The International music G.Ots Festival

Chairman of the jury

Karan Armstrong – soprano (USA/Germany)

Karan Armstrong – soprano (USA/Germany) Karan Armstrong studied with Lotte Lehmann, as well as Fritz Zweig and Tilly de Garmo at the Music Academy of the West in the early 60s. She gave her debut at the San Francisco Opera as Musetta in 1965 and shortly thereafter also at the Metropolitan Opera New York. She built her repertoire of lead roles at the New York City Opera and with many important companies in the US (most notably Houston, Dallas, San Diego, Cincinnati, Los Angeles). In 1974 she gave her debut in Europe as Micaela at the Opéra du Rhin Strasbourg. She had a sensational success as Salome at the same house the year after, whereupon she was invited to the major theatres in Europe. By the early 80s she had sung at the Opéra de Paris, Covent Garden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Staatsoper Vienna and in 1979 she gave her debut at the Bayreuth Festival in a new production of Lohengrin directed by her future husband Goetz Friedrich. Karan Armstrong has often been called the primadonna of modern music because she created many lead roles in contemporary opera, such as Berio’s Un re in ascolto (Salzburg Festival 1984), Sinopoli’s Lou Salomé (Munich 1981), von Einem’s Jesu Hochzeit (Vienna, 1980), and York Hoeller’s The Master and Margarita (Paris, 1989). At the same time, her repertoire encompasses virtually all important lyric and spinto roles in French, German and Italian opera (Tosca, Sieglinde, Traviata, Butterfly, Mimì, Mélisande). Karan Armstrong is also recognized as an important champion of early 20th century opera. Her portrayals of Berg’s Lulu and Marie in Wozzeck, as well as of Marietta in Die tote Stadt, the title roles in Shostakovitch’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Janaceks Katya Kabanova as well as of Emilia Marty in the same composers Vec Makropoulos were instrumental in establishing these works in the international operatic repertoire. Her career now spanning more than four decades, Karan Armstrong has extended her repertoire both towards dramatic and character roles, singing roles such as Kundry, Färberin, Leonore in Fidelio, Brünnhilde, and Ortrud, as well as Klytaemnestra, Begbick, and Kostelnicka. In 1985, Karan Armstrong was awarded the title of Kammersängerin in Baden-Württemberg, in 1994 she received the same title in Berlin. Karan Armstrong gives masterclasses in Europe, Asia and the US and has made a successful directing debut in Rostock with her production of La Traviata. Karan Armstrongs work is documented on many CD recordings and most notably in filmed versions of Verdis Falstaff, Strauss’s Salome, Korngold’s Die tote Stadt, Schoenberg’s Erwartung and Poulencs La voix humaine.


Members of the jury

Olga Kapanina – The Bolshoi Theater, casting-director (Russia)

Olga Kapanina is an established artist belonging to the new generation of Russian opera directors. Her works have been seen in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, and the United States. Her credentials include a wide range of operatic styles and have received favorable critical acclaim. Ms. Kapanina was awarded a masters degree in piano from the Estonian National Conservatory of Music in 1980 (Tallinn, Estonia) and a second masters degree in the Performing arts from the St Petersburg Conservatory in 1986 (St Petersburg, Russia). As a student, she directed her fist production of Menotti’s Telephone in Maly Opera and Ballet Theater in St Petersburg. From 1987 to 1997 Ms Kapanina worked with the famous Vanemuine Opera and Ballet Theatre in Estonia, The Donetsk State Opera and Ballet Theatre in Ukraine, The Rimsky-Korsakov Opera and Ballet Theatre in St Petersburg, where she directed Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti, Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss, Tosca by Giacomo Puccini, Iolanthe by Peter Tchaikovsky and Faust by Charles Gounod among others. For several years Ms. Kapanina served as an Associate Professor at the St Petersburg Conservatory. In 1997 she was invited to work in the International Young Artist Program at the Vocal Institute in Tel-Aviv, Israel, where Ms. Kapanina directed Iolanthe by Peter Tchaikovsky. In 1998 Ms. Kapanina began working in the United States as a freelance director. She directed Cosi fan tutte (Regina Opera, New York and Maine), Le nozze di Figaro (Maine), La raviata (Abilene Opera, Texas), and Die Fledermaus(Revival in Redwood, Ca). From 1999 to 2002 Ms. Kapanina collaborated as a director for Young Artist Program of Opera North, and in 2003/2004 she was director of the Vocal Department of the Boston Conservatory. In 2006 she was invited to direct Die Zauberflöte for the International Sobinov Opera Festival in Saratov, Russia. In July 2007 Ms Kapanina directed Eugene Onegin for the Todi Music Festival in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Luca Targetti – InArt Management  (Italy)

Born in Milano, Luca Targetti studied at LiceoClassico G. Parini and graduated from Politecnico di Milano with an Honours degree in Architecture. At the same time he studied piano and theory of music at the Scuola Musicale di Milano and singing with Professor Carla Castellani. After starting a career in Architecture, Luca Targetti began to work professionally in the music sector in 1986 collaborating with opera and concert agencies in Milano, Napoli and München. In 1997 he was appointed Casting Director at Teatro alla Scala in Milano, a position he held until 2009. In 2010 he has been commissioned by the Accademia di Arti e Mestieri del Teatro alla Scala to develop joint-projects with musical and educational establishments in Italy and abroad, a position he combines with the search and furthering of young singing talent.

