Erik   Salim- Meruert ,   among  

others.   For   12   years ,   Ms .   Pogosbekova   was   the    regular accompanist   of   the   National   Artist   of   the   USSR   Zurab  


In   2013,   Ms .   Pogosbekova   worked   as   an   accompanist   and   coach   on   the   Phantom   of   the   Opera   project   of  

Russia ’s   Channel   One.In   2015,   she   participated   in   the   premier   of   M.   Matyushin ’s   avant- garde   opera   Victory  

over   the   Sun   at   the   Stas   Namin   Theater   of   Music   and   Drama ,   and   the   performance   of   this   opera   at   Art   Basel  

(Basel,   Switzerland).   In   2018,   she   was   part   of   the   world   premiere   of   the   opera   Black   Square   by   Ilya   Demutsky .

In   2013–2015,   Ms .   Pogosbekova   served   as   a   jury   member   in   the   Renaissance   International   Competition   and  

Festival   in   Gyumri,   Armenia,   in   the   Art   of   Accompaniment   category.   In   2015,   she   was   on   the   jury   of   the   Golden  

Talent   of   the   Commonwealth   of   Independent   States   competition   in   Zheleznogorsk ,   Russia ,   in   the   Piano