Polish soprano Agata Kowalik was born in Staszów. She is a recent graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp under the tutelage of Gary Jankowski. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Scotland, where she studied with Elizabeth McCormack and graduated with Honours. As a member of the RCS Chamber Ensemble, she participated in several opera productions and concerts, including a collaboration with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Scottish Opera.
While studying in Belgium, Agata participated in many musical projects. In 2021 she performed as Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp and from 2022 onwards, she has been an extra member of the choir at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen. She also participated in many competitions and masterclasses. In the summer of 2022, she took part in the Lute Song Mastercourse in Schwäbisch Gmünd where she won the Hans Judenkönig Prize.
Agata regularly performs across Europe. Her last project was a tour around Latvia, performing with her newly formed Ensemble.
As soon as she graduated from Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory (with full honours and as top of her class), Ecem Topcu started working at the Samsun State Opera and Ballet. There, she made her professional debut in 2018 as Arsena in Der Zigeunerbaron and in 2019 as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro.
She also performed as a soloist at the Gala Concerts, the Season Opening Night Concerts and at the Spring Concerts of Samsun State Opera House with Samsun Symphony Orchestra, Istanbul State Opera and Ballet Symphony Orchestra, Hacettepe University Symphony Orchestra and Izmir State Opera Symphony Orchestra in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
During her studies, Ecem sang in several opera and operetta productions such as Rita in Rita, as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, as Berenice in L’occasione fa il ladro, as Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice, and as Ciboletta in Eine Nacht in Venedig.
She won Third Place in the National Singing Competition 2019 (Izmir) and Honorable Mention in Yalçın Davran National Singing Competition 2019 (Ankara).
She took part in masterclasses by Ailyn Pérez, Howard Watkins, David Lomelí, Maia Mari Chikradze, Murat Karahan, Iva Ionova, Ragnar Conde, Abdiel Vázquez, Ivayla Hinkova Bobcheva and Jennifer Rowley.
Japanese soprano Eriko Hashimoto was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1992.
She started her singing studies at a very young age, and graduated from the University of Music in Kunitachi in 2014. She continued her studies with Maria Bianca Casoni and Luca Gorla. She obtained the Master’s Degree in 2020 from the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan with full marks. In 2021 she became part of the AMO academy, Operastudi of Teatro Coccia in Novara. She perfected her studies under the guidance of soprano Manuela Bisceglie.
In 2015 she was Annina in Traviata at the Teatro Pro Loco in Borgosesia. In 2017 she was Suora Infermiera in Suor Angelica under the direction of Aldo Salvagno and Renato Bonajuto (part of the Tones on the Stones Festival). In 2019 she was Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at the Teatro Carcano in Milan under the direction of Giuseppe Montesano and Mattia Testi. Also that year, she collaborated as a solo soprano in Mozart’s Krönungsmesse under the direction of Amedeo Monetti. In 2021 she was Cendrillon in Viardot’s Cendrillon directed by Teresa Gargano. Her concert activity ranges from the lyrical to the chamber and sacred repertoire.
Since October 2021, Eriko is a member of the International Opera Academy in Ghent.
Ernestina Jošt is a lyrical-coloratura soprano from Slovenia. From childhood onwards, music has been an important part of her life. She studied at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, where she completed her master’s degree with Theresa Plut. She then her studies enrolled at the specialisation programme at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana.
She performed a Mozart’s Mass in C-major with the Academic choir of St. Cecilia and chamber orchestra in 2017. In 2018 she participated in performing Vivaldi’s Gloria in D-major together with the baroque orchestra of Academy of Music, Ljubljana and the mixed choir Glasbena matica. She regularly performs as a soloist with the choir Carmen manet. She sang a solo in the winning performance in the Eurovision Choir competition in 2017, which was broadcasted all over Europe. Together with the Carmen manet choir and Slovenian Philharmonic chamber orchestra, she performed Magnificat from Kim Andre Arnesen. In 2020 she performed as a mother in the youth opera Všeč si mi (I like you) by Slovenian composer Damijan Močnik.
Ernestina has been performing as a soloist with the Grand Symphony Orchestra of the Gymnasium Kranj in the Gallus Hall of the Cankar Centre for several years. In 2021 she sang the role of Cunigunde in Candide, in collaboration with the Slovenian Chamber Music Theatre.
She won the first prize at International Music Masterclass and competition Maribor 2020.
She regularly attends master classes by renowned singing educators, such as Charlotte Lehman, Martin Vacha, Marvin Keenze, Hans Adolfsen and others.
Korean tenor Kwanhee Park graduated from the Conservatory of Music Giuseppe Verdi in Italy (2018-2021).
As a student, Kwanhee distinguished himself by the color and passionate phrasing of his voice. In South Korea, he sang Rodolfo (Bohème), Tamino (Magic Flute), Nemorino (Elisir d ’amore) and Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi).
