The Jury – Lorenzo de’ Medici Festival 2023

Crystalla Serghiou – UK

Crystalla is a classically trained Composer, Pianist, Singer and Conductor. Crystalla’s musical versatility allows her to take part in performances of many different genres including Classical, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Pop, Contemporary, Film and Media. Crystalla is currently completing a Masters of Music in Composition at London’s Royal Academy. In 2020, Crystalla graduated with a First Class Honours from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, as a BMus Honours student of Composition. Crystalla often takes on additional roles such as performing in her own works, music directing and conducting. She enjoys being a multi-facetted, collaborative composer, taking on interdisciplinary projects and working alongside other art forms and genres. During her Undergraduate course, Crystalla opened up her own, new music ensemble called ‘Dias Ensemble,’ taking on the role as Conductor, Composer and Musical Director. She has experience in teaching piano, singing and composition; She has also been a member of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Chorus. Since leaving her home country Cyprus, Crystalla has been involved in a range of projects throughout the UK. She was a selected composer to compose a new, orchestral work for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in a collaborative show called ‘Last Futures’. Crystalla also worked with one of Scotland’s leading new-music ensembles, Red Note Ensemble, where she was commissioned to write a chamber work for Plug Festival 2019. She wrote a string quartet for the Edinburgh Quartet for Stirling University’s Art Collection. She has recently collaborated with CHROMA Ensemble, where she wrote a new work for the Music and Time Festival 2021. In August, 2021, Crystalla performed for a sound installation project set up in the Robert Burns Monument, Edinburgh by sound installation artist Emeka Ogboh. She sang in Greek Cypriot to contribute to the ‘Song of the Union’ project, co-commissioned by Talbot Rice Gallery and Edinburgh Art Festival as a response to the UK’s departure from the European Union. She has also written for other art forms, such as composing for a musical for Edinburgh Fringe Festival and composing for a short film, premiered at the Glasgow Film Theatre, which was nominated Best Scottish Short Film for the Glasgow Short Film Festival 2020.

