Being fully established on its seventh year, Opera (e)Studio, as is tradition, will open the 2019 Ópera de Tenerife season. Increasingly, more and more singers are interested in taking part in the initiative. The artists were chosen at international auditions held in Bologna, Tbilisi, Madrid and Tenerife and they will spend nearly two months on the Island, where they will undergo intense work sessions on musical and stage aspects leading to the performance of an opera title that is part of Auditorio de Tenerife’s opera season. This year the title chosen is Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, a coproduction of Ópera de Tenerife, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre.

Opera (e)Studio is a point of reference for young opera artists who have just finished their higher education and wish to make a start in their professional careers. This Ópera de Tenerife project has been acknowledged by the European Union, which is funding this year production through its Creative Europe scheme. Giulio Zappa as artistic and musical director, Pablo Maritano as stage director plus a wide team of professionals, including the Italian soprano Mariella Devia, will train the ten singers in all the aspects involved in staging a good opera production according to current European standards: musical and stage performance technique, style, direction, body language, theatrical nature of the role, historical context of the composition, dramaturgy, libretto studying, etc., in order to put on L’elisir d’amore, by Donizetti with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife and the Coro de Ópera de Tenerife.


 Participants 2019

Maria Rita Combattelli / Adina

Maria Rita Combattelli / Adina



She started to study singing at an early age and graduated in opera singing with honours. She completed her training with Damiana Mizzi and she is currently furthering her studies with Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz and Giacomo Prestia. She is a student at the Accademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. She has taken specialisation master classes with major singers like Luciana Serra, Sonia Ganassi, Bruno De Simone and Giacomo Prestia.

Her opera repertoire includes her debut as Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro, Mozart) and Zerlina (Don Giovanni, Mozart) at the Rome Opera Festival. She has also taken the roles of Celidora (L’oca del Cairo, Mozart); Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica, Puccini), at the Narnia Festival; Julieta (Il piccolo spazzzacamino, Britten); Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini), at Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. She made her debut in Nino Rota’s I due timidi and La notte di un nevrastenico at the Teatro Flavio Vespasiano de Rieti, during the Reate Festival; Pamina (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart) at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Teatro Argentina di Roma, Teatro Flavio Vespasiano in Rieti, Teatro Sociale di Rovigo and Teatro Comunale di Treviso; Clarina (La cambiale di matrimonio, Rossini); La pietà (Piovani) at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma; Sinfonia delle Stagioni (Piovani) in l’Aquila and Adina (L’elisir d’amore, Donizetti) at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

Beatriz de Sousa / Adina

Beatriz de Sousa / Adina



Born in Lisbon, she studied at the University of Music in Vienna with Raimer Trost and at the Conservatorio del Liceu with Dolors Aldea. She is currently studying with soprano Sylvia Greenberg and pianist David Aronson in Vienna.

She started her career as a soloist on different international stages where her roles included Corinna (Il viaggio a Reims, Rossini) at the Rossini Opera Festival; Anima Ingrata (Il Ballo delle Ingrate, Monteverdi) at Dutch National Opera; Lucy (The Telephone, Menotti) at the Gulbenkian Foundation; Galatea (Acis and Galatea, Händel) at New Belgrade Opera and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart) in different festivals in France and Austria. This has led her to work with conductors and stage directors like Alberto Zadda, Carlo Rizzi, Pierre Audi, Christophe Rousset, Michele Spotti, Paul-Émil Fourny and Yi-Chen Lin.

She has often been supported by the Gulbenkian Foundation. In addition, she takes masterclasses with Alberto Zedda, Ruggero Raimondi, Dolora Zajick, Ryland Davis, amongst other. In 2018 she won the 2nd Prize and the Mozart Award at the Grandi Voci competition in Salzburg.

Klodjan Kaҫani / Nemorino

Klodjan Kaҫani / Nemorino



He graduated from Universiteti i Arteve in Tirana, Albania. His repertoire includes the roles of Goro (Madama Butterfly, Puccini); Gherardo (Gianni Schicchi, Puccini); Peppe/Arlecchino (Pagliacci, Leoncavallo); Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni, Mozart); Tebaldo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Bellini); Alfredo (La traviata, Verdi) and Tamino (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart). This last role sent him on a tour across the country and France with the Opera Nomade Compagnie Lyrique, after winning the Concorso Associazione Lirica Concertistica Italiana. He recently took part in the production of Macbeth at Teatro Regio di Parma and at an aria concert in the Verdi Festival. He has also performed the role of Poisson (Adriana Lecouvreur, Cilea) at the Filarmonica di Verona and Vesperae Solemnes de Confessore (Mozart) at Teatro Bellini in Catania.

He won third prize at the Marie Kraja International Competition in Albania and took first prize at the As.Li.Co in the role of Tamino in Como, Italy.

César Arrieta /  Nemorino

César Arrieta / Nemorino



He trained at the Sistema Nacional de Orquestas y Coros Juveniles e Infantiles de Venezuela [National System of Young & Children Orchestras and Choirs] and with the support of Equipo Arte Integración. He furthered his education at Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía de Madrid, under the guidance of Ryland Davies and Milagros Poblador. He finished off his training with singers like Teresa Berganza, Tom Krause, Helena Donath, Alberto Zedda, Raúl Giménez, Javier Camarera, Sonia Prina and Helmut Deutsch.

Professionally, he has gradually directed his repertoire to opera in roles like Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni, Mozart); Tamino (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart) and Ferrando (Così fan tutte, Mozart). Also, Florville (Il signor Bruschino, Rossini) with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon; Silango (Le cinesi, García) and Marquis Drouet (Vespri siciliani, Verdi) at the Rossini Festival in Wildbad, which was recorded live by Naxos Records. In this same festival, he performed the role of Demetrio (Demetrio e Polibio, Rossini) and Radosky (Sigismondo, Rossini). Regarding symphonic singing, he performed as solo tenor Mozart’s Requiem with the Camerata Salzburg on tour in Japan.

His talent has been recognised on different occasions and he has received the best young singer award at the Academia Belcanto-Festival Rossini in Wildbad, the Second Prize for Male Voice at the Concurso Internacional de Logroño and the role Pedrillo (Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mozart), at the Clermont-Ferrand International Singing Competition, that will take him to different theatres.

