Meet the Artists

Zoya Gramagin, soprano

ZOYA GRAMAGIN was born in Moscow, Russia. Her early operatic career started with mezzo-soprano roles such as Lyubasha (Tsar's Bride), Carmen (Carmen) and Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana), which she performed in Moscow, NYC and Novafeltria, Italy. Recent performances include Liza in The Queen of Spades with Lowell House Opera (Cambridge, MA) and Moscow Contemporary Symphony Orchestra, Giorgetta in Il Tabarro, Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) with Manhattan Opera Studio. She has performed numerous concerts and recitals in the US, Russia and Europe with great success.

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Mikhail Urusov, tenor

Mikhail is a graduate of the Moscow State Conservatory. From 1996 to 2009 he sang at Moscow Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre. His roles included Jose in Carmen; Alfredo in La Traviata, Ernani in Ernani, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Rodolfo in La Boheme, Vaudmont in Iolanta and Herman in The Queen of Spades. He made his debut in 2001 at the Bolshoi Theatre in the role of Alexey in the world premiere of the first edition of Prokofiev's The Gambler. At the Bolshoi Theatre, he has also sung Andrew Khovansky in Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina. In 2006 he made his debut at La Scala (Milan, Italy) in the role of Ikharev in Players by Shostakovich.

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Marina Makarova, piano

Marina is a graduate of the Russian Gnessin Music Academy, Jazz Performance. Marina is a unique artist of extraordinary music skills, outstanding musicianship and sense of style. Marina literally can play anything – she is a brilliant jazz pianist, gospel, funk and Latin music as well as a fantastic collaborator for the classical singers in their traditional and less traditional repertoire.

Robert-Heepyoung Oh, baritone

Robert was born in Pusan, Korea. He was a Resident Artist at the Tri-Cities Opera (2011-2014). His most recent appearance opera was a title role in Rigoletto, Don Alfonso in La Favorita with West Side Opera Society in NYC and Marcello in La Boheme with New York Lyric Opera Theater. Also, he has sung roles as Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni, Escamillo in Carmen, Tonio in I Pagliacci, Count in IL Trovatore, Speaker in Magic Flute, Enrico in Lucia dI Lammermoor, Registrar in Madama Butterfly with Tri-Cities Opera. And he sang Elijah in Elijah with Binghamton University Symphony Orchestra and University Choir, King Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors in the Binghamton University Opera. He has also performed a bass solo in Faure’s Requiem at Midsummer Dream Music Festival, Quebec in Canada.

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Natasha Novitskaia-Adams, mezzo-soprano

Prizewinner of the 2011 Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition, NATASHA NOVITSKAIA has recently made a successful transition from soprano to dramatic mezzo. This season she sings Zita in Gianni Schicchi and covering Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera; Azucena in Il Trovatore with One World Symphony and at St. Thomas Aquinas in Brooklyn; Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana at the Players Club in New York; the title role in Carmen, The Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Fricka in Die Walkure and Amneris in Aida with New York Opera Forum; Zita in Gianni Schicchi and La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica with Studio 113 Productions in New York and Opera Tuscia Festival in Italy; as well as recitals in New York, at Carnegie Hall, the Opera America National Opera Center, Liederkranz Foundation and Merkin Concert Hall.

Possessed of a rich and full dramatic instrument, Ms.Novitskaia has performed extensively as a recitalist and soloist with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe.

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Elina Akselrud, piano

A Ukrainian-born pianist Elina Akselrud began receiving her professional music education at Kiev Lysenko Special Music School with Irina Lipatova and Irina Barinova. At the age of eight she had her orchestra debut with Sumy Chamber orchestra “Renaissance”. During the years of 1998-2003 Elina received prizes at International Competitions for Young Pianists, such as Alemdar Karamanov in Ukraine? “Konzerteum” in Greece? Anatoly Zatin in Ukraine? Chopin for Children and Youth in Poland? In memory of Vladimir Horowitz in Ukraine, and “Citta di Ostra” in Italy, as well as performed with the National Academic Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine at the Lysenko National Philharmonic Hall in Kiev.

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Christine Antenbring, mezzo-soprano

Christine was born in Winnipeg, Canada, where she graduated with an Honors degree in Economics before pursuing vocal studies at Indiana University. She has participated Caramoor, Ravinia and Marlboro Music Festivals. She is a winner of the Grand Prize at the Bellini International Voice Competition, regional finalist in the Met National Council Auditions, the Verdi Award at the Orpheus Vocal Competition, and first prize at the Joy in Singing Competition. She has performed to critical acclaim in Canada, the United States, Europe, and most recently as a champion of Icelandic Art Song in Reykjavik. She is married to pianist, Mikhail Hallak.

Miriam Leskis, piano

A musician praised for her “high sensitivity and musical intelligence”, Miriam Leskis is a versatile chamber pianist collaborating with singers and instrumentalists.

Miriam has performed in chamber music and art song festivals in Europe, North America and Israel including the stages of the Barbican Hall, Wigmore Hall in London, Weill Carnegie Hall in New York, the Recanati Auditorium at the Tel Aviv Museum and the Jerusalem Theatre in Israel among others.

Miriam received her Master’s in piano accompaniment at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama with high distinction and a Concert Recital Diploma, also winning the Cunard Carpathia Accompanist Prize and the Cunard Prize for English Song Accompaniment. She also holds a BA in Philosophy and MA in Cultural Studies from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Since 2012 Miriam resides in New York City.