Leonardo Sagliocca – Italy

LEONARDO SAGLIOCCA is an italian bass-baritone. He was born in Florence. After an audition with the world famous baritone Gino Bechi, he was encouraged by him to begin the Opera singing career. He began singing studies in the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole under Elio Lippi, Donatella Debolini and Gianni Fabbrini. This school of music was founded by the world famous viola player of the “Quartetto Italiano”, Piero Farulli. After that, Leonardo Sagliocca continued his formation in the University of Music of Florence, the “Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini” under the Scottish soprano Kate Lafferty Gamberucci. At the age of 23 he was noticed by the world famous italian baritone Rolando Panerai who immediately invited him to join his class of international singers and engaged him for the operas “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” by Gioachino Rossini, “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi and “Gianni Schicchi” by Giacomo Puccini. In 1996 he was invited also by the great baritone Leo Nucci to sing beside him in Verdi’s “La Traviata” and to join his class. Leonardo Sagliocca won the 1998 edition of international competition “William Walton – the actor-singer”, sponsored by The Prince of Wales, Charles, which gave him the chance to improve his acting and singing talents with world famous artists like James Lockhart, Graziella Sciutti, Jonathan Papp (Royal Academy of Music, London), Harriet Lawson (Rossini Opera Festival), Corradina Caporello (Juillard School, New York) and perform the opera “Gianni Schicchi” by Giacomo Puccini in front of the Prince. During this Master Class Leonardo Sagliocca was invited for a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music of London. Other peaks of his career: In 1999 he was singing in the Dome of Genova (Genua,Italy) with the Orchestra of Teatro Carlo Felice, the main theater in Genua, under Herbert Handt. The same year he was invited by the great specialist of Rossini’s Operas, Luis Alva, to sing the role of Mustafa in the Opera “L’Italiana in Algeri” of G.Rossini in Lima, Peru. Also in 1999 he was invited in Lucca by the american former tenor and conductor Herbert Handt to sing world premiere of works by eminent composers. The most famous one, winner of the Academy Award for his career, Ennio Morricone, author of many unforgettable soundtracks of famous movies like “Days of Heaven”,”The Mission”,”The Untouchables”,”Nuovo Cinema Paradiso”. Ennio Morricone was present at the rehearsals and at the concerts, cooperating with Leonardo Sagliocca and the other musicians. In 2005 Leonardo Sagliocca is invited at a very important season, The South Bank Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the season of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Following, a “resumé” of the entire career of Leonardo Sagliocca: He began the soloist career in 1993 in Italy and all over the world, in the fields of symphonic, oratorial, operatic music and from the middle age music to the contemporary. He performed as soloist with the following Associations and Musical Institutions: Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence main theatre and one of the oldest Festivals of the world), Festival dei Due Mondi of Spoleto (Umbria), Sagra Musicale Umbra (Perugia), Festival Puccini di Torre del Lago (where Giacomo Puccini composed many of his masterpieces), Ravenna Festival (organized by the wife of the great italian conductor Riccardo Muti), Nuova Cappella di Palazzo (Lucca), Associazione Musicale Lucchese (Lucca), Amici della Musica Firenze (Florence), Centro Busoni (Empoli), Festival Internazionale di San Gimignano (SanGimignano, Siena), Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina (Florence), Centro Internazionale di Musica Antica (CIMA, Rome), Tuscia Opera Festival (Viterbo, Italy), Orchestra della Toscana (ORT,Florence), Estate Regina (Montecatini Terme), South Bank Centre (London Philharmonic Orchestra Festival, London), Jeszienny Salon Muszyczny, Szceczin (Poland), Musiksommer Loisachtal (Germany). He performed together with world famous artists like: Gino Bechi, Rolando Panerai, Leo Nucci, Luis Alva, Gennaro Sica, Susanna Rigacci, Victor Micallef, Giorgio Casciarri, Duccio Dal Monte, Marina Comparato, Barbara Di Castri, Filippo Adami, Leonardo De Lisi, Alfie Boe etc. He performed with the following conductors: Salvatore Accardo, Claudio Scimone, Alberto Veronesi, Lu Jia, James Lockhart, Massimo De Bernart, Jeffrey Tate, Vinko Globokar, Claudio Desderi, Filippo Maria Bressan, Herbert Handt, Alessandro Pinzauti, Marco Balderi, Jonathan Brandani, Elisabetta Maschio, Riccardo Cirri, Giuseppe Lanzetta, Federico Bardazzi, Fabio Neri, Riccardo Martinini, Federico Maria Sardelli, Sergio Siminovich, Marco Severi, Augusto Vismara, Giovan Battista Varoli, Piero Papini, Carlo Moreno Volpini, Franz Schottky, David Boldrini etc. He performed with the following directors: Paolo Miccichè, Luciano Alberti, Aldo Tarabella, Luca Ferraris, Riccardo Diana, Gennaro Sica, Graziella Sciutti etc. He sang for the first time in the world works by Ennio Morricone, Luca Lombardi, Franco Mannino, Fabio Cifariello Ciardi, Riccardo Riccardi, Francesco Traversi, always in front of the composers and under their supervision. He has also performed many recitals with piano players, small vocal groups, small orchestras and big orchestras in cities like Barcelona, Madrid, Munchen, Frankfurt, Koln, Kassel, Sczeczin, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Zurich, Lugano, Auckland, Melbourne and regularly in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Niigata). He has been permanent member of high level Ensembles like the “Ensemble San Felice” of Florence,Italy, the “Nuova Cappella di Palazzo” of Lucca,Italy and the “Cappella Musicale di Santo Stefano” of Prato, Italy. He is co-founder of the “Ensemble San Felice”, a vocal and instrumental group specialized in early music, with original instruments. With the Ensemble he performed, among others, “Vespro della Beata Vergine” of C. Monteverdi, Haendel’s “Messiah” and “The Fairy Queen” by H. Purcell. He cooperated as talent scout, teacher and soloist singer with the “Maggio Fiorentino Formazione”, the formation agency of the main theater in Florence and one of the more historical and important festivals in Italy, the “Maggio Musicale Fiorentino”. He recorded actually 8 cd’s published and sold all over the world for the following labels (Tactus, Bongiovanni, Kicco Classic, Clavis, Brilliant Classics) He was invited as member of the Jury in important Festivals like The Singing World in Saint Petersburg, the Choral Festivals in Bratislava, the Credo Festival in Tallinn, the Nederlands Koor Festival in Haarlem, the Mozart Festival in Prague, the Juozas Naujalis and Kaunas Cantat Festivals in Kaunas, the Monteverdi Choral Competition in Venice, the Mundus Cantat Festival in Sopot, the Silver Bells Festival in Daugavpils, Summa Cum Laude in Vienna, Cantemus Festival in Nyiregyhaza (Hungary), Jeju International Choral Festival and the World Youth Choral Festival & Competition (South Korea). He is also regularly invited as member of committee in official auditions. He was invited, in August 2014, as lecturer in the 10th World Symposium on Choral Music in Seoul, South Korea. In May 2015 has been invited for masterclasses on opera repertoire for soloists in China in very important institutions like Peking University (PKU), Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) in Beijing and Xi’an Conservatory of Music (XACOM). In August 2015 he held a masterclass in Russia for Opera young students of Moscow and Saint Petersburg Conservatories. In June 2016 he has been invited to give masterclasses in China in important institutions such as: East China Normal University, Shanghai International Studies University, Zhejiang Conservatory of Music, Zhongshan University, South China Normal University. Also in 2016 he performed concerts in USA in important Festivals and halls such as Castelton Festival, founded by Lorin Maazel, and Strathmore. In 2017 he was in Taiwan for Opera recitals in Feng Chia University in Taichung and masterclasses in Taichung and Pingtung. He is creator and organiser of Opera seasons, Chamber Music seasons, Orchestral and Choral Festivals. He is the creator and founder of a new series of Music Festivals in Florence: “Florence Choral” (, produce every year five International Festivals for choirs and orchestras of all age, dedicated and related to the most important personalities of the Florentine Renaissance: Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Lorenzo De’ Medici, Andrea Del Verrocchio and Sandro Botticelli. Leonardo Sagliocca is also the creator of the season “A Night at the Opera in Florence”, Italian Opera & Baroque. Young talents and international acclaimed singers from all over the world. The first edition was held in the prestigious Teatro Odeon in Florence. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the Gargonza Music Festival in the wonderful Medieval Castle in Gargonza (Arezzo). He started recently to conduct choirs, ensembles and orchestras. In December 2016 he conducted at the Hermitage Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia

