Our goal is to bring the finest artists to the finest theaters world-wide, with careful attention given to establishing and maintaining professional careers. The Laifer roster is divided among Americans, Europeans and Asians, stars and emerging talents.
I believe very strongly that it is of the utmost importance to find the "right manager" - someone who "guides and nurtures" careers, and helps the artist understand what is necessary in order to advance at the various stages that happen in the course of a lifetime career. This "marriage" between artist and manager is perhaps the most important professional decision that the artist will have to make alone - and this choice will shape what happens and when, in the natural evolution of a career. I maintain a very small and select group of singers and conductors, so that I can have the time and energy necessary to accomplish these goals.
There are two new artists on the roster starting with soprano Zoya Gramagin who hails from Moscow, has been praised for her beautiful, vibrant voice with characteristically warm Slavic colors, while maintaining a very Italianate sound. The Petersburg-Concert (Saint Petersburg, Russia) called her a “true Verdian soprano, [with] fascinating richness of the voice and fiery musicality.” Following a recent performance at the Lowell House Opera at Harvard University in Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades, the Boston Musical Intelligencer said: “The show was carried by excellent music-making. Zoya Gramagin as Liza achieved [a] major-league success…” Her most recent appearance was as Special Guest Artist at the annual Sergio Franchi Memorial Gala where she “wowed the crowd” with her “thrilling” interpretation of “Un bel di…” She is preparing the role of Butterfly for a new production (not yet officially announced) during the 2019-2020 season. This coming season will see her in concert with orchestra performing Richard Strauss’ Vier Letze Lieder” and Mahler’s 8th Symphony. The second new artist on the roster is Russian-American bass-baritone Grigory Soloviov
who was recently praised for his portrayal of the title character in Jay Reise’s 1988 opera Rasputin: “Grigory Soloviov's deep booming bass is truly hypnotizing; it puts you into some kind of trance. It is chillingly beautiful.” For the same role, another reviewer said, “The character of Rasputin in this show was brilliantly portrayed by Grigory Soloviov, who [posseses a] splendid voice, rich in colors, and distinct, unique acting skills.” Before completing his studies with the Washington National Opera's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, Grigory attended the prestigious Moscow State Conservatory. He has performed at La Fenice, Washington Opera, Bolshoi Academic State Theatre, Helikon-Opera, Dallas Opera, Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Opéra National de Lyon, Opéra de Tours, Opéra De Montréal, the Palm Beach Opera, and Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. In addition to the contemporary Rasputin, he has received acclaim for performances in varied repertoire such as Polyphemus (Acis and Galatea), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Leporello and Masetto (Don Giovanni), Bartolo (Le Nozze di Figaro), Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Sparafucile and Monterone (Rigoletto), Lodovico (Otello), Colline (La Boheme) and Frank (Die Fledermaus) to name a few. Early 2017 saw Grigory in Moscow as Malyuta Skuratov in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride, after which he made his Carnegie Hall (Zankel) debut as guest artist in a special opera gala honoring the great Italian tenor Giuseppe Giacomini. During the summer, Grigory was in the UK performing as Zuniga in Carmen at the annual Grange Festival. This season he has returned to Helikon-Opera where he is performing Timur (Turandot), Salieri (Mozart and Salieri), Frank (Die Fledermaus) and additional performances of Rasputin and Malyuta Skuratov (Tsar's Bride). In 2018-19 he will portray The Priest in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.
Soprano Elizabeth De Trejo has been praised an artist who "has it all - a shimmering coloratura of great agility and intriguing color as well as superb acting ability". An artist with a rare affinity for the demanding bel canto style, she has been acclaimed for her performances of the title roles of Bellini's Norma and Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. This past summer, she performed a recital of bel canto repertoire with the Opera Orchestra of New York under its founder M° Eve Queler. She made her Asian debut with concert performances at Korea's Great Mountains Music Festival, presenting a program of Bellini arias and premiering a new work by composer Christopher Berg for soprano, cello, and piano. In the spring of 2017, Elizabeth performed as soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem and in his Vesperae solennes de confessore with the National Chorale in Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall. She also sang Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra and recently returned from South Korea where she was a Distinguished Guest Artist at the Pyeong Chang Music Festival, having been invited back following her successful Asian debut the previous year. This fall she performed the role of Vénus in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld as part of New Orleans Opera’s Diamond Anniversary Season.