Alberto Bonifazio / Belcore

Alberto Bonifazio / Belcore



Born in Italy, he completed his studies in piano and opera singing at the Conservatorio Niccolò Paganini in Genoa. He went on as a soloist at the Centre de perfeccionament Plácido Domingo in Valencia. Winner of international competitions, he has taken masterclasses with Alessandro Corbelli, Eva Mei, Mariella Devia, Jaume Aragall, Mietta Sighele, Leone Magiera and Henning Brockhaus.

In his career he has taken part at Villa Vento, Custoza, singing with Ramón Vargas; at Musica Riva Festival he made his debut in the role of Benoît and Alcindoro (La bohème, Puccini); as Ben Upthegrove (The telephone, Menotti) at the Teatro dell’Opera Giocosa in Savona and Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa. His first performance at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia was in the role of Marullo (Rigoletto, Verdi) along with Leo Nucci, under the baton of Roberto Abbado and director Emilio Sagi. At the same theatre, he played Gabriel von Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus, Strauss) in a concert conducted by Plácido Domingo.

Jacobo Ochoa Piedrahita / Belcore

Jacobo Ochoa Piedrahita / Belcore



He studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, under the supervision of Professor Rudolf Piernay.

His opera repertoire includes playing the roles of Belcore (L’elisir d’amore, Donizetti); Caliban (The Enchanted Island, Varios); Peter (Hänsel und Gretel, Humperdinck); Dandini (La Cenerentola, Rossini); Schaunard (La bohème, Puccini); Fiorello (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini), Morales (Carmen, Bizet) or, recently, Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro, Mozart). Regarding symphonic singing, he has sung Symphony nº9 by Beethoven; Requiem by Mozart and Duruflé’s Requiem, among others.

He has several awards to his credit including First Prize at the Concurso Nacional de canto in Colombia OFB; Second Prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Bursary Competition for Young Singers; Second Prize at the Concurso Internacional de Canto de Logroño and First Prize of the Fundación Conservatorio del Liceo in Bogotá.

His next engagements include Masetto (Don Giovanni, Mozart) at the Clonter Opera and Fiorello (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini) at Opera de Colombia.

Givi Gigineishvili / Dulcamara

Givi Gigineishvili / Dulcamara



A graduate from N22 College in Batumi, Georgia, he furthered his training at Z. Paliashvili Central Musical School and at Batumi Art Teaching University. He also attended the Youth Music Theatre and Tbilisi State Conservatoire V. Sarajishvili. He is currently an in-house artist at Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre.

His opera repertoire includes his performance of the roles Dottore Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore, Donizetti); Don Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini), at State Conservatoire Opera Studio; Colline (La bohème, Puccini); Zuniga (Carmen, Bizet) at Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet Theatre; as well as, Un frate (Don Carlo, Verdi) at Immling Festival and Il sagrestano (Tosca, Puccini) at Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet Theatre.

He has received different awards including being finalist at the Georgian Competition of Musician-Performers and best performance at the Concurso de Lado Ataneli.

Matteo Andrea Mollica/ Dulcamara

Matteo Andrea Mollica/ Dulcamara



He started his studies at the Università di Torino and continued his singing education at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi di Torino, as well as his improvement in technique and repertoire with maestro Giovanni Botta.

The repertoire he has performed includes San Giuseppe (La notte Santa, Gherzi); Balthasar (I magi, Gai); Sciarrone (Tosca, Puccini); Amonasro (Aida, Verdi); Marchese d’Obigny (La traviata, Verdi); Wang Chaofei (Milo e Maya e il giro del mondo, Franceschini); Fiorello (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini); Primo Giudice / Servo di Amelia (Un ballo in maschera, Verdi); Conte di Monterone (Rigoletto, Verdi); Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini); Sharpless (Madama Butterfly, Puccini); Bartolo (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini); Il nonno / L’Orco (Ciottolino, Ferrari); Escamillo (Carmen, Bizet) and Geppetto (Pinocchio, Valtinoni). This has taken him to major theatres such as Teatro Regio Torino, el Teatro Alfieri di Asti; Teatro Sociale Como, Teatro Grande di Brescia, As. Li. Co circuit, Teatro Fraschini, Teatro Donizetti or Teatro Pavarotti in Modena, among many others.

Sofía Esparza / Giannetta

Sofía Esparza / Giannetta



She studied singing at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Navarra and was awarded the End-of-Degree Prize. She also graduated in harp and musical pedagogy. She furthered her education at the ESMUC in Barcelona, getting a scholarship from Fundación Victoria de los Ángeles. She has broaden her studies with maestros like Alberto Zedda, Mariella Devia, Renato Bruson, Ana Luisa Chova, Ofelia Sala or Aquiles Machado.

As a soloist she has played the roles of Frasquita (Carmen, Bizet); Clorinda (La Cenerentola, Rossini); Berta (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini); Primera dama (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart); Contessa di Ceprano (Rigoletto, Verdi); Empress Sirolé (El traje nuevo del emperador, Casalí); Selina (Alí Baba y los cuarenta ladrones, Casalí) and Cerillera, Director de cine and Mensajero del Olimpo (El guardián de los cuentos, Ortega). In zarzuela she has sung Rosaura (Los gavilanes, Guerrero); Inés (La mensajera, Gaztambide) and Teresa (Marina, Arrieta). This has led her to work with conductors like José Miguel Pérez-Sierra, Miquel Ortega, Óliver Díaz, Sergio Alapont, Jordi Bernacer, Nicola Valentini. She recently performed at the LIFE Victoria Festival in Barcelona and made her debut at the opera season of Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo.

Leonora Tess / Giannetta

Leonora Tess / Giannetta



She started to study piano at an early age at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi di Milano. She then went on to study singing and made her debut in the role of Berta (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini); Annina (La traviata, Verdi); Giannetta (L’elisir d’amore, Donizetti); Serpina (La serva padrona, Pergolesi); Voce dal cielo (Don Carlo, Verdi); Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart) and Nella (Gianni Schicchi, Puccini). She attended the opera singing course at Conservatorio Gaetano Donizetti, Bergamo, where she recently graduated.

