*Sergei Leiferkus* (born April 4, 1946) is an operatic baritone from Russia, known for his dramatic technique and powerful voice particularly in Russian and Italian language repertoire. He is most notable for his roles as Scarpia in Tosca, Iago in Otello, Grand-prétre de Dagon in Samson et Dalila and Simon Boccanegra as the title role. Leiferkus was born in Leningrad (now known as St Petersburg), Russia. He studied music at the St. Petersburg conservatory.In 1972, he made his debut with Maly Theatre of Leningrad and received recognition for Eugene Onegin, Iolanta, Barber of Seville and Don Giovanni. He joined Kirov Opera Company in 1977 performing in Prokofiev’s War and Peace as Andrei. While at the Kirov Opera, Leiferkus’s talent began to receive international reputation as a powerful singer and imaginative actor.Leiferkus has toured most opera houses in the world including Royal Opera House, Vienna State Opera, Opéra Bastille in Paris, Teatro alla Scala, San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Netherlands Opera, Teatro ColÃ³n, at the Edinburgh Festival, Bregenzer Festspiele, Glyndebourne and Salzburg Easter Festival. He has also worked with many notable conductors and orchestras including Georg Solti, James Levine, Claudio Abbado, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti and Seiji Ozawa with London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic.
*Julia Westendorp* (1979) soprano, Netherlands
Education: studied classical singing with Hanneke Kaasschieter at Fontys Conservatorium Tilburg. Continued studies at Dutch National Opera Academy and Conservatory of Amsterdam, where she received singing lessons from Charlotte Margiono. Currently studies with Charlotte Margiono and Peter Nilsson. Prizes: 1st Prize national competition Stichting Jong Muziektalent Nederland. Finalist Francisco ViÃ±as Competition in Barcelona. Repertory: Micaëla Carmen (Bizet), Mme. Lidoine Dialogues des Carmélites (Poulenc), Monica The Medium (Menotti), Donna Anna Don Giovanni (Mozart), Sylvia L’isola disabitata (Haydn).