In Italy he made his debut as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi in an installation in Carrara (2019) on the occasion the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the foundation of the Academy of Fine Arts, with the supervision and vocal tutorship of baritone Sergio Bologna and directed by Marco Gandini.
Lately, he attended the prestigious Advanced Course for Opera Singers of the Luciano Pavarotti-Freni Municipal Theater Foundation of Modena (2020-2021). At the course, Kwanhee studied with Leone Magiera, Mariella Devia, Barbara Frittoli, Chris Merrit, Luccio Gallo.
Since October 2021, Kwanhee studies at the International Opera Academy in Ghent, Belgium.
Ukranian mezzosoprano Oleksandra Kuzmina (1993) graduated from Kharkiv I. P. Kotlyarevsky National University of Arts with a Masters’ degree in 2015, where she studied as an opera singer with Nataliya Govorukhina and as a chamber music performer with Svitlana Klebanova. In 2019 Oleksandra obtained a PhD with a thesis on children’s opera.
Immediately after her graduation in 2015, Oleksandra was hired as a soloist at the Kharkiv Regional Philharmonic. There, she sang recitals and performed as a soloist in a.o. Bach’s Magnificat, Dvořak’s Stabat Mater, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. She also took part in different concert programmes and musical plays for children.
Oleksandra was engaged as a guest singer in two productions at the Kharkiv M. V. Lysenko National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre: as Mrs. Nolan in Menotti’s The Medium (2020) and Domashka in Gubarenko’s Svat Mymovoli (2018). As a member of the operastudio at Kharkiv University, she performed as a.o. Lady Pamela in Auber’s Fra Diavolo, Agata in Fioravanti’s le Cantatrici Villane, Olga in Tschaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Hata in Smetana’s Bartered Bride, Flora Bervoix in Verdi’s La Traviata.
Seeking to perfect her skills, Oleksandra participated in masterclasses with a.o. Nelly Miricioiu, Raul Gimenez, Giuliano Carella, Siegfried Jerusalem, Tatiana Korsunskaya, Olga Wien, and Johannes G. Schmidt. In 2022 she won the 31st International Singing Competition Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg.
In previous years, Oleksandra received scholarships from the Rotary Club, the Richard Wagner Foundation, and the President of Ukraine Scholarship for young artists. Since 2022, Oleksandra is a student at the International Opera Academy in Gent.
Born in 1995, Quentin Mourier has been playing the piano since the age of twelve. He first studied at the conservatory of Romans-sur-Isère (France), then joined the piano class of Mikaïl Faerman at the royal conservatory of Brussels. At the same time, he studied orchestra conducting with Daniel Gazon; he graduated in both disciplines in 2017. He followed masterclasses with pianists André Gorog, Anne Queffélec, and conductors Konrad Von Abel, Jörg Birhance, and Jordi Mora.
Quentin performed as a soloist and accompanist in festivals in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Armenia. Together with Belgian pianist Michel De Bock, he created the concert cycle Les Concertations, performing and accompanying more than thirty piano concertos over a period of two years. He coached several opera productions, including a short version of Faust, Carmen and the premiere of Steels’ Fausto at la Monnaie. As a conductor, Quentin premiered Tsilogiannis’ Verlaine au secret with the ensemble Musiques Nouvelles.
So-Jin Yang graduated from Kyunghee University College of Music in Seoul with a bachelor’s degree in vocal music under baritone Carlo Kang.
After being selected at an audition at the Korean Army Headquarters, he toured the country for two years as an artist soldier, and participated in the U.S. Virginia International Tattoo (Military Percussion) as a soloist for the Korean national team.
He won first place at the overall senior audition at Kyunghee University College of Music, and in 2020, he was selected as the 84th Korea Rookie of the Year.
So-Jin is an experienced choir member and soloist, performing both during and after his studies. He founded the Student Opera, and played the role of Belcore in L’elisir d’amore. So-Jin could also be seen in Verdi Request with The National Choir of Korea. Further, he presented his new song Korea Fantasy in a national project performance.
After graduating from college, he immediately chose to study abroad to develop international knowledge as an opera actor, and is currently taking a specialized course at the International Opera Academy.
Mezzo-soprano Yoonjung Kim graduated at the Kyunghee University in Seoul, South Korea. She continued her studies for a Master’s degree under Carlo Kang and Akyung Lee (also at Kyunghee University). While at school, Yoonjung performed Flora in La Traviata, Zita in Gianni Schicchi and choir in Cosi fan tutte and Symphony No.9 by Beethoven.
Yoonjung developed her capabilities by participating in numerous singers’ masterclasses and many concerts with professor Akyeong Lee. She won 3rd prize at the Hanye music competition.
To develop as a singer, Yoonjung currently attends the International Opera Academy in Ghent.