She also sang at Teatro Coccia de Novara in the première of La rivale by Marco Taralli, conducted by Matteo Beltrami. She played Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro, Mozart); Un paggio della Duchessa (Rigoletto, Verdi) at Teatro Municipale di Piacenza and at Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti di Modena with Leo Nucci and conducted by Aldo Sisillo; Amina (Il castello degli invalidi, Donizetti) in Bergamo; Frasquita (Carmen, Bizet) at Teatro Coccia de Novara and at Tang Xianzu Grand Theatre in Fuzhou, in China. Her last engagements include playing the leading role in the opera Rita (Donizetti) and the role of Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi, Puccini).

She has been finalist in many international opera competitions and has received young talent awards at Concorsi Santa Gianna Beretta Molla de Mesero, Salvatore Licitra de Milán and Rinaldo Pelizzoni de Sissa, where she took third prize.


 Production: L’elisir d’amore

Melodramma giocoso in two acts, L’elisir d’amore is an opera buffa with music by Gaetano Donizetti and libretto by Felice Romani, based on Eugène Scribe’s text Le philtre for Daniel Auber’s opera, which was premiered on 12 May 1832 at Teatro delle Canobbiana in Milan.  

L’elisir d’amore is Donizetti’s most famous comic opera thanks to such unforgettable melodies as ‘Una furtiva lagrima’ and a lively plot in which the love affair of beautiful Adina and gullible Nemorino is possible thanks to the unlikely help of charlatan Dulcamara.

The stage director, Pablo Maritano, has taken care of the stage design of a production that will transport us to the golden age of cinema. A fantasy world through different late 1920s film sets.


Creative Team

Opera (e)Studio Artistic Director: Giulio Zappa

Musical Director:

Antonio Méndez [Ópera de Tenerife]

Kakhi Solomnishvili [Tbilisi Opera and Bellet State Theatre]

Levan Jagaev [Tbilisi Opera and Bellet State Theatre]

Stage Director:   Pablo Maritano

Stage Designer:   Serena Rocco

Costume Designer: Lorena Marin

Lighting Designer: Virginio Levrio

Choirmistress: Carmen Cruz


Musical Director Assistant: Sandhya Nagaraja

Repetiteur: Hana Lee

Orchestra: Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife

Choir: Coro de Ópera de Tenerife   



Cast A

Adina: María Rita Combatelli

Nemorino: Klodjan Kaҫani

Belcore: Alberto Bonifazio

Dottore Dulcamara: Givi Gigineishvili

Giannetta: Sofía Esparza


Cast B

Adina: Beatriz de Sousa

Nemorino: César Arrieta

Belcore: Jacobo Ochoa Piedrahita

Dottore Dulcamara: Matteo Andrea Mollica

Giannetta: Leonora Tess


José Luis Rivero Plasencia

José Luis Rivero Plasencia

Auditorio de Tenerife

José Luis Rivero Plasencia has always been linked to the world of culture and education, both in the public and private sectors. He has been lecturer at La Laguna University, the University of Vic and the National University of Education at a Distance (UNED), with a broad research and publishing experience, as well as speaker in congresses, seminars and meetings, both nationally and internationally. His creative facet has been mainly linked to literature and theatre, with an extensive experience and training in cultural management. He has also followed courses in Music, Arts and Literature. He founded the Eduardo Westerdahl School of Creative Arts in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, which has become a model on the Island in artistic creation. He has occupied and currently occupies positions of national responsibility, being the only person from the Canary Islands to have held the Presidency of the National Network of Public Theatres, Music Venues and Festivals, or the Vice-presidency of the Network of Educational Concert Organizers, which includes the main orchestras and theatres in Spain. He is also part of the National Council of Stage Arts and Music. He has participated as editor in the State Plan on Dance, and is a member of the State Commissions of Music, Dance and Training. He is also secretary of the Association of Cultural Managers of Canary Islands, and member of international organizations like Opera Europa, European Network for Opera and Dance Education (RESEO) or International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM). He currently participates in the European Project ADESTE (Audience Developer: Skills and Training in Europe). Since 2003, he is the Artistic Director of Auditorio de Tenerife. In 2015, he was appointed Director of Culture, Education and Artistic Units of the Island of Tenerife Council, position that he currently holds.

Alejandro Abrante

Alejandro Abrante

Opera de Tenerife

Born in the Canary Islands, Alejandro Abrante received a Ph. D in Philosophy of Social Sciences from the University of La Laguna, Spain. He attended Music and Piano studies at the Conservatorio Superior de Música. He turned his passion into his profession when he became General Manager of an artist agency that represented artists of top international level as well as young talents who were finishing their superior music studies. This expertise led him to collaborate with both major European Opera houses and Superior Schools of Music. In 2006, he set up the Festival Mozart in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and Rigoletto in concert version as part of the 15 th Summer Festival of Music, Theatre and Dance if the same city in 2011. He also promoted and organized special lyric concerts held in several European cities (i.e. New Years’ eve). He was in charge of the Artistic Management of Martes Liricos Recital Series in Tenerife from the seasons 2008 until 2010. He was named Artistic Coordinator of Tenerife Opera Festival in 2012. This project soon grew to become a stable Opera Season since 2013, when he became Artistic Manager. Apart from having increased the artistic offer and quality, he has managed to bring numerous top-level professionals to Tenerife to encourage and support new initiatives like Opera(e)studio and the Opera de Tenerife International Singing Competition, to promote emerging talents as a first major step to their respective professional careers. As proof of his notable contribution to the Performing Arts, Alejandro Abrante is regularly invited to be part of the Board of several international Singing Competitions, such as the Salicedoro Festival in Italy, the International Flaviano Labó Piacenza Competition, the International Ottavio Zino Roma Competition, the Vocce Verdiani Busseto in Parma or the Maria Callas Brazilian Singing Competition in Sao Paulo. Spanish and Italian are his native tongues, and he has a high level of English.

