Following the success of the first two editions in Rome in 2022 and Paris in 2023, amidst a backdrop of new challenges on the international stage, Opera for Peace Academy aims this year to amplify voices of peace, for the first time in both capitals (Rome from April 15 to 19; Paris from April 21 to 25) with support from the European Investment Bank (EIB), its main sponsor.​

This one-of-a-kind programme will offer 14 emerging opera singers, from ages 21 to 37, the opportunity to find and develop their unique artistic identity  as well as the life-skills needed for their career. For this 2024 edition, 360 applications from 76 countries were received, a record number.

The fourteen selected artists hail from five continents. Some, like Ukrainian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Chayka-Rubinstein or German soprano of Kosovo origin Johanna Will, are from countries in conflict or experiencing significant international tensions. Others are from territories where opera is less common, such as Livia Louis-Joseph-Dogué, a young French soprano of Martinican origin, or Khayakazi Madlala, a South African soprano. They all share the desire to become ambassadors of their art and for peace, thanks to their talent and drive.

The fourteen emerging artists will come together from April 15-25, 2024, beginning at the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici, then at the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris (CIUP). For eleven days they will attend masterclasses led by some of the greatest names on the international operatic scene: Larry Brownlee, Étienne Dupuis, Thomas Hampson, Brian Jagde, Sumi Jo, Damiano Michieletto…, with future broadcasts of select classes available via the support of partners OperaVision and Opera Europa.

In addition to vocal coaching sessions, the participating artists will also benefit from masterclasses to learn about stage movement, the role of an artist in society, and how to manage social networks with the support of the Opera for Peace team. Beside revealing new citizen artists, the programme aims to generate social entrepreneurs and ambassadors for peace who will make an impact throughout the world, especially in their countries where other young people will see that becoming an artist is a possible option and a viable career path.

This year there will be two concerts open to the public, the first at the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici on Friday, April 19, and the second at the Italian Cultural Institute in Paris on Monday, April 22, on the occasion of the centenary of Giacomo Puccini’s death.

Based in Rome, Opera for Peace is a cultural movement working in six continents and serving as a reference for young singers: connecting, supporting, and promoting these outstanding artists through its network of Opera for Peace partners, advisors, ambassadors, and emerging artists.

Since the beginning of their series of Academies, 60 artists have had the opportunity to participate in the program. Former Academy artists include Ukrainian bass-baritone Ihor Mostovoi, who joined the Opéra national de Paris Academy after his participation in Opera for Peace Academy 2023, and Axelle Saint-Cirel, French mezzo-soprano of Guadeloupean origin, who made her debut as Carmen at the Grand Avignon Opera. Iranian soprano Forooz Razavi was the second soprano in Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with Neeme Järvi and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra in fall 2023.