Spanish mezzo-soprano Nancy Fabiola Herrera has performed in the major theaters around the world including the Metropolitan, Covent Garden, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Oviedo, and Sydney, and has received world-wide acclaim in her signature role of Carmen (“…it is well known in the world of opera that hers is the Carmen par excellence.” Career highlights include performing the world premiere of Catan’s Il Postino with LA Opera (DVD) for which she received their Plácido Domingo Award and singing Carmen, Act 4 with Domingo in his 40th Anniversary Gala at Arena di Verona. Significant portrayals include Dalila, Charlotte, Luisa (Luisa Fernanda on DVD with Domingo), and Salud (La vida breve). She began the current season with Fenena (Nabucco) at LA Opera with Domingo, having sung the role with him last season at the Metropolitan following her success there as Herodias (Salome) where (“[she] stole the show...”). In early 2018, she records “Goyescas,” Rossini’s “Stabat Mater,” and "La Vida Breve" and later in the year returns to Houston for “Florencia en el Amazonas." Natasha Novitskaia is an exciting mezzo-soprano on her way to an important career in the dramatic mezzo roles of Verdi as well as in repertoire such as Dalila, Santuzza, Lyubasha and many of the important Russian mezzo roles. She has performed Amneris, Fricka, Carmen, Azucena, and Santuzza and has given recitals in New York and Berlin as well as Russia. Last summer, she was the vocal soloist in a concert with the Mercury Orchestra in the Alexander Nevsky Cantata by Prokofiev. Last fall she performed Azucena in a concert performance of Il Trovatore at the Liederkranz in NYC. In spring 2017, she sang a duo recital at the Opera Center in New York with soprano Olga Zhurvel Maselli and in April was a featured artist at the Giacomini Gala at Carnegie Hall. This past summer she performed at the Franchi Gala before 4000 people to great success. The current season will have her performing in another Giacomini gala, this time in Italy, with M˚ Daniel Oren. She will also be appearing with soprano Zoya Gramagin in an all-Russian song program in the spring. The following season will feature her debut at La Fenice in a new production, and she is on hold for Ulrica with M˚ Oren in Salerno. She also is on hold for NNTT Tokyo for Marina in a new Boris Godunov in 2020-21 season. Also upcoming is a performance of Mahler’s 8th Symphony.
We have the following review: “The German conductor Rudolf Piehlmayer, born in Bavaria, was cheered loudly and rightly so. He gave the orchestra a great clarity with a warm and enveloping sound. He propels his musicians (68) with rigor, and a sensitively balanced focus and we note the quality of the brass section, especially congratulating the tuba!”. The review was for a new Lohengrin in Rouen. In a career of more than 25 years he has conducted throughout the world, having made his opera debut in Regensburg in Hansel und Gretel in 1993. For 7 years he was the music director of Augsburg Philharmonic followed by his tenure as permanent guest conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra at the Leipzig Opera. He has conducted at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Norske Opera, Musashimo Akademia Musicae Tokyo and with many orchestras throughout Germany. He has a number of recordings to his credit. Young American baritone Tim Renner completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal performance and literature at the University of Illinois where he was recipient of the Stotler Howard Fellowship for two consecutive years, as well as the Joseph W. Schlanger Memorial Opera Scholarship; he won the Mario Lanza Institute Scholarship in 2015. In 2016 he was Eisenstein in a new Die Fledermaus for Vero Beach, Alidoro (La Cenerentola) in Greenville, Germont (La Traviata) in his debut with Opera Columbus, Conte di Luna (Il Trovatore) in concert at the Liederkranz in NYC, and the title character in the Russian opera The Demon by Rubinstein at AVA. This fall he performed Conte di Luna in a staged performance at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia where he will also appear this season as Alberich (Das Rheingold), the Music Master (Ariadne auf Naxos), and Germont. Next season, he will make his Toyko debut as Escamillo (Carmen), and he will debut with Opera Tampa as Zurga (Les pêcheurs de perles). In preparation are Belcore (L’elisir d’amore), Silvio (Pagliacci), Valentin (Faust), and the lead role of Pelléas. Mexican tenor Cesar Sanchez, known for his rich passionate voice and dramatic intensity, recently made his debut as Cavaradossi with Opera Tampa, after which the Tampa Bay Times said, “Cesar Sanchez supplies everything you would want in a leading man.” Just prior he sang a “heroic” Manrico in concert at the Liederkranz in New York and recently appeared as guest artist at the Sergio Franchi Gala, singing an “exquisite” “Una furtiva lagrima” and a crowd-pleasing “Grenada.” Among the roles that he has sung in Mexico, Europe, and the United States are Edgardo, Turiddu, Alfredo, Riccardo, and Calaf which he sang at the Tijuana Opera Summer Festival before an audience of 14,000. He returns to Tampa in 2018 for Macduff and in 2019 for Manrico. Tenor Dongwon Shin has received international acclaim for his stentorian performances (“[Shin’s] voice is enormous and flows effortlessly at whatever volume he chooses, from caressing murmurs to all out heroics.”) as Radames (Covent Garden, Vienna), Calaf (New Zealand, Fort Worth), Manrico (Dresden, Montreal, Fort Worth), Samson (Trieste, Dayton), and the Verdi Requiem (Trieste). He maintains a rigorous concert schedule in his native Korea and recently made a special appearance at Carnegie Hall in the gala honoring Giuseppe Giacomimi where he sang selections from the famed honoree’s repertoire. The highlight of 2017 was his role debut of Cavaradossi in Seoul. This season, Dongwon concertizes in Korea and returns to the United States for Radames in a new Aida with Knoxville Opera.
November 29, 2017