Giulio Zappa

Giulio Zappa

Opera(e)Studio, Opera de Tenerife

He begins his training as accompanying pianist in Milan in Bianca Maria Casoni’s singing classes. He perfects with Aldo Ciccolini and Irwin Gage. With the latter, he specializes in vocal chamber music repertoire, which has always been his great passion. Since 1996, he has carried out an intensive concert activity, as vocal coach and accompanying pianist in numerous theatres and festivals in Europe and Asia. He has collaborated with artists from several Italian and International opera singer generations, such as Katia Ricciarelli, Elena Obraztsova, Piero Cappuccilli, Leo Nucci, Enzo Dara, Mariella Devia, Michele Pertusi, Gregory Kunde, Juan Diego Florez, Daniela Barcellona and several artists of new generations. He has also collaborated with Stage and Orchestra Directors of the standing of A. Zedda, Lü Jia, P. Fournillier, Michele Mariotti, M. Martone, D. Fo, G. Strehler, M. Hampe, P. Pizzi, Graham Vick, etc. He has successfully dedicated the last years to teaching accompanying pianists and singers, and has been invited by institutions such as Scuola dell’Opera di Bologna, Teatro Real, Meitar Opera Studio of Tel Aviv, Escuela Superior de Canto de Madrid or Moscow Bolshoi Theatre. In 2013, he was named Artistic Director of Opera(e)Studio within Opera de Tenerife, created for the artistic development and projection of young lyric talent. He is also in charge of the singers’ musical training. Recent and future engagements include a concert in London’s Wigmore Hall with Mariella Devia, recitals with Pietro Spagnoli and Olga Pretyatko in Pesaro, Peralada and Lausanne, the debut in a recital in Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, Don Pasquale in Glyndebourne and masterclasses in Moscow (Bolshoi Theatre) and Jaén University. He is fluent in Italian, Spanish, English and Russian.

Fulvio Macciardi

Fulvio Macciardi

Teatro Communale di Bologna

He was born in Milan where he completed his humanities and music studies. From 1980 to 2003, he carried out a wide activity as violinist, Conservatoire teacher and musician in numerous chamber and orchestra formations. After graduation, he followed Meisterkurses held by famous violinist Master Wolfgang Schneiderhan in Lucerne. In 1986, he joined Teatro Verdi di Trieste; during his career, he performed on innumerable stages in Italy (the main theatres include: Milan, Turin, Rome, Naples, Trieste, Venice, Palermo and Messina) and abroad (France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Belgium, Japan). In the early 2000’s he began taking charge of the artistic management of Opera Houses —initially in Trieste at Teatro Verdi where he first took over the administration and management of all the artistic bodies, and later he was appointed Artistic Secretary, with authority to the administration of the Theatre programmes and all the related activities. In 2008, he was appointed Director of the Artistic Area of Teatro Comunale di Bologna, where he also held the position of Casting Manager, managing all the relations with the artistic staff involved in the activities of the Theatre, the creative teams, the leading and supporting performers, opera and symphony conductors, and host ballet companies. He was supervised and managed performances with conductors such as Michele Mariotti, James Conlon, Daniel Oren, Roberto Abbado, Stefan Anton Reck, Donato Renzetti, Omeir Wellber, Nicola Luisotti, Daniele Rustioni, Lothar Zagrosek, Renato Palumbo, Asher Fish, Jurai Valcuha, Aziz Shokakimov, Daniel Kawka, Marco Angius; directors such as Robert Wilson, Graham Vick, Mario Martone, Damiano Michieletto, Davide Livermore, Yannis Kokkos, Pier’Alli, Mariusz Trelisnky, David Pountney, Andrej Zagars, Fabio Sparvoli, Hugo de Ana, Gabriele Lavia, Liliana Cavani and Alvis Hermanis. He organized, administered and promoted national and international tours (yearly-based from 2009 with Pesaro’s Rossini Opera Festival; Tokyo and Otsu in Japan, in collaboration with Fuji-Television, 2011; Sao Paulo, Brasil, 2012, Macbeth project with Bob Wilson; Moscow Rostropovich Festival, 2013). Moreover, he supervised the Theatre’s Training and Research activities, and as company tutor he followed trainees’ projects in the artistic field (Alma Mater Studiorum of Bologna, Verona Academy, Università Cattolica, Conservatorio Martini of Bologna). Since September 2013, he also holds the position of Artistic Director of the Scuola dell’Opera del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Academy of High Specialization and Training to professional career for opera singers, as well as for opera theatre’s crafts. He is regularly invited to participate as committee member at many international opera competitions, including Operaparis (Paris, 2010), Concorso Voci Verdiane (Busseto, 2012, 2013, in 2014 as Jury Chairman, 2015, 2016), Concorso Città di Bologna (2010-2013), Concorso Spaziomusica di Orvieto (2013, 2014), Concorso Internazionale de Tenerife (Spain 2013, 2014, 2015), Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, Montreal (Canada, 2013). He was Director General of Teatro Comunale di Bologna since March 2015, and has been recently named Sovintendente of Teatro Comunale di Bologna (November 2017).

Badri Maisuradze

Badri Maisuradze

Born on November 13, 1966 in Tbilisi, Georgia, Badri Maisuradze started to study acting and stage management at the Tbilisi Theatre Institute. He played in the productions of the Tbilisi Film Actors Theatre and appeared in several films. In a student production in which he had a singing part, he was noticed by famous Georgian singer and teacher. In 1989, Badri Maisuradze graduated from the Tbilisi V. Sarajishvili State Conservatoire with a degree in vocal performance (Professor Gocha Bezhuashvili’s class). Later, he continued his studies in Moscow and Milan.

From 1989 to 1993, Badri Maisuradze was a Soloist of the Tbilisi Z. Paliashvili Opera and Ballet State Theatre in Georgia, making his debut in the title role of Otar Taktakishvili’s Mindia in 1990. In 1994, he joined the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as a Soloist.

In 1994, Badri Maisuradze won the Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition in Spain, and the Jussi Björling Tenor Competition in Sweden. He is a Cavalier of the International Order of Friendship.

