Charming beginnings: Larisa Ștefan

Young Romanian soprano Larisa Stefan is currently a member of Centre de Perfeccionament from Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofia, Valencia, Spain. The highlights of her career are the title roles in the operas Les Mamelles de Tiresias and L’Isola Disabitata in Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofia Valencia, Il Viaggio a Reims (Contessa di Folleville) in Rossini Opera Festival Pesaro. Other roles include Clorinda in Cenerentola in Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, Musetta in La Boheme and Zerlina in Don Giovanni at the Romanian Cluj-Napoca Operahouse, likewise some other small parts in different operas. Larisa’s musical education began in the music high school of her hometown Pitesti, following up the Arts University of Oradea with the voice teacher Theodore Coresi which is her current mentor. She has been a member of “Accademia rossiniana” Pesaro (2018), and of the Opera Studio “Lya Hubic” Cluj-Napoca. Also had several masterclasses with Placido Domingo, Juan Diego Florez, Mariella Devia, Ernesto Palacio, and Raul Gimenez. Larisa had a 3 years scholarship from the program “Young Talents” of the Princess Margaret Foundation. She is the winner of many competition awards like: Grand Prize at the International Contest of interpretation Sabin Dragoi, Timisoara , Special Prize offered by the Darclee Foundation at the International Competition Haricleea Darclee Braila and others. Among the conductors she had work with, there are: Carlo Rizzi, Marc Albrecht, David Crescenzi, Hugo Carrio. Gabriel Bebeselea, Tiberiu Soare, the pianist Roger Vignoles and the stage directors:Laurent Pelly, Emilio Sagi, Robert Carsen, Ted Huffman, Elisabetha Courir.

Dear Larisa, first of all thank you for chatting with me for the Charming beginnings rubric of our anniversary issue! I must say, I am so proud of you and of your development as an opera singer. Despite this difficult year, you kind of never stopped performing and, definitely, never stop studying. Congratulations! Even though I’ve been knowing you for a while now, I have never had the opportunity to ask you… Who was your first big inspiration, the one to who you owe your first steps on this path?

Hello! Thank you for having me, it’s such a pleasure. Indeed, I have been working almost all the time, something for which I am grateful. I only had two months of proper quarantine last spring when all this situation began, but really the Palau de les Arts never stopped the activity and in consequence, me neither. I would say that I had two people inspiring  me to follow this path. I met them in two different stages of my life when they helped me choose and rechoose this career. For this I need to tell you the story of how I got into high school with a dream of becoming a pop music star and how I chose studying classical singing only because I had no other section as an option. At this point, I had zero interest or understanding of this type of music. I got carried away with teenage life and started to be a rebel, something that was so fun and liberating and yet so annoying for my parents and professors. Then I turned my attention to rock music, an area where I found quite a community of young aspiring musicians. Fastforward two years, between rock bands and continuous parties, my high school teacher changed because apparently I was a lost cause. The new one, was professor Camelia Clavac.  She saw something special in the sixteen year old Larisa and she made me see it too. She showed me the beauty in the music of opera and she taught me to take risks. With her at my side, by the end of the high school I had won all the opera competitions for which I was eligible at that age. Later, after getting into the conservatoire of Bucharest and having a huge disappointment on how things were going there for me, I got to meet Dr. Professor Theodore Coresi and suddenly everything changed for me. I literally moved to the other side of the country to study with him and I still believe that was the most intelligent decision that I have ever taken. I’ve been working with him ever since. He believed in me more than anyone. More than even I did and he prepared me for the world professionally and spiritually. 

I chose the opera singer career again thanks to him, but this time being more involved and confident on my work. I think that inspiring people are those who make you think big, make you exceed your limits and accept your flaws, those who make you believe in yourself and help you find your own voice, creativity and authenticity, or those who just make you fall in love with something that you never even considered before.

Read the entire interview & many other interesting articles here, in the anniversary issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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