Alex Grigorev – TACT Int. Art Managemen (Germany)

Alex Grigorev studied first violin and viola and sang professionally in various choirs. He graduated from the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam as a tenor and continued his vocal training at the Opera Studio Amsterdam. After being fixed engaged at Theater Darmstadt, Germany, he performed internationally with producers such as De Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam, Liceu Barcelona, La Monnaie Brussels, Opéra National de Lyon, Paris Châtelet, Vlaamse Opera Antwerp, Torino (RAI), Wiener Festwochen, Festival Edinburgh, Leipzig, among others. He joined TACT International Art Management in 2003.


Andrei Diakov  - Doskal&Diakov – International Management-Opera (Germany)

Andrei Diakov bekam musikalische Ausbildung (mit Schwerpunkt Gesang und Chorleitung) an der Chorschule Michail Glinka, später absolvierte er erfolgreich die Dirigentenfakultät und 2001 das Studium als Konzertpianist, Kammermusiker und Liedbegleiter am St. Petersburger Rimsky-Korsakov-Konservatorium. 2000 begann er sein Studium im Fach Klavier an der Folkwang Hochschule Essen bei Prof. Boris Bloch. Im Anschluss nahm er sein Dirigierstudium an der Hochschule für Musik in Köln auf. 2008 gewann Andrei Diakov den 1. Preis des renommierten Belvedere-Wettebewerbs in Wien in der Kategorie Opern-Korrepetition. Über die Theaterstationen Trier, Osnabrück kam er 2010 als Repetitor und musikalischer Assistent an die Staatsoper Berlin, wo er u.a. für „Die Fledermaus“ unter Zubin Mehta, für „Wozzeck“ unter Daniel Barenboim und für „Aus einem Totenhaus“ unter Sir Simon Rattle assistierte. 2012 gab er sein Debüt als Dirigent an der Staatsoper Berlin. Seit 2016 Andrei Diakov ist Mitinhaber der Opernagentur „Doskal&Diakov – International Opera Management“.

Yuri Alperten – conductor Estonian National Opera(Estonia)

Jüri Alperten has graduated from Tallinn Conservatory in 1979 (the piano class of Bruno Lukk) and has studied conducting with Prof. Ilja Mussin at the N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory (1985). He has been the conductor of the Estonian National Opera since 1985, the chief conductor in 2002–2004, the chief conductor of the Estonian Music and Theatre Academy SO in 1994–2000 and the chief conductor of the Pärnu City Orchestra since 1998. He teaches conducting at the Estonian Academy of Music since 1993. He has worked with many outstanding orchestras such as Hungarian Radio Orchestra, Sombathely Philharmonic Orchestra, several Finnish orchestras, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, etc. He has given guest performances in Russia, Hungary, Finland, Latvia, Sweden etc. He has conducted operas, operettas and ballets, altogether more than forty different performances. He has been a guest conductor at the Latvian National Opera, Göteborg Opera in Sweden etc. At the Estonian National Opera Jüri Alpreten has been the music director for numerous performances: Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloé”, Bizet-Shtshedrin’s “Carmen”, “The Sleeping Beauty” and “The Nutcracker” by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” and “Cinderella”, Shtshedrin’s “Anna Karenina”, “La dame aux camellias” by Tiit Härm, Hynd’s “Rosalinde”; operas and operettas: “La vida breve” by de Falla, “Der Freischütz” by Weber, “Die Fledermaus” by Strauss, Leigh’s “Man of La Mancha”, etc. In 2012 he won the Harjumaa Theatre Prize, in 2014 the Johann Voldemar Jannsen Prize and the Estonian Music Council’s Interpretation Prize.

Natalia Dudik – The Mikhailovsky theatre, concertmaster (Russia)

Natalia Dudik studied at the Rimsky-Korsakov special secondary music school and the Leningrad Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. In 1988, she received first prize at the Concertino Prague International Competition. In 1993, together with her family she emigrated to Israel, where she studied at the Jerusalem Music Academy under professor Alexander Tamir. In 1995, she got the third prize at the Voice of Israel Competition and the third prize at the Murray Dranoff Two Pianos competition in Miami. In 1995, she started her career of a pianist — concert master at the Jerusalem Music Academy and also staged Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Puccini’s La rondine and her own version of Manon Lescaut set to Puccini’s and Massenet’s music. At the same time she started working as a rehearsal pianist at the summer master classes held by Metropolitan Opera in Tel Aviv, which subsequently brought her to 3-year fellowship at Metropolitan Opera. She also played with different chamber orchestras and individual musicians and vocalists. In 2000-2006, she was Senior Concert Master at the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv. In 2003, she worked at the Weksford Festival, where she worked on the productions of Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel and Weinberger’s Schwanda the Bagpiper. In 2006-2010, she worked as Concert Master at the St Petersburg Opera Company. Natalia Dudik worked on over 60 operas — Hansel and Gretel, La Boheme, Un ballo in maschera, among many others. She is senior concert master for the productions of L’elisir d’amore, The Queen of Spades, Rusalka, Pagliacci, Iolanta and others.