Over the span of his successful career as an opera singer, Badri Maisuradze has performed 58 roles for the world’s best opera houses and festivals, such as:

Teatro alla Scala, Milan (Mazepa, Samson et Dalila)

Wiener Staatsoper (Tosca)

Deutsche Oper, Berlin (Il Trovatore, Aida, Nabucco)

Teatro Comunale, Florence (Madama Butterfly, La Fanciulla del West)

Teatro Real, Madrid (Aida, Ernani)

Teatro di San Carlo, Naples (Lady Macbeth)

Teatro Massimo, Palermo (Turandot, Aida, Cavalleria Rusticana)

Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona (Un Ballo in Maschera, Samson et Dalila)

Semperoper, Dresden (Un Ballo in Maschera, Aida, Don Carlo)

Opéra National de Paris (Aida)

Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg (Aida, The Queen of Spades, Tosca, Il Tabarro)

Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm (Otello, Don Carlo, Il Trovatore, Macbeth)

Dalhalla Opera Festival, Rättvik(Tosca, Samson et Dalila)

Teatro Regio,Turin (Giovanna D’Arco, Manon Lescaut, Tosca, Verdi’s Requiem)

Opéra National de Montpellier(Aida, Otello, Samson et Dalila)

Canadian Opera Company, Toronto (Manon Lescaut, Tosca, Giovanna D’arco, Madama Butterfly),

Puccini Festival, Torre del Lago (I Medici)

Teatro del Giglio, Lucca (La Fanciulla del West)

La Monnaie/De Munt, Brussels (Aida)

Teatro Vittorio Emanuele, Messina (La Fanciulla del West, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci)

Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow (Tosca, The Queen of Spades, Un Ballo in Maschera, La Forza del Destino, Aida, Norma, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Traviata, Macbeth)

Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Lisbon (Otello)

Royal Opera House, Valetta (Otello)

Hungarian State Opera, Budapest (Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, La Forza del Destino, The Queen of Spades)

Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra (Aida)

The Israeli Opera (Aida)

Toulon Opera (Pagliacci)

Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse (Pagliacci, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Otello, Aida)

Cape Town Opera (Otello, Tosca)

Opera Australia, Melbourne (Aida, Samson et Dalila, Pagliacci, Il Trovatore)

Teatro Municipal de Santiago (Pagliacci)

Estonian National Opera, Tallinn (The Queen of Spades, Tosca, Simon Boccanegra),

Lithuanian National Opera, Vilnius (Aida, Tosca, Un Ballo in Maschera, La Forza del Destino, Pagliacci).

He has collaborated with famous conductors, including Zubin Mehta, Mstislav Rostropovich, Daniel Oren, Seiji Ozawa, Nello Santi, Antonio Guadagno, Marcello Viotti, Maurizio Barbaccini, Carlo Rizzi, Richard Bradshaw, Maurizio Arena, Garcia Navarro, Maurizio Benini, Giorgio Morandi, Lawrence Foster, Valery Gergiev, Alexander Vedernikov, etc.

Badri Maisuradze has worked with internationally renowned directors, such as: Franco Zeffirelli, Hugo De Ana, Robert Wilson, Christopher Alden, Calixto Bieito and Sergio Renán.

Badri Maisuradze often serves as a jury member for prestigious international voice competitions, including Voci Verdiane in Busseto, Vincenzo Bellini Belcanto Competition in Paris, Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Singers Competition in Moscow, Giovanni Martinelli – Aureliano Pertile International Opera Competition in Montagnana (Jury Chairman).

He is a Founder and Jury Chairman of the OPERA CROWN, Tbilisi International Voice Competition.

Badri Maisuradze serves as a consultant to the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago. In the past, he had the same position with the Mikhailovsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg.

Since November 2016, Badri Maisuradze has been Artistic Director and Managing Director of the Tbilisi Z. Paliashvili Opera and Ballet State Theatre.


Opera de Tenerife

Opera de Tenerife

Since it opened in September 2003, Auditorio de Tenerife, an opera house publicly owned by Cabildo de Tenerife (Island government), has become the main cultural driving force of the Island and an architectonic and artistic symbol for the Tenerife society. It boasts a spectacular stage and several halls which have allowed for larger, riskier stage productions which had not been possible in the Canaries until now. Endowed with state-of-the-art architecture designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, the Auditorio de Tenerife is a truly striking building, thanks to its curved lines, the shape of its wing and the trencadís mosaic facade, reminiscent of Gaudí’s style. Auditorio de Tenerife is the most important production centre in the Canary Islands, and that news has spread not only to the rest of Spain, but also to other countries with whom we maintain important collaborations linked to the opera. We are also connected to opera houses worldwide through our memberships with Opera Europa and Opera Latino America. Also worthy of special mention is the work undertaken by the Auditorio towards the creation of new audiences with its own productions, especially adapted to young and family audiences, as well as a broad repertoire ranging from the most conventional titles to the most novel and original proposals. The Opera de Tenerife Project – involving the Tenerife City Council through Auditorio de Tenerife – breathes new life into the opera season, with innovations like Opera de Tenerife International Singing Competition or the creation of the Opera (e)Studio comprehensive training academy which works with young singers offering them a chance to train in all the artistic and dramatic disciplines of opera with the staging of an opera produced by the Auditorio de Tenerife.

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Teatro Comunale di Bologna

Teatro Comunale di Bologna

Teatro Comunale di Bologna (TCBO) is an Opera House with a special national interest, chaired by the Mayor of Bologna. The theatre works and operates with main public and private Italian and European institutions within the cultural and live-arts scope. TCBO is committed to collaborations with other European theaters such as Covenant Garden (London), Liceu (Barcelona), La Monnaie (Brussels), Wielki (Warsaw), etc. It also collaborates with international theatres in the USA, Brazil, Russia, Japan, etc. A special focus is given to develop new audiences, to create national and inter-European projects in order to stimulate circulation of works and artists, and the study and knowledge of the Italian musical heritage. TCBO is committed to youth through its Higher Education Academy of Music and its close relationships with universities, conservatories and high schools. It also holds regular auditions for young artists initiating their careers.

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Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre

Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre

Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet Theatre established in 1851, is a professional company offering opera and ballet productions of outstanding quality. It presents classical and innovative repertoire and important rarely performed works. It enriches the community through outreach and education programs and by keeping classical music affordable. Activities include: creating opera and ballet productions and performances and symphony music concerts in Georgia and abroad; professional development of young artists; international auditions; cultural exchange; education projects to promote classical music among youth; promote Georgian culture on international market. It collaborates with world renowned artists, and prestigious international festivals (Dalhalla Opera Festival in Rattvik, Sweden; Rishon LeZion Spring Festival, Israel; Music Festival ArsLonga in Moscow, Russia; Gijon Opera Festival, Spain; Gubbio Opera Festival, Italy; Al Bustan International Festival of Music and Arts in Beirut, Lebanon; Saaremaa Opera Days in Estonia, Festival Puccini in Torre del Lago, Italy, Festival Internazionale di Mezza Estate in Tagliacozzo, Italy, etc).