Caterina Bevacqua – Italy

Brilliantly obtained a degree in Literature and Philosophy at the University of Florence with a historical-musical thesis on the first oratorio by Giovan Battista Pergolesi “The Death of St. Joseph or the Phoenix on the Stake”, Caterina Bevacqua, after a 5th year of piano and having graduated in Singing and Vocal Chamber Music at the Conservatory of Music “L. Cherubini” in Florence, completes her musical training at the Conservatory S. Cecilia in Rome, achieving the II level Academic Diploma in singing. Caterina Bevacqua has carried out her artistic activity both in the concert field in a mainly lieder repertoire, and as soprano soloist with orchestras and prestigious Italian and international musical ensembles, such as Pragakoncert, I Virtuosi dell’Accademia, Il Quartetto Consonanza, Toscana Classica, the Florentine Chamber Orchestra, Europa Musica, the Sicilian Musical Project Association. She has also collaborated with some theaters such as the Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Messa di S. Cecilia by Scarlatti), the Metastasio Theater in Prato (The Turn of the screw by B. Britten), the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome (Countess of Coigny in Cilea’s Andrea Chènier and Dame in Verdi’s Macbeth), the theaters of Ravenna, Lucca and Livorno (Anna in Verdi’s Nabucco), the Teatro Massimo in Palermo (Humperdink’s Haensel und Gretel), the Opera of Aachen in Germany (Gloria by Poulanc, Missa Solemnis by L.Cherubini, Missa solemnis by Schubert, Te Deum by Bruckner), the Theater of the Opera Minor in Prague (La Serva Padrona by Pergolesi, Stabat Mater by Pergolesi, Gloria by Vivaldi), Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, in two productions respectively in Italy and Central America. For the Sagra Musicale Lucchese, simultaneously with the inauguration of the Puccini Festival 2003, you participated as a soloist in the world premiere presentation concert of Puccini’s unpublished work. You have recorded for Rodolphe (Cantate a 1,2,3, voices by B. Marcello), Amiata Records (The Celestine Suite), Bongiovanni (I Puccini). Intense teaching activity over the years as a trainer of amateur choirs and teacher of vocal technique at the music schools of Pontassieve, Sesto Fiorentino, Bagno a Ripoli and Corale Verdi of Prato, with which she organized the staging of Don Pasquale by Donizetti at the Manzoni Theater in Pistoia in February 2010, enjoying success with audiences and critics. In the 2021/2022 school year at the “Saffi” Hotel Institute in Florence, as a teacher of Italian and History, he gave life to a “Music for All” Project, aimed at students of the fourth and fifth classes of the Institute , recipients of a course of lessons-concert, with live musical performances and listening to reproductions of emblematic works of the periods covered, with the aim of expanding the knowledge acquired in the humanistic, literary and linguistic fields to the field of music history.


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