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Full video 'L'elisir d'amore' 24 October

Full video 'L'elisir d'amore' 25 October

Beatriz de Sousa has recently participated in Opera (e)Studio

Jacobo Ochoa shares his experiences in Opera (e)Studio

'L'elisir d'amore', now at the Teatro Comunale of Bologna, Italy

Press conference about 'L'elisir d'amore' in Tbilisi, Georgia

The artists of 'L'elisir d'amore' arrive to Tbilisi, Georgia

The Georgian media cover news on 'L'elisir d'amore'

The production arrives to Tbilisi, Georgia

'L'elisir d'amore', now in Tbilisi, Georgia

'L'elisir d'amore' ready for the trip (loading of scenographic material)

'L'elisir d'amore' by Opera de Tenerife, in one minute

'L'elisir d'amore' by Opera de Tenerife: set design

Take a peek at the backstage of 'L'elisir d'amore'

The opera 'L'elisir d'amore' lands at Tenerife

Tbilisi: Media coverage of the Opera (e)Studio's auditions

Opera (e)Studio 19/20


Opera de Tenerife

The European Commission has made a final assessment of the project led by Auditorio de Tenerife, the opera L'elisir d'amore. In 2019, this project received a grant through the European Commission’s framework programme Creative Europe. This edition of Opera (e)Studio was jointly developed with the partners Opera and Ballet Theatre of Tbilisi and the Comunale di Bologna. The project was rated as outstanding with a score of 90 out of 100 points. 

The European Commission's report praises "the high quality of your interesting project" and notes that "activities carried out helped to reach a wider audience who would not normally attend opera performances". According to the European body, staging a production with a young artistic team has enabled them to connect with an audience that may have had so far "an approach to opera as an inaccessible or too old-fashioned performance". 

Among the strengths of the project, the European Commission's assessment highlights its capacity for training young singers who start their professional careers. Likewise, the report remarks that young people from over 30 countries have participated in the call for entries; the project has also collaborated with universities that have offered their facilities for recitals and conferences, thus bringing part of the production closer to the educational sphere. 

Ten singers chosen through international auditions starred in the Opera (e)Studio's production L'elisir d'amore, which premiered in October 2019 at the Auditorio de Tenerife. It was subsequently staged in Tbilisi in February 2020 and concluded in Bologna in September 2020. Functions in Italy were already affected by COVID-19.

The European Commission recognised that despite this major setback, the three partners showed strong collaboration and worked together to overcome it. The Commission's final report highlights that "their adaptation and proactive reaction to resolve some of these difficulties related to the global crisis reflected the strong commitment they had to implement their activities in the best possible way."

More information about the project, videos and photos

Opera de Tenerife

Tenors César Arrieta and Klodjan Kaҫani lend their voices to Nemorino, the young peasant who is in love with Adina, in L’elisir d’amore, one of the most often performed and acclaimed operas by Bergamo composer Gaetano Donizetti, that will open the 2019/2020 Ópera de Tenerife season with four performances by the members of Opera (e)Studio.

This coproduction of Ópera de Tenerife, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre, will first be performed tomorrow, [Thursday, the 24th] and then on Friday, the 25th, Saturday, the 26th and Sunday, the 27]. All the performances of this project, which this year is funded by the European Commission programme Creative Europe, will be on at Auditorio de Tenerife’s Sala Sinfónica at 7:30 pm except for the last one which starts at 6:00 pm.

Both singers will play the role on alternate days: Kaҫani will be on stage tomorrow and on Saturday while Arrieta is singing on Friday and Sunday. Tickets can be purchased through Auditorio de Tenerife’s usual sale channels: at the box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm, Monday to Saturday except holidays, via or by phone on 902 317 327.

Venezuelan singer, César Arrieta, started training from an early age in the Sistema Nacional de Orquestas y Coros Juveniles e Infantiles [National System of Young and Children Orchestras and Choirs] in his native city and at the Escuela Superior de Canto de Madrid. Although this is his first time on the island, he has heard of the work done at Ópera de Tenerife because of “the high artistic level of the productions”.

The tenor learned about the Opera (e)Studio programme through some friends who had taken part in Don Pasquale (2016) and decided to enter this year because of the title chosen. The singer says that Nemorino is an essential role for tenors”. Although he has never been on stage with this opera, he has sung many of its pieces in concerts and admits that “there was a lot of Nemorino in my life before we met face to face”.

Klodjan Kaҫani, an Albanian singer who studied at Universiteti i Arteve di Tirana, came to the island for the first time last season for the production of Lucia di Lammermoor in the role of Normanno, so he knows the work Ópera de Tenerife carries out very well.

For Kaҫani, who took part in the production of Adriana Lecouvreur at the Fondazione Arena di Verona, this is the first time he is tackling L’elisir d’amore, a title in which the complexity of Nemorino stands out as it also puts the stress on the evolution of the character through the opera.

These two young tenors, along with eight other singers, came to the island to take part in the seventh Opera (e)Studio, the comprehensive programme for singers’ artistic improvement. The training, directed by Giulio Zappa from the beginning, consists of different masterclasses given by international first-rate professionals and goes on with the typical rehearsals of every opera production, which is the phase that is currently in progress. The programme concludes with the performance of the opera.

L’elisir d’amore marks the beginning of the season and has Antonio Méndez -principal conductor of Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife- as musical director. This Ópera de Tenerife show is done in coproduction with Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre is the debut in Europe of stage director Pablo Maritano, who transports us to the Golden Age of Hollywood. It all comes with the stage design of Serena Rocco, costumes by Lorena Marin and Virginio Levrio as lighting designer.






Opera de Tenerife

The bass voices of Italian Matteo Andrea Mollica and Georgian Givi Gigineishvili will play the role of Dr. Dulcamara in the opera L’elisir d’amore, which is on this week -from Thursday to Sunday- at the Auditorio de Tenerife. Dulcamara is a trickster who sells Nemorino a love potion to help him win Adina’s love, but it is really just wine. Mollica and Gigineishvili, members of Opera (e)Studio, are taking part in this co-production between Ópera de Tenerife, Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre, which this year is funded by the European Commission programme Creative Europe.

The Georgian singer started his singing career at the age of 15 at schools in Batumi, his native city. He furthered his education at the Youth Music Theatre and at Tbilisi State Conservatoire V. Sarajishvili, and he is currently resident artist at Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre, a stage where he performed in L’elisir d’amore two years ago. “I love this title and working on the character of Dulcamara is particularly interesting”.

Mollica, who is playing the role on the Friday and Sunday performances, started his singing studies at Università di Torino and at Giuseppe Verdi Conservatoire in the same city. This is the first time he is on the island, but he knew about the Ópera de Tenerife productions and its high specialisation academy for artists, Opera (e)Studio, through his teachers and colleagues. “I believe it’s a great opportunity for young artists”, he says regarding taking part in the seventh Opera (e)Studio and highlights that, above all, the training programme has a “very high level”. It is divided in one month of general training followed by one month of working on a real production.

As for Dulcamara, this is the first time the Italian singer is performing the role and his main concern is for the character not “to be ridiculous”, while the Georgian artist explains that the role he is playing on Thursday and Saturday “requires plenty of energy: he talks a lot, and the text is very difficult and fast”. He points out that the singer “needs to be well trained to perform this role. Therefore, he also needs to play well on the stage and have a lot of energy to be able to show all the details”.

Regarding future projects, both singers focus on making the most of their experience in Opera (e)Studio and L’elisir d’amore, but they wish to keep evolving in other characters. Givi Gigineishvili admits that “every character is interesting for me… but I’d like to play the role of Philip II in Verdi’s Don Carlo”. Matteo Andrea Mollica’s answer is more categorical: “My favourite role, in my favourite title, by my favourite composer: Ezio in Attila by Verdi”.

L’elisir d’amore marks the beginning of the 2019-2020 season with Antonio Méndez -principal conductor of Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife- as musical director. This new Ópera de Tenerife show is done in coproduction with Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre and has the funding of the European Commission through the Creative Europe programme. It is also the debut in Europe of stage director Pablo Maritano, who transports us to the Golden Age of Hollywood. It all comes with the stage design of Serena Rocco, costumes by Lorena Marin and Virginio Levrio as lighting designer




Opera de Tenerife

This is the first time sopranos Leonora Tess and Sofía Esparza are in Tenerife where they have come to play the role of Giannetta, Adina’s friend in  L’elisir d’amore. One of the best-known comic operas by Gaetano Donizetti, it will open the Ópera de Tenerife 2019-2020 season with performances starting on Thursday next week and running till Sunday. Both singers are playing the role on alternate days. Esparza will perform on Thursday and Saturday while Tess will be on stage on Friday and Sunday.

Sofía Esparza, who started to study singing when she was seven years old, is a Spanish soprano who trained at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Navarra and at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya. The singer, who is visiting the island for the first time, heard “very, very good” references of Ópera de Tenerife and the high specialisation academy for artists Opera (e)Studio from “singers who have taken part in the programme in previous years”.  The soprano says she decided to enter the auditions for L’elisir d’amore, a title she is performing for the first time, because “it’s a great chance for singers to train professionally” and also because “it’s a major boost to my career”.

Italian Leonora Tess started to study singing when she was 19 after studying piano at the Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Verdi in Milan. The singer, who like the Spanish soprano, had never been to the island, hopes to return soon as she says she is “in love with Tenerife”. Regarding Opera (e)Studio, a programme she had already heard of, she stated that “it’s a good opportunity to grow as an artist” adding that for a singer L’elisir d’amore is the perfect opera “to connect with the feelings of the audience”. Unlike her partner, this is not the first time she deals with this character; she played it in Milan and explains that the difficulty of the role lies in “bringing a character to life that can actually attract the audience’s attention”.

As far as future projects, Sofía Esparza would like to make the most of the boost this opportunity has given her and carry on with her career by “taking the right steps” and continuing with her training as a singer and artist. No doubt, she dreams of playing the roles of Norina in Don Pasquale, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro or Micaela in Carmen. Similarly, Leonora Tess’s main goal is to keep on growing as an artist and concludes that after her experience in Tenerife she expects “her career to grow from now on”. Like her colleague, she hopes to be on stage one day playing the role of Musetta in La bohème, Despina in Così fan tutte or Marie in La fille du régiment.

These two young sopranos, along with eight other singers, arrived on the island to take part in the seventh Opera (e)Studio, the comprehensive programme for singers’ artistic improvement. The training, directed by Giulio Zappa, consists of different masterclasses given by international first-rate professionals and goes on with the typical rehearsals of every opera production, which is the phase that is currently in progress. The programme concludes with the performance of L’elisir d’amore from 24 to 27 October.

L’elisir d’amore marks the beginning of the 2019-2020 season with Antonio Méndez -principal conductor of Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife- as musical director. This new Ópera de Tenerife show is done in coproduction with Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre and has the funding of the European Commission through the Creative Europe programme. It is also the debut in Europe of stage director Pablo Maritano, who transports us to the Golden Age of Hollywood. It all comes with the stage design of Serena Rocco, costumes by Lorena Marin and Virginio Levrio as lighting designer.

Opera de Tenerife

The Cabildo de Tenerife presents the opera L’elisir d’amore, by Donizetti, to be performed at Sala Sinfónica of Auditorio de Tenerife from 24 to 27 October. It is a coproduction between Ópera de Tenerife, Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre, and this year it is funded by the European Commission programme Creative Europe. The cast on stage are the members of the seventh Opera (e)Studio, the high specialisation academy.

The details of the production were revealed today, Wednesday the 16th at Auditorio de Tenerife by the Councillor for Culture of the Cabildo, Concepción Rivero; the artistic director of the Auditorio, José Luis Rivero; Opera (e)Studio’s artistic director, Giulio Zappa; the musical director, Antonio Méndez, and the stage director, Pablo Maritano.

The ten singers were chosen in auditions held in Bologna, Tbilisi, Madrid and Tenerife last February which were entered by 181 candidates of 33 different nationalities. The singers taking part are María Rita Combattelli (soprano); Beatriz de Sousa (soprano); Klodjan Kaçani (tenor); César Arrieta (tenor); Alberto Bonifazio (baritone); Jacobo Ochoa (baritone); Givi Gigineishvili (bass); Matteo Andrea Mollica (bass); Sofía Esparza (soprano) and Leonora Tess (soprano).

Concepción Rivero admitted that “it’s a pleasure to present L’elisir d’amore”, that will be performed “on this wonderful stage” and that opens Ópera de Tenerife’s new season.  For his part, the artistic director of Auditorio de Tenerife, José Luis Rivero, presented this production of Opera (e)Studio, “the academy specialising in opera singing where we are honoured to have had Giulio Zappa as director from the beginning; singers training at the academy in previous years are now following an international career”.

The artistic director explained that “different reasons make this year unique: this is the first time the principal conductor of Sinfónica de Tenerife is musically directing one of our operas, for which we thank Antonio Méndez’s generosity; it is the European debut of one of the most renowned stage directors in Latin America, Pablo Maritano; and this project is a coproduction between Ópera de Tenerife, Teatro Comunale di Bolognia and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre, chosen among more than 500 European projects in the Creative Europe programme, and the only opera project that was chosen”.

In Giulio Zappa’s view, “this seventh year is special because of the support of Creative Europe”. Opera (e)Studio artistic director stated that “in my over 20-year-long career I’ve never met such a passionate, committed team as the one in Ópera de Tenerife, who I now regard as family”. Regarding the participants, Zappa thanks them for “these two months together in which I’ve also learnt a lot from them”.

Sinfónica de Tenerife’s principal conductor, Antonio Méndez, admits that “I’m looking forward to making my debut with Ópera de Tenerife; it’s a pleasure to be leading this title by Opera (e)Studio, a very interesting and necessary project in the opera world which this year has brought us two great high-level casts. They are all very different from each other which, in turn, offers a richer result as audiences can value each voice, each character”. For his part, Pablo Maritano thanked the invitation from Ópera de Tenerife intendant, Alejandro Abrante, and Jorge Cabrera, head of technical production of Auditorio de Tenerife, and his “tireless” team. “The whole team has surrounded us with their enthusiasm and although this sector is always full of challenges, we’re very happy about how we’ve dealt with them and with the final result”.

This Ópera de Tenerife production is a melodramma giocoso by Gaetano Donizetti with the libretto by Felice Romani, based on the text Le philtre by Eugène Scribe for Daniel François Esprit Auber’s opera. One of the most praised operas by the composer thanks to unforgettable melodies like ‘Una furtiva lagrima’ and a lively plot about the love affair between beautiful Adina and naive Nemorino. It was premiered at Teatro della Canobbiana in Milan on 12 May 1832.

Opera (e)Studio is the high specialisation academy for Ópera de Tenerife artists, which has had Giulio Zappa as artistic director since 2012. This project was set up with the aim of providing training in all the opera disciplines for young artists while at the same time meeting the demands of the present work market. The selected artists arrived on the island last September and have been working on different areas ranging from musical and stage performance techniques to style, diction, body language or dramaturgy which are combined with rehearsals done at the professional pace set by a theatre: costume fittings, make-up and rehearsing with the orchestra.

The performances on Thursday, the 24th, Friday, the 25th and Saturday the 26th are taking place at 7:30 pm. The show in at 6:00 pm on Sunday, the 27th. Tickets can be purchased at Auditorio de Tenerife box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm Monday to Saturday; via or calling 902 317 327.

Opera de Tenerife

The sopranos Maria Rita Combattelli and Beatriz de Sousa will bring to life the rich and beautiful landowner Adina, in Donizetti’s comic opera L’elisir d’amore. This title opens the new Ópera de Tenerife season and will be put on from 24 to 27 October at Auditorio de Tenerife. Combattelli will perform on Thursday and Saturday while De Sousa will sing on Friday and Sunday.

Italian Combattelli and Portuguese De Sousa are part of the seventh Opera (e)Studio, which they both learned about from other singers who have taken part in this Ópera de Tenerife’s project. Combattelli believes that “the title this year is very interesting, and I thought I should make the most of this opportunity” and De Sousa admits she was encouraged to take part because of “the opportunity of making my debut in the role of Adina”.

Maria Rita Combattelli, who is a student at the Accademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, recalls that “I’ve always liked singing, since I was a little girl. My mum says I knew all the cartoon songs by heart”. De Sousa, who is studying at University of Music Vienna and at the Liceu’s Conservatoire, started her studies when she was sixteen and came to Tenerife in the past to take part in the masterclasses of Giulio Zappa, who is the artistic director of Opera (e)Studio. In contrast this is the first time Combattelli is on the island.

They are both certain that L’elisir d’amore “is a brilliant and amusing work that blends comic and opera features seamlessly”. Combattelli highlights ‘Adina’s complex psychology; she is a strong, independent woman as shown by every word she says”, while De Sousa points out that “the music is wonderful, it’s the type of music that traps your ear at once and remains with you for a long time”.

Regarding the difficulty of tackling a role like Adina, Beatriz de Sousa explains that “Adina greatly develops as a character throughout the opera and the last aria portrays this psychological and musical culmination”. In Rita Combattelli’s opinion, the complexity of the role “lies in the vocal part, as it is a bel canto role, but you must keep up the energy of the character right through the work”.

Combattelli and De Sousa appreciate coming to the Opera (e)Studio training programme. The Italian singer points out, among others, her “surprise at being treated with the professionality and respect due to professionals”. For her part, De Sousa is delighted with the experience and highlights “the high level they demand from us”. The Lisbon soprano says that “in Opera (e)Studio de Tenerife I’ve found the perfect balance between the support a young singer needs and the necessary exposure to start off her career”.

As for future goals, Combattelli prefers not to strive for a specific one but to “go on taking in the work done these months at Opera (e)Studio and doing her very best every day”, while the Italian singer says her goal is to become “a thorough artist, taking care of voice technique and particularly, being a great performer on the stage”.

L’elisir d’amore opens the 2019 – 2020 opera season under the musical direction of Antonio Méndez, principal conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife. This Ópera de Tenerife production -jointly with Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre- is funded by the European Commission through its Creative Europe scheme. It is a debut in Europe of stage director, Pablo Maritano, who transports us to Hollywood golden age, adorned with the stage design by Serena Rocco, Lorena Marin’s costumes and lighting design by Virginio Levrio.